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 NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...

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Tembo
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PostSubject: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Wed May 06, 2015 6:52 pm

Well, our second trip is done. Other than Gary, who is still wandering around Southern Europe with the missus, we are all back home. It was a good trip, but definitely a different experience than our last 2013 trip. Below is a quick summary of the trip, some lessons learned and final thoughts. I am sure each of the group will add their own thoughts.

Trip Overview...

-Six vehicles with 10 people met up in Tarifa, Spain after making their separate ways down. We always stay at Torre de la Pena campsite as it has good facilities and a nice beach bar that looks over at the Moroccan coast. Two of the six vehicles made it no further than Tarifa as one of them had a clutch release bearing go and the other chose to stay behind with them and cross later. Four vehicles crossed, paying between €180 and €230 for open return tickets (higher figure for two passengers in a truck).

-Crossed on a Sunday and drove to Chefchouen campsite when it was discovered Morocco, unlike most Muslim countries considers Sunday a weekend day (many have their weekend on Fri-Sat). Since foreign vehicle insurance is not available in Chefchouen, we returned to M'Diq on Monday and went to the Zurich Insurance office. This is a good spot as you can park in a large parking lot by the beach in front of the Blue Sky restaurant, walk across the street to change money and four small blocks back is the Zurich Insurance company...passing a really nice bakery!

-Drove to Taza by small mountain roads, stopping one night in a pine forest littered with the garbage from locals. After a resupply at Taza supermarket, we headed out into desert for first night, camped by old railway station. High winds and cold saw us eating inside Tembo's large tipi tent when we were visited by local police to register us in the district. Very friendly, despite miserable weather.

-Crossed fun desert terrain heading east to Marhirija where we explored a very cool Foriegn Legion fort before climbing up the donkey cart track to the Rekkam plateau. Spent next couple of days crossing the Rekkam, again facing high winds and our first sand storm. Eventually emerged in Tendrara for a resupply then south east again across rough desert headed for the dry lakebed of Chott Tigri. Found our first small sand dunes and had a good practice driving and getting stuck in them. After reaching the dry lakebed, we turned back westward and headed for Bou Arfa for another quick resupply. We headed south to the old WWII train station built to serve POW camps to spend the night but found it is now a squatter camp and moved on.

-Next phase took us west through Korima Pass to inspect the 'tomb' we spotted in 2013. Turned out to be a natural feature but was a good hike. Next couple of days took us west and then south to Boudenib where we had a rest day at the well run Rekkam camp run by two Frenchmen. After weathering a fierce thunderstorm and finishing all the beer in the bar, we headed SW along Algerian border again towards Erg Chebbi. Crossed some really challenging terrain in the badlands there before arriving at Erg Chebbi. We had a quick play in the small dunes at the edges before topping up with fuel and circling over the east side of the Erg to escape the clouds of touts on motorcycles.

-Two more vehicles turned back at this point for mechanical reasons, heading for the tar. They then checked out Todra gorge on the way back to Chefchouen and the ferry to Spain. The remaining two vehicles carried on crossing the eastern side of the dunes and the following a series of dry lake beds and wadis towards Erg Chegaga. However, after two days and increasingly hostile weather (high winds, thunderstorms, sandstorms and lightning) we also turned back north and found a campsite outside Erfoud to sit out the storms. From here the last two vehicles worked their way north through the Atlas mountains on small tar roads and some remote tracks. At one point, following a mountain track, we crossed 7,600 ft of altitude. But we were still hounded by bad weather and storms all the way to Chefchouen.

-Crossing back into Spain, we met up with the two who had turned back at Erg Chebbi and after a end of trip celebration, all made our way back towards the UK.

Lessons Learned...

- From our experience, an autumn trip at the end of the dry season is far more likely to result in good weather than a spring trip at the end of the wet season.
- Never cross into Morocco at Cueta on a sat/sun as insurance is not available.
- Weight is still critical in both getting across the terrain, not damaging your truck's suspension, and enjoying the long days of driving. Heavy, or overloaded vehicles will shake themselves apart on the rough, rocky sections and bog down in the sand.
- Plan a good rest day for every 3 days in the desert. The people and vehicles need time for maintenance.

Final thoughts...

- Again, I truly enjoyed taking Tembo on this trip. Top off, windscreen strapped down on the back deck made the trip immensely enjoyable. Tembo actually averaged 28 mpg over the 4000 miles of the trip...which is pretty good for a 2.5 na diesel usually expected to deliver 21 mpg.
- I still have the video of the trip to produce and a possible magazine article, so it hasn't really ended yet.
- Not sure if a return to Morocco is in the cards, but Erg Chegaga, the coast and Western Sahara are still there if I decide to go again.

Now, over to the others....
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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Wed May 06, 2015 9:01 pm

A couple of pics...




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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Tue May 12, 2015 7:04 am

Think you've covered all the bases with the update James.
As mentioned I'm still on my way back and expect to reach the UK on Saturday the 16th of May.

Although dogged by a few niggley issues the 110 still plods along.

I'm now convinced the excess noise is an exhaust problem and not gearbox as originally thought but that said I'm waiting to be proved wrong.
I'm still having suspension problems on really rough roads and track which I now believe is down to the shocks and spring not being compatible (there's a lot to be said for keeping overland trucks as standard as possible) with the extra weight of two people and extra luggage, food stores etc the problem is being highlighted and is now showing up as a see sawing front and aft although nowhere as bad as the corrugated Moroccan tracks.

Can't wait to see the video and hopefully read the mag article.

See you all at the Adventure Overland show in September

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Tue May 12, 2015 8:44 am

"clouds of touts" ... brilliant!

Great report. Adventurous as ever Tembo. As you say, there's plenty more out there.

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sun May 17, 2015 7:57 pm

Well arrived home late yesterday evening, the 110 made it although the alternator decided to give up the ghost on the A34 about 15 miles from home and stopped charging the battery.

We had to make a detour and miss out on the alps and our trip through the Italian passes and lakes. But hey that's another trip possible next year adding on Greece and maybe a bit of island hoping. Also we missed a week off the end if the trip due to the wife having an interview for a new job but again needs must.

Main thing now is a strip down and evaluate what needs doing to the truck looks like alternator and exhaust are the starting points and I have a few ideas to improve the bed and storage arrangements.

Glad all made it back home safe and sound and I reckon a meet up and debrief over a pub lunch is in order.

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sun May 17, 2015 9:28 pm

Glad your back safe and sound
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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sun May 17, 2015 11:28 pm

I am always up for a pub lunch! Would be a good way to swap pics and videos as well.

Looks like my after trip repairs will be limited to a new rear seal on the transfer case output and replacing turn signal switch. Oh, and one more tyre tube to swap out.

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Mon May 18, 2015 1:17 am

Glad to here all safely home now, seems we all have some work to do on are motors, thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Fri May 29, 2015 4:28 am

Well that's the alternator sorted not sure whether to go mild steel or stainless for the exhaust.

Then its back to re-work the storage area in the rear.

Is anyone going to Billing this year would be good to have a catch up or failing that a pub lunch at some point.


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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Fri May 29, 2015 10:21 am

I'll be there, although I'll be pretty useless with the catch up! Pub lunch still sounds good though.

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Fri May 29, 2015 7:21 pm

I will be there going up on the Monday before the show would be good to catch up and see what l missed
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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sat May 30, 2015 4:14 pm

Finally got all the video footage all together, so starting on the Youtube short version now. Will let you know when it is ready to view. I won't be at Billing again this year as I will likely be in Canada over that period. C'est la vie.

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sat May 30, 2015 4:27 pm

So, a month after getting back, I can say fairly reliably that my post trip repairs were pretty minimal. I replaced my turn signal unit (£19) which seized up with sand and dust. Thought my rear transfer case oil seal and flange had gone, but turned out that the big nylock nut had worked itself loose...so replaced the felt washer and nut (£5) and all good. Luckily no oil leaked onto parking brake shoes, so no need to replace. Got a bit of a crack on the front exhaust muffler where the exhaust pipe enters...probably a bit too much shaking cross country...so will seal that up and add another bracket to support it better. Biggest expense was an oil change. Not bad for a 29-year-old truck that is all original drive train, with OE suspension, brakes, cooling etc...which is also my daily driver. I do love my truck!

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sat May 30, 2015 9:34 pm

Just goes to show. What a shame Land Rover let Toyota take over Africa.

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:18 am

Hi finally got round to write a report on our (aboourted) Morocco trip, have tyred to post some some photos but no luck,
don't know if it is because I am using a tablet or not, but will try later. clinking teacups


Morocco trip 2015
Went down to meet Ian & Jackie,in Kent, set off for Dover and over to Dunkirk, drove down looking for a place to park up, follow sign to camp site it was closed, big green outside guy said we could stay there for the night. Set off next day decided not to use auto routes, found a nice place for lunch but the wind had followed us from Scotland, that night saw a sign for a site but again closed but was able to park up first 2 nights free.
But had to pay for most on the way down through France into Spain sun shining but still the wind, always stop at lunch time also mid morning for tea, always looking for some where to stay about 4.30pm. Some cheap some dear, but always got a shower, only problem was wacky on a long climb temperature used to rise just once had to stop before the top to let it cool down. Was going to look in to going to visit Gibraltar but when we got there was a long que could not find a campsite near so headed to Terifa campsite, Ian was getting low on diesel and was getting a bit late, so parked up to wait for the other guys to a arrive.
Was surprised to see so many Discovery1 2 door motors around Gibraltar, and sort hen Spain.
John, Gary, Steve and James + son, Thursday afternoon, I decided to go into Algeciras to top up with food, just pulling out of the gate and bang no clutch, got it into low range and back to site, phoned Britannia rescue and got motor into garage in Terifa as it was Friday would not look at it till Monday. They said it was the clutch so they had to order one 2 days wait, but they ended up taking gearbox out three times because the kept braking some thing else, was in there for ten days, well fed up, Dilys happy laying on the beach and in a hotel, it was good of Ian and Jackie to stay with us, I said that they could go, with the others, but we did say at the start if one of us broke down the other one would stay. Just before we got motor back Ian & Jackie had received a call from home very small problem so we decided to give Morocco a miss, so when we got wacky back decided it would be quicker to go back via Santander so off we set after checking prices Bilbao was the best bet, although it was a bit too much for us so when we got there we set off to Dunkirk. We remembered that friends had a place in Britany so gave them a call, and said it was OK to up, even as it was short notice, so we stayed with them for 4 days weather was great, then off home because we were 3 days early at Dunkirk they made us pay full fare to go over to Dover
We stayed the night in Dover then set of to see a friend in Wales but he was away so change of plan up to Blackpool to see daughter and granddaughter stoped at service for comfort stop, just about to leave when guy in a Discovery 2 walked over and asked if he could take some photos of wacky we said yes, we did spent a few days in Blackpool that is where found out that I had lost my phone it did have some good photos on, then off to Edinburgh to see older daughter and son, had a night with them, off up to Stonehaven to see number two son an older granddaughter, two days there then off home.

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:50 pm

10 days, that wasn't funny. Fair play to Ian & Jackie for staying the course, although I don't suppose any of you expected it to be that long. Been in that situation myself, one day drags into the next, and so it goes on. Bet you wish you still had your Discovery 3, that I recall was super reliable.

So what was it in the end, the clutch plate breaking up or simply the rod through the clutch fork?

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:52 pm

They said clutch was worn, so changed that, then putting it back that damaged the seal, put it back again and broke the little round ring that goes in the hole where the gearbox spline goes into the back of the engine, hope you understand what I mean. Told them I was only paying them for the one gearbox in and out.
Trying to claim our hotel bill and Ian and Jakie's camping charges, not having a lot of luck yet, still trying.

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PostSubject: Re: NE Morocco 2015 hot wash up...   Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:14 am

9 times out of 10 they'll try to wriggle out of it, just keep on fighting.


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