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Amazing garage service in S Morocco today

devonnick

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Jan 30, 2013
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So, having arrived in Nador in Morocco on Monday, I’ve travelled down south using the smallest roads possible. Yesterday I made a navigation error and ended up at a military post near the Algerian border (very friendly and offered me tea and water), but the route they advised back was a dead straight, wide road for 40+ KM with really bad currugations, so the 80 took a hammering even though I kept below 15 mph.

So today, more trouble through stupidity! I listen to advice from a kid that the Oued past Ramila was drivable on my own. It wasn’t! In turning around I had to use all three diff locks and blew the front one. On my way towards Merzouga I meet a guy who arranges for a mechanic to meet me. He is is at the meeting place, takes me to his Toyota specialist garage, confirms the diff is blown, goes and finds another, fits it, changes a shock absorber rubber I have split, cleans my air filter and other stuff. Three guys on the job for two hours and he charges me £120 including parts! Now he put me up for the night!!

There are still some good people left in the world. If you are ever in Merzouga, please go and say hello

I think I’ll stay on the tarmac tomorrow

0AB08063-EDBB-445F-8AB7-9C24999B3DED.jpeg
 

MarkW

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Should have told Mohammed you know me, you'd have got a better price ;). Moroccan mechanics really are something else especially in Merzouga and Zagora.

Ramlia is well known for the locals giving bad advice on routes and then trying to make some cash getting the out, @jjsaul had a similar experience in October.

Theres several good pistes north of the Ramlia one, less well known as they're not the old Dakar route but you avoid a lot of the problems with the southern route.
 

froggy Steve

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devonnick

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I’ve recently got back from my adventure, having done 6,500 miles door to door. I only stayed more than one night in the same place twice in two months - and was only under cover when I climbed into the roof tent at night. At 60 and on my own I was definitely challenged and had many ‘close to the edge’ experiences: arrested by the UN for straying into the no go zone, attacked by wild dogs at night, threatened by migrants who were starving and 8 hours to find my way out of an oued - to name a few. In addition to the rear diff lock, I now have new front wheel bearings and new rear suspension.

The bad news. Just under 3 weeks into my trip I lost vision in my right eye. It started with black speckles and quickly went to a black lake and no vision. By the time I had it diagnosed in Guelmim hospital as a detached retina it was urgent and I had to get to Agadir and fly back to have the op (the insurance company were bloody useless). Three weeks later I was back and continued, against medical advice. So yesterday I’m back at Moorfields as I had to have another op anyway and was told in blunt language that my off roading days were over - if I wanted to keep sight in both eyes. I’m pissed off but that’s life. So, I know this is not a vehicle sale board, but my 80 has to go. I bought it for £13.5K and have spent £3K + on it. I’d rather it went to ‘good people’ so if you are interested at a very low price then let me know. It still makes me smile when I turn the key and start that amazing engine and I’ll cry when it’s driven away.
 
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MarkW

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Where did you get arrested by the UN? Western Sahara?
 

nick_the_fish

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Sorry to hear about your eye Nick, but well done on the adventure. Sounds like it was a good one. Although the off reading has to stop, maybe the adventures don’t need to. Can you drive at all? Plenty of adventures to be had staying on the tar.
 

devonnick

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I’ve recently got back from my adventure, having done 6,500 miles door to door. I only stayed more than one night in the same place twice in two months - and was only under cover when I climbed into the roof tent at night. At 60 and on my own I was definitely challenged and had many ‘close to the edge’ experiences: arrested by the UN for straying into the no go zone, attacked by wild dogs at night, threatened by migrants who were starving and 8 hours to find my way out of an oued - to name a few. In addition to the rear diff lock, I now have new front wheel bearings and new rear suspension.

The bad news. Just under 3 weeks into my trip I lost vision in my right eye. It started with black speckles and quickly went to a black lake and no vision. By the time I had it diagnosed in Guelmim hospital as a detached retina it was urgent and I had to get to Agadir and fly back to have the op (the insurance company were bloody useless). Three weeks later I was back and continued, against medical advice. So yesterday I’m back at Moorfields as I had to have another op anyway and was told in blunt language that my off roading days were over - if I wanted to keep sight in both eyes. I’m pissed off but that’s life. So, I know this is not a vehicle sale board, but my 80 has to go. I bought it for £13.5K and have spent £3K + on it. I’d rather it went to ‘good people’ so if you are interested at a very low price then let me know. It still makes me smile when I turn the key and start that amazing engine and I’ll cry when it’s driven away.
Where did you get arrested by the UN? Western Sahara?

I was doing the Chris Scott MW7 from Tan Tan to Smara. After crossing the Chott Mezwat to the eastern end, it was starting to get dark and I cocked up and headed east along N14, then south down a track towards 'greenery' in the far distance. I was only parked up for 15 minutes when three UN Pajero's showed up and said I was in the PFZ. After 10 minutes of looking through the vehicle the tie clips on my wrist were undone and they were then friendly, but they moved me on. There were a lot of patrols on N14 and it was now dark, so the best place I could find to wild camp was behind a water tower.

I had printed out 36 fiches for my trip and got through 32 of them - take plenty with you if you are skirting the Algerian border and W Sahara. Also, each army post 'cost' 2 - 6 Marlborough to get through without searching and hassle, so buy 200 for 330 Dinar when you arrive!
 

devonnick

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Sorry to hear about your eye Nick, but well done on the adventure. Sounds like it was a good one. Although the off reading has to stop, maybe the adventures don’t need to. Can you drive at all? Plenty of adventures to be had staying on the tar.

Yes I can drive, but the surgeon at Moorfields said I was very close to losing the sight and that there was a 40% chance it could happen again - with impacts/bumps being a likely cause. So, cringe, but I sense a motor home with either a scrambler or quad bike as the next step, but they have to fit inside as I am not towing a bloody trailer about!! But I agree that there are still adventures on the tarmac, espacially if I head over to Kazakhstan and south
 

MarkW

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How did you get through the mine field into the PFZ? MW7 is quite a way from the border. N14 east is very much off limits to tourists. Not a place to be messing around.

I was down there 2 weeks ago used 2 fiches, probably back down there next week again.

You only need to had out cigs if you want too
 
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dyladams

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Sounds like you did have an adventure to remember.

Sorry to hear about the eyesight - my grandfather had something similar but it did not stop his sense of adventure.

Maybe look at doing a snow bound adventure in Europe where u need a 4wd to get there but there are less bumps along the way!?
 
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