London to Morocco: The Overland Motorcycle Itinerary

Two and half years ago Neil, Sean and I sat in a cafeteria enjoying our first (albeit interesting) experience with Korean food. Surrounded by expats from America, Canada, England and the antipodean nations, we laughed about the tiny milk cartons, challenged each other to eat kimchi and discussed our dreams of riding from London to Morocco on a motorcycle.

The bald-headed boy from Devon (Sean) and the kiwi oaf (Neil) spent almost every opportunity talking about bikes, talking about gear and talking about routes across Africa… and then they were separated. Sean was sent to Chungju and we were sent to Cheongju. A distance of several hours now split the two but thanks to technology and cheap buses they continued to plan their adventure. To be honest, it became a little tiresome and at times I wondered if anything would come of it, even more so when we moved from Korea to London and left Sean behind. But I was wrong.

Since Sean arrived back in the UK a couple of months ago things have been moving along at speed. Neil bought a bike, Sean got his license, Sean bought a bike, Neil bought gear, Sean bought gear, I brought gear….Originally planned as a boys only excursion, I will now be joining them for two of the three weeks, flying into Morocco, touring around and then back to England via Spain.

Last week the final piece of the puzzle arrived – Sean’s registration papers and since then it’s been full steam ahead; buying ferry tickets, mapping out some kind of rough route and booking accommodation. Both boys have been collecting essential items for the trip – everything from allen keys, spanners and saucepans to Vaseline (don’t ask).

The departure date is now locked and loaded – Sunday June 17th. After so much anticipation it’s hard to believe it’s all finally happening.

Here’s the rough itinerary:

Day Start End Time Kms Details Accom.
1 London, UK Chartres, FR 7:23 453 Eurotunnel to Calais Camping
2 Chartres, FR Marmande, FR 8:08 502 Camping
3 Marmande, FR Almazan, SP 7:43 490 Over the Pyrenees Camping
4 Almazan, SP Cordoba, SP 9:32 568 Around the outside of Madrid Camping
5 Cordoba, SP Chefchaouen, MR 6:59 429 Ferry – Algeciras to Tanger MED Camping
6 Chefchaouen, MR Boulmane, MR 4:25 320 Jbel Sarhro Gorge Camping
7 Boulmane, MR Merzouga, MR 4:42 378 Stop near Erg Chebbi Camping
8 Merzouga, MR Ouarzazate, MR 4:41 362 N10 Dades Gorge Camping
9 Ouarzazate, MR Agadir, MR 4:52 357 Pick Geri up Riad
10 Agadir, MR Rest day Riad
11 Agadir, MR Essaouira, MR 2:20 173 Riad
12 Essaouira, MR Marrakech, MR 2:10 177 Hostel
13 Marrakech, MR Rest day Hostel
14 Marrakech, MR Azrou, MR 5:27 397 Camping
15 Azrou, MR Chefchaouen, MR 3:41 268 N13 Past Volubilis Riad
16 Chefchaouen, MR Cordoba, SP 7:08 389 Ferry – Algeciras to Tanger MED Hostel
17 Cordoba, SP Avila, SP 6:47 429 Camping
18 Avila, SP Luena, SP 5:56 355 Camping
19 Luena, SP Santander, SP 1:03 54 24HR ferry to Portsmouth Ferry
20 Portsmouth, UK London, UK 1:36 100 Home
Totals     94:33 6,221  

UPDATE: We pretty much followed this exact route until we got to Cordoba, when we switched up Avila for Valladolid and Luena for Aguilar de Campoo as were ahead of schedule and figured we’d cover as much distance as possible. If we did it again the boys would like more time in the desert and the dirt and I’d like more rest days and more time in Chefchaouen. It was so beautiful.

If you want to follow the tour updates on Twitter make sure you add @neilang or follow the hashtag #LONtoMOR, you can also search the hashtag on this blog.

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