Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

Destination: all the way..........


Morocco and the Western Sahara.

Week 46 - 48, monday 11 November - sunday 01 December  2013.

Finally I made it to Morocco. The ferry from the port of Algarias took me to the port of Tanger-med. During the ride I had already filled in a form for the police and got my passport stamped as well with a personal identification number. With this number the Morocco bureaucracy can track down everything you have done in Morocco. With a delay of four hours I finally set foot on Moroccan soil. The procedure was quiet forward, the customs checked my passport and the number and they filled in a green/white form. This together with my passport was handed over to another customs employer who filled in all my details on the computer. Since it is my first time in Morocco I had to let my passport be checked by the police in another locket. This took about 30 minutes. With the approval of the police I went back to the customs who stamped my passport and I was allowed to leave the port. The customs didn’t check my luggage, but the motorhomes who arrived with me at the same ferry, they had to wait for a customs employer who checked their vehicles.

Because of the delay I arrived at 18.00 in Tanger-med and with another 30 minutes at the customs it was already dark before I left to find my way to a campground. During the ferry ride I met an English guy who gave me a camping guide for Morocco. In this guide I found a camping in Martil only 80 Km away from the port. The 30km of the road went over a mountain where it was very windy as soon I had passed the mountain I arrived at the east coast of Morocco and the wind went down and the temperature up. Within an hour I had found the campground and had pitched up my tent. The temptation was big to go out and have dinner somewhere at a restaurant, but I decided against it and instead I cooked myself a paste meal with tomato, tuna and bread. The next day I went  to Chefchaouen, a small village in a valley. The municipal camping is located at the top of a mountain and overlooked the town. Because of its location it’s very popular to tourists. I stayed here two nights and did  some laundry. Here on this camping I met two Greek guys on vespa’s who wanted to ride all the way down to South-Africa. To go south from Chefchaouen I had to cross the RIF, the northern mountain range of Morocco. It was a fantastic ride with many beautiful views, but there were all the time locals who tried to sell me hasj and wheat, the RIF is Morocco’s most popular area for hasj and wheat. I’m not a smoker and I politely refused all the offers. After crossing the RIF I ended up in Fes, after visiting a campground which was closed. I found a camping with European standards. Everything was new and clean and kept clean and there were nice grass areas to pitch up my tent. It seems to be that many people have decided to make a long trip south, because also on this campground I met many Europeans who were heading south. One of them was Mike Rossi. Mike is riding a Yamaha XT660 and we decided to head south together. We drove many small roads down to Midelt from where we headed the next day over the ‘Cirgue de Jaffer’ further south. This track ‘Cirgue de Jaffer’ brought us till a height of 2199 mtr. Unfortunately the track was quite bad and after 50 km we decided to head back to Midelt and to take an asphalt road to Tinghir. Here we found a lovely small campground with also very clean facilities and decided to stay here for the night. Since it was still early in the day we drove the R703 north of Tinghir till Tamtattouchte. The road goes through the ‘Gorge of Tudra” and had many spectacular views and is also one of those roads you must do when you are in Morocco. The next morning Mike had to go to Marrakech where he would get new suspension for his motorbike. I decided to stay another day on the campground for just a relaxing day and to do some internet stuff. While going further south the scenery changed from green into more desert like and the wind started to pick up what made the handling of my motorbike more difficult. During this windy ride I was happy to have my heavy motorbike since it made easier to ride than a light motorbike. A light motorbike would swap you from one side of the road to the other.

During my ride to the west coast of Morocco I took once a wrong turn or the map wasn’t correct, but I ended up riding 350 km in a sandy desert in which I saw hardly any other vehicle. In the end I ended up at the place I had in mind so there was not much of a change in plans. After driving 420 km that day I pitched up my tent at one of the three campings in Sidi-infi. Sidi-infi is famous to surfers for its incredible waves. Despite that is was not high season there where many surfers in the afternoon. During my trip I had used my head torch a lot and the battery was draining, unfortunately the battery it is using is not a common one. For the last two weeks I was trying to find a new battery, but there was not one single shop where I could get a new battery. In Sidi-infi I finally found a shop which had a new head-torch for sale. After a bit of a bargain I bought this one for 40 Dirham, converted in euros it cost less than € 4 including batteries. Sidi-infi would be my last stop in Morocco and from here on I would cross the Western Sahara in a couple of days. In Morocco there are many guys making wall painting and at every camping you see those paintings. There are also many travelers who get a painting on their mobile home or car and I decided to get a painting on my motorbike. Because of the painting I stayed one more day. In the evening I went into the little medina and bought some fresh baked donuts with sugar.

Next day I packed my gear and started my journey through the Western Sahara. There is not that much to see and there is only one decent road to use and since I didn’t want to do much off-road I stayed on the main road. The Western Sahara is just one big sandy area. Different people had warned me that it could be very windy and that the road would be full of big trucks. Both of the situations didn’t happen to me so I guess I was lucky. Mostly I did bush camping along the coast with great sunsets and met some great locals during the 1300km through the Western Desert. During my stay in Dakhla I met Ricky from Italy who drives a Yamaha Super Tenere 750. We decided to ride down together for as long as our path goes the same. From Dakhla on it’s only another 340 km to the border of Mauritania.

If you are  curious for my experiences during the crossing from Western Sahara into Mauritania and my stay in yet another Arabic country, visit my website in two weeks.

The view over Chefchaouen.
The medina of Chefchaouen.
Beautiful handwork.
Mike at ‘Cirgue de Jaffer’.
Gorge du Todra.
A break in nothing than sand and a tree.
The entire road for myself.
A beautiful sunset at Sidi-infi.
J.Lo’s facelift.

Countries I have visited: