Working as a tour guide for the Saharacamp of the BMW GS Club in Morocco


 
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The telephone rang. Hello? It was my friend Gérard. Could I just have time to work as a tour guide for the BMW GS Club in Morocco for 6 weeks? Tomorrow it would start. Clear! I'm always up to something like that.
 
Quickly I packed my things. Tent, sleeping bag and camera etc. The next day we went by snow to Munich by motorbike.
 
In Munich, I swapped my motorcycle for a long VW Crafter full of material, which I should bring to Morocco.
 
On the way I collected Mohamed in France. Mohamed is Moroccan and should help us with his Arabic language skills at customs etc.
 
Unfortunately, there is no time left to enjoy the beautiful area through which.
 
As time was pressing, we drove more or less without a break and took turns driving.
 
That was hard work, but we were there for that.
 
France got a good deal on the toll. By contrast, the vignette is a gift in Switzerland.
 
The highways in Spain were not cheap either. Finally, we put for 130 euros for the truck and take us by ferry to Tangar.
 
The highways in Morocco also cost a toll. Much more dangerous, however, are the numerous police officers, who are lurking hidden everywhere with laser pistols at tourists.
 
After just one week I reached the city of Guelmim, near which the Sahara camp of the BMW GS Club took place in 2015.
 
Together with the first participants we rolled into the courtyard of the hotel Fort Bou Jerif GPS N29 ° 04'93 "W010 ° 19'87" (camping with breakfast and warm dinner 25 Euro per night, hotel room half board 55 Euro).
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Morocco is one hour behind Germany in terms of time. Morocco speaks Arabic and French. For 5 euros you can buy SIM cards from Maroc Telecom and for another 5 euros 4 GB internet for a month.
 
The motorcycles were quickly unloaded, pavilions set up, T-shirts prepared for sale and the liability waivers and application forms laid out. All of this was in my job.
 
Then it started. With an original Rally Dakar motorcycle Touratech from the year 2002 based on the single-cylinder F650 GS I inquired the area and prepared many tours in different degrees of difficulty.
 
After all, the fine art of a tour guide is to satisfy both beginners with asphalt tours as well as professionals with tricky off-road tours.
 
For this, Morocco offers ideal conditions away from the usual tourist attractions such as Todra Gorge or Merzouga.
 
From Fort Bou Jerif, for example, you can start the camel market (dromedary market) on Saturday. This takes place weekly from 8 to 10 o'clock.
 
Afterwards, a beautiful, winding asphalt road leads to Sidi Ifni, where also a colorful market takes place on weekends.
 
In Sidi Ifni you can also enjoy a coffee or lunch with sea view.
 
From there it goes at the end of the 100 km long exit with a small river crossing back to the camp.
 
Genuine enduro riders choose the so-called Bunker Tour for the return journey from Guelmim to the camp.
 
For this turn into the village before the actual entrance to Bou Jerif and follow the road until it is closed by a landslide.
 
50 meters before the landslide turn left into a dirt road.
 
The dirt road is lost after just one kilometer. At the same time you can see a narrow path on the right side of the mountain.
 
Now one tries cross field to reach this path without flattening the tires on the numerous cacti.
 
Then it goes up the mountain.
 
The path is extremely washed out by heavy rains that is, the loose material such as sand and earth was rinsed away.
 
So you bump up over big stones and up, until this path ends at a sheep meadow.
 
Now it is straight line straight, until you see a wall, which looks like a bunker with Schiessscharten.
 
Here opinions differ. The only brave, who has traveled this tour with me so far, said that this is a simple sheep's drink;)
 
Behind the bunker on the left, a barely visible path leads down the mountain.
 
Again and again, narrow, fairly deep but dried stream beds are a challenge to the driver.
 
Also this path disappears sometime on a sheep meadow between loud cactus in the nothing.
 
Now you drive straight on 2 o'clock straight line, until you reach the ruined Rouine of an old house.
 
From here a path leads to the left back to the camp.
 
Much easier is the so-called "fish tour".
 
It takes its name from the small local fish restaurants on the beach and offers about 50 km off-road driving fun for beginners.
 
From the camp you drive in front of "The river crossing" left into the mountains and follow the fairly good road more or less towards the sea.
 
Every now and then, the participants of this tour (see video) can train their driving skills on washed out and therefore very bumpy roads.
 
Turn left at the small village and reach a few kilometers further on the Hochplatou a natural stone fenced area.
 
Here you turn right around the entire complex and followed the path down to the beach.
 
Due to its slope, the road here is very washed out and bumpy.
 
But that's not the only reason to drive slowly here.
 
Since the track is also in off-road vehicle forums as Insidertipp gillt, come here sometimes up to 20 upgraded SUVs.
 
After this tricky section you reach the paved road to Sidi Ifsi, where you drive over a river and leave it immediately afterwards.
 
Turn left. One kilometer further on you reach a small village with numerous restaurants and a great beach.
 
where you can continue to train your driving skills and shoot great photos.
 
You can also shoot great photos by following the road from Guelmim towards Bou Jerif to its end without first turning to the fort.
 
The road ends at the white beach Plage Blanche. Here you will find in addition to numerous mobile homes and real sand dunes, where you can let off steam and dig in wonderful.
 
Important: switch off ABS and traction control before !!! Have fun :-)
 
With these very different routes, I managed to make all participants happy, although their driving skills ranging from professional to nonexistent.
 
There were people who could not even turn their BMW R 1200 GS on a straight, two-lane tarmac road without my help, and wonder where they got their driver's license from.
 
Other people, however, I could only conjure a satisfied grin on the face with the demanding bunker tour.
 
Unfortunately, there were misadventures during the event. By mobile phone, the news reached me that it came on another tour to a slight rear-end collision.
 
I left immediately with the van to pick up the damaged motorcycles before dinner.
 
But that was the beginning of the problem. Somehow the police got wind of the little mishap
 
The passports of the persons involved in the accident were collected and thus disappeared.
 
Now we had to drive to the nearest police department.
 
Here, the officials were bored and seemed to want to savor the fact that we gave them a bit of variety for forced masses.
 
From everywhere appeared cars with more or less important officials, who all wanted to have a say.
 
From dusty desks dusty forms were raided and then discussed how to fill them.
 
Since no one really knew what to do, the whole procedure took a good 10 hours.
 
Forms asked for the name of the grandmother and had to be signed up and down and there was a dispute over who actually has our passports and the green insurance cards.
 
No one was interested in the skid marks on the road or the damaged motorcycles. It was all about bureaucracy.
 
Well past midnight we were finally allowed to drive home. Nevertheless, we kept our passports. Here you can only continue with bribes. But I do not want to support such people.
 
In principle, as in most countries, police are no different from thieves. It produces nothing and does not create values, but takes something away from people on a pretext. Unlike thieves, the police are at most better armed.
 
The next day the dance continued, until finally we realized that we could not get anything and that we finally got our passports back. Tourists are usually waved at the numerous checkpoints. Local drivers also have to pay here.
 
Peter, one of our participants, was lasered at a harmless 50 km / h instead of the allowed 20 km / h. Instead of paying the fine of 700 dirhams, he put 200 dirhams (20 euros) on the police motorcycle and was allowed to continue driving. A high on corruption. After all this stress we had to relax for a tour to the hot springs just behind Guelmim honestly earned GPS: N28 ° 55.234 W009 ° 50.668.
 
The next morning I got up early and made my way to the camel market in Guelmim with 20 people.
 
This takes place every Saturday morning and is quite easy to find, coming from Bou Jerif at the roundabout turn right and after the Afrikania petrol station turn right again.
 
Cows, sheep, goats, food and everyday items are sold on the huge market, as well as dromedaries called camels by tourists.
 
The animals are transported either with legs tied together on the open loading area of ??a coach or simply in the trunk of a car.
 
It was very colorful and lively and the civilian people were always very friendly to tourists.
 
Nevertheless, many participants said after the attack in Tunisia out of fear their trip to Morocco.
 
There was a little candy for those present. From KTM were extra staff arrived and had light EXC as adventure motorcycles for free trial brought.
 
Instead of boring asphalt, the KTM guys had chosen a suuuper route for the test drive:
 
On gravel we went to the plague Blanche. Here we were allowed to play in the sand dunes and literally learn what is possible with the light 350, 450 and 500 EXCs everything.
 
The 1190 Adventure and Super Adenture can also be left in the sand, as the demonstration of a professional rally driver proved.
 
I myself dug myself in the attempt to do it to him, hopelessly in the soft, agitated sand.
 
Then we drove all together down to the sea and on the beach entland. Since it was low tide, the sand was relatively easy to drive here.
 
The destination and highlight of the tour was a sunken shipwreck a few miles away.
 
Heated from driving in the sand, we were able to cool off here in the sea, before we changed the motorcycles and drove the same route back.
 
At this point again a big THANK YOU to the KTM guys for their use !!! The tour was really fun.
 
The KTM 1190 Adventure got me right the first time. V2 engine, seating position, weight and handling is amazingly just like my Transalp.
 
The 25 years further developed motorcycle is three times as strong as the old Honda with 150 hp, has much better brakes, a smooth-running hydraulic clutch as well as a sixth fuel economy.
 
It is therefore suitable for both long vacation trips, as well as for quite demanding off-road trips. Perfect if it would not cost 15,000 euros.
 
A few problems were announced for the trip home, as Mohamed disappeared a week with the van and then did not want to go home as planned.
 
There is a considerable risk that drugs may have been hidden in the vehicle during the absence. In many countries of the world, tourists are abused as naive drug couriers and end up in jail see ARD documentation. That's why we had the car checked by a drug dog at the police station. That went almost wrong. Instead of helping us, we were treated like criminals ourselves. Immediately they cashed our passports and my camera when I wanted to take photos of the action.
 
After that you really wanted to keep or destroy my memory chip. It took a lot of patience and persistence to convince the police that we were not drug smugglers but were looking for help with the police for the first and last time. I still need my camera for the time in Morocco.
 
Again and again new people arrived. Most of them had sent their motorcycle to Malaga by freight carrier and had flown down themselves. They were happy about a tour to the camel market or to the hot spring. Here in the middle of the stone desert 4 people can relax and enjoy life at the same time. While women in a pool in Islamic countries are not allowed in the same pool as men, we were able to swim together in the remote hot spring. After all, women had also traveled to the Sahara camp. One of them even had sandblades for her motorcycle.
 
For the women present we were offered up to 60 camels at the camel market. Not a bad price considering that a Moroccan woman costs just 10 camels. For example, 10 camels are also offered for a 20,000-euro BMW R 1200 GS LC with Touratech extras or my 700-euro Honda Transalp. A big motorcycle is just a big motorcycle and a European woman is a European woman. Since not even the dentition is checked ;-)
 
Tourists are often sold on the camel market as stupid and get for small souvenirs usually called the 10-fold price. Then it has to be negotiated. One man, who wanted to sell us something, told in good English that he was here for the first time and came specially for this market from Mauritania, we were his first customers and it would bring bad luck if the first customer does not buy anything. Funny was that we discovered him at dinner on the photos from last week ...
 
I know where the whale lies! With these words, the Europeans in the camp immediately attract the undivided attention and admiration of all present. The rumor that somewhere on the beach is a dead whale, everyone had already heard. No one knew exactly where he was. Some suspected him near Agadir, other people 100 km south of Sidi Ifni. Now, finally, there was someone who saw him and knew the exact GPS position. Could he write me a short note? Later. With extravagant words he described that the whale is located on Qued Noun. My brief objection that I was there during the fish tour with a group of 15 men but had not seen a whale, was quickly brushed aside. How could so many people just miss a whale? He will lead us out tomorrow.
 
From Qued Noun at Fum Assaka we followed a nice dirt road 30 km off-road along the coast to Plage Blanche. There we still had not seen a whale. He asked a fisherman. He explained that we had to drive 10 km back. This we did at low tide along the beach. At the military post we drove up the steep coast again.
 
After playing pantomimic dead whale, once again a friendly fisherman gave us a good laugh and there he lay: the legendary dead whale GPS N29 ° 03'12.4 "W010 ° 29'01.2".
 
Then he invited Christoph and me to a small hut and his mates and handed us traditional mint tea from dirty glasses that had probably never been washed and are therefore an idol host for hepatitis or tuberculosis spread here. As a matter of course, he made himself a whistle kif (hashish). Do we want one too? I declined both thanks.
 
Supposedly, 40km south of Plage Blanche, a beautiful whale skeleton should be on the beach. You could easily go along the beach and then up to Tafni Dilt and return to asphalt. Fascinated, the audience listened to the flowery description.
 
The next day, Christoph and I set off. At low tide we roared with 100 things along the beach. Unfortunately, after 30 km, a 50-meter high rock face blocked the way. As we slowed down, we promptly got stuck in the light, soft shell sand. There was neither a skeleton nor a way to continue. Everything only legends. Instead we found two ship wrecks GPS N28 ° 56'24.9 "W010 ° 39'25.8" and N28 ° 50'12.0 "W010 ° 52'10.9". The return trip took 3 hours. 2 of them we spent, the motorcycles over and over again to tip over and dig out. We just could not build up enough speed on the loose stuff. When driving slowly, however, the bikes dig in and out hopelessly, instead of providing propulsion. Slowly, the tide came closer and washed around our motorcycles. With the last strength we reached our camp in the afternoon.
 
There were now two new arrived. They had heard of the BMW GS meeting and in order to be able to take part just once a week before bought two brand new BMW R1200 GS LC. To be even better equipped for the desert, they had equipped their motorcycles with everything that Touratech had to offer. The two even had two different types of hammers. As if there are not enough stones here. So far, they had not had a chance to drive off-road and were keen on getting sand on the first day.

Since I had no time but had to pick up new participants from the airport in Agadir, the two made themselves on the way to the Plage Blanche. What the tour guide with his light rally machine, years of experience and studded tires can not do, but with a twice as heavy LC with road tires for beginners to create. The result was that the two did not show up for dinner at 8pm. Instead, the police called. Motorcyclists were spotted on the beach. When I returned from Agadir at 10pm, I set off in absolute darkness to seek out our two heroes. However, since the tide was fully there and forced one into the soft sand, I did not get far.

In the morning I was faced with the challenge of starting a rescue operation as well as having to make an exit with 10 people waiting. Without further ado, the rescue operation was renamed to a shipwreck tour and off we went with the whole group to the beach. After 10 meters of soft sand much of the first machine out. The BMW R 1200GS LC had not even 10,000 km on the clock suddenly no more drive. It did not do anything on the rear wheel, no matter which gear you took. Not really surprising considering how lousy BMW scores in the long-term tests of the journals 1, 2, 3.

The other participants did not get much further, before they too buried themselves in the sand and wanted to return. So I went alone to the renewed search for the missing person. The ground was extremely soft and I had to drive full throttle for 20 km. I knew that if my speed dropped below 60 km / h, I would hopelessly get stuck and be caught up in the flood. Then the bike would be lost. According to police, the two motorcyclists should have gotten stuck near the camp of the Argan Trophy Rally.

Once there, I drove up the cliff, bumped up and searched the beach. All of a sudden, I felt hot coolant running into my safety shoes. A hose had been damaged by a big stone. I left the machine and dragged the drinking water for the thirsty on foot on until a fisherman told me that he had helped the two of them the day before to get their motorcycles afloat again. Then they drove back.
So I started back again. When I returned to mobile phone reception after a few kilometers of walking, I learned that the two were proudly back in the camp with pride. The evening before, they drove to the city to have their bikes washed. There they took a hotel room because their tent was too uncomfortable for them and did not think it necessary to inform us that they would not come back. The trouble of my two rescue operations had been in vain. No sorry, no thanks. Nothing.
With delicious tea with the fishermen, I waited for the decline of the flood, repaired the coolant hose, filled up cooling water and at low tide also back home, to drive the broken motorcycle in the van to BMW to Casablanka. Shortly before my departure, a recall from BMW announced that the required parts would have to be ordered in Germany. This would take at least a week. So that our participant can drive at least a little motorbike during his short vacation, I rattled off some motorcycle workshops and organized a 125cc rental here for 10 Euros rent per day. The Mietquads were too expensive with 30 euros per hour. Next.
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