Nowhere. You are now entering the middle…

Learning once again from our experience of the last tour I know that there is even less signal today, especially at our evening auberge!

I will try to let Ian know of anything interesting in any brief interludes of signal but otherwise the plan is…..

Watch the sunrise from the camp…

Camp Chicaga sunrise

Then head of for another 250km of riding!!

The sand should be short lived this morning as we head off on some great fun, fast trails, with the odd rocks and tufts of grass & lumps of mud to keep us alert!! Once we’re well & truly ready for a break we’ll get a petrol stop & some road workMick road day 2

Before another fast trail & rocky climb suddenly stops us at the most unexpected & stunning viewpoint


Then another nice bit of trail to a picnic lunch prepared by Ali!! Yum!!

We’d better have stuffed ourselves as there’s nothing but a long, long ride off-road to our hotel in the evening.

With long trails ahead Mick leaves us to a personal ride here…

Just as we’re feeling it & ready for the hotel & a shower the last big expanse of furrows & large ridges of grass-tufted mud stands between us!! Harsh!!

The Oasis Mharech is a welcome sight!!

bikes at Oasis Mhaech

Tomorrow is the short stretch to Ali’s Nomad Palace in time for lunch & to play in the dunes, so I’ll give you a full update on the tour so far then!! :-)




And they’re off!!

And so we’re off again for our Moroccan adventure with another big group of 11 customers  :-)

Bikes are ready

As we learnt last time, and not really that surprising, there is no wifi in a nomad camp in the desert – in this day and age, really…!!!

So I will be texting Ian any interesting facts for the day but otherwise, if all goes to plan, our bags will have been packed off in Ali’s support truck early this morning and we headed off down the road from our hotel and, within 5 minutes were off into some lovely fast trails to get our brains in the zone for what lies ahead :-)

The terrain here looks relatively smooth and grippy but, as with much of Morocco, this is deceiving & the back wheel will have spent little time in line with the front this morning!!

The first trail takes us to our first petrol stop, then some easy & picturesque road riding is a nice wind down to our first lunch stop at the beautiful hotel Babrimal in Famzed.

Day 1 lunch

A hop across the road & it was off to a bone jolting rocky trail to shake down lunch before the joy of the salt flats as far as the eye could see!! A refuel here would have seen us ready to attack our first sand encounter..!!

This is a tough, physical end to the first day’s riding so the beautiful camp Chicaga appearing like a mirage in the never-ending sand remains a welcome sight!!

A beer, a salty shower & a nice dinner, followed by a sing song around the camp fire & we’ll all be raring to go tomorrow morning to watch the sun rise over the dunes :-)

Camp Chicaga As long as we don’t think about the other room guests……!!

Bug's life 2!bug's life

[Addendum from Ian]
All this is assuming the guys reach camp. As I type this, I’ve just received a message from Mel to say they’re still not quite at the camp… but worry ye not, Ali was shining his headlights to guide the weary travellers home.

[Addendum 2 from Ian]
I’ve had a message to say that all are safe and sound at the Berber Camp in Chicaga. Just getting tucked up and fed and I’m sure there will be some deep, deep sleeping tonight. ;)

One story finishes as another begins!!

So to finish our review of the last tour we continue with Day 5:

It was a strange feeling riding on the road away from the orange dunes. It started to feel like the holiday was coming to an end now; How can anything better the dunes?!

A fuel stop down the road then we were off-road again & a fun, fast trail with plenty of rocks and sandy washouts to catch out those not paying attention!!

Trail beginning day 5

The trail seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see…..

Nowhere, you are now entering the middle!

Nowhere, you are now entering the middle!

Until, out of the dust appeared a random structure….!

The Kasba Lalmne

The Kasba Lalmne

Apparently not aliens, but I can’t tell you more than that!! I asked our berber guide & he wrote the name down and that’s all!! Maybe we can find out more next tour….

Suddenly the wide expanse ended & a rocky ascent lead us to a stunning viewpoint.


L-R: Brian, Bob, Paul, Rob, Kev, Mickey, Mark & colin

Some enjoyed the view whilst others had a bit of a rest in the shade…!!

We continued at pace until reaching the road & passing through some interesting little villages before finding our lovely lunch stop down a side track that you wonder how anyone could find!!

Some more roadwork meant we could take in the stunning terrain we were now entering… At one point Mick stopped us & pointed into the rugged lumps of rock slicing through the ground; There were people living there…!!

Rock people

Fantastic biking roads had us grinning like cheshire cats then, just to top it off, just before we arrived at our hotel we stopped for a coffee with what has to be the coolest arrival ever…! – Down steps & over a rickety bridge across a river!! Checkout the video!

If only I had a video of the water splash out when we left where a certain more senior member of the group had more of a water splash than he bargained for!!

We got a garage to park the bikes up in this hotel – very posh!

Another nice meal & a good night’s sleep to awake to amazing views and the sad realization that we were heading home now….

Day 6:

Our short stint on the road allowed us to take in the splendour of our surroundings once more before heading off-road once again for some amazing trails to finish the tour with a bang (not literally thankfully!!)

We followed a trail into an amazing river bed which certainly took some concentration & whatever muscles we had left!!

As a random interlude we stopped for fuel in a deserted marketplace in M’smir


M'smir kids

On the road once again then where a quick climb meant we could look back in amazement at where we had come from…


Kev seemed to like it!!

Back off the road to another trail that must actually have been a main road as we met many donkeys & the odd 4×4 coming the other way!!

Sharp 90° corners jumped out of nowhere & washed out ditches appeared where once there was track!! You had to be on your toes & there were more than a few excursions…!!!

This track dropped us down once more into a river bed with the lack of grip of which I have never encountered before!! Small rocks worn down by the river over the years to leave us tired riders deciding that motorbikes & marbles do not mix!!

As we all regrouped at the end, blowing & sweating yet grinning & laughing like idiots, we were informed by Mick that we had now done the last of the off-road sections of the tour.

Perfect!! We had enjoyed that so much that a nice easy ride home was exactly what we needed, you could taste the beer!!

So, as the road markers counted down the distance to run to Ouarzazate, we all sat buzzing along in our own worlds, remembering all that had passed over the last 7 days.

As Eliot eloquently exclaimed in Merzouga – “My mate said that in every group there’s a w**ker, and if you don’t find one then the w**ker must be you! Well I must be a right w**ker”!!

He wasn’t!! But he was right, we did have a great group!! For 16 people to work hard side by side for 8 days & always laugh & get on is fantastic and makes a great holiday even better. With Mick eating cake & laughing as your guide how can it be any other way though??!!

Well done guys & thank you for a great tour!































                                                                                                                                                             The next lucky 11 customers arrive this evening

& their tour starts bright & early tomorrow morning…

BRING IT ON!!!!        

The story continues…

Where were we….?!!

Day3 and we’ve stopped for coffee after our early morning fight with the soft stuff I believe…!

So we bought some souvenirs & tried to persuade some local kids to play football!

Football?! L-R of our riders you can see Ben, Eliot, Mick, Gary & Gwion

Here, again, we remember why we’re doing a tour with a Dakar rally legend –  we don’t want any old tour, we want to push ourselves mentally & physically; “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves”… (André Gide)

Mick now leaves us to go at our chosen pace, warns us of what terrain there is ahead, & sets us off!! “It’s one straight track, you can’t get lost, see you at the end!!”

This is brilliant as the security of the leading bike ahead is no longer! Some chose to ride together, some (including me) set off at pace so it was a solo ride; an invigorating feeling but also a massive relief after some time riding in the heat to find Mick & the speedy Eliot sitting, waiting, at the end of the trail!!!

What a great adventure before the easy coast in to Ali’s Hotel Nomad Palace in Merzouga where the adventure we all came for begins – the dunes!!

A quick lunch & we were out for a quick tutorial. Mick forgot a crucial point when teaching how to recover a buried bike though…..

Get out of the way!!

Get out of the way!!

Some remained to nurse their “Derby belly” or have a siesta, but those with the energy and the desire headed to the dunes to learn to ride all over again.

Or in my case I just found a new way to crash!! See the video here!

That afternoon and the whole of the next day was play time in the dunes for whoever wanted to.

Words can’t really describe it so I’ll let the photos do the talking…!!

Those are the dunes... Man up and get out there!!!

Those are the dunes… Man up and get out there!!!

I'm ok!!!

“I’m ok!!!” Brian takes a good tumble!!

Mick shows us how it's done...

Mick shows us how it’s done…

And my favourite photo….

Mick & Gwion racing around a MASSIVE sand bowl!!

Mick & Gwion racing around a MASSIVE sand bowl!!

If that doesn’t give you an urge to ride in the sand then nothing will!!!!

That night it was a lovely camel ride up to watch the sunset over the dunes with a beer….

Camel train

Sandy beer Bob Marley?!









All watched over by Mohammed, an amazing & charismatic kid from the hotel…

Mohammed in the DunesHe loves this head scarf as it is “Kawasaki green!!!”

Tomorrow the story continues as we leave the dunes for the Todra gorge….

I would love to leave you with this atmospheric shot but I think it fair to let you at home know that the four of us have now been living together for 2 weeks and…. Well…. I think cabin fever is setting in…!!

Mick Extance Kawasaki Experience cafe au lait...

Mick Extance Kawasaki Experience cafe au lait…

Gwion brochette hands!

Gwion brochette hands!












And on that bombshell……!!!

The next installment shall be along tomorrow…!

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!!


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!


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…

Contact Us

phone: 07702 966740 or 01691 870542

Connect with Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter