Toulouse to Morocco many kms in van/boat

The Journey Begins (20 – 23 April)

Van

After a week or two of manic preparations and last-minute nail-biting waiting for bike bits to arrive from the UK D-day had at last arrived!! I ended up practically rebuilding my bike prior to the trip but will leave that story for another day!!

So early one Tuesday morning I threw my bike in the back of my trailer and set off for Toulouse to find Mat. I live in France in the Dordogne so it only took a couple of hours. On a arriving a little late we quickly did the switch, squashing my kit and bike into Mat’s van ready for the long haul!

Ferry from Sete

We arrived at Sete (the port, South of france) around 4/5 pm and then it was a good few hours before we were loaded on (along with tractors, combine harvesters and a gang of OAP Harley riders) and finally setting sail!! The journey was supposed to be 36 hours from Sete to Tangier but I think it probably took well over 40 hours in all!On the boat we met up with some 4X4 ers –  one of whom had done the Dakar in his 50s on an XR440 ( he only made it to day 5 before his engine blew – never the less I was i awe!!).

Bikes on boat

We did the necessary paper work on the boat and arrived around 1pm in Tangier on 22nd. It took another couple of hours to get out of the port and I very quickly learnt about the baksheesh (unofficial tipping)!! Basically everyone is trying to look official and wants to get hold of your newly exchanged dirham!! Being the tight arse I am I kept hold of mine! Which is maybe why it took us so long to get thro!!

Mat driving

At last we were on our way and driving through the north and  in what the locals apparently thought was a taxi van! This proved to be an amusing and sometimes a slightly worrying experience – we had locals running along side shouting and banging the sides!! Needless to say it was foot to the floor in these type of scenarios!!

AubergeThings start getting dark shortly after 6pm in Morocco so we found an Auberge next to Volubilis (place with old roman ruins) which turn out to be a good choice so we ate our first of many tagines and got a good nights rest! The following day we hit the road again, looking forward to getting shot of the van and getting on with the real business!

Tagine

 

 

After a few more hours of driving we found ourselves being pulled over by the local police for crossing a white line while overtaking something going less than half the speed of a milk float – now a lot of seasoned travelers will tell you that it is normally possible to talk your way out of fines , however, Mat decided to take the approach of pointing out that “the Moroccans have no driving abilities” this didn’t good down too well with the Moroccan cops and even my late offering of a baksheesh didn’t help. So Mat had to pay up before we were allowed to go on our way.

 

Mat and police

 

We finally arrived at Khenifra (our planned base for the van) around 5Pm –  after looking for a cheap hotel and coming up with jack we opted for the most expensive hotel in town which wasnt our plan but it did have secure parking for the van for next 10 days or so which wasnt going to cost extra so we bit the bullet and forked out nearly 700 drams for the night!

Khenifra Hotel

 

We off loaded our kit to our rather plush rooms and then started some last-minute prep to the bikes including changing tyres and fitting luggage to bikes ready for the trails. As once again time was against us we decide not to head out today but instead to give the bikes a real shake down locally!!

Final Prep

After a couple of hours on the trails almost fully loaded we headed back to base to get cleaned up and grab some grub !  We popped out into the town to look for food. It was a non tourist type place so we weren’t hassled at all and found the atmosphere rather laid back.  We ate some local fayre on the street (literally) and were looking forward to hitting the trails the following day!

Back at the hotel we  soon discovered that this hotel had the only disco in town and that our room was directly above it!!

 

Anyway after not much sleep we were up early. We grabbed some coffee and croissants at the a local cafe and soon we were heading on down to El Kebab. The start of our  off-roading!

Details

Hotel near Volubilis

Worked out about 30 euros for room and 5 euros pp for food

Very nice and welcoming atmosphere

http://www.gites-hotes-ombre-des-oliviers-volubilis.com/home.html

Hotel in Khenifra

The Atlas Zayane

Has the only disco in town!! So don’t get a room above disco! Otherwise clean, modern but no atmosphere unless I guess you’re in the disco. You can buy beer here!

We paid 660 dirham for the room which is about 50 euros – but the parking was very secure with guards! And we left the van here the whole ten days. We did leave a tip for the guards! Didnt eat here so can’t comment on food.

There were some restaurants in Khenifra but the part of the town we visited in the evening I think was the poorer part so only side stalls rather than sit down restaurants.

www.hotelsatlas.com

 

CLICK ON MENU TOP RIGHT OF PAGE TO SEE EACH DAY IN DETAIL!!

OR CLICK HERE FOR NEXT PAGE

So on the tuesday morning I threw my bike in the back of my trailer and set off for toulouse to find Mat. On a arrving a little late we quickly di the trailer to van swap and squashed my kit and bike into Mats van ready for the long haul! Mat had also found a large selection of part used
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3 Responses to “Toulouse to Morocco many kms in van/boat”

  1. van pic #1 “There was room for a third one, but no more. We had an opportunity to get tickets for 3 for the price of 2. But the trip was longer than supposed, not at the right schcedule and loading and downloading a nightmare”
    Meal pic: This very first tajine happened to be the best we would have during the trip. This hostel welcomes the bikers and offers facilities for safe parking.
    Kenifra: Meal in town was 7 dr. for 2 veggie burger (a rare local price that was offered to us) in the less touristic street of this non touristic town.
    A tip: always ask for the price before ordering (it is never mentioned) or you’ll pay as much as in Europe…

  2. You are living in Toulouse ??

    • Mat is living in toulouse -I live in the 24 dordogne – are you the author of the deux400xraumaroc blog??? If so this was a big inspiration to me and Mat making the trip this year so big thumbs up!!!

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