Memorial Ride Update: Nov 17 Chilly Morocco

The ride has gone pretty well so far. Nothing unexpected has happened and both bikes are running well. We’ve been mainly concentrating on putting miles under our wheels, which can get a bit tiring, but it’s enabled us to make good progress and allowed the day off that we’d planned. Tomorrow will see an early start as we tackle the first of four desert sections; Agadir to Laayoune. The following days will see us travel from Laayoune to Daklha, Daklha to the Mauritanian border, then onto Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. After that we head for Senegal. The cold weather has surprised us. However, things should warm up from this point, though the forecast for the hottest part of the Sahara section is only a high of 32 degrees.

P20051115Bikes and equipment have worked well so far. The GS Dakar is tailor made for this kind of riding. The only issue is all up weight, but this is more down to an over ambitious equipment list than to any equipment deficiencies. Yesterday we started down the Atlantic Route N1 proper. A brilliant road through mountains leading steadily to the sea. Good photo opportunities and a chance to use the bullet cameras on the bikes, plus experiment with shots, for the first time

Morocco has been interesting compared to our last trip in 2000. There has been massive investment along the costal towns, with better facilities and much better roads. Prices have risen sharply. Last time we were here, spending more than a few Dirham on anything raised an eyebrow. This time, it seems that hundreds disappear from our wallets every time we open them.
Inland, the impoverishment of many people is still plain to see, with almost medieval village sights now much more starkly contrasting with the brand new Audis and VWs which flash through these atmospheric, but poor places, on brand new roads on a regular basis. However, the Moroccan people remain as friendly and welcoming as before – a country which is well worth a visit – indeed, more so since our trip in 2000.