Ferry to A̶l̶ ̶H̶o̶c̶e̶i̶m̶a̶ Nador

I set my alarm for 06:30, so we could be ready to leave at 07:30. The journey was about 3 hours to catch the 12:00 ferry from Motril in Spain to Al Hoceima in Morocco. We would arrive in Morocco at dusk but had a hotel booked for the night near the port. We arrived at the port in Motril at 11:00, just in time to check-in, only to discover that our ferry had left 2 hours earlier!

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Back to Morocco

Day 1 - It’s all about the cold. According to the internet it was -7°C outside, -7!! It was Sunday morning and the plan was to leave early and head south as quickly as possible. But reading the weather forecast did not inspire me to get going. So, I checked my packed bags, repacked one of them and removed some stuff that I really didn’t need and tidied others. Eventually I left around lunch time.

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Arrival in Marrakech

After flying in from a very cool Amsterdam, first impression when getting off the plane in Marrakech is… phew, it’s hot 😎. The gauge reads 27°, and is untypically warm for the time of year.

This is the start of Chris Scott Adventure, a guided fly and ride tour around Morocco led by Chris Scott, the author of “The Adventure Motorcycling Handbook”, “Morocco Overland” and several other books.

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Illyria Raid Official Photos

A small collection of photos from the Illyria Raid by the official rally photographer.

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The Office

This has been my office for the week. At the top left you can see the GPS transmiiter that sends my current location the the rally organisers. This allows them to see my location at all times and to know if I am on track or heading the wring way. Top left is my ICO showing kilometres ridden, it is used together with the roadbook (centre). As you can see, I am at kilometre 192.

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Bunkers

Albania is covered in these bunkers, about 170,000 of them. Built during the communist era, you can read all about them on wikipedia. On my last trip to Albania, although looking for them I never saw any. This time I have seen three in a couple of days.

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What are the chances?

They put us in a hotel owned and run by the brewery next door. Free beer all night! What could go wrong?

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Illyria Raid - Breakdown

Today was a good day. After really feeling it on the first day I took a relatively easy second day and recovered enough to feel much better on day 3. Yesterday we left Greece and entered Albania and headed for Pogradec. The trail was a lot less technical but still challenging. I did manage to lose the trail at one point, as the roadbook was not very clear on one particular section.

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Illyria Raid - day 2

Yesterday was the first day of the raid, and to say it was hard going would be a bit of an understatement! I left Ioannina at 08:00 and was ready to give up after the first 30km. But as it turned out, that was the easy bit. The terrain was bery rocky, with the occasional boulder thrown in, and the occasionall small stream. On one section a rock slide completely blocked the road, making it impassable for the SSVs, fortunately there were enough other competitors around that we could lift and drag the bikes across.

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Illyria Adventure

Finally, after being cancelled last year due to some pandemic or something, I am sitting in Athens airport on my way to the start of the Illyria Raid. I have about an 8 hour wait here for a connecting flight to take me to Ioannina and the starting point of the rally. I’ve walked the delarture lounge, looked around WH Smith (in Greece, who knew?) and had a coffee. Only thing left to do now is write some rubbish here.

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