Parts One and Two here.
As 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.
Southwest American roadhouse an hour out of Ouarzazate. Even that boulder by the sign is fibreglass and wire.
Being an actor, Patrick knows a lot about about working behind bars.
Outside, desiccated, severed limbs swing in the desert sun.
There’s even a Wall of Death, but not the fairground one where a bloke rides round and round until he gets dizzy.
Chubby-cheeked babies charred by a nuclear experiment that went tragically wrong. Or something like that.
Lunch in Agdz – pronounced like ‘Agadez’ in Niger.
Rob takes a swing on the Husky.
Mustapha leads us to a viewpoint over Agdz palmerie with the Draa river in there somewhere. We’re riding up that hill tomorrow.
We arrive at the lovely Ksar Jenna on Nekob westside. We’re spending two nights here.
Night falls over Nekob.
Inside, following another fine feast, the Kindles glow.
Next day Rob, Andy and I take a ride up MH14 ‘Sarhro West’ which I tried last year on the BMW 650 twin.
Patrick is doing his own thing today on the Sertao and Andy snatched his XR250 before I could.
We stop for a tea and snack at the last dwelling up the valley. Hassan sits with young Ahmed in his woolly hoodie.
At the summit junction, KM46, I invoke the droite d’accompagnateur and depose Andy from the XR250.
Undaunted, 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.
Once it drops off the plateau this piste proves to be as spectacular and exposed as I imagined. Morocco at its best.
Back on the N12 road a short distance out of Nekob, another palm-ringed kasbah shimmers in the crepuscular glow.
And another lavish breakfast at Ksar Jenna.
Today we’re moving on, off up the well-known 112-km piste over Jebel Sarhro to Tinerhir; MH4.
Just a week on a dirt bike and Patrick already has his arse-end aflame.
A 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.
This was all the ‘camping’ we could manage.
A coke stop near the pass.
Up 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.
We 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.
Maybe better in the spring when I was here last time. Even then, we enjoy a fabulous cous-cous feast huddled by an electric heater.
Next 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.
Our 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.
So 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.