Home “Either do as your neighbors do, or move away.”
Morocco is an exotic gateway to Africa; its mountains, desert and coast are populated by Berbers and nomads, and its ancient Medina lanes lead to souqs and riads. Read more

The Route of the 2013 Morocco Trip - We had to get to Gibraltar and back and then do this in Morocco
Well my third visit to this wonderful place. A squad of 6 this year on a 17 adventure to a place 4 of us have been before, this time we will spend a little longer in Morocco and head a little further west
  Day 01 : Sunday 28th April 2013: Home to Portsmouth  
Miles : 348 Time : 9 hrs Mov. ave : slow wx : dry / cold

A 9am start and various pick ups on route , the first 2 Paul and Richard at Washington followed by Neil and David at Scotch Corner and finally Robert who was waiting outside the curry house in Portsmouth.

Most of the run was spent having plenty of stops and final tinkering with the bikes and equipment.

Overall the day went well almost threatening to rain at one point, but the day day remained cold and dry and the arrival at Portsmouth at 6pm as it was getting cold.

Curry as good as last year and a good way to kill the time before the ferry which is a late departure at 10.30pm This is home until we dock at 6.45am on Tuesday morning.


Would this be the last English meal for over 2 weeks
  :Day 03 : Tuesday 30th April 13 : Caseras, Spain  
Miles : 387 Time : 5.30m 8.42ov Mov.ave : 70mph Weather: half rain

Caseras was a nice stop and very busy as the evening went on, Bank Holiday the next day we were told.


From the moment we got off the ferry it went wrong and had the makings of a bad day. It was pouring down, and at 8am this was the rush hour. After 20 minutes we got split I went left and all the others went right. It took an hour before we had rejoined and on a day of 400 miles and wet we could have lived without it.

Caseras was a good call for an overnight and the old part of town was very busy as it was labor day the following day and a bank holiday in Spain.

  Day 04 : Wednesday 1st May 13 : Ceuta , Spain (N. Africa)  
Miles : 330 Time : 5.15m 10.5ov Mov.ave : 59mph Weather:Sunny 22c

Gibraltar and its a bank holiday and everyone is on the streets


Irish bar Ceuta


Toady we planned on taking an unplanned detour to Gibraltar as 4 of the party had not been before, as it was a bank holiday it was very busy and took an age to ride around the rock. Unfortunately we were stopped from visiting the very top and seeing the apes as a £12 fee is charged and with only 20 minutes to spare it was not worth the cost.

Off we went to catch the ferry to Ceuta a quick dash and just in time to catch the one hour fast craft. Ceuta had been chosen as this is still part of Spain on the northern tip of Morocco and would give us a good start for the following day.....The town was very busy with people on holiday for the day and this added to the tussle in the tapas bar where we spent much of the evening.

As I enjoy using radio to keep in touch with the other bikes it was a bit of disaster for me when mine stopped working as it had been damaged by water.

Day 05 :Thursday 2nd May 13 : Fes, Morocco  
Miles : 195 Time : 4.17m 8,05ov Mov.ave : 45mph Weather: sunny 24c

The road to Fes and heading to the heat

All in line at the checkpoint - home to us for 1h40m (Image - Robert)

First stop in Morocco

Morocco - and still on a donkey

The tannery Fes - if only you could capture the smell


Slide show of the evening in Fes


What a day ......Early start planned not likely, breakfast and a discovery by Paul that he had no V5 document for his bike. Later found at his house and emailed to him and printed out at the boarder would cost us an hour or more. This added to the late start while calls were made home to retrieve the document. This along with Billy installing the Autocom from Neil's bike and arranging a replacement to be sent out from the UK.

So it was 12 noon before we entered Morocco after 1h40m at the border, luckily Morocco is on the same time as the UK so we went back one hour. The early part of the run was slow and plenty of traffic on the roads. The motorway which was tolled and last some 15 miles was deserted, I guess the locals can't or won't pay.

I noticed how many more tourist buses were about along with motorbikes and motorhome's. I must have seen a dozen or so motorhome's on the road today more than on the whole of last visit where I never seen one.

The normal feel of the place had not change much and it is still a culture shock when you enter the country. The roads rapidly improved and the run was marvelous , arriving in Fes about 5pm. GPS taking us straight to the door.

The evening was a pleasure visiting the Medina and the tannery. A guide was on hand at a cost to us of a generous £4 for the 6 of us. Evening meal was in a Riad a typical upmarket building in Morocco. It was proper Moroccan flair and at a cost of £200 to feed 6 was not the same price as the market sellers. The experience was excellent and we were well looked after,

Day 06 : Friday 3rd May 13 : Cascades d'Ouzoud,Morocco  
Miles : 254 Time : 6.00m 9.05ov Mov.ave : 43mph Weather: sun 25c max

250 miles - it looks less on the map

The guide sami hitches a ride by hanging onto David's bike

David happy to at the hotel with Sami- It was asked if this photo made David look like a midget


Slide show from Friday day 6


A good start to the day and on the road for 9am, slow going out of Fes but then the road opened up and continued to excite for the rest of the day. Rising to over 5000ft through the ski resort and the temperature dropping to 12c. The views and roads are a joy. This morning would give David and Robert a chance to get to grips with brewing their own coffee on a jetboil. As usual the odd local would gather happy for a photograph and then hand out for cash.

Lunch is a small town as we passed through is always an experience and is always a Tagine and nearly always lamb. I am sure that they have 2 prices, tourist and local. Anyway at the cost of £20 to feed and water 6 of us is not to bad. They are always pleased to see you and the feeling is that they have had a good day when a tour group passes through town.

We were heading for Cascedes d'ouzoud a place listed as being in the top places to visit in Morocco. The town was like a building site and time for some rough riding. Then a bomb shell followed the hotel Riad, the best in town was full. So as usual a guide was quickly on hand to take us to another. This I guess would be one we would remember for a long time. Despite the promise of a beer it was not to be, the facilities were rough to say the least. This would be our second Tagine of the day a meal which Robert passed on as he has the start of a stomach problem.

After a bottle of vodka was shared amongst those interest and Neil managed to get the one and only can of warm beer it was off to bed so we could be ready for a 7am start to see the waterfalls.

The bed is the hardest thing I have ever slept on other than a floor without carpet.

Fancy boiler at hotel du France

Day 07: Saturday 4th May 13 :Essaouira, Morocco  
Miles : 268 Time : 5.02m 8.10ov Mov.ave : 53mph Weather: 29c sunny

Today would have us a nice run down the coast

7am and we are off on way to see the waterfalls

A nice view of the gorge from the waterfall

I'm sure the guide said 500 foot drop

More waterfall (Neils super shot)

Monkey business at the top of the waterfalls - population 50-60

Tonight entertainment was enough for Neil to walk out the restaurant


I must start by saying hello to my number one fans David's parents and just to say he is un shaving and I think unwashed today as he refused to use the palatial on-suite facilities one more time..

After a 7 am start to visit the waterfalls was well worth the effort and was nice for an hours walk before breakfast. The falls are well visited and many make shift cafes exist on the trail. It takes 700 steps to get back up from the base of the falls.

We returned to the hotel for breakfast and Paul to discover the beds had been made and the sheets had not been changed. This just added to the overall grading of the hotel. But at £17.50 for dinner bed and breakfast what could you expect.

Today's ride started late at 10.30am and with more miles to do than the previous so discipline would prevail in getting the miles covered. The ride out of the gorge were fantastic even if slow and 30 miles in an hour is not record breaking. Then it improved the road became straighter and a lot faster, sadly at a price of losing the scenery. by 4pm we had covered 200 miles had lunch fueled up and were sitting eating ice cream on the coast with only 60 good miles to do.

slight shock when the hotel of choice was full, next door however was excellent at only £25pppn inc breakfast which was the best in Morocco to date.

Day 08 :Sunday 5th May 13 : Tafaroute, Morocco  
Miles : 248 Time : 5.30m 9.00ov Mov.ave : 45mph Weather: sunny 28c max

The road to Tafaroute 250 miles all good - even the road works

Morning walk along the beech

I think David and Robert have mastered the coffee making on the jetboil

Beech on the way to Agadir

The road into Tafaroute

This is makes the visitors arrive

Robert following Billy looking for a beer

Tafaroute - from a beer


After a good night out in town at a restaurant that sold beer (bottles) we had a wonder round the Medina which was big and busy and could have done with a lick of paint.

Another early start for bill and Neil while the others lay in bed, we decided to have a walk along the beech back into town and inspect the place in the light of day. A shame as it has great potential but is in need of some serious renovation work.

The ride started at 9 and took us south to Agadir via the coast road and the views of the beeches were good the sands look vibrant in colour and being a Sunday well populated. Agadir is a Beech resort and has many places to stay and looked very affluent, compared to the rest of the country that we had witnessed.

After lunch the ride took us Tiznit before heading east again to tonight's accommodation at Tafaroute this place is very different and the hotel is very rustic and what a bargain at £10 per night. This town is probably the best I have seen in Morocco, and a pleasure to stop here.

Day 09 : Monday 6th May 13 : Foum Zquid,Morocco  
Miles : 204 Time : 4.20m 7.35ov Mov.ave : 47mph Weather:Hot 37.5c

heading east today - heat started to get to us 37.5c

Close up showing the short cut today - saved about 2 hours

Today's ride profile, Sharp climb

The blue rocks at Tafaroutev(Neil photo)



Robert riding the pegs from the blue stones

IT just got better



Hotel Bab Rimal


An early morning role call and away from hotel at 8.30am in a mission to visit the blue stones. 5 mile back from town then a piste track for 6 miles and back into town. Fuel is always the issue here as you are never sure where the next fuel is. Cash is still king out here as the visa man has not been out here yet.

So 10.30am ready to start the day proper 220 miles and the forecast said 38c the road was poor and the GPS not accurate. The only advise hat we had been giving the previous night was to ride 21km from town and look for new ash felt road that would save the loop on poor roads. It turned out to be 25 miles on the clock before we found it. But when we did it was excellent, so quiet and such good views and you suddenly got the falling that you had arrived in the dessert.

The main road was rejoined after 20 miles on the shortcut and the going became very fast reaching Tata for 1.30pm. Fuel was available here so after a refill we decided to lunch at the hotel Tata. If only the kitchen was closed and the best we got was chips a draft beer (yes draft) in the car park supplied by a French backup crew for an off road event.

The last leg was 90 miles to Foum Zquid was straight and hot, very hot through the dessert at 37.5c and for once an early finish at 4pm. What timing a hotel with a pool and the chance to use it. An excellent place like an oasis in the dessert, well recommended was the Bab Rimal a hotel with beer, pool and good rooms.

Day 10 :Tuesday 7th May 13 : Tinerhir, Morocco  
Miles : 269 Time : 5.35m 11.30ov Mov.ave : 48mph Weather:36c sunny

269 miles today and still - and we even managed a diversion to Ait Benhaddou

Sunrise at the hotel

This party from Slovakia had some serious kit, all off road and 2's up + 7000 photos in 9 days

Team B - Coffee snobs examine the latest brew


A slide show from our visit to Ait Benhaddou - used in so many movies

Riding into Tinerhir just before sunset

The hotel didn't look much from the outside and was worse in the dark as we arrived

What a place - you can just see hotel entrance behind tree


Great location usually means one thing, the resistance to leave. We waved off others from a hotel that was busy with bikes included a group from Slovenia doing their tour all off road with pillions and massive amounts of equipment, even fitting in the time to take 7000 photographs. Then a rummage for cash as Visa once again is us less out here.

Our destination today was Tinerhir via Ouarzazate and Agdz. I then decided to take in a detour to Ait Benhannou, a village 20 miles out from Ouarzazate on the Marrakech road. A place famous for its use in the film making industry.

By the time lunch had been served and the tour complete it was 5pm and still 120 miles to cover in 35c heat. By the time Tinerhir it was sunset and the hotels were full. We managed to get 3 rooms on the roof, tiny all sharing one lot of facilities. After 9 by the the time the boots come off is a late night. We never moved the food was fine and we had a beer.

Day 11 : Wed 8th May 13 : Azrou, Morocco  
Miles : 219 Time : 6.05m Mov.ave : 36mph Weather: max 35c sunny

All North today up through the Todra Gorge

And a big climb after the gorge to almost 9000 foot, over 16000ft total assent today

After leaving my penthouse suite on the roof top (which was so different from any hotel room I have stayed at before).We were heading north and away from the desert.

This is the best bit (Image - Robert)

The main part of Todra Gorge and as far as most tourists normally come

Notice the footwear - This is my memory from today , What a Smile.
All kids have PS Vita's my son tells me . I was not convinced today. This girl ran about 100m too wave.

Billy through the river


Slide show from day 11 - Todra Gorge

David gets musicale in Azrou

Azrou by night - A town with no beer


Today was the one when we all asked at some point what day is it? So I guess it must be time to head home when it gets to this point. A late change to plan By Paul and Richard was to fit in a visit to the Todra gorge, a spectacle about 10 mile north of Tinerhir. Neil went the hole lot why just see the little bit when you can do 150 miles of it.

Once passed the tourist bit the rest became more mountainous and not much in the way of a gorge. What it did provide was a serious mountain climb to almost 9000ft a a changing characteristic in the buildings and the people along with the land becoming more fertile.

The roads also hot in the act showing us how much they could change from decent tarmac to bits of loose and then none, along with our first river crossing.

The people looked more surprised as if too many tourists don't pass this way, while the children would run after you in large numbers. This at times caused a dangerous hazard to them and us. I only wish I had thought more about them before I traveled and maybe packed some old children's clothing as the group from Slovenia had. The land was fertile and appeared to provide enough food as none of them looked as though they hadn't been fed.

The real shock came driving through Aghbala a busy hectic place without a road surface in sight. What a mess, the people the traffic and the dust. This was the only point of the trip where both my and Roberts oil heat warning light would appear.

After 150 miles we joined the N8 just south of Khenifra, a road that we had used the previous week in the opposite direction .A good section of fast twisting road leading us to Azrou for the night. A nice place even if dry, the only beer to be found was back at our hotel where the bar was crowded. Sort of tells you something.

Day 12 : Thursday 9th May 13 : Chefchaouan , Morocco  
Miles : 168 Time : 4.58m 7.07ov Mov.ave : 34mph Weather: sunny 35c

Last night in Morocco at Chefchaouan

A bit of Roman culture at Villibus , just north of Meknes

David's thought for today - I wanted to be a gnome


We all stuck to plan A today and not bother with the monkey tour and just head for Chefchaouan via the Roman ruins at Villibus to the north of Meknes. The decision to miss out the Monkeys was a good one as the day just disappeared once more.

I always like a visit like this as it helps remember the trip, even if wondering around in 35c heat with a bike suit is a bit on the warm side. The site has great potential but needs some serious work to bring it up to standard.

What appeared to be an easy ride of 170 or so miles it was still 5pm before we arrived at the hotel. A nice spot but street parking for the first time.

The town of Chefchaouan looked different from a distance, most of the buildings painted a lilac colour.

Day 13 :Friday 19th May 13 : Los Palacious y Villafranca, Spain  
Miles : 168 Time : 3.28m 8.00ov Mov.ave : 48mph Weather: sunny 32c

Today's map showing only the Morocco content to the ferry

Our Hotel in Chefchaouan, a lovely town with lilac and blue painted buildings

Leaving Morocco, normal chaos


Today we left Morocco a good run of 66 miles took us to the boarder where getting out is a bit quicker than getting in , but still none of the less chaotic.

Then time to take on some proper food and at McDonalds and catch the ferry back to mainland Spain. We had decided to do at least 100 miles to save miles from the 400 that we would have to do on Saturday. An easy task the roads were quiet and we had them done in one and a half hours. Tonight's stop was picked simply because of its location to main road. It turned out to be marvelous and we never moved from the outside the hotel all night.

  Day 14 : Saturday 11th May 13 : Salamanca , Spain  
Miles : 302 Time : 4.05mo 6.00ov Mov.ave : 74mph Weather: 25c sunny

Salamanca from the hotel, Saturday night was very busy

  300 miles today all on the motorway and just a quick way to get the job done and get to Salamanca. A world heritage site and well worth the effort. The roads were very quite and the only traffic encountered was around Seville.  
  Day 15 :Sunday 11th May 2013 : Potes, Spain  
Miles : 252 Time : 7.50ov Mov.ave : Weather:19c sunny

An early view of the Picos

The road to Potes

Cable car station at Fuentu De, sadly closed for new cable

David try's to save on a glass at the cider press

If only children could smile this good in a sweetie shop

Always one!!

and sometimes two!!

David try's to distance his appearance from his twin Neil by adding more facial hair

The six reach the end of the road with a final night show down.

Robert, Billy, Paul, David, Neil and Richard


Bit of a cold start today at 13c had the Cumbrian and Southern boys applying the Rab jackets. Not sure what they do in Scotland late August?

Straight forward enough today drive north on the motorway and then pick a point to turn off and head across country to Potes and if the weather is good head for the cable car at Fluent De.

Then the straight forward bit goes off the rails first a wrong turn , or missed turn and we lose an hour talking about it over a nice coffee. Neil would take the blame for not speaking up on the radio. Then to add to his day he runs out of petrol. I now know what the wave was for 15 miles previous. This would test out the 2 siphoned kits we had with us. We had to test Neil's fuel range and the kits at some point.

Then as they say it happens in 3's and so it did , we arrived at the cable car station in glorious weather only to find it closed. It was undergoing testing for a new cable had been installed and would stay this way for another 4 days. The previous occasions when I have getting this far it has always been poop weather and I have not bothered , such luck on this one!!

Potes provided us a final night out and in such fine surroundings, the wine cellar at the Caso Cayo if only you could have seen Roberts eyes light up. Talk about children in sweet shops.

Day 16 : Monday 12th May 2013 : Ferry Santander to Portsmouth  
Miles : 70 Time : 1.35mov Mov.ave : 44mph Weather: 21c sunny

Walk along the river in Potes

Potes, what a backdrop

Last stop in the Picos


Leisure breakfast, haircut , last minute shopping and then at 12 noon 70 miles lovely miles to the ferry riding through the Picos, Mission complete only the long drag home to look forward to.

The ferry Port Avon is a lot bigger than the one here and with any look will be on time back to Portsmouth.

  Day 17 : Tuesday 14th May 13: Home , England  
Miles : 340` Time : 5.13m 6.10ov Mov.ave : 65mph Weather: Rain 9c

  After dinner awards ceremony ...David's award was later declared void (hold mouse over to see new award)  

What a homecoming , rain from the off and the normal time wasted getting off the ferry would mean the race would not start till 3pm. The race to beat the darkness, sunset at 9.12pm and 340 miles to do.

The going was slow rain and traffic would eat 3hrs and only 170miles complete to Donnington services. Riders cold and wet would see Costa doing a good trade.

The party split at Scotch Corner and the geordies pushed on the easier route home, completing the task just after 9 and only just beating the dark. Fortunately the weather improved for the last 90 miles from Wetherby and gave us a chance to dry before reaching home.

Morocco stats
Miles=1896 Time moving=44.5hrs Moving Ave=43mph height climbed=103963ft max=8767ft


Staying at
1 348 348 Portsmouth - Bilbao U.K.   Y Brittany Ferry small but nice 4.2
2 0   at sea all day         not a bad crossing  
3 387 734 Caseras Spain £30bb Y Extremadura Nice 4 star 6.5
4 330 1064 Ceuta Spain £33bb Y Type As above 6.7
5 195 1259 Fes Morocco £30bb Y Ibis good parking and pool 6.2
6 254 1494 Cascades d'Ouzoud Morocco £17fb N Hotel De &rance Basic very and no beer 4.2
7 268 1764 Essaouira Morocco £25bb Y Mirador excellent at the price 7.0
8 248 2012 Tafaroute Morocco £12bb Y Hotel Salama fabulous 8.2
9 204 2216 foum Zguid Morocco £40fb Y Bab Rimal dessert oasis 8.1
10 269 2485 Tenerhir Morocco £12bb Y Timbuktu What a surprise 6.8
11 219 2704 Azrou Morocco £16bb Y Panorama Okay place for the money 5.4
12 169 2873 Chefchaouan Morocco £21bb Y Echennin Quirky place with no beer 8.0
13 168 3041 Los Palacious Spain £25bb Y Manolo Mayo Unplanned gem (best linen) 7.2
14 302 3343 Salamanca Spain £50bb Y Parador fantastic budget buster 6.8
15 252 3596 Potes Spain £21bb Y Casa Cayo my favorite(and it won) 8.4
16 70 3666 Santander Boat   Y Port Avon ferry smart for a ferry 4.2
17 341 4005 Home U.K.       10
Special thanks to David and Robert who spent endless time on this years voting, a new category added to take into account the quality of towels and bed linen.

Country currency fuel beer
Home pound £1.30 £3.00
Spain euro £1.30 (£1 Ceuta) £2.60
Morocco Dirham £98p £3.50 bt


Finally people always ask? Does the tour wear people out?

Paul Robert David Neil (never)

Slideshow from images supplied by Robert (press play to begin)


Neil's slideshow (press play to begin)


Neils thoughts:

Starting with the ferry times. The ferry going out is great, saves rushing or staying somewhere in the UK and gets in at a brilliant time. Coming back is OK, easy to get on, not too early so you have lots of choice for the last night in Spain. Route down through Spain easy, not much traffic, easy run.

Algeciras to Ceuta ferry was a good price and as long as you do the pre registration the border crossing is easy. Tafaroute and the area around it are stunningly beautiful, good roads, cheap accommodation and the scenery is fantastic. The people from (Serbia?) had a good idea, to bring children's clothes. We got it wrong as you said by not going to a school.

So what is the answer? Ride up to a school and give them pens? We never saw kids with no clothes, but we did see kids with no shoes, then you have the problem of size and bulk. Perhaps a possible answer is to collect some up and ask one of these groups that go out in land rovers to take them. Too many problems to solve on a motorbike.
I would mention the Ciprofloxacin the hand jell, and the general watch what you eat, how you eat it and what you eat it off. As I said my big worry was not just me getting the shits, but then the impact it has on everyone else if you are too ill to ride.

Mention our Magnum experience. Most of the people we met were honest decent people, but it pays to ask how much before you have either ordered it or eaten it. We got ripped off last time at a lunch stop in exactly the same way.
It's a long way, but well worth it. Nothing to fear and something you could do on most bikes. Fantastic roads, not all about pistes.

Reply Billy: you forgot to say peanut M&M's don't melt in the desert.


Home Bike Motorhome Walking Contact


blue rocks the coast and agadir todra gorge