What I’m Seeing

The title covers what this is about……

05 – “Sand Up Your Bum Tour” 2007 – UK to Morocco and back in 4×4’s

with one comment

SUYB

SUYB

The plan was to tour Morocco in 4×4’s. When Burton suggested taking his Landie to Morocco I jumped at the chance. BHT and Lucy were up for the trip

as were Mr & Mrs Shep and Major Gadget. A late entrant was MrIfan and James’s fellow Sunderlander Brian.

The Landie appeared on my drive on a Thursday night. I took a picture of it then took James to the pub to start the trip as we meant to carry on.

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We didn’t need to be at Portsmouth till the evening on Friday so a late start and a social

visit to Bakerman’s on the way South were in order. Bakerman had a nosey and seemed

impressed. He gave us half a dozen boiled eggs to keep us going on the boat, which was nice

of him.

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You can never have too many GPS’s……..

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The boat was just about tolerable after the addition of Stella and gin to our on board diet, it was good to get off it on Sunday morning though. We all met up at the first

services in Spain.

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Half way down Spain Steptoe’s 2007 Moroccan Dash past us and I managed to get a couple of pics…….

Steptoe…….

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Wapping……

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We made Gibraltar by 9.30 and checked into the Hostal we stopped in last year when we did the trip on bikes. Half an hour later the Steptoe Dash

bikes turned up…..

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In the morning we shopped for food and beers in a Spanish Lidels then did the ferry to Morocco thing.

Got a bit of hassle at the border because MrIfan was on record as bringing a Merc van into the country and never bringing it out. This was from when he did the Scoots in the

Sahara trip plus his V5 doc still had the last owners name on it as he’d only bought the car a week ago.

Some Euros and a fax sorted it all out. Plans changed on the trip South. Three of us decided to make a dash for Marrakech so as to

get down to the pistes as quick as possible and BHT and Major Gadget decided to take their time and do the original route we planed.

We made Marrakech in time for a meal and a few local beers.

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A bit of planning by the pool and we decided to head for the Tizi-n-Tichke pass and then take

the piste from the top to Telouet and down to Ait-Benhaddou.

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We stopped for mid morning tea and omelettes in Coq Hardi, it’s not too far outside Marrakech

and has a good hotel ……

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There’s still snow on the mountains….

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At the top of the Tizi-n-Tichke pass we stopped and talked to a tour guide in a nice black

outfit.

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Shep and MrIfan showing off their beardage, Mrs Shep was lacking on the beard front.

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The piste to Telouet was fun….

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We found a place to camp just before Ait-Benhaddou on a muddy plain and cooked some dinner.

We fed a Moroccan guy who was supposed to be guarding the area on beef curry and rice. I also

negotiated a tip of 100 dirams from his original asking price of 10.

I wasn’t allowed to do any more negotiating for the rest of the trip.

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In the morning we had a look around Ait-Benhaddou where part of the film Gladiator was filmed.

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We drove up the Dades valley then took a piste up to Ait-Ali at the bottom of the Dades Gorge.

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On the way one of the most colourful children we’d seen appeared at the side of the road in

the middle of nowhere. Liz had given me an Easter egg to have on Easter Sunday while we were

away but I thought the little girl would appreciate it more…

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Some stunning scenery from the days driving……

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We spotted a hotel on to of a hill and got the last three rooms, the owner let us put our

beer in his fridge to cool in time for dinner.

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I did a bit of washing and hung my smalls out to dry on the balcony….

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As I was doing this I heard the sound of GSer’s coming up the valley. Steptoe’s mob had

caught us up again but there was no room at the inn. He rode off after a chat and found

rooms at the next place up the gorge.

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Up early in the morning and off up the Dades gorge. The bends were so tight in places the

Landie need to do three point turns to get around them.

The obligatory photo of the bends from the top…….

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At the top we took the piste to Ait-Hani.

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This was the hardest one yet due to the track being washed away by storms this winter. A

lot of the time we had to pick our way along the rocky riverbed in between large boulders

that had been washed down.

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This guy had the better form of transport for this terrain…

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Slow going……

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We lunched on ham and squeezy cheese wraps……

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A nice pair of French Landies passed us…

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We left the piste at the top of the Todra gorge and drove down it, the tarmac road her also suffered during the winter storms…..

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Near the bottom we checked into the Two Brothers Hotel where we’d stopped last year. The guys remembered us and told us that Steptoe had already been there looking for rooms

yesterday.

He’d left them with another sticker….

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We had a few beers outside the hotel and chatted to the brothers who ran it…

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We ate and asked the locals to join us for a drink, they accepted and after a few got their

drums out. Very loud, very drunk, Moroccan music followed.

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It was all too much for Mr Ifan…

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The next day we headed for Zagora via the Tizi-n Tazarert piste then down the Valley Du Dra.

Good sign…

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More hairpins……

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A fine pointy hill…..

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We checked into the Hotel Fibule in Zagora, a fine establishment with a fully functioning

bar…….

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We did the bar, beer, food, bar, beer thing again then retired to comfortable beds.

Yet another omelette for breakfast and then off round Zagora for a bit of shopping. I managed to

find a fine copper kettle and charcoal burner at a very reasonable price. We strapped it to the roof and set off again.

A quick stop for a sign picture……

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We headed out on a piste to Foum Zguid. A very nasty ridged gravel road for most of the

day but at the end of the day we found a dune to camp in…

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We made camp and took photos…..

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We watched the sun go down from the top of a dune……

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Shepgot his guitar out and sang us a few songs…….

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And I got my kettle out…….

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It was a fine evening rounded off with a feast of prawns in green Thai curry.

The next day we headed for Marrakech via the Tizi-n-Test pass, a long day on the road.

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Mountainous roads and stunning views yet again…..

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At Marrakech we did the souk and the big square full of smokey food stalls. Watches got

chosen and deals were done.

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Mr Ifan had to be back in Romania for Saturday so he left for the ferry in

the morning with Brian. Me and Burton and Mr & Mrs Shep took a leisurely drive East the

Cascades at Ouzoud. We found a cracking little camp site, drank the last of the Spanish

beer, cooked chicken marinated in chilli sauce then finished the night off with G&T’s .

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Shep left for Chechaouen in the morning as he needed to be back in the

UKfor Saturday. So now we

were on our own. We drove on to the Cedar forests planning to camp there for the night then

get to Chechaouen a day later as we didn’t need to be back till Sunday.

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They seem to be chopping them down……

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We got to a small petrol station at the top of a hill, filled up and the Landie refused to

start. James rang a Land Rover mechanic and he suggested that the immobilizer had packed up

due to power lines being above the car on the forecourt. We rolled it down the hill and

stopped here….

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It still wouldn’t start.

It was after six in the UKand we couldn’t get any more advice on shagged immobilizers. A bloke on a tractor stopped and waved down a car. I got in and guy took me

to a big building up the road. I was a little confused at this point.

A car drove out of the drive with GB plates. It was an English couple from Manchester who ran the place as an

orphanage. A stroke of luck.

He towed us to an auberge next to the orphanage we got a room and he invited to his place for dinner. Things were looking up.

I rang BHT and found out he was in Marrakesh and he kindly offered to meet us the next day and tow us to Spain to a Land Rover dealer.

In the morning we wasted time messing with starter motors and checking fuses and relays.

I called Fanum who spoke to two 4×4 freaks he knows. Both being Land Rover gurus. He rang me back with a strange sequence of ignition switch turns and door

opening and closing. This would immobilize the immobilizer apparently. It worked. Thank you chaps, you saved the day.

We went up and said bye to Colin and Fiona at the orphanage, thanked them for their help and headed for Chechaouen in rainy miserable weather.

One hotel has a bar in Chechaouen, we check in and booked rooms for BHT, Lucy and Major Gadget. We then showered and did the beer thing again……

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We dined on traditional Moroccan chip butties from this chaps shop…….

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To the port the next day, no hassle at the border and onto a high speed ferry….

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A lorry passed us on the Spanish autoroute. He seemed to be having a problem…..

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BHT and Ken decided to get as far North as possible while me and Burton opted for a night on the razz on the Spanish coast. We found a hotel in Torre Del Mar and hit the

bars, fatally forgetting to have any dinner. We found an excellent bar who knew how to make a good G&T ……

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Burton found an original pith helmet hanging up in another bar, much saluting and army officer style talk ensued…

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When we got back to the hotel at three in the morning we realised our dietary error and decided to set up the camping kitchen in the hotels car park. It didn’t go too well and we

ended up eating cold stewing steak.

It was a late start on Friday. We managed to knock another 500 miles off the journey and found ourselves in Burgos, anice Spanish city with a huge cathedral and interestingly lots of bars.

This time we remembered to eat and then found a great Irish pub and a night club. The holiday continued and another late night was had.

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Yet another late start on Saturday saw us on the road at eleven thirty. 500 mile later we made an Ibis hotel in Tours, France.

The hotel had draught Stella, I don’t remember much more about it I’m afraid.

Sunday meant anther 500 miles to get back to Nottingham.

This we did making it to a surprise BBQ that Lizzie had organised by seven in the evening.

We had two weeks with lots of miles, beers, gins, laughs and tales to tell another time.

Hope you enjoyed the write up.

SUYB

SUYB

Written by whatton

December 2, 2008 at 10:34 am

One Response

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  1. […] Bum Tour 07 – trip Report Did this a couple of years ago but may be of interest to those here Hope you enjoy the write up __________________ Dolomites 05 Morocco 06 Scotland 06 Morocco 07 LE to JOG 07 Turkey 08 […]


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