Morocco 2023 Photo Diary

Short travel diary excerpts, photos and videos from the road.

Morocco 2023 Photo Diary

A weekend in Tangier

We didn't see a whole lot of Tangier outside the medina, where there were loads of kittens. Proof:


Tangier to Meknes

I spent the morning and afternoon in Tangier with Dan having a few coffees, a tea and late lunch, sitting by a roundabout just outside the Medina. My plan to get to Azrou was now too ambitious so I adjusted the target to Meknes instead, some 130km closer.


After leaving Tangier, it was a head-down ride and I made it Meknes just after sunset. The latter half of the N27 was enjoyable but Meknes itself was unremarkable. A quick walk in the evening and I was in bed ready for the long ride to the desert tomorrow.

Meknes to the Sahara's Erg Chebbi dunes.

The morning starts riding up the Mid-Atlas range, with a covering of snow on either side of the road. The road itself was buttery smooth.

Some say that the bike detracts from the photos but I ignore these haters. This photo is definitely richer for having the CRF in shot.

The very same road took me into the desert, the landscape changing every few hours until I was riding through sand in the Sahara by around 5pm that evening.

The last 15km took over an hour as I battled through sand dunes before accepting defeat and retreating to the slightly firmer, packed sand that was marked on the map as a road.

A Dutch couple saw my arrival at the camp and were interested to hear more about the trip. I joined them for dinner as we traded stories about our travels - mine on the bike and theirs in a Ducato camper van.

As the stars came out, the fire was lit and we enjoyed some traditional Berber singing courtesy of Hamid (or "Ali Baba" as he referred not only to himself but also to me and Peter) along with a percussion band. As the night ended, only a handful of us remained around the fire trading Italian, French, English, Dutch and Berber jokes, riddles and stories.

Back to the mountains from the desert

In the morning, most of the group set off from the camp by camel - I am told that it's even less comfortable than being on a CRF 250. But first, we tried our hand (legs?) at snow boarding down a sand dune.

Good morning from the desert.

After getting out of the dunes of Erg Chebbi, I made a detour to the limestone cliff of Gara Medouar, suggested by helpful people on the internet. En route I met Bo, a fellow motorcyclist who shared my impeccable taste in bikes. He had been on the road for a few months. Setting off from Denmark, he had shipped his CRF Rally to Malaga, ridden to Mauritania and Western Sahara and was now slowly making his way back through Morocco. We took turns to do this little hill climb:

Of course we had to have a play in the dirt before we left. A convoy of 30+ Italians with every modern adventure bike imaginable looked on as we raced our CRFs up here.
The view from the top of Gara Medouar was spectacular. 

After setting off and saying our goodbyes, I headed towards Todra Gorge while Bo made his way to Errachida.

The night was spent at a nice riad just outside Tinghir. I shared the rest of the bottle of Vermouth I had carried since Spain with Rashid, a very welcoming guy who ran the riad while its owners were away.

Dades Valley & Tizi n Tickha

After setting off that morning, I headed through the Dades Valley. I left the road and followed a dirth path for 20-30 mins before remembering that I was in the middle of nowhere. And while the road I left had disappeared, the mountains in the distance didn't appear to be getting much closer.

I asked a guy where this road went and he just said "the desert". Will come back one day to verify.

I turned around and pressed on to the Tizi n Tichka pass where, as I climbed, it got progressively wetter and colder.

Waterproofs were donned. The road was incomplete in many sections - not GSXR-suitable.

But as I started to descended the pass, I was treated to some of the best road riding I had done in Morocco. With Jet playing in my helmet speakers, I was in the zone. This for me is what biking is really about.

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Returning to civilisation

Not keen to enter Marrakech, I had stayed the night in a family's villa just outside the city. After a customary high-carb, high-sugar Moroccan breakfast, I set off. Instead of high ways, I planned to explore some of the smaller roads on my way to Casablanca.

There were some nice sections where you could just go off road up a hairpin turn instead of going around it.

Reaching Casablanca around 4.30pm I spent an hour or so riding around the city. I decided to ride on another few hours to ease the next day's ride back to Spain and spent the night in Kenitra, which I would recommend for a one-night stop en route to Tangier.

On my evening walk - there was a great energy to the little city.

Back to Tangiers and on to Malaga

After enjoying a delicious breakfast at the hotel in Kenitra, I was on the road to Tangier. Avoiding the tolls and drudgery of the high way, I took the N1 for most of the way back, enjoying the changing scenery and passing through small towns. Wih a view of the Atlantic coast on my left, the road through Assilah was especially remarkable. Shortly after, I was back at Tangier Ville port where the adventure began - with a considerably dirtier CRF.

At Tangier-Ville a driverless truck with an xray arm scans vehicles before entering the ferry.

Tarifa to Malaga via Ronda

I would reach Tarifa just an hour later and head to Torreguadiaro for the night.

Just the hotel's basic room with a view.

The next day I had planned a fantastic twisty mountain route up and down from Ronda. A place that I mostly wanted to visit because it reminded me of Rhonda Cynon Taf in Wales. It too was steeped in history, having been ruled by a Berber king at one point.

The view from the "new bridge" in Ronda, built in the 1700s.

As I left Ronda, I stopped for lunch at a delightful roadside restaurant. As I parked up I saw two BMW GSs - but not like the ones you see on alpine passes in Germany or Switzerland. These bikes were dirty enough to rival the Rally. I joined the two bikers for lunch and we started trading stories over food and coke. Afterwards Jesus and Myka showed me some mountain roads and we rode togeher on to Malaga.

This story ends on the road to Malaga.