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  1. #1
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    Default Morocco Overland Number III (Winter 2014-15)

    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Preview

    As this is not our first time overland to Morocco, then maybe when we get there we will pluck up the courage if we can find a nice one, to have a ride on a Camel!
    So all I can say is ‘Stay Tuned’ and see if we are lucky or not!

    Meanwhile as we will be passing through a couple of countries in Europe here are the flags of those for our way Out & Return….



    While from a GPS Program, here is the route we will be taking firstly to get to Morocco, which to be honest is virtually the same as our previous trip…



    Then after we get across the Mediterranean Sea is our route in Morocco that was modified a short time before we set off and added another 400+ miles as we hope to get down to the Western Sahara!



    While after that we come back across the Mediterranean Sea for the route back up to the UK which is slightly different to our route down…



    So now all that remains to be said as we make sure all the things we need are packed & after a last 72 frustrating hours of sorting out little niggling ‘problems’ with the ‘Tin Tent’ we can finally prepare for the ‘Off’ and say…..

    A warm ‘Welcome’ to new and previous ‘Travellers in the Third Seat’ which we hope you will find comfortable in ‘Flamenco Red’ (That’s the Swedish ‘Tug’) and enjoy the tour as we haul the ‘Tin Tent’ (That’s the Caravan) across Europe and South to maybe get on a nice Camel for a ride!

    Next Stop is Eurotunnel and then France, so let’s hope that the section of the M25 Motorway that collapsed & was reported by ‘Auntie BBC’ yesterday has been plugged otherwise this first leg is going to be a very long trip!

  2. #2
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    Looks like another epic journey.

    Are the red markers all overnight stops or points of interest?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Looks like another epic journey.

    Are the red markers all overnight stops or points of interest?
    Hi 'ssicarman' and 'Third Seat' Folks!

    Apologies for no update, we have had no Internet for updating over the last few days but now we are OK.

    The red markers on the maps are both overnight stops/campsites and waypoints but for Morocco they are all campsites.

  4. #4
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    UK to Eurotunnel & then Montreuil (France)

    Up quite early this morning while I guess part of it was the excitement of the departure day finally arriving after what seemed like a long wait!

    Looked out the window and was met with this rather nice Sunrise at 06:15 this morning….
    While I just hope that the ‘Red sky in the morning’ is not going to be a bad omen!



    Final preparations made and it’s time to hit the road, which as we approached the Second Severn Crossing that takes you from Wales into England we came into the early morning mist!…..



    Could not see the main uprights and cables of the bridge, while it was surprising to see so many drivers hammering along with NO lights turned on on their vehicles!



    After a steady run on the M4 then over to the M3 to the M25 which are all Motorways, we reach the Exit that was reported by ‘Auntie BBC News’ yesterday when a section in the middle of the road collapsed!

    The Grey Square in the middle of the picture is the repair, which caused up to 16 Miles of standing traffic!



    While it looked with the overhead signs that someone had forgotten to turn them off as the ‘problem’ with the collapsed section was now fixed!



    Next stop was the Entrance/Check in for the Tunnel Train….



    As we arrived the registration number was recognised and the details of our reservation came up on the screen along with the ‘offer’ to catch the next train out but that was going to cost an EXTRA £206! ($359) while the train after that even though it was still 2 hours before our reserved departure time was FREE.

    ‘No contest!’ We opted for the train one hour later.

    While waiting to board if you have a ‘Four Legged Friend’ who is travelling with you, there is an Exercise Area aptly called ‘Walkies’



    Where your ‘Friend’ can S T R E T C H out for a bit….

    But be careful if you use the facility as your ‘Four Legged Friend’ can end up like this guy……



    Part of the Tunnel Terminal building….



    Then as the embarkation notice appears we head off to get on board with a couple of pictures while waiting to drive onto the train….

    The first below is of one of the trains that carries Freight namely the Trucks/Lorries…



    Next is the ‘Down Ramp’ for loading of Cars, Caravans & Campers along with Coaches….



    While finally we saw the Horse outline on the hillside overlooking the terminal.



    When we subsequently arrived in France darkness had descended so that was it for anymore pictures!

    Next stop and overnight for tomorrow is Bonneval…..

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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Montreuil to Bonneval

    After an overnight stop at Montreuil – sur Mere on an Aires that allows ‘Tin Tents’ we set off at 07:00 to our next halt which is a town called Bonneval.

    So it was still dark but no one on the road but us which was nice, still it was Sunday!



    Traffic was virtually non existent as it got lighter….



    The we got to our ‘favourite’ City which is called Rouen and with no Trucks while all the road repairs have now been completed, we ended up on the other side of the river, which is where we should have been a few years ago if the bridge had not collapsed!
    So along this road was all new and very commercialised….



    Power Station with what looks like a ‘Cleopatra Needle’ but it was a chimney!



    Oops! Looks like ‘Farmer Giles’ has lost a few Cows, but these were all Plastic and just for decoration on the Traffic Island!



    This strange ‘sculpture’ was on the opposite side of the road to a sign that said Viking Remains were found in this area? Maybe they melted down their Armour to make the sculpture?









    I hope you can see the ‘Autumn Colours’ in the next couple of pictures as we were very surprised to see a vibrant mixture of Brown’s, Gold’s, Yellow’s & Green’s in the trees as we seem to think they this time last year all the leaves had gone!





    Our ‘Dry Run’ didn’t last long as the rain started up again!



    As we reached Bonneval with some ‘fun and games’ ahead as we negotiated the main street with cars parked on our right and only room for 1 vehicle to get past them, there was some reversing to be done as we got through!





    As we finally get to the onto ‘Aires’



    So after a bite to eat we set off in the rain for a look around the town…..
    The place is aptly called ‘Little Venice’ due to all the river/canal waterways with places to keep a small boat at the rear of your house….



    Rather imposing building which is in fact a Psychiatric Hospital, but previously was an Abbey…













    Interesting; After we have arrived the main road through town clears up! Was it something we said?



    Rather liked this re-covered chair!



    Part of the old Town Wall of which you can see other parts along stretches of the river/canals





    The main river…







    The other end of the town….







    OK! So where are the Cyclists, or are we a bit too late?







    After dinner we decided as the rain had stopped and we could see some ‘Special Lights’ to have a stroll back into town, and found the following nice sights….







    While the Christmas Lights were being installed around the town this shop was starting to arrange their window display and the lady who was doing it was making a wonderful job.
    The Slalom Ski Run is in the centre of the picture……



    Next stop tomorrow is Roullet!

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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Bonneval to Roullet

    Once again on our way at 07:30 while the sun had not risen but at least the traffic was quite for the first 30 minutes before it built up but it was also back down the same road/s as last year.

    Interestingly it didn’t take long to sort out and build the bridges/elevated sections for the High Speed Train as we saw passing this part…..



    While a bit further down as we then come onto the main road from Spain & Portugal we see the Trucks starting to build up in the number coming towards us, while the number going the other way was for now a bit less….



    After getting to the Aires at Roullet as there are ‘facilities’ for ‘Campers’ we made use of them for the ‘TinTent’ and then went for a walk up into the town which was having pavements replaced last time, but that is now all finished and it’s quite nice looking as well…..









    Then in the evening as the rain clouds built up once again we went off to the local ‘Hotel/Bar’ for a Pizza with a couple of very nice Dark Beers which was very filling but nice and tasty!
    Having then returned to the ‘TinTent’ it wasn’t long before the rain returned with a vengeance and before long it was hammering down for the best part of the night!

    Next stop is St Jean Pied de Port….

  7. #7
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Roullet to St Jean Pied de Port

    After a later start this morning while hoping for the rain to stop we got on the road as one wave of the stuff came in after the other.



    While around 30 miles down the road we could see the rain cloud making way for hopefully some sunshine but we could not determine how far away the line was….





    As we eventually got into the sunshine we pulled into one of the service areas on the N10 for some breakfast seeing some of the Trucks that fill these places up on a Saturday night when on Sunday they are not allowed to travel….



    Then back on the road we see this ‘Watch Tower’ looking over the large areas of forest that are in this part of France….



    Then it was off through a couple of little villages to miss the Autoroute ‘Toll Booth’ to get back on at the next junction lower down! ( Thanks to ‘Michelin Maps for that one!)



    Only to run into more rain!



    We came off the Autoroute again and made our way over to the town of Dax using some ‘Way Points’ in ‘TomTom’ which for some reason turned the sound of the ‘Voice’ off which made getting through a slight problem as after we had we ended up on the wrong road going a bit further east than we had intended!

    So the next few pictures are of a village called Peyrehorade….











    Continuing along the ‘backroads’ we then come to a town called Bidache and as we approach we see this Chateau up on a hill just outside, so pull into a Picnic place at the bottom of the hill and try to position the ‘TinTent’ to get some life into the Leisure Battery as the charging circuit from ‘Flamenco Red’ while we are travelling is not functioning!

    So while my good lady puts a nice salad together for lunch I set off for a couple of pictures of the place and the results are below….











    It’s called Chateau Ducal Gramont….



    While on the other side of the road is what looks like a ruined Cloister…



    Traffic island at the entrance to the town….



    Making my way back I started to hear all these bird noises and as I got back to the ‘TinTent’ I looked up and saw a large gaggle of Geese that seemed to be sorting themselves out into two groups with much vocal calling as this was taking place, presumably before they started on their winter migration….







    Lunch over and the Geese had flown off so we got back on the road and it wasn’t long before the snow covered tops of the Pyrenees came into view…



    While we continued along the rather narrow in places ‘backroads’!



    Finally we arrive at our next Overnight Halt which is an Aire in the town of St Jean Pied de Port, as the Tourist Office advised us that it was OK but only for 1 night, which seems like a bit of discrimination as Campers/RV’s can stay for as long as they want!
    While we found there was a ‘Parking Charge’ of €5.50 to stay overnight and there is an Attendant who comes around checking for your ticket, there are also several electric hook up places but all were in use by the ‘early arrivals’, so it was fingers crossed again that the TinTent Battery was going to be OK!



    After getting sorted out we took off into the town for a look around as there is a Citadel up on the hill which you can climb up to….



    Like ‘Home’ in Wales were all the signs are in Welsh & English, all the signs here are also in two languages, French & Basque…



    After a short walk we find ourselves looking at one of the entrance archways up to the Citadel….



    So after crossing the road and going through the entrance this is what we initially find…



    Turn left at the top of the alleyway and this is the view…



    While looking to the right this is what you see…..



    With some nice houses that all had different years in which they were constructed in plaques on or in the walls



    While a bit further was….



    Which is now a Museum, but was closed…



    While this was what the camera could see inside as I held it up to the window…



    Walkway up to the top of the Citadel….



    After a bit of a climb you are there, but sadly you are not allowed inside as it is now a Children’s School…





    While the view over the town was quite good….



    Walking on back down we find this sign that tells about the Pilgrims that travel to a place called Santiago de Compostela which is around 700Km from here while Pilgrims use all modes of travel now, in the olden days it was a journey made on foot, while on the way there are still Hostals that any Pilgrim can stay in…..



    While this is the doorway at the bottom of the hill that the Pilgrims would mainly come in through…



    With the view outside the doorway…



    On the other side of the doorway…



    Making our way back through the town centre we pass the Town Hall on the opposite side of the road….



    While back at the Aires a couple more ‘Campers’ have joined the ‘Early Birds’…



    That’s it for this bit, tomorrow we are off to Spain & Navarette while hopefully I can sort out this ‘Battery Charging’ problem and get some life put back in as we roll along!

  8. #8
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    St Jean Pied de Port to Navarette

    As today was going to be a relatively short run which would hopefully give me time to have a real crack at sorting the ‘TinTent’ Battery Charging problem out we decided to set off in real daylight, especially as we had some serious hill climbing to do and last year there was snow on the roadside, so we caught Sunrise on the Aire before we set off…



    While it didn’t take long to get to the France – Spain Border Crossing….



    While still a bit dark in places depending where the sun has got to….



    Autumn colours still…..







    Hairpin bend coming up and there were a few on this road which you had to be careful with a LARGE Trucks could be met coming the other way, sometimes on your side of the road!!!



    As the sun climbs ever higher…





    While a bit further along and over the top of the climb and no snow this year, we come to a very large Monastery…





    Then we start to make our way through the narrow streets of the villages where the speed limit is set very low and sometimes your nearside wheels are on the pavement to pass an oncoming vehicle…







    Safely through and the road widens out…



    As we then pass a factory that crushes up large chunks of the mountainside…



    Hilltop town…



    Hilltop Monastery….



    Close up of Monastery…..



    Finally Navarette appears and our Campsite which we stayed at last year….



    After getting on the pitch and set up, the first thing was to get out yet again the Voltmeter which confirmed that while ‘Flamenco Red’ was supplying the voltage for the Battery Charging as we travelled along, the voltage was not getting to the Battery?

    After a little bit more digging around I found that the 13 Pin Plug on the end of the Caravan to Car Cable for the Lights, Indicators, Fridge & Battery had a pin that was not connecting as it had worn down so was not making contact!

    The campsite owner pointed us in the direction of a Nor Auto store where a new 13 Pin Plug was purchased for the princely sum of €7.95 (£6.25 cheaper than back home I think!)
    We then after getting some other items in a Hypermarket called Al Campo and a fill up of Diesel at our cheapest price yet of €1.13/Litre, it was back to the campsite to fit the new plug and after a real struggle as all the wires felt like bars of copper and not multi strand copper wire, the new plug was fitted!

    With both our sets of Fingers Crossed I plugged into ‘Flamenco Red’ checked a few things with the engine off and all was well, then after crossing my eyes as well I started the engine and WOW all is now back to normal!

    Next for tomorrow is the run from here to Caceres

  9. #9
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    More Morocco ?
    This year you have to drive until Dakar !
    Please show us some photo of flamenco red into the sand !
    Have a nice trip and thank you in advance for condivide.
    Regretting :

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by giorgio View Post
    More Morocco ?
    Definitely 'Yes'

    This year you have to drive until Dakar !
    Sorry, the Rally has moved and we cannot be the Support Unit as we dont have the parts!

    Please show us some photo of flamenco red into the sand !
    Sorry Giogio, 'Flamenco Red' has been in the Desert on both the previous trips and will be again this year but not at Dakar, we will be a bit further North as you can see on the map.

    Have a nice trip and thank you in advance for condivide.
    Well in all honesty it started off a bit 'rough' but now thankfully it is getting better, so I am sure you will enjoy!

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