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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    1,901

    Default Overland 2013/14 to Morocco

    Snowbird Run III.....Overland again to Maroc with some new places to explore when we get there!

    Preview:

    From Start to End, The countries we are travelling through by their Flags…



    Autoroute Maps consisting of…..

    1) Route down to Maroc…..



    2) Route while in Maroc…..

    You will have to join the ‘Pushpins’ as you travel in the ‘Third Seat’ please as AutoRoute has not been programmed to do that in this country!



    3) Finally the return from Maroc…..



    Welcome to your place in the ‘Third Seat’ which we hope you find comfortable in Flamenco Red and enjoy the tour which I will try to keep updated as we go.….

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Stage 1 “Across to France ”

    “Good Morning”

    While it was ‘Up & Away’ this morning, after making sure that the 10Kg of Porridge was packed safely (Breakfast fit for a King!) and everything else was secure before departure, we once again set off along the same roads in the UK to reach Folkestone and ‘The Channel’ (Le Manche) for the 45 minute trip on Eurotunnel to France.

    You don’t really get much choice in this country for alternative routes as we are rather over infested with vehicles when getting from A to B, while getting there happily and safely to a large extent depends on the day and time you travel!!.

    First job is once the ‘Tin Tent’ is hitched up and we are off is to head out of Wales which is the ‘Free’ bit as you only have to pay on the way in as you can see in the next picture with the Toll Booths on the right hand side….



    Then it’s a steady speed along the M4 Motorway…..



    As we then go over the Second Severn Crossing…..



    While the next stop after a quick ‘comfort break’ was the entrance for Eurotunnel and ‘Le Manche’ but you have to be in the right lane, don’t want to get mixed up with the Trucks!



    Roll on down to ‘Check in’ and pick a crossing time as we are early….



    Then park up and get into the Terminal to check email and last minute messages with the folks back home and after a half decent coffee, quick visit to the ‘restroom’ and spot this on the way in. Taken when England met France as ‘Le Manche’ was dug out…..



    Job done, back out and I then received a message from the friends who are coming with us this time to advise us that they have had clutch ‘problems’ and have been towed to a garage in Boulogne, so we agree to call in and see them on our way when we get over and then head back to Flamenco Red, change over the headlight beams and we are off for the 45 minute crossing, and out the other side into the DARK!



    Next stop Boulogne to see our friends, and find them sat outside the garage in their Camper as the clutch has decided to fail, while the garage does not reopen until Monday morning.

    As there is nothing we can do we agree to take a slow down the run to the Morocco Ferry until they can catch up and hope that the garage can resolve the ‘problem’ ASAP, with that we then set off for our first night in Montreuil….

    Bonne Nuit (French ‘Good night’)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Stage 2 “South through France to Marboue”

    “Bonjour”

    Oops!
    After arriving in Montreuil we found that the Aires that we normally stop at was fully occupied by a group whom we think were operating a Fairground in the town centre, so after a 180 Degree turn around, and a visit to the Gazole Station we ended up at Lidl which we saw was up for sale or rent, parking up on the carpark for a nice quiet night.
    While this was the sight that greeted us on Sunday morning as the Sun came up…..



    After a quick coffee we were on the road again watching further interesting views of the Sunrise….





    Trundling down the road we spot this rather ‘Dumpy’ Plane over in an airfield but could not get close enough to determine what type it was…..



    Finally we arrive at the town for our next night called Marboue….





    Having found the actual place we see that there is only one other unit there, while later on the place was full, but we were the only ‘Tin Tent’….


    With the view over to the river and the road bridge that we will travel over in the morning….



    Found ourselves being ‘spied on’ by this little fellow in the tree behind us…



    As it was our first time here in Marboue we decided to go for a look around the town with the following results…..







    As the light started to fade quite quickly it was back to the ‘Tin Tent’ for dinner at which point as we came to wash up, that we found the Micro-switch in the kitchen tap has ‘failed’ although from past experience I think it is the wires inside as the copper wire work hardens and breaks, so that’s another job to add to the list which seems to be ever growing on this trip so far!

    Bonne Nuit (French ‘Good night’)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    South Wales UK
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    Stage 4 “South through France to Sauveterre”

    “Bonjour”

    Woke to a start of -3C this morning with all the windows iced up on both the ‘Tin Tent’ & ‘Flamenco Red’, then couldn’t remember how to get the door mirrors to de-frost, which read later was by pushing the Defrost Button for the Rear Window which also clears the Door Mirrors! DUH!!!

    Once on the road it wasn’t long before we ran into FOG!



    As we found that the main road South that was the Route National (N10) has been upgraded into 3 lanes but to stay off away from the Toll Gate just South of Bordeaux you need to get off at Junction 18 and head for a small town called Pissos in the direction of Mont de Marsan…..



    Then head to Junction 17 and continue South, which is what we did…..



    After getting off again at Junction 12 again before the Toll Gate we headed for Dax and continued to Sauveterre de Bearn with a view as we got there of the Snow covered Pyrenees that we will go over tomorrow....













    While stood opposite the building in the picture above I managed to contact our friends who are still in Boulogne for an update of how they are doing using a WiFi connection provided very kindly by the Bank that is behind me!

    Their clutch has failed, but it also seems that instead of the garage towing their Camper (RV) into the garage from the main road on which it was parked, they put it in gear and used the starter motor to wind it into the workshop!

    The garage have now also advised them that they have a ‘faulty’ starter motor which also has to be replaced!

    When they decided to come with us I advised them to take out ADAC Breakdown cover as the UK Breakdown companies will not cover you for Morocco, so they did, and their service has been exemplary as they sorted out hotel accommodation for the duration of the repair, at no cost to our friends, while also paying the labour charges incurred on the repair.

    I don’t think that events in Boulogne have yet been finalised as they are not back on the road yet which is really annoying them, so will update the blog with any further news as we receive it.

    Bonne Nuit (French ‘Good night’)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Stage 5 “South through France into Spain & Navarette”

    “Bonjour”

    Bit warmer this morning at +2C, and unlike last year we have managed to leave Sauveterre in daylight this morning as last time we left in the dark and missed all the nice scenery!









    That Snow sure is getting closer……







    After some ‘Hill Climbing’ we come to the start of the entrance to St Jean Pied de Port which is a bit tight in places thanks to some drivers who don’t know or care how they park their vehicles!









    Now pay attention as we have to bear left just in front of that building directly in front of us if you want to take the right road!



    Then start ‘Hill Climbing’ again on the way to Spain….











    Finally ‘The French/Spanish Border’ which we went through last time in the darkness, and the picture ended up as a row of coloured lines!



    Climbing ever upward, the little white line in the next picture was the last one as the road got decidedly narrower for around 800 yards!





    Then we got out into a bit of proper daylight….



    While the light went from good to darker, depending where the Sun was….







    Then we reached the ‘Snow Line’ with some very tight Hairpin Bends, tighter than the bends in a Paper Clip…..

















    Finally up at the top of this pass……



    ‘All together now’ “On top of Old Smokey all covered in Snow”

    Time for a bit of Breakfast Porridge



    1057m above Sea Level, while the Barometer dropped off the scale….



    Now on the downhill run, but very glad the Sun had warmed up the road….



    But another village with a very narrow road, which caused a small truck to put his n/s front wheel in the rain gully that was around 6 inches deep to get far enough over so that the Fire Truck could get past. He then very nicely reversed pulling his n/s front wheel out of the gully and went past us as we waited for the road to clear up a bit to let us through….













    Finally reaching the town for our next halt which was planned for just one night but in view of our friends not being with us we will stay for at least 2 nights, which will give me some time to fix a couple of small ‘problems’…



    Buenos Noches (Spanish ‘Good night’)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    594

    Default

    As usual interesting shots. I am amazed by how green the country side still is, never mind the trees that still have their leaves.
    Hopefully your friends get up and running soon. What kind of rig are they running?
    You mention a micro switch on your tap. What is that for/how does it work? I suspect to turn the water pump on to get water flow? Over here I think that most RV's here when not on pressurized water use a pressure drop to turn on the water pump.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    As usual interesting shots. I am amazed by how green the country side still is, never mind the trees that still have their leaves.
    Hopefully your friends get up and running soon. What kind of rig are they running?
    You mention a micro switch on your tap. What is that for/how does it work? I suspect to turn the water pump on to get water flow? Over here I think that most RV's here when not on pressurized water use a pressure drop to turn on the water pump.
    Hi ssicarman!

    You are not the only one who is surprised to see the amount of leaves that are still on the trees, while back home there were very few left as we came away.

    Our friends who are hoping to be back on the road today albeit with a 670 Mile drive to catch up, are in a 4 Tonne Camper (RV) which has only covered 44,000 Miles when the clutch gave out as the engine is a 2.8 Turbo Diesel.

    The water system in the 'Tin Tent' is not pressurised & relies on a micro-switch completing the 12v circuit to activate the water pump when the tap is opened, but as you swing the tap around to get either hot or cold water coming through you 'flex' the 12v wires inside which over time because they are copper with pvc insulation the copper hardens and breaks along with the insulation and the tap fails to work.

    It happened on the previous 'Tin Tent' after about the same time frame and while it could be seriously improved with a much better design I fitted an external switch to the tap which worked just as well and at around $5 for the switch as opposed to $90 for a new tap assembly it was a hell of a lot cheaper!

  8. #8
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    Stage 5A “Rest day in Navarrete”

    “Buenos Dias”

    While using today to resolve a few ‘problems’ with the ‘Tin Tent’, this morning we got word from our friends in the Camper that they have managed to set off from Boulogne (France).

    After having a new clutch fitted the garage contacted them to advise them that they also needed a new starter motor, as the one fitted was ‘faulty’ however it seems very likely that instead of towing the camper into the workshop, the garage used the starter motor to ‘crank’ the camper in as the camper recorded a very heavy current drain on the battery at the time it was moved into the workshop.

    Our friends meanwhile checked out of their hotel expecting to go over to the garage to collect it, and when they arrived the camper was missing!

    The reason for this was that the Repair Garage damaged the bodywork of their camper, did not bother to contact them to let them know but sent it off to a body repair shop to be fixed.
    A short search found it next door having repairs carried out to the bodywork.
    So they ended up spending a third night back in the same hotel and managed to get in their Camper at 11:00 this morning to set off on the 928 Mile run to catch us up at our next stop which will be Caceras!

    Meanwhile a short trip into Navarrete for us to get some groceries and we see that while a number of shops have presumably gone out of business and closed down, the council are re-laying the main but quite narrow road through the town.





    The turning a corner we see this nice little square….



    Then go along one of the narrow streets at the back of the town…



    While a short distance along we see a number of what appear to be very old wooden doors, some of which could do with a sprucing up, while others could do with the brickwork repairing…..







    Back on the road again tomorrow and hopefully some Sunshine as today has been very cloudy and quite cold!

    Buenos Noches (Spanish ‘Good night’)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    modena italy
    Posts
    202

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    Hi XCovlov ! How are you ? I think well and everything is ok if you are on the road again !
    Regretting :

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    594

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    Quote Originally Posted by XCovlov70 View Post
    Hi ssicarman!

    You are not the only one who is surprised to see the amount of leaves that are still on the trees, while back home there were very few left as we came away.

    Our friends who are hoping to be back on the road today albeit with a 670 Mile drive to catch up, are in a 4 Tonne Camper (RV) which has only covered 44,000 Miles when the clutch gave out as the engine is a 2.8 Turbo Diesel.

    The water system in the 'Tin Tent' is not pressurised & relies on a micro-switch completing the 12v circuit to activate the water pump when the tap is opened, but as you swing the tap around to get either hot or cold water coming through you 'flex' the 12v wires inside which over time because they are copper with pvc insulation the copper hardens and breaks along with the insulation and the tap fails to work.

    It happened on the previous 'Tin Tent' after about the same time frame and while it could be seriously improved with a much better design I fitted an external switch to the tap which worked just as well and at around $5 for the switch as opposed to $90 for a new tap assembly it was a hell of a lot cheaper!
    Different way to me of doing things. When I mentioned pressurized water I meant hooked up to a campsite supply system. I have limited experience with newer campers here. The newest we have had was a rental hard side trailer with fold out/down beds in 2006 for a trip to Missouri. The tap water system when not hooked to campground water would activate the electric pump when you turned the tap on and the system lost pressure. So the system always keeps a bit of pressure.
    Seems to me that your system as you are finding out is looking to break down. That said I am not sure how long the pressure switch in the pump is good for. 5$ fix is much better than a 90$ one though.

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