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As usual, on these tours Johnny Maroc will be the motorbike guide, cruising up and down the group and helping when needed. Su will be driving the 4x4 support truck, accompanied by the mechanic Hussein, and following where the group goes except in the high dunes when the truck stays parked up nearby. Enjoy the great amazing adventure in the Moroccan desert!
You will be staying in twin share accommodation.
Pick-up by minibus from your accommodations in Marrakech. Moto Aventures plans to leave the city by 10 a.m. Road transfer down to Ouarzazarte over the High Atlas Mountains, with a great tajine lunch at Mohammed's Jardin Berber restaurant.
On arrival you'll be welcomed by a line of orange KTMs. Check-in and unpack and then the bikes will be allotted to their riders. Any alterations to bike set-ups can be done with Hussein at this time. Paperwork and deposits can be done with Maryam and then you have free time to sit by the pool.
John and Su will return to join you for the buffet dinner at 7:30 p.m., over which you'll have lots of questions to make and Moto Aventures will try and answer them.
After breakfast, bags are stashed in the 4x4, there's a briefing, all last minute things like filling camelbaks, etc. and your adventure begins in earnest!
Leaving the town, your first 30 kilometers is reasonably fast riding across the military area, just what’s needed to get accustomed to the bikes, until you drop down into a narrow gorge and dry river bed.
From here you are winding your way on fast sandy trails through the foothills of the High Atlas. Crossing wide riverbeds, some with streams running, you will find a quiet place to stop for your picnic lunch.
Off again through villages and palmeries before you start climbing on wonderful twisting rocky tracks over the beautiful Jebel Saghro mountains through an area named as “Monument valley” because of the amazing rock formations.
You arrive at the tarmac and your accommodation in a beautiful converted Kasbah “castle” over 200 years old, set in a narrow village street. After a refreshing mint tea, check into your rooms, wander around the old buildings with their quaint corners and deco.
There is a lovely pool for those who enjoy cold water dipping.
You meet up back by the pool for a pre-dinner drink and then go indoors for your meal of tasty local soup served in terracotta bowls with wooden spoons, followed by chicken brochettes (kebabs) with veggies and lots of chips and fruit for dessert. If the evening is cold they will light the fire and you’ll sit around discussing anecdotes from the first day of your adventure.
10 kilometers down the road and you turn onto your first section off-road – beautiful winding trails through palmeries and villages and then a chance to experience riding in some small dunes. Don’t let that adrenaline kick in as you’ve a long way to go to reach the desert bivouac.
You refuel in Tazzarine and then set off on a totally virgin section of desert and brush – only used by Moto Aventures. Follow your GPS. Some slightly tricky narrow riverbeds with big rocks, followed by a very flat plateau on super-fast twisting tracks that wind around all the flat topped hills and acacia trees that dominate this area until you get to your lunch spot at a local auberge set totally alone in a gorge.
If it has been very dry you might have to work your way through large herds of dromedaries or sheep and goats as this is the only point in the area for the herders to find water.
After lunch a further 28 kilometers to your refuelling point in the desert village of Remlia before which you will ride through the notorious “fesh-fesh” (fine powder from pulverised mud).
Sometimes quite deep with hidden ruts underneath, this can be a challenge, and there could be some offs. In Remlia the fuel is served from water bottles (no health and safety considerations here) and then the final 30 kilometers to your bivouac is across vast dry lakebeds and winding sandy tracks. Final drive into the bivouac can be through the dunes.
More dune riding and then the obligatory beer parked up on the ridge at “Johnnie’s Bar” watching a memorable sunset. Back to hot showers and then a plentiful tajine and after dinner local musicians around the campfire. You can sleep out under the stars or in one of the berber tents supplied.
After breakfast you set off, destination Erg Chebbi and the highest dunes in Morocco (205 meters tall). Ride out through the dunes and then you’re on to very pleasant, fast ex-Dakar winding sandy trails and plenty of dry sandy rivers. Loads of acacia trees, and for those who know East Africa you could be there – just missing the giraffes and elephants!
On through a large sandy riverbed crossing it’s then hard-packed winding trails leading to the tarmac and the refuel point. 10 kilometers down the road and you reach your very colourfully decorated desert auberge with a lovely swimming pool.
Lunch, followed by a bit of time to digest and relax by the pool before you set off to conquer those dunes. Tired out and hopefully successful you can relax by the pool again until dinnertime.
After breakfast you’re off again through sandy riverbeds, across the enormous dry salt lakes on fast sinuous trails. A refreshment stop under the acacia tree in the riverbed. Lunch today at an auberge (Moroccan inn) close to the desert village of M’cissi. The best beef (or veggie) tagine you’ll eat on the tour.
After lunch you refuel and turn north into the Jebel Saghro mountains again but on different twisting, well prepared tracks with stunning views. Stop for a refreshment at the point where you cross the main road joining Alnif in the south with Tineghir in the north.
Then through a sandy riverbed and on over this spectacular mountain range until a short distance on asphalt to your next night’s accommodation, a beautiful old castle set at the end of a track road in the gorge. Wonderful central open section through the building shows the Moroccan designed ceiling. Nice places and quiet corners to sit outside and a swimming pool.
After a plentiful breakfast, leaving your hotel you turn southwards back down the gorge valley full of palm trees before again turning into the riverbed up into the gorges and mountains of the High Atlas.
Emerging from the riverbed you have a beautiful winding track up onto a plateau where you can quicken your pace. This will eventually lead you down into a normally dry riverbed for 10 kilometers of probably the rockiest part of this adventure.
Followed by a short road section you will have a coffee-stop in a local café before turning back onto the trails and heading for your lunch spot under the trees, by a stream down in a spectacular gorge with the ruins of a beautiful kasbah overlooking your spot. The local kids gather and interact with you while waiting, as they know you give them food after.
From there it’s undulating, fast sections interspersed with rocky trails winding their way through major washouts and gullies, into your last sandy, twisting riverbed before a fast blast back across a plateau occasionally used for military practices.
Back to the hotel for a drink by the pool while Hussein (your mechanic) checks over the bikes. Buffet dinner in the evening. Time to chat over everyone’s experiences in the past 5 days.
Breakfast and then the minibus transfer back to Marrakech – either to the airport if you have a late afternoon flight, or to your accommodation if you are staying for extra days in the “Red City”.
JohnnyMaroc as he is known in the bike world, was born in Tanzania. He worked for the 16 years prior to Moto Aventures in the oil-related diving business before biking solo from London to Cape Town. He has hyperbaric medical training and experience from his years working offshore as well as his Wilderness Medical Certificate, and safety on our tours is one of his main concerns. John is also responsible for track finding and checking, plotting the routes for the GPS and together with Su, setting up the logistics for our tours. He is a very experienced off-road rider.
Su has lived in Andorra for over 30 years and speaks English, Spanish, Catalan, and French fluently. She has considerable experience in tourism and PR, as well as having run her own estate agency and building company in Andorra before Moto Aventures began. Responsible for the admin and legal side of the company, finding and booking tour accommodation, etc., and generally making sure that all aspects of our tours run smoothly and efficiently. She organizes all the logistics and drives support for all BMW adventure biking tours, working in tandem with Rob.
The tour will take you through Ouarzazate, Nkob, Ouzina, Merzouga, Dades, and back to Ouarzazate.
The accommodation comes with half board meals. You will also be provided with picnic or café lunches, as well as drinking water during the day's biking (carried in the 4x4).
Marrakesh Menara Airport
Transfer not provided
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