And then there were four…!!

We’re back to our base between tours at the Hotel Les Jardins du Ouarzazate and It’s all a bit quiet around here…!!!

We said goodbye to all the customers this morning & now the preparation begins again for the next 11 lucky people!!

Mick Extance Experience in Les Jardins

The bikes are in good fettle, quite impressive after around 800 miles of hard riding!! So they definitely deserve some TLC now. They’re having a nice wash, a pedicure, & lots of other lovely treatments!!

Unfortunately they can’t relax in the sun afterwards though as there was a massive storm last night; The thunder was so loud it shook the windows in our room!!

I spoke to Ali, our Berber guide, and he said that there is a sandstorm in the desert today & you can’t see your hand in front of your face!!

Ali trying my bike for size!!

Ali trying my bike for size!!

It was still raining this morning &, although drier now, it is still very cold. We’re all very glad we got back in then sun yesterday and avoided a sandstorm!!

In excited anticipation of our next tour I thought I’d use these two days to post a few more photos of the best bits of the first Mick Extance Kawasaki Experience Morocco tour :-)

Day 1 of riding saw some great fast trails to get our eye in & find our feet on the Kawasakis, there was a variety of terrain throughout the day but, after some bone-jolting fast, rocky sections, the salt flats offered welcome relief and a lot of fun!!

With such a wide open space it was great to ride side by side. Eliot here is at least keeping his eyes on the road ahead whilst Gary manages a great salute to camera!!

Apologies for any lacking in the picture quality, but I was also pinned in top gear!!

We got more riding than we planned for on the flats as there may have been a few minor navigational deviations from a certain Dakar Rally rider….!!!!

The end of a long day’s riding saw our first introduction to sand!! Which also meant camels!!

CamelBak!

Brian doesn’t seem to realise he’s being watched as we all stop for a breather!!

This squirming, unforgiving carpet of thick sand caused a few thrills & spills as we moved & adjusted to learn this new surface. Mick, of course, had a lot of sympathy for our struggles…..!!

Mick playing!

Not!!

The nomad Camp Chicaga was stunning & very comfortable with all mod-cons, including a very unexpected shower!! I thought the water came from a well, somebody else said ¬†salt lakes though; I can believe either as the water was very salty!! We enjoyed a sing song around the fire with Gary on guitar & Ali on the tomtoms!! There’s something I never thought I’d see!!

Sunrise on Day 2 was fantastic & quick burst over the sand saw us back on great fast trails as far as the eye could see, getting good distance covered quickly. I couldn’t possibly mention our illustrious leader’s navigational skills again but I think you get the picture..!!!

Open trail...

Today we were on Dakar Rally route and we weren’t stopping for towns & coffee stops like mere mortal bikers, even lunch was on the trail…!!

Hungry eyes!!

Hungry eyes!!

Mick of course kept a good eye on the food & made sure there was enough left for him…!!!

Nom nom!!

Nom nom!!

After lunch our mettle was tested with a 50km stint off-road with no stops. “See if you can do it in one hit…”

We were used to having a few short breaks just to make sure the group was still together & heading in the right direction, but as this was one straight trail the challenge was on…!!

This is not so much a physical challenge as a mental one… The concentration required to react to any unexpected obstacles riding on fast trails is quite high…

We all thoroughly enjoyed it but were tired…

If there was one trail we would have avoided like the plague now it would have been that placed by Mick between us & our hotel for the night!!!!

Imagine riding for 30 minutes ACROSS a ploughed field, but instead of small furrows, imagine big, grass-tufted, uneven and sharp lumps of dried mud.

There was no easy way to ride it, no route around & tiredness was not an option!!

Boy had we earned our beer that night…!!!!

Oasis Mharech

Day 3 in the big brother house & “a nice easy ride” following the support vehicles on the “easier trails” to a coffee stop was promised…

What actually followed was carnage & piles of bikes in clouds of sand!! Thick patches of soft sand & morning head do not go well together!!

It didn’t seem far but we were hot, sweaty & thirsty when we did arrive at the stop!!

"Promise me there's no more sand....!"

“Promise me there’s no more sand….!”

The sand remained unnatural & a demon to many, but we were on our way to the dunes…!!! We would have to conquer it!!

Well, I think that’s enough to keep you going for now!! Some great photos from the dunes tomorrow…

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