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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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Old 27 Aug 2005
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Morroco- August 06 advice? Route M6 in August?

Four riders are planning to go to Morrocco next August. (2x950 KTM+ BMW GS1200s. We have read Chris Scott's excellent book and are not planning to go south of Tagounite, due to the temperature. I was thinking of staying up in the Atlas to keep reasonable cool... BUT, in Chris's book the route M6 looks "do-able" from Tagounite-Merzouga. Has anyone done this route in August? Or do you think that it may be dangerously hot? We cannot go in winter so are stuck with summer hols only! Please give me an honest opinion. cheers Colin Campbell
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Old 27 Aug 2005
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Heat only becomes more than uncomfortable or tiring when things start to go wrong - like you run out of water, get lost in a sandstorm (ss more likely in summer) or the bikes (950s...) overheat, etc. So see how you and the bikes run and then give it a crack... It's a nice route and I dare say quite busy even in summer.
I think once you are south of the Atlas on the desert floor it will be hot whether you are north or south of Tag

Chris S

Note also that getting ill is far more likely in summer temps as the heat runs you down - and then getting better takes longer.
This is NOT a handbook
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Old 29 Aug 2005
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Many, many thanks Chris.
I'll talk to the others and as you say, we will have to see how we cope with the heat and if in any doubt head back to the mountains. Also, just to mention that I watched the desert riders DVD the other day and the getting spilt up coupled to your nasty spill - really brought home the reality of how things can go sour... Kind regards
Colin Campbell
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Old 8 Sep 2005
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3 of us did this route in late may on Africa Twins. It was the highlight of our trip. It was quite hot, take lots of water, however it is available along the route. We travelled South - North and the only tricky bit was the fesh fesh just south of Remlia. If your decide to spend more than 1 day on this route, be sure to spend the night with Himmi at the Auberge a few km's north of Remlia.
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Old 8 Sep 2005
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I've been several times during the hotter months and it's really hot at lower altitudes. I was trekking in the High Atlas in June 2003 and even at 9000+ feet it reached 90F by 10am. The mountains are definitely cooler but you will be horrified how hot it gets as you descend. It feels like walking into a blast oven.

Your problems will be dehydration and heat stroke. You will need to drink *many* litres of water each day. On the bike you won't be aware how much water your body is shedding and over several days you can become more dehydrated. On this year's biking trip in May I got the rigours through what I believe was dehydration.

Your best technique would be to rise before dawn, ride in the morning, rest up with lots of water from 11am to 3pm, then ride again in the late afternoon.

Take battery powered fans (from Marks and Sparks). In fact buy lots of them and use them for barter. When you stop you'll want to remove your helmet, so another essential is a very large floppy hat to protect your head.

"For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
and enlarges the world in which you live,"
Irving Mather (1892-1966)

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