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Marrakech to Agadir-Tizi-n-Test Pass

October 8, 2017

The Tizi-n-Test Pass is yet another road, through the High Atlas Mountains, that was constructed by the French in the 1930s. It links Marrakech to the town of Taroudannt,

Tizi-n-Test Pass

through 200kms of mountain road. During the winter it can be cut off through rockfalls and heavy snow. As the road climbs steeply upwards, we were aware that we were ascending the highest mountain in North Africa. There were severe rock formations on one side, but we were riding on the right hand side of the road, where a precipitous drop was an ominous presence.

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Marrakech-Part II- Marjorelle Garden-Food Poisoning!

October 8, 2017

We found the Majorelle quite by accident. It is a small garden but has so much packed into it, without feeling over’crowded. There are prickly cactus plants and min landscapes, with a plethora of colours. It was the work of Jacques Majorelle and was opened in 1947. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé purchased it in 1980, as it had been threatened with destruction by speculators.

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Marrakech-Medina-Quartiers-Seven Towers

September 29, 2017

Souks are a maze of alleys and narrow streets, and it’s easy to get lost unless you keep your eye on the location of various landmarks. We noticed in Marrakech that various alleys in the souks contained the same trades and it was along the herbalists’ section that we met Imam Souhaili, a local trader specialising in herbs, spices, creams and ointments, perfumes and oils. He managed to sell us some hibiscus tea and pressed a brochure into our hands. This gentleman had an amazing knowlege of what herbs and oils to use for specific medical problems. It was from him that I first heard about argan oil, a superb oil that is indigenous to Morocco.

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Ouarzazate-Marrakech-Tizi-n-Tichka Pass

September 27, 2017

The French Foreign Legion has to come into our story somewhere, and sure enough, today we were to cross the High Atlas via the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, a road constructed by them in 1931. It loops and twists it’s way along exposed ridges reaching a height of 7,415ft (11,933km). The summit consists of twists and turns in every direction, the surrounding mountains often seeming to be contained in a haze. The Tizi-n-Ichka pass is important in that it connects the cities of Ouarzazate and Marrakech. This was another stunning, magnificent route.

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Erfoud-Ouarzazate & The Dadès & Todra River gorges

September 25, 2017

Because our leader had been deprived of his maps he had to remember the roads to follow. It wasn’t long before he decided to head through the mountains on a more minor road. Unfortunately, after riding several pot-holed miles, it was to discover the road had collapsed during a winter storm, so we had to wend our weary way back to the main road. Again, the group had inevitably split, the main phalanx disappearing into the distance. The Chief Biker, now to be known as “The Baron,” stopped to take some photos but by the time we returned to Vera there were only two bikes left. Which way to go? We eased our way across a ford and edged slowly along the bumpy track for a couple of miles, when we spotted the other married couple in our group waiting at a crossroads. They had realised we weren’t with the

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Midelt-Erfoud (140 miles approximately)

September 24, 2017

In order to cut through the mountains, the French colonial troops (who else?!!!), during the 1930s, constructed the Tunnel de Légionnaire. This created a pass through the mountains to the Ziz Valley below. As the road sweept downwards in a series of flowing bends, a biker’s dream, we could admire the pinkish coloured rock and the fact that the river Ziz had carved it’s way through the mountains creating the gorges below.

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Fes-Midelt (Aprroximately 180 miles)

September 22, 2017

It was with regret that we left Fes, heading south into the Moyen, Middle Atlas Moutains. Next stop the town of Midelt. The scenery was wild and very beautiful. I understand few visitors explore this part of Morocco, so it remains largely unaffected by all the detritus of tourism. The population, unsurprisingly, is sparse. There were great forests of cedar along with some very desolate scenery.

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Images – Fes

September 22, 2017

I have many photos of Fes and I would like to share them with anyone who might be interested, so here goes:

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Chefchaouen-Fes (160 miles approx.)

September 20, 2017

Day 7 Chefchaouen is a great base from which to tour the Rif Mountains.  However,  the imperial city of Fes was beckoning, so  we headed out on foot to the dirt car-park where we had left our bikes in the care of a local man overnight, praying that nothing would have been stolen.  Yes, well…the […]

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Granada to Tarifa to Chefchaouen (240 miles approx)

July 9, 2017

Eventually, we found ourselves in a line of traffic. The Chief Biker’s enthusiasm to overtake a caravan got the better of him. Impatiently, he revved the engine, pulled out and blasted past the offending vehicle. He manoeuvered the bike back into the correct lane, where the centre line became a double white line. Within seconds, he was to discover the Spanish Traffic Police lurking at the bottom of the hill. A beckoning hand appeared as if from nowhere and he was directed into the central reservation area. The Police handed the Chief Biker a ticket and ordered him to pay a fine of 60 euros.

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