View Full Version : Morocco by Mog, a few months overlanding
02-08-2012, 08:52 AM
My wife and I are overlanding in Morocco, exploring as many nooks and crannies as we can. this is a shakedown trip for later this year when we go to South America with our truck.
We are currently in Zagora, which is the edge of what many might call the Sahara "proper". The people and friendly, the days warm and sunny with clear blue skies, and the nights cool to cold, which is great for sleeping.
To see a bit of the saharan piste driving, we have a few video's on youtube, here is a link to one of them: http://youtu.be/WurRJPhp2J4
and there are many photos on the blog, www.moglander.com
02-10-2012, 06:03 PM
Morocco is turning out to have some spectacular views. The trick is getting to reach them. So far so good!
Jim K in PA
02-14-2012, 01:24 PM
Great place, great images, great trip. Thanks for sharing.
02-14-2012, 02:53 PM
Great photos. Have you been to M'Hamid yet? There are some really nice desert tracks there.
02-14-2012, 11:26 PM
Thanks for the comments folks!
Yes, we went through M'Hamid yesterday. We cycled through Mhamid and got a feel for the place, then took the mog through when we were moving on. We've a few nice images from the tracks from M'Hamid to post about shortly.
We did spot a pretty tired old series Landrover when going by a place called "the source". We stuck a small Irish flag on it, and wished it well and drove on. I'd love to know the story behind it though!
02-15-2012, 12:30 AM
There is a fantastic Tuareg camp just east of M'Hamid.
Images: Nathan Hindman (who I traveled with in this region)
02-16-2012, 08:16 PM
This is the piste just coming out of M'Hamid. Every 50 or 100 feet, there is a choice of at least 2 or 3 tracks, some rocky, some nice, and some with deep sand that wants to swallow you whole and seems to have the ability to suck out every horsepower your engine if fit to develop. And at each of these choices you dont even have time to stop and look for the best route as momentum is king, if you are on the soft stuff, you cannot afford to stop.
GPS tracks are only of so much value to follow. The wind moves the sand so fast that what was a great track one month, could be the track from hell the next. Each driver has to decide for himself what track to take. I guess that's what makes it so much fun!
02-20-2012, 12:05 AM
We've traveled a bit more North, and are following some trails in the Atlas mountains. These are a stunning range of mountains, with many tracks that can bring you all over the place. Some of these tracks can be pretty narrow as we learned today!
We decided to wild camp on the trail we took, and it was nice and sunny the day before, and we had a very mild evening, then we woke up to this:
It wasn't especially cold, just a little below freezing, but with the wind chill, it felt pretty cold when I got out to take a few photos. Still, we plan to get to the coast within the next 2 weeks, so that should be a lot warmer, with no surprises!
Looks fun. That narrow track looks scary, but maybe it's the wide lens eh?
02-20-2012, 12:50 PM
what a great trip thanks for sharing.
02-21-2012, 05:07 AM
The wide angle lens sure does help the dramatics, but it still was not too wide in spots. And in other places, 2 40 foot trucks could have passed with ease.
Sarah has written up a blog post about the trip across, it pretty much stuck with MH6 route from Chris Scott's book of overland routes in Morocco. Much of that route is simply stunning!
02-22-2012, 11:28 AM
In Morocco, you are certainly not short on getting fresh veggies and fruit. Just it's not like shopping as it was at home. The best bet is the large markets, known as Souks where it's all on display, and you can wander between different stalls to pick what you like. It's usually around that time that we decide what's for Dinner!
Sarah wrote up a description of what it's like on the moglander blog (http://moglander.com/?p=567), And I put in a few photos.
03-09-2012, 10:30 AM
Well, we have had an eventful few weeks. We got some modifications made to our truck, in the form of a large step that attaches outside the door, then a new ladder that goes up to that. Our old ladder has been creaking and groaning for a while, and it was a matter of time before it died. We got the work done locally, and it cost us 300 dirhams, which is about $40 (rough guess). The quality of the work is fine, but when you look at the facilities they have, then I have to give them 10 out of 10 for their "make it work" attitide! This blog post (http://moglander.com/?p=632) shows the step being made.
BUT: While I had disconnected all the batteries (truck and domestic), I did'nt disconnect the solar panels, and the welding fried the solar controller. Ouch. This meant we could'nt stay parked idle for more than 1 night outside of a camp site with electic hookup, so we decided to get a new one as soon as we could. Now you might think that Morocco is not the place to have problems with electronic gear, but it is the perfect place to look for solar stuff! We went to a little shop, about 6 feet by 8 feet in size, and 20 minutes later we had a replacement solar controller, which is the exact same size of wiring configuration as the old one. 20 minutes later, we were done!
Anyway, a few photos of stuff we've seen:
Huge blue rocks painted by a Belgium artist, near Tafaroute.
Shipwreck on the beach, not far from Sidi Ifni
Enduro time! When staying in FBJ, a multi-day bike race stayed over as they stay in different places each night. The following morning they had a taped off special test where it's the fastest man wins. There were some pretty quick guys there!
03-14-2012, 11:21 PM
Sarah was asked on facebook what was the food like. So, she wrote a post about what we've been eating (http://moglander.com/?p=846). I've also been playing with a plugin that displays our tracks on the blog, so there is a post there about that too.
As to our progress, we're now heading back up north, our time in Morocco is coming to an end in a few weeks, so we don't want to be at the wrong end of the country.
03-27-2012, 12:54 AM
We've posted up a bunch of photos of overland trucks that we've met along the way. And some local rigs.
As a sample...
More photos here (http://www.moglander.com/?p=959).
03-28-2012, 10:37 PM
Very, very interesting! What an amazing place to be. Please keep the updates coming! Checking the blog out now...
04-04-2012, 11:24 PM
I know loads of folk love their toys, and none more than me. I love to have a decent gps and a good stereo in whatever vehicle I drive. However, my navigator is in charge of all things navigational, so has decided on maps.
And I dont blame her. You just cannot beat the look of a well used map.
And while we're at it, this blogging lark may not catch on, we may be sticking with the Journals:
So, on to my question. How many folks have gone back over journals of trips they have been on? And how much detail do you record? We've posted up a couple of days worth of the Journal, it looks like this (http://moglander.com/?p=1038): I'm interested to know because we dont want to finish off 2 year travelling, then figure out we've not recorded some info we're interested in.
We have a separate simple log of daily mileage, fuel usage and service records.
04-15-2012, 12:25 PM
Well, our Moroccan adventure is almost at and end. We've spent a pretty quiet couple of weeks travelling up the west coast to be ready to sail for Spain before out Visa's run out. We did take a detour to Marrakech which was well worth it. I'm not a very keen city person, but thought this was fun. The night market has to be experienced to be believed!
And the Souk (Markets) are like a maze, with just about anything you care to look for available somewhere. And most things delivered by Donkey or bicycle.
Somewhere in this tiny shop is my wife...
We've met some other overlanders, some with different priorities on what you might like to bring with you in your truck...
The local transport is almost always overloaded, even the rowing boats used as ferries.
The next step in our trip is to spend a few months in Spain to learn Spanish. Then the big step - South America or Bust!
05-02-2012, 09:07 PM
We are back in Spain now, and have spent a few days looking back on our Moroccan Adventure. We've listed the highs and lows on our blog (http://moglander.com/?p=1153), but a few things are of specific interest to any 4x4 folks thinking of spending some time there.
1. Heavy duty 4x4 gear is only required on some routes, which can be bypassed. 80% of the places we went could be done in a 2wd vehicle, and 95% could be done in a stock 4x4. Some stuff pushed us a little, meaning we had to let the tyres down and engage all the lockers. We were paranoid about not getting stuck as we travelled alone, and unless we met another heavy truck, most vehicles were not going to be able to pull us out. Anyway, my point is, you can visit this country easily in any vehicle. Our photos are naturally going to be of the more extreme stuff, pics of flat roads are not that interesting!
2. Diesel is cheap, oil changes are possible, but bring your own filters. We changed the oil quite often (every 3000km). our average distance per day of driving was 110km. The max distance we did on any day was about 230km, but we had very few days we did over 200km. We were on the smaller roads and pistes as much as we could as they were prettier, but that meant driving slowly. Watch this in your planning!
3. Diesel is availble just about everywhere. The furthest we went without buying fuel was about 500km, and 5 days. For most vehicles, that's probably possible. With a bit of planning, you could have a shorter maximum distance without fuel.
4. Navigation can be tricky, be sure to have your maps and gps points all set up before you go.
5. wifi is hard to come by, and it's never all that fast. Buy a maroc telecom usb stick when you arrive, and for €20 or so, you'll have the web for a month.
More stuff on the blog post, but I'll just wrap up by saying it's an amazing country, with super people. Just go!
05-03-2012, 01:21 AM
That photo with the reflection in the mirror is fantastic, and all I could think of seeing the piano were two things: I hope it is well secured(!) and how on earth do they keep it tuned considering how much bouncing around it must do, even if always on roads! Good on them for focussing on obvious passions: surfing and music.
Regarding the journaling, I've been transcribing some of mine from a few years ago and whilst I love rereading them I am universally disappointed with myself for the lack of detail that I included. Lots of thoughts on local politics and emotions and adventures and the odd liaison, but startlingly little on the minutiae. I guess I never anticipated the degree with which the details would fade, so now I find myself looking at photos of people I travelled with or places I went and I struggle to recall the names and stories behind some of them. Obviously there is a limit to how much you can spend scrawling in a journal but for my next long travels I am definitely planning to be more diligent with the details even though it can become wearisome at the time.
A blog is for friends and family (and travel-starved adventure-voyeurs) to follow what you've been up to and that you are safe, the journal is what you will treasure in 20-30 years.
05-03-2012, 01:30 AM
Oh, and as a side thought, have you looked into doing/continuing your Spanish classes in South or Central America where they are generally much (much much) cheaper. I did classes on and off in both Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) and Quito that helped my communications considerably, and didn't leave me with a lithp (lisp). Many (most?) native Latino speakers chuckle at the continental pronunthiathion. :)
The quality was very good. If I go back I'd probably attend a school in Cusco next, just to give me an excuse to spend more time there.
05-03-2012, 04:16 AM
I kept a journal when backpacking in Europe for 2 months. Just a generic notebook. If I had a great story, I wrote it down, but mostly it listed my thoughts on features and sights, names of pubs, monuments and restaurants to visit again. Useful information, cost of goods, lots of stuff. I didn't really put down emotions.
My blog is for the people. Emotions, action. Sometimes talking it up to make it exciting even though it was a fire trail in the desert ;)
05-05-2012, 10:03 PM
HumphreyBear: Good tip on the classes, we will most likely do some in SA, but we want to have enough Spanish to get into the country and feed ourselves till we get to a class :-) Right now, we can order beer, some food, ask the price of things (but not understand all the possible answers, we're ok at stuff costing up to 9 euros....).
SWbySWesty: good way to look at the Journal.
I think we might need a bit more detail in the Journal, I hope to blog is pitched about right. I know some of the photos are probably not hard core travel / truck / gear related, but they are what we saw when traveling, so in they go!
05-06-2012, 09:54 AM
I hope to blog is pitched about right. I know some of the photos are probably not hard core travel / truck / gear related, but they are what we saw when traveling, so in they go!
I am enjoying your blog and thread as to me your reports are what ExPo is about. I don't care much for the build threads and weekend trips, though I do read them for ideas, but I come to ExPo for exactly what you guys are doing, so thank you. :)
05-06-2012, 10:42 AM
The windmill is much better in B&W Merv. Keep up the good work.
How are you finding posting all your bits in several places? is it time consuming? or have you managed to link most of them/cut and paste etc.
I noticed posts here/the hubb/D44/your blog/facebook... any I missed!? :)
Hope your both well.
05-06-2012, 03:04 PM
LOL, Yes, we do post about a bit. I know when we were researching to do the trip, and by research, I mean reading every scrap of info we could get our hands on from renting out the house, choosing a vehicle, choosing countries to visit, visas, money, health....
We've a few bits on Jupiters Travels, flickr, and a few Irish photography sites I'm a member of.
We write for each one separately, as each has a different audience, with different interests (or at least, I think they do!). And we dont write on each one all the time, I guess we should be a bit more structured in all of that.
Both doing fine, but caught a hiccup in the cooling system, and have a ruptured hose that needs fixing. Luckily we are in Madrid, which I'm sure I'll get everything I need. We can still drive as we've bypassed the leak, but we have no hot water in the camper.
05-22-2012, 08:30 PM
Well, we are now booked onto 2 different spanish courses as we've other things to fit in. Sarah is a major Tennis fan, and is heading off to Paris to watch some of the French open in Rolland Garros. So 2 separate shorted courses it is. We managed to arrange them in smaller rural locations where we can stay in our truck to keep the costs down.
We got to see some great stuff in Spain so far. in Madrid, they have some fantastic graffiti (as well as loads of serious stuff).
And unimogs for sale as photography tour buses (This is just south of Madrid)
And really cool Dutch camping trucks.
Anyways, more photos over on the blog at www.moglander.com
07-30-2012, 03:41 PM
As we're at the end of the first leg of our trip, I thought I'd do a quick update. We've travelled from Spain via France to Italy where we got some mechanical issues sorted (http://moglander.com/?p=1493), and from there via France to Luxemburg for some cheap diesel. After there we visited some friends in Belgium (http://moglander.com/?p=1517), and are now parked about 50 miles from Omaha beach in Normandy where the WWii landings were made.
We sail from Le Havre port in France to Montevideo in Uruguay next week, and it's about a 3 week trip so the next time we're online here we hope to be in South America, and a whole new chapter starts!
07-30-2012, 05:29 PM
So the Morocco thing caught my attention.........it's on my to do list. Now South America. Just subscribed since I love South America as well having been there (7) times. Be safe and look forward to more posts. Thanks.
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