Motorcycle World Tour Morocco - Round Trip Erg Chebbi, Merzouga & Todra Gorge


 
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The sun was shining, but winter just did not want to go. No matter how many websites I checked, the Swiss passports remained closed. In order to still be able to drive a motorcycle in nice weather, I had to translate into the Maghreb States. For example to Morocco.
 


 

 

 

 

 
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By telephone I booked the necessary ferry tickets and made my way to the French city of Sete.
 
I could have bought her just as well in the harbor. In the spring nothing was going on and a motorbike still fits in anyway. I camped wild on the beach. No one bothered or picked up the cops like they did in Germany.
 
The next morning I checked in punctually on the Comarit ferry Biladi. In the process, I actually met some Frenchmen who also use their motorcycles to make their way to Fes.
 
After all the vehicles were finally loaded and we had received our meal included in the ticket price, we waited another 6 hours for the ferry to be refueled before our 36 hour crossing to Morocco began.
 
On the ferry Biladi is the Central European Time (CET) plus one hour. Morocco is two hours behind Germany. The next day, I changed money on the ferry, filled out the customs documents for my motorbike in French and Arabic with the help of other passengers, and received my entry stamp from a typically unfriendly officer in my passport. I think civil servants just have to be rude. Friendly people are probably not hired by the police. A visa for Morocco was not necessary. A Carnet de Passages also not. As soon as I passed customs after our late arrival in Tangier, the 7th largest city in Morocco, the first people rushed to me and tried to sell me something or to lead me in French to any hotel or market , Moroccans are known for stealing. Entire groups of pickpockets often travel to Germany and France to make loot, to feed their families in the home and to afford smart houses and expensive cars ARD contrasts from 21.07.2016 and welt.de Because of them had already the windward and the Eiffel Tower will be closed. At customs, the imported vehicle is registered. Here you can also buy for 92 € (as of May 1, 2015) a 1 months valid insurance. It is cheaper, however, to have the green insurance card validated by the German insurance company for MA. Edit: In a third world country as a wealthy foreigner is always first guilty of accidents (because if the foreigner had not traveled here, the accident with him would not happen), even more in accidents with personal injury and must therefore cut or depending on the negotiation sent the Damaged damage immediately bar vorstrecken, otherwise you end up in jail. An approached sheep costs eg. about 5.- Euro. If you have previously taken out insurance in Angola, for example, you can try to get your money back from the insurance company after your motorcycle tour from your home country. Have lots of fun with it ;)
 
When, a few meters later, on a straight, four-lane road with a maximum speed of only 30 km / h, some badly-hidden policemen seized me with their laser pistol, I longed for some peace after this culture shock . Since then, the high number of speed traps in Morocco as of October 2014 has not decreased. Only vehicles that drive with light themselves during the day are pulled out. Easier is not to distinguish rich tourists from locals. And even if you are pulled out, it depends very much on your own appearance. Clothes make people. If you are friendly / stupid and with sand in your hair and torn jeans look like there is nothing to get at one, you will be invited by the police on a coffee. If not, you have to pay what is on the tourist forms. Locals pay 10 dirhams under the hand if at all. In a nearby Comarit office a friendly lady in English showed me the way to Miramonte campsite (GPS N35 ° 47.493 W05 ° 49.961) where I could relax after the heavy metal gate at the entrance that a janitor opened for me, crashing behind I fell into the castle. Edit: On my second trip to Morocco I was already used to it and felt the people far less intrusive.
 
This clean campsite is run by a German, even if the toilets do not look like it. It is close to the sea and is lush with palm trees and other plants overgrown.
 
It is awakened here early in the morning when the imam of a nearby mosque calls over the megaphone for prayer. He does this several times a day.
 
On campsites you always meet people. This time a friendly German who travels Morocco with his dog in the VW Fox. He spoke French in contrast to me and showed me the environment and the contact with the intrusive locals.
 
It astonished me how many times traders were unable to change relatively small amounts of money. Since I had a lot of time, I left my luggage in the campsite and inquired by motorbike some lonely, small but beautiful unpaved roads around the port city of Tangier. Again and again, someone openly tried to sell me "good hash".
 
The next day, the camp's Moroccan cashier tried in vain to suddenly forfeit a tax on the previously negotiated fees before I left again. For a beginner like me, you can try it.
 
Again and again I took breaks in this exotic country to take pictures. Everything was so new to me and so different from what I was used to.
 
After being surprised by heavy gusty crosswinds and a hail shower near Megnes,
 
In the absence of a campsite in the area, I spent the night undisturbed behind a hedge in an orchard before going past the next day
 
some nomadic tents drove over the 2175 meter high Atlas Pass, which was inhabited by many wild dogs, to Errachidia.
 
From here there was dry and very hot desert climate. After refreshing myself at a well and my water supplies
 
Once again, I drove past huge, heavily irrigated date plantations to Erfoud.
 
At the many police checks I was waved as a tourist always friendly. Locals, on the other hand, had to unload their overloaded vehicles quite often along the roadside to check their contents. Apropo locals: Occasionally children made signs illegible and show them the wrong way if they were not given candy or pens.
 
From Erfoud I tried the direct run along the Erg Chebbi, the big dunes, to drive to Merzouga.
 
After I almost lost my way as a greenhorn alone and without GPS on the almost endless expanse of land and my buggies got bogged down a few times and my solid side cases prevented damage to man and machine, I gave up my plan and drove through on an asphalt road breathtaking desert landscape, past many dunes to Merzouga.
 
Merzouga, the destination of my motorcycle tour, consists almost only of one-storey "hotels" and "campsites", ie open spaces (GPS N31 ° 05.080 W04 ° 00.490).
 
As soon as I was spotted, many Berbers ran to me and tried to guide me to their "hotel" or at least to persuade them to camel riding on their dromedary.
 
However, I managed to break through the crowd and continue until the last campsite directly in front of a dune about 150 meters high.
 
Shortly before the finish, my Honda XL 600 dug again in the soft sand and had to be completely unloaded under the prying eyes of numerous inhabitants to get them back afloat.
 
On my round trip into the unknown country, I had committed the typical rookie mistake and just taken too much stuff. Although the motorcycle jacket and the motorcycle helmet on the topcase, which are not needed because of the heat, do not weigh much, but the unnecessary spare tire, the precautionary tool on the tour and some liters of drinking water in the side cases are all the more difficult.
 
Because of the heat, I camped here in the desert in front of the single-storey Saharacamp Hotel of a Berber family, including the use of the refreshing cold shower, which was called "hot shower" here as everywhere in Morocco. The water for this was pumped by a motor with only about 240 revolutions per minute from a well.
 
My belongings were locked in a guest room rented for this purpose, and I parked my motorbike in a fenced yard before climbing the big dune on foot to take pictures. Towards evening, an English-speaking Spaniard descended at the same Saharacamp hotel. He had next to his BMW F650 GS complete with motorcycle gear , a GPS sat nav and a laptop almost nothing and wanted the next day to travel without a visa illegally through the dunes of the Sahara over the closed border for years to Algeria. Previously, he smoked a joint and burned a complete backup of my digital images on CD. Our hosts smoked and were amazed by so much technology and my photos taken in Switzerland of mountains with snow.
 
The next morning I tried again in the sand before it got really hot in the sand, but realized that the light mopeds of the locals were far superior to my heavy machine in this discipline.
 
while I had to dig up my transalp again and again, children who appeared out of nowhere tried to sell fossils to me in vain. With freshly squeezed orange juice, which is everywhere else, they would certainly have had more success.
Just as little success had a native, who wanted to exchange my motorcycle necessarily against 10 of his camels or his daughter. A woman costs just 10 camels here.

Back in the camp, I enjoyed a cool shower when I suddenly heard the familiar sound of heavy digging motorcycles. Other tourists had just descended at the Desert Hotel next door, and were now raging in the sand.

Since there are so many hotels here in Merzouga, it rarely happens in the low season that you get neighbors. At the same time, the Spaniard came back. The Algerian military intercepted him and did not let him into the country.

Nevertheless, he apparently had a lot of fun in the dunes. After watching the sunrise from a dune the next day, I suddenly feel like I'm out of nowhere
I ignored my stuff and drove through the steppe to the now asphalted Todra Gorge.
But since the tourists were traveling around the bus and Ait Hani many children did not want to keep their fingers off my bike, I did not stay long, but continued to travel via Erfoud to Midelt.
There, for the first time, I saw women walking around in the black caftan, despite the heat. When I stopped and took a picture, they began to rant, which is why I renounced the photo. A little later, a gas station attendant did not pay attention when refueling and over-poured my hot motorcycle with a few liters of super-fuel available everywhere, luckily, but a higher bill without significant consequences.
If you are hungry, you can order the national dish Tajim (Tashin) in each restaurant, consisting of spicy potatoes, carrots, peas and tomatoes with a bit of bony meat in the middle.
During the meal the landlord chatted me full and tried to sell me a huge rug or at least urge me to stay in his hotel.
By now I got used to the behavior of the people here, drove on without rugs and started to pitch my tent in the dark in the light of my headlamp on a meadow a bit off the intrusive people behind some bushes. When I tried to fasten the rear tent poles, I suddenly stood in the water up to my stomach. No matter. I wanted to put my now gossip wet and dirty motorcycle clothes to sleep because of the hard protectors so just so. That which at night had looked like a large meadow in the dim light of my headlamp turned out the next morning as a lake heavily overgrown with plants. Good that I did not drive a few meters further in the dark with my motorcycle ...
The next day I had stomach upset, less attributable to my involuntary bath than to the spicy tagine and salad served. I packed my tent and drove slowly with wet shoes past many ceramic stalls again to Tangier.
In the camp Miramonte I parked my Honda XL 600 and went swimming in the sea. The next day I changed my remaining dirhams, whose export from Morocco is banned, boarded the ferry and left with 1.5 hours delay in the direction of Europe. Edit: Meanwhile, the ferry starts from the new port of Tangier Med, which is located 35 km outside the city in Ksar Es Seghir GPS N35 ° 52'44 "W05 ° 30'30".
After our late arrival in Sete, I immediately started for Switzerland; However, it was soon forced by heavy rain to stay overnight, so as not to be soaked completely.
The next day I wanted to drive over Martigue, the Grimselpass and the Brünigpass to Lungern. Although it was almost June, the Grimselpass was still closed due to snow. The Brünigpass was then contrary to the statement of some signs in the absolutely dry and snow-free state see here . I reached Giswil the same day and drove on to the next day in Germany, where I finished my experience-rich, just three weeks and 4500 kilometers long adventure motorcycle tour without technical problems. Unlike a colleague with transmission damage to his 10 times as expensive BMW.
 

 
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