With every organized motorcycle tour I take part in, it is always a little adventure and a big surprise when you meet the other tour participants for the first time at the briefing. The "Moroccan Dreams Exclusive" tour of the adventure agency "Wheels of Morocco" starts tomorrow and I will be in there. My tour buddy Sean from London gave me the idea in February. I had already traveled with him in Colombia and when he asked me if I would like to come along on this motorcycle trip through Morocco, I immediately said yes. In addition to a challenging route, a properly maintained motorcycle and a tour guide with integrity, it is always important to me that nice people are with me. I've known one with Sean and trusted his assessment that the others would be fine too.
At 5pm we meet at the pool bar of the Adam Park Hotel in Marrakech for the first time with tour guide Greg and everyone else. Except for one or two motorcycle T-shirts, you don't necessarily see that these people are here to ride a motorcycle. In the round of introductions, a colorful mixture is revealed:
Gidrius and Ingrida live in Lithuania, as does Tomas. Gerardo and Lori are from the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Scott, on the other hand, lives on a 25km long and 5km wide Caribbean island in the British Overseas Territories. He doesn't have much space for motorcycling there, but he does have a lot of experience. Because Scott had first crossed the Algerian-Moroccan border before many of the rest of us were born.
As mentioned, Sean lives in England and has a custom motorbike shop there. Elena and Jo also have a special background. He rides a Ural replica with a sidecar in New York. His wife has spent some time in there, but has never sat on the back of the motorcycle as a passenger. I live in Germany and ride my BMW F 800 GS there and on all tours to other European countries.
Moroccan Wheels founder Greg is from Hungary. This gives the team a small European majority. He explains that the “Moroccan Dreams” tour will be 100% tarmac. I already knew that, but I would have preferred it differently. At least a little off-road. First, the route will lead west from Marrakech to Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. From there we will continue south along the sea to just before Agadir and have a rest day there. A bit early for my taste, because after only two days of motorcycling, each with a stage of around 150 kilometers, I certainly don't need a break yet. So be it. There might be something interesting to see or do during that time. The next morning we will ride even further south down to Mirleft, which is also on the Atlantic. On the fifth day of the motorcycle tour we finally leave the coast, climb the Anti-Atlas mountain range and spend the night in the middle of the mountains at Tafraoute. From there we continue to the old caravan town of Taroudant in the valley between the Anti-Atlas and the Atlas Mountains. After an overnight stay in a riyadh, we will cross the High Atlas via the infamous Tizi n'Test mountain pass and set up camp one last time on the other side in Ouirgane. The next day it will then only be a short leg of 80 kilometers back to Marrakech, where we will probably arrive in the morning.
The motorcycles have neither boxes nor soft bags in which we take "hand luggage". A support vehicle, driven by the local Abdou, transports our neon green 35 liter drybags, which we are handed out at the briefing. We pack everything we need on the trip in there. The rest stays in the suitcase and at the hotel until we return. My drybag will probably only be half full. Because with every motorcycle trip I learn what you don't need on the road. That's why I reduced my luggage significantly on this trip and I'm excited to see which things I'll cross off my packing list after this tour.