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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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Old 15 Dec 2007
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Temper my enthusiasm

Hi All, I seem to have been riding bikes forever, but done nothing. Ive done Enduro, and road racing, and still ride a variety of motorcycles that are toys. Ive never toured. Eve since I can remember, Ive had a copy of CS's book about travels and trials in the dessert. Ive never been able to go, but its been my dream. So freshly divorced, Ive bought an R100GS. Its always a bike I respected, but never saw myself owning.....Ive just put a new driveshaft into it, and swinging arm & bevel box bearings. I am going to apply money to it, and do the Metal mule/Touratech additions.

I really want to go to Morocco in late Feb, early March '08. Ive got about 3 weeks to get there and back from UK. Ive read Sahara Overland and AMH, and they are amazing. I would like to go two up on the GS. Initially i thought i could get to Morocco, and do CS's Morocco pistes in a big tour of these areas. It was my intention to camp. It seems increasingly like I may be deluding myself. Hotels seem cheap and plentiful, and taking 2x sleeping bags n tent is a big space if Im not going to use them.

Im pretty resourceful, and once im adventuring, I am much happier than actually planning the logistics. I like being self sufficient, and I love the idea that an adventure means doing something where your cell phone and Visa card cant save you.

Does anyone have an itinery for a newbie for a 3 wk trip to Morocco? I dont want to ride around on sealed roads in a foreign country, and really want to use pistes and get to places that are less frequently seen. I also am aware that Im not a PD superstar, and I dont want epics in big Ergs, and to have to avoid landmines, and wait for a helpful Tatra.

Everyone seems vastly more experienced than me in this forum, so I may be asking trivia, but if someone could send me something to get me started, then I think Ive got a chance of a great trip.


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Old 15 Dec 2007
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Going to Morocco is the best choice to start. You can find easily place to sleep, ( cheap hotel, gite etc...), our choice was to be selfsufficient with our bike but without tent, sleeping in small village in cheap hotel is a good way to meet peoples, locals and foreigners. Riding on track in Morocco is very easy, try to get a GPS with the morocco map, it's not mandatory but I think you go quietly.
End of february you can have snow in the high Atlas and it can be cold, in this case go south.
Our trip here
French Deux 400XR au MAROC
English Two 400 XR in Morocco - ADVrider
Pics Picasa Albums Web - Eric

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Old 15 Dec 2007
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3 weeks seems a little short, just because the ride down through europe in Feb. will be such a bitch and therefore take longer. Although if you take the Santander ferry that will ease things for you. Myself and a freind are going back to Morocco next year for a three weeker and we're putting the bikes in the back of a van till we get to S. Spain.
I rode down to Morocco in February last year and it was absolutely bollock freezing all the way. I nearly froze to death in the Sierra Nevada in S. Spain. Once I got to Morocco it was STILL freezing! Many of the roads over the Atlas were blocked by snow and the road I eventually took was surrounded by the stuff with lots of happy Moroccans skiing!

I'm not saying don't go, I'm just saying be aware of what it'll be like, and if you possibly can go later, April would probably be ideal. For a taster of my experience see (note that the blogspot set up is a little strange, the first entry is at the bottom of the page):

Motorbiking to Nepal: February 2006

Personally I wouldn't bother with tents as it'll be too damn cold to camp comfortably in Europe (specially after a day of riding in rain and howling gales!) and if theres two of you Formule 1 hotels will be a much warmer option. Once in Morocco the hotels are quite economical and the campsites relatively expensive (and rubbish). You might want to take a sleeping bag and mat for the occasional bivi in the back country though! That's my personal opinion though, you may be tougher than me!

Whenever you go I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time though, it's certainly one of the best things I've ever done.



*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!

Last edited by Matt Cartney; 15 Dec 2007 at 16:13.
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Old 15 Dec 2007
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Smile First trip to Maroc

Hi there.
I agree about the cold at the time you are planning to go. If you want some warmth, you'll have to come down south, out of the mountains.
If you want, text me on 07901545523. I have some pics and word files of how my first trip went, all be it in a 4x4. I'll do a cd and send it to you if you wish?
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Old 20 Dec 2007
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Hi Nick,
thanks, I've sent you a text. My email was included!

Thanks to all for the advice regarding Feb. Im trying to sort some time for April!

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Old 22 Dec 2007
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Smile text message

Hello Ian,
Still recieved no message, could you please try again.
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