Ten Days in Morocco ~ Husky • Sertao • XR ~ Final part

Parts One and Two here.
mk3-01As two of the group are actors and Americans, from Tazenacht we take an excursion north to Gas Haven, a surviving film set from a 2006 remake of Wes Craven’s 1970s mutant hillbilly slasher The Hills Have Eyes. If nothing else it’s a great ride north through the Tizi n Bachkoum pass, chasing Andy on the Sertao.

mk3-02Southwest American roadhouse an hour out of Ouarzazate. Even that boulder by the sign is fibreglass and wire.

mk3-03Being an actor, Patrick knows a lot about about working behind bars.

mk3-04Outside, desiccated, severed limbs swing in the desert sun.

mk3-05There’s even a Wall of Death, but not the fairground one where a bloke rides round and round until he gets dizzy.

mk3-06Chubby-cheeked babies charred by a nuclear experiment that went tragically wrong. Or something like that.

mk3-07Lunch in Agdz – pronounced like ‘Agadez’ in Niger.

mk3-08Rob takes a swing on the Husky.

mk3-09Mustapha leads us to a viewpoint over Agdz palmerie with the Draa river in there somewhere. We’re riding up that hill tomorrow.

mk3-10We arrive at the lovely Ksar Jenna on Nekob westside. We’re spending two nights here.

mk3-11Night falls over Nekob.

mk3-12Inside, following another fine feast, the Kindles glow.

mk3-13Next day Rob, Andy and I take a ride up MH14 ‘Sarhro West’ which I tried last year on the BMW 650 twin.

mk3-14Patrick is doing his own thing today on the Sertao and Andy snatched his XR250 before I could.

mk3-16We stop for a tea and snack at the last dwelling up the valley. Hassan sits with young Ahmed in his woolly hoodie.

mk3-17At the summit junction, KM46, I invoke the droite d’accompagnateur and depose Andy from the XR250.

mk3-35Undaunted, Andy hurtles off into the afternoon sun on the TR650, following an untried Olaf track which descends to the N9/N12 near the Draa river.

mk3-18Once it drops off the plateau this piste proves to be as spectacular and exposed as I imagined. Morocco at its best.

mk3-20

mk3-21Back on the N12 road a short distance out of Nekob, another palm-ringed kasbah shimmers in the crepuscular glow.

mk3-22And another lavish breakfast at Ksar Jenna.

mk3-23Today we’re moving on, off up the well-known 112-km piste over Jebel Sarhro to Tinerhir; MH4.

mk3-24Just a week on a dirt bike and Patrick already has his arse-end aflame.

mk3-25A rare shot of me on a motorcycle. I’m trying out the Sertao, but on the piste its characteristics are distinctly canine compared to the Terra. Nice engine but feels 20kg heavier.

mk3-26This was all the ‘camping’ we could manage.

mk3-27A coke stop near the pass.

mk3-28Up past Iknioun the track becomes a wide and fast motorway and I blast along on the Husky in top gear for a while. But the classic piste (MH4) is now in the shadow of the amazing Sarhro West piste we did yesterday.

mk3-29We haul 100km over to Chez Moha at Ait Youb hamlet in the High Atlas. A lovely spot all made of mayd and straw, but a bit chilly compared to what we’re used to.

mk3-30Maybe better in the spring when I was here last time. Even then, we enjoy a fabulous cous-cous feast huddled by an electric heater.

mk3-31Next day a cool morning but I enjoy a fantastic burn up down the Todra Gorge on the Husky, fix a quick nail puncture then we have a lavish grill in Tinerhir. A hundred miles down the road we check into the Vallee hotel in Ouarzazate southside. A little past it prime, but they have wifi and heating and beer and yet more great food.

mk3-32Our room boasts some rather creepy psycho-erotic art. The longer you look at it, the more disturbing it gets. Or perhaps it’s just depicting the desecration of our Mother Earth. Either way, I do believe ‘Salah 07’ might be in dire need of some female company.

Next day, yet more brake warming, bend swinging action over the Tizi n Tichka pass back to Marrakech and a plane home.

mk3-34So there we have it. A great group and a fab time buzzing around Morocco over 10 days enjoying a little bit of everything: cosy lodgings, amazing views, delicious fresh food, all linked by great blacktop and piste. I’ll offer something similar as a tour next November 2014 when the weather seems just right. Have a look at the Tours page around mid-December.

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