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Thread: Morocco Touring

  1. #16
    apriliaforum expert catfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapoMario View Post
    ...
    While taking some pictures in the valley a van came from the opposite direction. The elderly driver happened to be German and with him he had a woman. Rico and Marc got involved in a conversation with him. All of a sudden a young Berber woman jumped out from the back of the van and insisted she comes with me on the bike. I stupidly said no. Rico told me the German guy offered me to take her but I said what the hell am I going to do with her? She went crazy trying to ride the bike. I think I regret not taking her with me, I think she needed someone to talk to ;-).
    ...

    Now THERE was an adventure! Hahahahahaha!!! ;-)

    Thanks again for sharing your travels Mario. I can't wait for more!

    Catfish ...

  2. #17
    apriliaforum expert CapoMario's Avatar
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    This morning we will head south west towards Dades. Dades is renowned for its steep mountains, gorges and winding roads. We left at 9.30 and approached the first busy town, about 10 km from Marzouga. With hundreds of little scooters beeping, Mercedes from the 70s, donkeys everywhere and sheep and cattle crossing the road progress was slow. Michael, who was the last in the line of bikes got stuck behind some cows. Since I was in front of him I slowed down so he doesn't get lost... but those in front of me didn't. When Michael appeared in my mirrors I started moving forward again but by this time the rest of the group disappeared from my horizon.

    Now Michael and I are on our own. I set the satnav for the hotel I booked but it gave me two options. I chose one of them. We headed to this road which I have to say it was spectacular with scenery. It was straightish with some winding curves and had clear visibility for miles. The road was of exceptional standard as well. We wacked the accelerator to full speed trying to catch our friends who abandoned us 10 minutes earlier.

    There was no buildings but just scenery, changing from fields with vegetation, to Palm plantations, from barren land to open sand plateaus. After half an hour in the distance I saw what looked like the helmets of our dear friends (who abandoned us) popping out. We rode even faster to catch them but when I reached a closer distance I realised they were camels.

    After an hour riding at over 90mph we saw the first sign of civilisation, a petrol station and a coffee shop. There were three or four people and with some Arabic that I learnt 30 years ago managed to make a good conversation. We concluded that the rest of the group had taken a different route because none of these men saw motorbikes that morning. They even advised us the way to go to see Tarda, a beautiful well known gorge on the way to Dades.

    Around 40km from Turda I saw two boys near a school and asked them for directions, just to confirm I'm going to right way. To thank them I got down from my bike to give them two toy cars that I brought with me. That was a big mistake because in a flash around 40 boys jumped from a bus parked close by and within seconds I was swamped and the bike was nearly on the floor.

    Managed to get on the bike and Michael and I sped off, with my heart still beating ten times faster.

    We arrived at Turda and a men there told us your bike is not suitable to go to Dades from Tarda so he advised us to go 15km in and return. We went through the Tarda gorge and valley and it was truly beautiful. It was like a 500m rock cut with a chain saw and we rode in between. There was a stream of water as well. We went to the end of it but Michael and I couldn't understand why the men suggested we return. The roads were okish.

    We kept going for around 50km but my GPS kept telling me to return. So we did but half way we bumped into half the group (that abandoned us). They insisted to keep going even though I told them that my GPS is asking to return to the gorge. So not too be difficult Michael and I turned the bike again and headed towards the unknown.

    For some reason everyone stopped but Michael and I kept going to the unknown. We are on our own again. The road came to an end and all that was left is a little village with mud houses where 6 men were squatting on the floor in the shade, a couple of woman doing some work and a few kids playing. This looked nothing like Morocco, it was like a film set from Mexico in a western film. It reminded me from a previous holiday I had in Peru, including the colorful clothes that the people were wearing.

    Two kids approached me and asked them for Dades, they pointed towards the mountains at the back of the village. To thank them I decided to give them two toy cars which survived the previous attack. This was a gross mistake because the sound of our bikes attracted the whole village and now I have all the kids grabbing anything they could from the bike. If they could they would have taken the clothes I was wearing. I was panicking and started screaming and shouting at them. It didn't work.

    Some of the other group arrived and we headed to the mountains. We were told is a dusty track for about 5km. They were right but after 5km nothing could prepare us for the next grueling 45 km. Oh my God, we were completely exhausted and shattered. There was no end to this journey, in fact there was no road at all, just a track probably made by donkeys. The track changed from hard and to soft mud, from large stones to rocks sticking out. U bends with missing large parts, from dry rolling gravel to wet soil. Now we realised why that man told us to do 15 km and return.

    Despite all the hard work the trip was done completely with no falls or damage or failure by any of the bikes. The scenery on top of the mountains was out of this world. Pictures do not make justice. We reached a high point of 2919m with unparalleled scenery and views of mountains beneath us. We were at cloud level.

    When we hit the paved road we were so relieved that we made it. We got to our hotel very late and dark. There we met all the guys who didn't take this road. This road was the highlight of our trip... for those who made it.



















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  3. #18
    apriliaforum expert the_toe_cutter's Avatar
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    Jesus Mario, unbelievable and absolutely fair dues to you and your bike! That pic of the bike up above the dunes is one to frame
    Brum Brum

  4. #19
    apriliaforum expert CapoMario's Avatar
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    They are mountains TC, that is how high we climbed in these tracks! Not an easy task. Went on for hours. Even more dangerous going down!

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  5. #20
    apriliaforum expert Nito's Avatar
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    Awesome trip Mario, looks like a fantastic experience. Keep the pics coming

    Bike looks great with those panniers and graphics, great stuff.
    2018 Ducati Diavel Diesel "Nel mezzo del cammin de nostra vita"
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  6. #21
    apriliaforum expert CapoMario's Avatar
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    After such a long and hard day yesterday, now it's time to head to Marrakesh. This was meant to be an easy scenic ride. Scenic yes, by easy not. Scenery, once again changed every hundred or so kilometers. But then the hard bit came when we started climbing mountain after mountain, or probably better say hopping from mountain to mountain. We had been in warm climate for a few days but now we found ourselves in freezing temperatures, drizzling with freezing rain and looking at clouds in our faces with zero visibility. I was too lazy to get down and put the right gloves on thinking we will soon start descending. We did finally and it was a slow and painful descend because work was going on along many routes in the mountains. We rode on mud, shingles and all sorts of construction material.

    Anyway, at Marrakesh I booked my own hotel, very Central in the Medina. I set the GPS to send me to the car park outside the Medina. However, a misplaced one way sign sent me to the narrow roads of the Medina. It was a nightmare. The lanes where the width of my bike with only a few centimeters from each pannier. Then I came to a right angle and had to get down. There was no space for the stand so had to rest the bike against the wall. Children came around me and helped me shift the bike around the narrow angle. Then another one, then a double one. Oh my God! Later I was completely stuck and had to remove the panniers to be able to turn.

    Nightmare! I was sweating, swearing and getting stressed at the mess I was in. Finally managed to walk the bike outside the wall of the Medina and park it amongst the harassing men who want money for parking there.

    I didn't like Marrakesh at all, I do not recommend it. It's all about men and kids harassing you for money. I will never visit it again.

    Now the group has separated, I'm on my own completely. I decided to go to Rabat, the capital city. I rode avoiding all motorways. This was a very beautiful ride, gentle over hills, into valleys, along little village etc. I stayed with a family on airbnb and they were brilliant, very hospitable indeed.

    The next day I rode to Chefchaouen, again avoiding motorways. Scenic roads, beautiful countryside. You could be mistaken for thinking it's Switzerland or Austria... bar the mosques. I even made friends with a farmer who came to greet me while taking pictures of his sheep. He wanted me to join him and his sons for lunch at his farm but I couldn't go. Promised to send him the pictures though.

    Chefchaouen is a blue town, it's really beautiful. The people there, like in Rabat are very civilised, no one to harass you and you pay local prices not 5 times higher. A coffee and two cakes we just over a €1.20

    When I woke up in the morning I noticed a metal worker across from where I was staying. For €6 he fixed the lid of the pannier. No need to buy another one now.

    I'm on the way home now, crossed from Barcelona to Calais in winds that wanted to lift me and the bike together. Tonight I shall be home.



















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  7. #22
    apriliaforum expert CapoMario's Avatar
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    This is a short video I took from top of the mountains.

    https://youtu.be/5bV0iLU9duE

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  8. #23
    apriliaforum expert BigSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapoMario View Post
    This is a short video I took from top of the mountains.

    https://youtu.be/5bV0iLU9duE

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    WOW....absolutely amazing write up & pic's Mario ... looking forward to seeing your Capo & graphic's close up in Llandovery....as your Capo has almost as many stickers as my Capo now

    I feel so envious as I originally put my name down for the trip, unfortunately life & other commitments got in the way & I had to pull out, but following yours & Jacksons daily progress on FB it looked AWESOME ..!!

    I'm retiring this summer so I'll be planning some life time adventures for sure...not sure if they will be on the old Capo, as I'm liking the look of the KTM 1290 adventure...
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  9. #24
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    Safe home Mario, really enjoyed following the travelogue and pictures.

  10. #25
    apriliaforum expert CapoMario's Avatar
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    I'm now home and will be sifting through the many pictures I took. All pictures uploaded are from my mobile.

    I will upload some more at a later time.

    This has been a true adventure that will stay at the top of my memories. Nearly everything went right and many things went better than I anticipated.

    On a note regarding this adventure as a group, we all went extremely fantastic together with only fun, joy and laughter. We helped each other when required and stuck together as a good team of best friends. Amazing.

    There was not a single Caponord failure despite this gruelling test. They worked amazingly well. There were a few minor incidents which are:

    My lid flying away, now sorted and learnt my lesson to always lock it.

    Two riders had a fall at the very same spot while doing nearly zero mph. Looked as if they found a patch of sand at the round about. No damage and a pillion injured her ankle, but a massage by me fixed it.

    I lost the screw that holds the plastic chain guard, easily replaced.

    And another rider lost the screw of the oxygen sensor, quickly sorted.



















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