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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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  #1  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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First trip plan - suggestions??

Hi all... I'm just in the middle of planning my first bike trip to Morocco and would welcome any thoughts or guidance you might feel useful. I hope that I'm not too far from the mark with my planning, but that's where your input comes in!

There are two of us, me on a 950S and Rob who wants an 1150GS unless I can persuade him otherwise! The route map I've been using is the current printing of the 1:800,000 Insight Travel Map. I'm waiting for a set of these Ebay special French Military 1:250,000 maps which might throw more light or even confusion...!

Here's my proposed route:

............

Outbound on the overnight sailing Porstmouth / St. Malo - places us well for the shortest route down the western coast of France:

Day 1 St Malo - Nantes - Bordeaux - Hendaye/Irun B&B close to border

Day 2 Spain - probably as far as Bandajoz

Day 3 Bandajoz - crossing - Fez

Day 4 Fez - Demnate (100k east of Marrakesh)

Day 5 Rest day.

Day 6 Demnate to start of M9 at Taliouine,

Day 7: track west to start of M10 at Igherm
follow M10 to Tata, take road east to left track @ km30. Follow track 30km to join mid-way on M9.

Day 8: 80km on M9 to Foum Zguid.
Follow M8 to Zagora.

Day 9: take track NE to Alnif at the southern end of M4. Follow M4 north to Tinerhir, then M5 south to Nekob.

Day 10: From Nekob take minor road SW to join the N9 south through Vallee du Draa to Zagora. From Zagora take road south to Tagounite then follow M6. Overnight at Hassi Remlia.

Day 11: Continue to Merzouga, then take road north up through the Vallee du Ziz, and take minor road east to Gourama.

Day 12: From Gourama follow M3 south to Boudnib then road to Bouanane.
from Bouanane follow M2 to Bouarfa.

then either north to Ain Benimathar to do M1 east/west, or just aim for best route back north...

We've got a time budget of 19 days... whaddya think? Have I bitten off too much or should I invest in a gel seat for the KTM??

Any suggestions or hints gracefully received!

Greg
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  #2  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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no useful advice re Sahara, but I am passing through Wimborne (well, Three-Legged Cross) on Wednesday (15th) en-route to the Karakum and Gobi Deserts, keep an eye out for a Cagiva Elefant with inappropriately short rider!

Have a good time in morroco!
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  #3  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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Don't make daily plans as you feel have to catch it. So you may need to ride in the night time. Avoid riding in the night. Leave as it go. Get up early and dont hurry. Try to make it a delightful trip.
Don't forget spare parts.
Some parts can be very cold in Maroc.

Enjoy it.
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  #4  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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Henry...
You off to 3X for bits or something??

If it's actually Three Legged Cross, I'm only 10 mins away if you fancy a cuppa!!

Greg
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  #5  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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Your timescales look hard. Particularly on a bike. Even in a 4x4, I only try and get to southern spain in 3 days. Cross over the straits can take a while - you have to wait for the next ferry, they are regular but you can lose an hour or so. Then clearing customs / immigration the other side takes a while. Think rugby scrum down to get paperwork in series of small windows, The distance down to Fez is significant. On your schedule you would probably end up doing this in the dark where you would miss seeing the north but also the roads are dangerous at night, lots of dogs, donkeys, people, unlit vehicles, etc. Personally I would aim to get to Southern Spain in 3 days, cross over on the fourth. What ever you do, have fun.
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  #6  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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Toby is right. You will spend so long time to find your way and to catch your daily schedule. Looks difficult.
Think again !
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  #7  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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Demnate is probably not the greatest place for a rest day, although it is in a very pretty area. Not much going on in terms of accomodation.
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  #8  
Old 13 Mar 2006
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Rather than crossing to France, is the Plymouth /Santander crossing any good for you. It will probably save you a couple of 1000kms. Might be very useful for the return trip if you find yourself trying to make up time. Although it is a 20 hour trip, as least you get the chance to sleep and move at the same time!
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Old 14 Mar 2006
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There is some great advise on an American website www.ironbutt.com. When you get there, on the right side of the page you will find a link called something like #1 suggestions, 29 rules. Its called the "Archive of Wisdom". These guidelines tell you how to make an endurance run but in truth reflect the experience of riders who really understand what riding is all about. Hope this helps.

------------------
Soon to be on the road,

Jack & Janet
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  #10  
Old 8 Jun 2006
aghbalouramlia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregorius
Hi all... I'm just in the middle of planning my first bike trip to Morocco and would welcome any thoughts or guidance you might feel useful. I hope that I'm not too far from the mark with my planning, but that's where your input comes in!

There are two of us, me on a 950S and Rob who wants an 1150GS unless I can persuade him otherwise! The route map I've been using is the current printing of the 1:800,000 Insight Travel Map. I'm waiting for a set of these Ebay special French Military 1:250,000 maps which might throw more light or even confusion...!

Here's my proposed route:

............

Outbound on the overnight sailing Porstmouth / St. Malo - places us well for the shortest route down the western coast of France:

Day 1 St Malo - Nantes - Bordeaux - Hendaye/Irun B&B close to border

Day 2 Spain - probably as far as Bandajoz

Day 3 Bandajoz - crossing - Fez

Day 4 Fez - Demnate (100k east of Marrakesh)

Day 5 Rest day.

Day 6 Demnate to start of M9 at Taliouine,

Day 7: track west to start of M10 at Igherm
follow M10 to Tata, take road east to left track @ km30. Follow track 30km to join mid-way on M9.

Day 8: 80km on M9 to Foum Zguid.
Follow M8 to Zagora.

Day 9: take track NE to Alnif at the southern end of M4. Follow M4 north to Tinerhir, then M5 south to Nekob.

Day 10: From Nekob take minor road SW to join the N9 south through Vallee du Draa to Zagora. From Zagora take road south to Tagounite then follow M6. Overnight at Hassi Remlia.

Day 11: Continue to Merzouga, then take road north up through the Vallee du Ziz, and take minor road east to Gourama.

Day 12: From Gourama follow M3 south to Boudnib then road to Bouanane.
from Bouanane follow M2 to Bouarfa.

then either north to Ain Benimathar to do M1 east/west, or just aim for best route back north...

We've got a time budget of 19 days... whaddya think? Have I bitten off too much or should I invest in a gel seat for the KTM??

Any suggestions or hints gracefully received!

Greg
hey ,
I think it is late now , but here the name of our camp
aghbalou GPS:N/ 30°,42,415.W/004°,22,922.
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  #11  
Old 8 Jun 2006
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I would stick with the Insight or the Michellin maps. I have a lot of larger scale maps but they are way out of date and don't have that much more info.

You really are biting off too much with your plans. For example, day 9 without the track at the beginning is an 11 hour trip. There's lots of good stuff much further north.

Tim
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  #12  
Old 12 Jun 2006
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Hi Gregorius, Why you want to cross Spain via Badajoz?, the fastest way from Hendaye to Algeciras is via Madrid-Granada-Málaga.
For your fuel calculations: fuel is cheaper in Spain than in France.
At www.viamichelin.com you have a nice calculation program for roads in Europe.

Jorge.

www.expedicionesfennec.com
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  #13  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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slightly revised now ...

Hi all...

It's been a while since I last posted on this subject - had to re-build the inside of the house over the last 3 months!

Anyway - I think the overall plan has changed a little since the first seeds of thought were planted... Rob doesn't finish work til 3rd October and I have to be back for my boy's birthday on the 19th so we're a little bit squeezed for time.The new plan is for me to leave for Maroc around 28th Sept with 2 bikes in van and trailer, Robbo will fly into Marrakesh 4th and I'll pick him up then we're off... Only 10 days now, so we'll most likely just wing it and head off 'somewhere' and then go 'elsewhere'.

I've tried searching the forum for the bike hotel in Ouazazarte but no luck - anyone help??

Tim - I'm sure we've spoken about this before but your tip on the maps makes a lot of sense.. thanks!!
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  #14  
Old 14 Jun 2006
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Another point on maps. Have a look at the Michelin map of the UK in your local booksellers. It's the same 1:1,000,000 scale as the Morocco map and gives you a better idea of some of the distances involved.

Coming from Marrakech, a nice 'shakedown' piste starts just after the top of the Tizi n' Tichka pass. Take the road to the east signposted Telouet and from there head south on the piste to Ait Benhaddou. The thread below has pics of that piste together with pics of Bikers Home in Ouarzazate and Wilderness Wheels.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134454

Bikers Home is on the southern edge of Ouarzazate, if you were approaching from Zagora it would be at the beginning of the town on the right a couple of streets away from the road. GPS waypoint N30 53.864 W6 54.083 If you like kids you'll find Selma a right sweetie.

Wilderness Wheels is on the main road out of Ouarzazate going towards Skoura, GPS waypoint N30 55.513 W6 53.461

Tim
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  #15  
Old 15 Jun 2006
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looked but can't find...

the web address / phone number for the Bikers Home in Ouazazarte...

the link in Tim's AdvRiders report seens to be duff...

Anyone have it??

Muchos Grassyarse
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