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 North East Morocco?

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Tembo
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PostSubject: North East Morocco?   Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:34 pm

Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone has travelled through NE Morocco? I am thinking of a Morocco trip for next October-ish period and am wieghing either striking off on my own to explore something new or signing up for an organized tour. My inclination is always to try the more challenging option. Especially since Tembo with his 2.5 NA diesel would inevitably slow down all the modern Defenders, Toyotas and the rest on an organized tour. I know they all say that they travel as fast as the slowest vehicle but hate the idea of slowing everyone down on the tarmac transits.

Was pondering the Malaga-Melilla ferry and then heading down to what looks like a largely uninhabited area south of Oujda. There is a pretty big triangular area between the northern end of the Atlas's and the Algerian border and as far south at Figuig. I can't see any organized tours in this region and Chris Scott only mentions the southern boundary. Just from google maps, there looks like lots of plains but some fairly interesting river valleys and hill ranges. And if nothing else, may have the advantage of being off the well beaten path.

So, in the early research stage if anyone has any info. Thanks!


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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:42 pm

Sorry, should also mention that if anyone else with an older, slower vehicle would be interested in planning a trip around that period it would be most welcome. Or anyone with something quicker who likes trundling along at 50-55mph on tarmac...

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PostSubject: Eastern Morocco   Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:20 am

Hello Tembo,
Don't worry about slowing anyone down between Nador and Oujda it's a major truck route with nearly all of em 30 odd years old and belching black smoke out, that is exagerating a bit but the trucks are under foot a lot and well loaded.
It's not a bad idea to ship on the thursday in my case ex Almaria to Melilla, sailing's at 11.30 pm and gets into Malilla at around 8am friday morning everyones busy facing east on the carpets and the roads empty cos it's friday.
The road from Oujda to Bouarfa follows a train line, side by side most of the way all good tarmac if you want to get further south quick, open stony desert for miles, loads of Burber camps glowing in the dark if you wild camp overnight.
Give you an idea of time scale Bouarfa is a one day hit befor dark mainly because of the 08.00am ferry arrival time, that said I stay just short of the town and wild camp a couple of km's away from the road.
Last new years day I left Merzouga at 06.00 just breaking day light and was crossing the border Bene-Enzar / Malilla at
18.00 and that was being stuck in a massive military convoy between Oujda and Nador for 2 hours.

Dont know if your traveling alone but a female gets you a private cabin when booking if you get your ticket and there's no female theres a good chance you will be sharing a 4 bunk cabin with others.

On the internet the crossings about 350 euro, purchase the ticket at the port and it's 160 euro one way.
Regards

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:35 pm

Thanks marjal, good info. I am quite used to the truck situation in other places, so no surprise. I like the Friday idea. I would be looking to get off the N17 as soon as possible after Oujda and follow the line of rivers and Atlas foothills running southwest. Obviously only the very earliest stages at this point. Would need to know it would be worth the trip to explore something new.

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:52 am

I'd suggest PM'ing Tuggy. Living 'round the corner from Gib he's always popping over there. Yes he runs tours in Morocco, but if he likes the idea of what you're up to he may well view the trip as a 'half-price tour' as he could carry out a recce at the same time ... either that of he could join you just for the hell of it, he's like that.

Couple of sanwiches short of a picnic, therefore you'll get a famously!!! stupid Razz

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:05 pm

Well, what better recommendation could there possibly be? Especially for heading off to potentially parts unkown...

Yes, I will write to Tuggy in a few weeks once I have thought through the basics (time, budget, spousal approval, work etc).

Thanks Tom!

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:51 pm

Octoberish eh !
I'm liking the sound of that, depending on how stuff pans out early next year if your looking for a second vehicle to come along I could well be up for it thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:07 am

Sounds like a good area to explore!!

Tuggy has given us a few thoughts, so we may well head that way ... will make sure to pass on any useful information.

rgds
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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:12 am

Wideformat4x4...sure...obviously a long way off yet, but never too early to start planning.

African Girlchild... I have been scanning around Google satellite images and found some interesting areas. One is an area of sand dunes running east west between the N17 highway and the Algerian border about 25 miles south east of Tendrara. Though not as concentrated as Erg Chebbi, possible more dunes in total scattered along that line towards the border.

Others include gorges and low mountains where the Atlas's swing eastwards. There are two east-west 'ridges' extending from the area of Taourirt on the N6 that look interesting.

As Chris Scott says in his book, you can't really wear the Morocco badge until you have been to Figuig and found your way back.

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:58 am

If you'll have me, I could well be us for this too. Providing I've got a week or so to recover from ADVENTURE OVERLAND (28-29 September 2013) it would be the perfect antidote to the post-show blues. For me it's always an anti-climax after organising a show. Bit of currant bun wouldn't go amiss either! sunny

If Tuggy was with us, that would be the icing on the cake, but even without him we'd still have a great time.

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:07 pm

This is sounding better all the time
The show then driving off into the wide blue yonder, may be able to tack on a week in the Spanish pyrannies onto the end of this thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:29 pm

That would be great Tom...I am sure we could factor in a week after the show. Maybe a planning session over a few beers might be in order sometime over the winter....

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:44 pm

Tom Mc wrote:
If you'll have me, I could well be us for this too. Providing I've got a week or so to recover from ADVENTURE OVERLAND (28-29 September 2013) it would be the perfect antidote to the post-show blues. For me it's always an anti-climax after organising a show. Bit of currant bun wouldn't go amiss either! sunny

If Tuggy was with us, that would be the icing on the cake, but even without him we'd still have a great time.


tom send me an e mail if your going,,,,over to the east not far from the boarder with algeria theres a high road with 7 river crossings that i want to go and explore and i havent been up to that area yet but i need to explore it.


what dates are you thinking of going....

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:19 pm

Tembo wrote:
That would be great Tom...I am sure we could factor in a week after the show. Maybe a planning session over a few beers might be in order sometime over the winter....
Sounds like a plan Stan.

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:45 pm

Tuggy,

First, just saying hello.
Would be great if you could make the trip. The current thinking is heading off from the UK about a week after the 2013 Overland Show so Tom can unwind. Probably 2 weeks(?) in Morocco and then homewards depending on everyone's schedule. The road you mentioned with seven river crossing sounds pretty interesting...guess I will have to fit a snorkel after all.

James

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:56 pm

Having just looked at a calender, possible tentative dates for thiose leaving from UK could be:

Departing UK: 05 October (ferry to Santander/Bilboa)
Ferry to Morocco: 08 October

In Morocco: 08-22 October

Ferry back to Spain: 22 October
Ferry back to UK: 25 October (although wideformat4x4 mentioned he might stay on and spend some time in Pyrenees).

I might be able to squeeze and extra week out of work to either explore some of Spain Tom has mentioned or longer in Morocco. Might as well do as much as possible if we are coming all that way!

How do these dates sound on a very tentative basis at this point?

James

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:39 pm

Tembo wrote:
Tuggy,

First, just saying hello.
Would be great if you could make the trip. The current thinking is heading off from the UK about a week after the 2013 Overland Show so Tom can unwind. Probably 2 weeks(?) in Morocco and then homewards depending on everyone's schedule. The road you mentioned with seven river crossing sounds pretty interesting...guess I will have to fit a snorkel after all.

James

ok next year you want to go,,,ok well thats a long way off but with notice might be able to do something,,,should be good. Cool

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:32 am

As it happens I was also looking at dates and ferries, but didn't come up with anything specific as Britanny Ferries' website crashed.

Best i could do was ...

Depart UK Portsmouth-Santander Friday 11th October 2012 (TBH, need more than a week to recover before setting off on a fair few road miles - plus all the paperwork after a show - plus feedback - yes, 11th onwards is a lot better for me!)

Then 2 weeks in glorious Morocco.

Then, if anyone can manage it time-wise, a little play in the Spanish Pyrenees on the way back. The whole thing is very appealing.

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:41 am

Sure, I am fine with 11 November onwards. And yes, 2013. If you do get a chance to get out to that area earlier Tuggy, any suggestions would be welcome.

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:58 pm

Hi All
Been off the grid for a couple of days due. To the wifi in Bali is sporadic to say the least.

The 11th of October sounds good to me I personally would look to do Toms show then head off down through France stopping off to visit friends on the way go into Andorra and take the smugglers route in to Spain and spend a day or two in the pyrannies retracing some of the Landy rally routes and then travel south to meet up with you guys around the 11th ish to get the ferry to Marroco spend two weeks there then ferry back via Spain and Santander or Bilbao

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:46 pm

Well...lets go with that as a tentative plan then...works out well, I am in contract negotiations next week so can slip this into plan

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:04 pm

So, jut another look at dates for 2013...

Wideformat4x4: departs early Oct after show, meets up in Malaga (TBC)

Tom & Tembo

11 Oct: Ferry from UK to Bilboa/Santander
15 Oct: Ferry Spain to Morocco
29 Oct: Ferry Morocco back to Spain
5 Nov(?): Ferry back to UK after a play in Pyrenees

How does this sound?

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:10 pm

Sounds very good to me.
Just need to get home and check out a few dates and can then confirm thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:14 am

How about …

While Gary (wideformat4x4) sees his friends
Tembo/Tom Mc could get the ferry to Santander
head south down near Burgos to see some of Tom's Spanish friends
meet Gary at Malaga
Malaga - Melilla ferry
drive Morocco
Nador - Almeria ferry
drive north through Tabernas to see Mini-Hollywood in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
continue north up though Huescar in Andalucia
then north to Cuenca and up through “Parque Natural del Alto Tajo
then maybe up to the ‘dust bowl’ (Parque Natural de las Bardenas Reales) just north of Tudela
then a last-minute play in the Picos de Europa National Park

www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/travel/brittany-ferries-to-santander/7881532/The-stunning-Picos-de-Europa-in-Northern-Spain-via-Santander-with-Brittany-Ferries.html

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PostSubject: Re: North East Morocco?   Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:25 pm

Sounds fine. I am mostly focused on the Morocco portion in terms of studying sat images, maps...so am happy for you to deal with Spain. Maybe sometime in the new year you, Gary and I (and anyone else who may decided to come along) can meet up and do some more planning over a pint or two...

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