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A jaunt down south


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Part 2; 

The trials n tribulations of Morocco.


Day 1

Before i left i had downloaded the up-to date maps for morocco and they were brilliant in showing us how to get to places, but we were to learn what a ' road ' can be in Morocco

There are 2 types really, tarmac and pistes.  The former is self explanatory ( classed as A,N and sometimes R )  the second ( R and P ) vary greatly depending on the environment, usage and lord knows what else. 

We were directed along the R601 which is classed as a piste ( gravel road ) and we soon learnt another good lesson...just because a road starts off with good intentions, it can quickly go pear shaped and turn into something else entirely ;)

Halfway from Beni Tajjite to Tazzouguert the road disappeared ( literally ) and went into an off road descent down the side of the mountain ( we were at 5000ft + ) along a road which was made up of large rocks and broken dreams.  Walking ahead of the truck i found a large pool of oil on the rocks with a trail leading away further down, it looked like someone lost their diff earlier in the day :(

A few times we got lost due to it being night time and not seeing where the ' road ' actually was, but we got down in the end and onto the tarmac version of the R601 and headed into Boudenib to finally get to our destination at about 11pm.

Francois, the owner of the Rekkam campsite met us and we crashed in one of the huts instead of the sleeping in the truck as i was knackered and needed a good nights sleep after our 1st hectic day.



Day 2 began with an awesome breakfast at the campsite and because we were further south than i expected on day 2, i figured it'd be a good opportunity to take another look at the exhaust manifold.  I was getting fumes in the cab the previous night and the truck was sluggish the previous few days when going over the mountainous regions of Portugal into Spain. 

Francois gave us an area to work in and then i repeated the previous time in Portugal of stripping everything out to get to the egr cooler side of the exhaust manifold.  

We also took this opportunity to remove the gearbox tunnel and seat box lids to check for areas which would allow fumes to get into the cab if the fix on the manifold failed again as well as try an keep the heat from the engine bay out of the cab. 

Nikki took the seats out ( i'd put Mazda RX8 seats in before the trip ) and set to work removing the interior whilst i worked on the engine bay and after a day of doing this and taking time out mid day as we were both suffering from the heat and headaches.  We had everything just about back together and were looking forward to our evening meal with the owners and another couple from France who spoke no English and tested our basic school learnt French to the limit when it all went abit pear shaped.

Tightening the oil feed bolt into the turbo, it gave up the ghost and snapped.


It's a terminal bit of kit that bolt..if it's not working then the black stuff won't stay in the engine for very long and your turbo won't run for very long either.

Thinking on my feet i found an M10 bolt, drilled a hole in the end and fitted it hoping it may be enough until i could find a replacement.


Those without eyesight issues due to age or too much self indulgence as teenagers will notice the threads are wrong, but at this stage i was in a unknown country on my 2nd day and i had to try anything to make sure we could still get about, so i was willing to risk it.

During dinner Francois messaged a few garages he knew to see if they had a bolt and we waited until the morning before trying the crude bodge. 

Day 3

It worked and then again it didn't.  It did manage to keep most of the oil going where it should, but wasn't a sure fire winner for my liking so i tried again to reseat the bolt.  From here on, it got worse as the bodged copper washers were becoming too bent to even provide a seal and so we took ourselves to one side and thought of the circumstances and what to do.

Francois had a chap in a town a few hours away who thought he had a bolt but we'd need to get to him to check. This threw up some issues as we had no way of getting there. 

We went off on a walk into the town of Boudenib to find a taxi company and this was when, once again,  we were shown the kind nature of the Moroccan people.  

Approaching the local petrol station we found a lady who spoke a little English ( Females from the age of 12 to 30 mostly speak good English in Morocco due to the education system, Males aren't as good ) and we explained we needed a taxi because we needed to replace the broken bolt.


At this point, and has happened in other area of Africa & Asia, when something is interesting, a crowd will gather.   Soon we were surrounded and one guy who had just turned up beckoned me to follow him to his truck where he had a rummage to find a suitable bolt but not finding anything.  Next thing he gestured me to get in and off we went on a journey around the town looking for anyone who may have a bolt to match mine.  Unfortunately we weren't successful.  We were taken back to the campsite by another chap ( after not finding a taxi either! ) but we did find a local car hire company who were open later that evening, so we planned to go back.


We got to the hire company ( a local guy with a car...yes that's the crux of the hire company )  later that day and had a discussion and brokered a deal to have a car delivered to the campsite the next day.

Feeling we were heading in the right direction, we headed back to the campsite to meet Francois and his wife who had been away all day.  Explaining what we were upto he got on his phone and rang the local car hire, cancelled it and told us to take his truck in the morning and go and collect the bolt!

Settling down to another night at the campsite we were welcomed by the sight of a group arriving ranging from a few 110's, Discos, Rangie and a land cruiser ( the latter i was seriously considering selling the truck for when i got home! )

It turns out the group were part of Kudu Overland led by the man who owns the company ( Phil ) and as luck would have it, knows just about everyone in Morocco who can sort a truck out!

Before dinner that night, arrangements had been made to collect the Landy, get us over to Zagora, where a garage would fix the truck and we would be on our way.

We dined that night with the new group and got ready for the journey the next day which, in hindsight, i hadn't realised was going to be a lot further away than i expected ;)

Day 4

In the morning, we had our last breakfast with our hosts and waited for the recovery to arrive.

Typically of the country, it turned out to be just about up for the job ;)




A slow 400km journey ensued with the driver, myself and Nikki in the cab and his mate shoved in the king cab back amongst the odds n sods.  

We arrived at our destination 6 hours later, the town of Zagora and the crew of the garage wheeled the truck in and i began explaining the situation



Here's Aziz the owner who has pretty much seen and worked on just about any vehicle that comes through Morocco



You tend to find in these places that business's work on commission with each other, for instance, we were shown a hotel which shares the profits with the garage as they have supplied the guests. Works for us as we know the place is good and the price for dinner, breakfast, large room with aircon and ensuite for less than £40 is a bargain.

So we went to bed after a good meal 



whilst the garage worked on the truck into the night to get the bolt, replace the exhaust manifold gasket, remove a broken stud from the exhaust and sort out the oil levels.


Part 3 coming soon.




This is a rather sad shot of Landy not being able to move due to the broken turbo bolt.


I will neither deny or confirm an apparent video and photo evidence of a Land cruiser having to tow the Landy to get to this position but i will leave you with something i heard quite a lot over the following days...

' A Land Rover will get you into the desert in Morocco, but a Land Cruiser will get you back out again ' 




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13 hours ago, Peaklander said:

I have just read to this point, after thinking that you must be back by now. It's a very interesting read with some early challenges but that 'live' photo of the meal is spooky!

I know! All food is pretty much served in tagine's and is very hot...the live photo illustrated that quite well :D

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Problems aside what a fantastic adventure, also credit to your good lady, I don't know many that would rough it in a landrover camper let alone in a strange country after one of your earlier unpleasant experiences, keep the updates coming, thoroughly enjoying these posts regards Stephen

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1 hour ago, Mo Murphy said:

I haven't seen a photo yet of the man who used to materialise out of the ground in the middle of nowhere with his rug and bits for sale, when you stopped for more than 15 seconds.

Tell me he's still there ! 😁



Dude, you know he's still there...and everywhere else as well!

I get proper excited when they turn up selling stuff or try and coax you into the shops...most are harmless around the south and east, the higher populated areas of Fes, Marrakesh and Casablanca tend to be bit more persuasive.  

I've found i thoroughly enjoy haggling to see how less they are willing to accept ...my personal best is 9000Dhr for a rug ( about £750 ) down to 400Dhr ( about £32 ) and that was including a few turbans and bracelet :lol:

Where did you go in Morocco @Mo Murphy ?

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Well it was a while ago, 13 years ! IIRC we crossed to Ceuta drove south through the 3 Atlas ranges and down into Morocco. We did the dunes at Erg Chebbi, Todra Gorge, Cathedral Gorge, Cirque du Jaffra and other places that I can't remember. The Atlas Mountains and the cedar forests are truly magnificent !

I remember the begging by the children, pens and sweets mainly but for food by the small shepherds and shepherdess' high in the mountains.

The other chaps went the following year too down the West coast though I missed that trip.


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Sounds like you had a great trip. Shame the car let you down a few times but at least it was solvable.

I've seen a fair number of Land Cruisers on the hard shoulder over the last year and one being towed by a Disco if that makes you feel better....


10 hours ago, Badger110 said:

No idea bud…we put it down to wrong place, wrong time.


I wonder if things would have been better or worse if you'd turned up in something looking like it was trying to capture Stalingrad.

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We'll either carry on to South Africa or turn round at Gambia I guess, no firm plan other than not be in UK this winter 🙂

Haven't got blogs or anything, most of the time I'm just shopping, fixing, washing pants or eating, and I don't have a face for instagram 😄

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