Morocco: On The Trail Of The Rally — Part 1

The ferry from Nador arrived in Sète over 12 hours later than scheduled because of a delay refueling in Tangier. After five hours of driving, we arrived home safely with just enough time to unpack and unwind before heading back to work.

We spent nine days in Morocco and drove over 2,000 km, about 600-700 of which were off road on dirt tracks, dunes or over land. We had initially planned to take the Scania TGB 30, but to keep the group more homogenous and to economize for the upcoming rally we ended up taking our Jeep JK Wrangler, which turned out to be quite well-prepared for the rugged pistes of Morocco. In total we were 7 vehicles: 2 Jeeps, 2 Toyotas, 2 Hummers and a Landrover.

Our main objective was to experience driving on the dirt tracks. Since most of our desert driving has been in the dunes of Tunisia we wanted to get a better idea of what to expect on the tracks. We also wanted to practice navigation using some old road books one of our friends provided.

Map Xmax Morocco 2012

From Nador, we went south to Missour and Er-Rachidia on the highway before turning onto a dirt track that led us to the dunes of Erg Chebbi and Merzouga. After having a little fun driving in the dunes, from there we set off over land to Tagounite, following the rally roadbook closely for two days of good practicing. At Tagounite, we caught up with the Africa Eco Race, stopped to say hello to some of our friends and acquaintances taking part in the race and watched the start of the 3rd Stage.

Once the rally was on its way, we spent two days in Zagora, doing some maintenance on the cars (a few needed repairs) and passing the new year in the dunes in a Berber camp. We also got an interesting look behind-the-scenes of the rally. From Zagora it was a two-day drive back to Nador, with two short sections of dirt tracks (one with the Roadbook). We spent the night in Nador before boarding the ferry to Sète on Friday evening.

We took lots of photos and a few videos, although we forgot to mount the Contour until after we arrived in Zagora, so we don’t have much interesting on-board video. Except for the photos of the Africa Eco Race, there isn’t much about trucks, but since most of our trip was related to rallies and many of our readers may also be interested in reading about it, we’ll post a complete account here. To make it easier to digest, and more mobile-friendly, we’ll divide the posts into seven installments, which we’ll list below as each post goes up. The first installment should be up in the next day or two as soon as we get the photos transferred and processed.

Part 2: Dec. 27-28: Nador To Merzouga
Part 3: Dec. 29-30: Merzouga To Tagounite
Part 4: Africa Eco Race Tagounite, Trucks
Part 5: Africa Eco Race Tagounite, Photo Highlights
Part 6: Dec. 31 – Jan. 1: Around Zagora
Part 7: Jan. 2-3: Zagora to Nador

10 Responses to Morocco: On The Trail Of The Rally — Part 1

  1. richfinck says:

    Now that is a trip. WOW.

  2. Anne Beaty says:

    The country looks beautiful. Awesome trip!

    • ergmachine says:

      We had our copy of Airdrie Life too, but in all the excitement, we forgot the photo. With luck, we will have another chance over the next few months.

  3. Pingback: Morocco: On The Trail Of The Rally — Part 2 Nador To Merzouga « Erg Machine

  4. Pingback: Morocco: On The Trail Of The Rally — Part 3 Merzouga To Tagounite « Erg Machine

  5. Pingback: Morocco: On The Trail Of The Rally — Part 4 Africa Eco Race Tagounite, Trucks « Erg Machine

  6. Pingback: Morocco: On The Trail Of The Rally — Part 5 Africa Eco Race Tagounite Photo Highlights « Erg Machine

  7. Pingback: Morocco: On The Trail Of The Rally — Part 6 Around Zagora « Erg Machine

  8. Pingback: Morocco: On The Trail Of The Rally — Part 7 Zagora To Nador « Erg Machine

  9. Pingback: Back Behind The Wheel | Erg Machine

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