We decided to take similar bikes, Ian bought a Triumph 955 ST for the trip and I bought an RS, prep consisted of giving the two bikes a good service and new tyres with goo in them to stop us getting punctures. We left a week before Easter in the freezing cold and pissing rain, kitted up for the Sahara not bloody Scotland. We stopped at Tebay services and I was so cold I spilled half of my tea over myself with uncontrollable shaking. The weather improved past Birmingham and we made good time, arriving at Portsmouth about 3pm (after a 6am start and 540 miles) Problem was the ferry wasn't until 8pm so we found a bar and got soundly pissed, then the ferry was delayed until 11 (I think) so by the time we rode on we weren't really capable of being in charge of ourselves never mind a motorbike. On board we went into party mode, our fellow motorcylists looked at us with disgust and I remember a group from Scotland (brand new GS BMW's and ALL the gear) telling us we'd be lucky to get out of Bilbao. Saturday night turned into almost death by Alcohol poisoning and we never surfaced at all on Sunday, Ian managed to go get a packet of polo's and a bottle of water at 8pm and thats what kept us alive!
Monday morning we got up and got our gear on and felt rather foolish as our fellow motorcyclists laughed and made fun of our lost 24 hours, ignoring them we set off and after a while found ourselves in Marbella having done over 650 miles that day. Dinner in a restaurant and a COUPLE of beers and we were fresh for the short trip to Algeciras to get the ferry to Tangier. That short ferry trip was a weird sensation, Europe to Africa and a different world completely in 2 1/2 hours.
Disembarking in Tangiers was exiting, fixers to get us through customs with us having not a clue what was going on, finally free of that nonsense we headed East and then South to Fez, through the Riff mountains where we found locals guarding their hash production with machine guns.
We passed through the Mid Atlas the following day and passed our BMW friends at a gas station, we tooted and waved, they were no doubt surprised we'd made it that far.
We ended up in in Merzouga which was as far as our bikes would take us at that time, took a photo of the Erg's and then went back to a local hustlers to drink green tea and for Ian to buy an overpriced carpet which he then had to lug back to the UK.
Heading towards Ouarzazate we had a sandstorm and gravel roads to contend with, it did seem a tad dangerous at the time! Then on to Marrakesh over the high Atlas for the night, at one point I rode around the huge roundabout at the medina the wrong way due to a bout of confusion, 4 lanes of traffic and a cop going mental with his whistle, I was a bloody tourist for gods sake!
Both of us had dodgy stomachs and were getting a bit fed up with the constant begging and hassle for money so we decided (after a quick phone call) to visit our pal Lolo in Ibiza. A blast up to Tangier on the Saturday, ride across Spain on the Sunday, Ferry over to Ibiza arriving at midnight where we partied with Lolo till daylight and then back to the mainland the day after for the crazy ride home. We did 4000 miles in 10 days, great fun but tiring and the bikes done us proud!
|Spain, Ian post hangover, water only
|Day 1 in Spain and rode the full length
|Ferry to Tangier
|Approaching Tangiers (we could smell it)
|Riff mountains and Triumphs fully kitted with the latest in overland travel accessories
|Ergs at Merzouga
|2 wise men and one not so wise man
|I offered to kill the local children if anything went missing, it didn't
|Bridge wasn't finished and thankfully it was dry!
|Water and beggar stop
|still towards marrakesh
|Camera went on the blink and unknown to me wasn't focusing properly
|Ferry back to Spain
|Back to Spain and the UK