Travelled down to Africa by Motorbike following the Paris Dakar rally from Lisbon and into Morocco.
This is a few years ago now but a great adventure.
- Where I went, and for how long
Flew through France in one day, through Spain in another into Lisbon arrivng in time to see the vehicles being scrutineered and the launch party of Charley Boormans Race to Dakar.
We then followed the bikes out of Lisbon in the morning and watched the special stage event before heading off to the ferry for the trip to Morrocco.
In Morrocco we explored a bit doing some offroading of our own for a few days and then catching up with the rally gain. Places visited include Fez, a lovely little mountain town in the East of Morocco and Quazarate which is just south of Marrakesh.
- What was great?
Best things had to be blagging our way into the bivouac(the pits and paddock of the rally basically) in Quazarate. This is for teams only but we managed to convince a French speaking only security guard that we were with Charley Boorman.(We had met him a few times by this point and different parties/special stages so not entirely a lie)
Another awesome bit was a few hours earlier on the same day when we went to the end of the special stage and did a bit of offroading ourselves to get into the stage a bit and watched hundreds of these vehicles including giant trucks flying through the desert tat full speed.
- What was a letdown?
When we got to France there was a torrential snowstorm and the holiday was almost over before it started. WE had to push the bikes off the boat and stay at a hotel about 100m away. Almost gave up and came home as the police weren't allowing motorbike or lorries that evening or the next morning. Lunchtime the next day we finally talked the police into allowing us onto the roads and once we were out of the city and onto the pay roads down through france we were flying and got all the way down through France that day.
- What does it cost to do it bare bones/live comfortably/live like a king?
Barebones it can be done on a reasonably cheap budget. Ferry to France is a bargain for a bike and cheap for cars as well. Fuel was the biggest cost in terms of travel as like 2000 miles there takes its toll on the fuel bill.
WE stayed in cheap hotels in France/Spain/Portugal. Formule 1(the French version of travel lodge) basically for 20/30 euros a night?
In Morocco everything was cheap and you can get hotels for a few pounds a night for cheap places up to like £80/100 a night for absolutely amazing 5 star hotels.(We stayed in one after a few days in very rough places)
- Tips on being prepared
Be prepared for long weights at the border into Morocco with a vehicle. Also, ignore the guys at the harbour trying to get money off you to help you along. If you have the right documents you will fly through without paying them money, and the more people pay them the more they will hassle future people.
Take two cameras as during the trip one of our cameras got destroyed by sand and we lost all the photos in it. So i only have about 15/20% of the total photos taken. The ones that happened to be on my small cameras instead of my dads good camera.