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Morocco trip


JJensen
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Peter

Interesting that you say to do it yourself. In your own opinion, is Morocco easier than it used to be? I have the impression that it is perhaps a little less wild these days than it was in the "early" days - by which I mean in the '90s when it became a popular target for people offering guided tours. I am not sure how I would define less wild, perhaps just that more is known about it? I guess it is more on the "beaten track".

I was innocently looking at the display boards on Trailmaster's stand at Peterborough (waiting for SimonR to finnish jawing next door :) ) when I was accosted by their salesman. He was careful to warn me of the dangers of going with any other company as the TM itinerary involved a lot more "off-roading", by which he meant that they use all the very minor roads across the desert rather than some (un-named) companies who tend to stick to the main routes and visit tourist hotspots. He was also keen to point out that there is support available with a TM trip.

Would you advise travelling alone or is there a significant amount of safety (both in terms of personal safety and in the event of breakdown?) in numbers? Apart from the obvious need for supplies, parts etc., would you suggest a minimum vehicle specification for travel to Morocco? I guess that good servicing is the single most important thing. How would one best go about finding the better routes, sights, places to stay etc. if one were travelling independently?

Morocco is on the list for some time in the near future - well, nearish... :) There has been talk of going next summer as part of a small independent group but I am not sure that I will have the preparation (or leave pass :) ) done by then.

Cheers

Chris

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Chris

Many years ago I went with Imapla. Neil is a nice guy and you get to do your own navigation with backup if needed. He seems a bit pricey now though. One reason we went with him was that, without knowledge, you could end up missing a lot of the sights.

You really need to know what you want to see/do before you go. I may still have the original road book. If I find it I'll send it to you and you can see the route we took.

Having been to a few places I found that, as long as your vehicle is in good condition, you should not have a problem. Parts will be available (even in Libya I got some BritPart bushes because mine broke up). Just make sure your suspension, cooling and drive train is in good condition and you should not have a problem.

BTW I still have the TPC's (Tactical Pilot Charts) if you want them.

HTH

Ivan

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I may still have the original road book. If I find it I'll send it to you and you can see the route we took... ....BTW I still have the TPC's (Tactical Pilot Charts) if you want them.

Thanks Ivan, appreciated. :) Are these documents in digital form?

Chris

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Chris,

By searching the web and reading books you can find all most any thing you like about travelling in Morocco, it is certainly is a lot easer now than 10 or even 2 years ago, a lot more tarmac road and sign posts which in my opinion spoil it for those that want an real adventure with out having to travel out to the wilds of the desert.

Go with a plan, tell others the plan and if you change that plan inform those that you have watching your back, Planning is every thing, maintenance, spare parts, food and water, down to the route you are taking. The roads to and from main cities are fine plenty of fuel can normally be found but always take a spare couple of gallons plan your daily mileage and calculate fuel use as normal running, as you will find the fuel goes further in Morocco due to lower speeds etc.

The tracks are fairly well worn over the Atlas and onto the sights like Todra Gorge, Dades Gorge, and Valley of the Rose’s etc, even going from Merzouga to Mhid and on to Zagora.

Of course you are better and wiser to travel with back up, but it depends on the individual and the circumstances. If in a group you need not take so many spares you can share them amongst you, same as spare tyre’s some are easy to get over there but those for the later 18”19” plus tyres will be difficult to come across in the smaller towns if at all, if you have a standard 90 you will need to carry spare fuel as you have a smaller tank than a 110 etc.

Things to take, I take a full service kit, oil, filters x3 air, belts, bearings, UJ’s Water, fuel, brake fluid, assortment of bolt’s n Bits, grease gun, etc (but the parts you will need will be at home). Blankets, food, tools, first aid kit, personal medicines, Maps, hygiene kit, bog roll, all standard stuff really, warning triangles x 2, high vis vest time amount of people in vehicle.

I feel safer in Morocco than in certain parts off the UK and Spain.

Peter

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Just pack up the vehicle and go. It is great fun and you don't have to drive in other's dust all day. food, water and fuel are easy to find just about anywhere, even if they look a bit different. If you are in the NW and fancy chatting about our trips get in touch.

breakdowns will get sorted but you need to keep something in the budget and dont dress your vehicle up like you're going to go round the world and carry all you need , it will spoil the trip as you will be limited by the extra weight, think minimal, that way you will haveto interact with the locals which in turn will improve the experience

Cheers

Fruit

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No, I'm serious, they have two grades of Diesel, and we certainly felt our standard 90 TD5 was alot happier on the more expensive stuff.

However, i buggered if i can remember what it's called :rolleyes:

The more expensive stuff is aledgedly similiar to standard grade, but this only what i have been told

Jim :)

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Just pack up the vehicle and go. It is great fun and you don't have to drive in other's dust all day. food, water and fuel are easy to find just about anywhere, even if they look a bit different. If you are in the NW and fancy chatting about our trips get in touch.

breakdowns will get sorted but you need to keep something in the budget and dont dress your vehicle up like you're going to go round the world and carry all you need , it will spoil the trip as you will be limited by the extra weight, think minimal, that way you will haveto interact with the locals which in turn will improve the experience

Cheers

Fruit

I agree if you are in a race and have sweepers etc but if you are travelling alone, you need to plan as you could find yourself travelling 2-300 miles with out finding fuel across the desert and it can get very cold at night, I have seen frost at night out on the Dunes.

You often find barrels of fuel on the side of track's that are for sale at stupid price's as they know you will pay if you need it bad enough and normally it's Gasoil (Diesel) not Gasoline (Petrol) the larger garage's do as Jim said have 2 types and the dearer one is better, but not always available I would not pass up on filling with the cheaper one with hope that the next garage has the better one, as you could find the next garage has none at all.

Even on the most remote tracks you will have people pass by, some of the Locals will try and blag things off you food clothes etc.

It really does depend on what you want from your trip, if you stay to main roads and large cities and use hotels you can travel a bit lighter as you are never far away from help if needed, but if you intend to travel on the tracks and over dunes dry river beds camp out etc you need to take the necessary equipment for camping out, cooking, washing etc and long days driving. One thing is for sure where ever you stop and what ever time, some one will pester you sooner or later, trying to sell you stones, Fossils, dates, etc all part of the fun and adventure.

Morocco is a place that you need to visit time and time again as it is changing at a very rapid rate, whether it is for the best I don't know, if you live their I suppose it is but if you want to see the real Morocco (your too late) you need to travel to the outer regions, or up the Atlas mountain where life is slow unlike the cities and resorts.

Peter

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I agree if you are in a race and have sweepers etc but if you are travelling alone, you need to plan as you could find yourself travelling 2-300 miles with out finding fuel across the desert and it can get very cold at night, I have seen frost at night out on the Dunes.

snip

Peter

Our first trip was two weeks alone camping where we were at 4.30 in the afternoon. No back up, navigating with map and GPS based on research before we went, fixing stuff as we went. Changed my first wheel bearing in the middle of nowhere on the edge of some dunes near the S border. All part ofthe experience. Even in races, with backup, it is normal to have to fend for yourself if you want to avoid a night out without your camping gear.

Solo trips to morocco, even remote areas should not be beyond a competent team in a reliable well maintained vehicle.

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No, I'm serious, they have two grades of Diesel, and we certainly felt our standard 90 TD5 was alot happier on the more expensive stuff.

However, i buggered if i can remember what it's called :rolleyes:

The more expensive stuff is aledgedly similiar to standard grade, but this only what i have been told

Jim :)

its 130 or something like that from memory. we used standard diesel in the 90 but only bought it from Shell/Esso/Texaco type places, ignoring Ziz and Africana garages. We used teh standards 45 litre tank and only had to dip into the 20l can once. Additionally we had a further 20 litres in a second can as reserve. In a Toyota or 110 you will have more in te tank no?

Anyone who fancies the trip and is in the NW I would be happy to talk it through over a brew some time.

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{Off topic mode on}

Hiya Fruit,

just looked at the video clip on your signature. I think thats my mate Stefan in the Hummer.

He really rated the event, saying it was affordable, well organised and great fun :D

Would love to have a go, do you do this sort of thing often ?

{Off topic mode off}

The only thing i would say about going with a tour or a guide, is that you are more likely (If they are good) to see things you might otherwise miss?

Go for it Chris, it really is a great adventure :)

Jim :)

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We went last summer on an organised, guided trip ran by one of the Landy mags.

We had an amazing trip, and will be going back (we have a 5 month old baby now so it will have to wait a little while) there were some plus-points about going with an organised trip as we did get to see a lot of the place and did quite a lot of off-tarmac driving, the mechanical support was also a bit of welcome comfort... its also a great way to meet like minded people and we made some great friends on the trip who we have travelled with since...

however, going with an organised tour can have its disadvantages... we did do a lot of silly-early starts which were probably to make the most of the time we had there, but we also felt we were a bit of an inconvienience to the to the trip leaders and things fell apart on the last day in Morocco, as a result I won't be going anywhere with them again.

If you feel confident the go on your own, the key to it is good planning and vehicle prep, there are loads of people on here who have been (Petergg has been about 15 times) who will give you good advice and suggest places to go, and places to avoid.

You will be pestered by kids and locals trying to scrounge stuff and sell you things but just take it for what it is, throw the kids a few pens and smile through it.

We will go with friends next time (3-4 cars) and plan it ourselves, I found the brain-numbing drive through Spain from Bilbao one of the worst aspects, and driving over the Atlas mountains the best bit...

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we also felt we were a bit of an inconvienience to the to the trip leaders and things fell apart on the last day in Morocco, as a result I won't be going anywhere with them again.

Pray tell, this is an important bit of information.

Mo

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{Off topic mode on}

Hiya Fruit,

just looked at the video clip on your signature. I think thats my mate Stefan in the Hummer.

He really rated the event, saying it was affordable, well organised and great fun :D

Would love to have a go, do you do this sort of thing often ?

{Off topic mode off}

The only thing i would say about going with a tour or a guide, is that you are more likely (If they are good) to see things you might otherwise miss?

Go for it Chris, it really is a great adventure :)

Jim :)

Not often enough, as other adventures get in the way oh yes and there is work too ;o)

If you are interested in talking to people involved in Rallies then come to the UK Rally Raid Gathering on December 1st details as they become available on www.ukrallyraid.co.uk.

The best thing about travelling alone (as opposed to being in a group) is that you are generally treated differently, i.e on a person to person basis not as a part of a travelling pen dispenser. I had a fantastic afternoon playing football with the locals in Ouazazarte and sharing our xmas meal with a camel herder. It seems to be less aimiable when you are in a group. Oh yeah try to learn some local words then the fun really starts.

RANT WARNING And while on the subject please don't chuck stuff (at) to kids it encourages begging and anti social behaviour. If you want to help the local people engage with them , use the local shops, buy stuff from farmers and food stalls, and if you want to help locally speak to the school teachers and make a donation to the school. How would you feel if some rich geezer drove down your street, wound down the window, chucked a load of stuff out wound up the window and booted it?

Cheers

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Pray tell, this is an important bit of information.

Mo

I don't think i can put it down in words that i would be happy to post on a public forum, it will probably sound slanderous and me being a to**er but the majority of the group felt the same....

if anyone hasn't worked out which group we went with PM me.

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[quote

RANT WARNING And while on the subject please don't chuck stuff (at) to kids it encourages begging and anti social behaviour. If you want to help the local people engage with them , use the local shops, buy stuff from farmers and food stalls, and if you want to help locally speak to the school teachers and make a donation to the school. How would you feel if some rich geezer drove down your street, wound down the window, chucked a load of stuff out wound up the window and booted it?

Cheers

Spot on Fruit, I have been to about 5 schools in Morocco they make you most welcome.

Matt, I don't think I need to PM you ;)

Peter

BTW Fruit have you another name, seems weird talking to a Fruit? :D

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