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Oued Draa and The Plage Blanche

11th November - 27th November 2018

£1800 for a car with two people - 7 places left

Grade: 1 to 2

We sit at the top of the cliffs looking down onto the sands of Le Plage Blanche: 75km of beach stretch away to the horizon: the tide is turning now so down we go to race along the water’s edge, keeping a weather eye out for Fisherman’s nets, old anchor’s and the occasionally skeleton of a ship that was tossed onto the sands many years ago. The Plage is one of the highlights of this adventure.

After the beach we climb up onto the cliffs that lead to the Estuary of the Oued Draa to camp under the stars between sea and the river. Over the next few days you will travel its length of the Draa Valley from the sea to deep within the rarely filled Lac Iriki with its own Sea of Sand: Chegega, where deep within its dunes our last wild camp will be, beside a fire and under the Milky Way.

Mhamid El Gezlane is a small village nestling in the sands of Iriki and here we will spend two nights in the Kasbah Azalay Hotel: a haven after the heat and dust of The Sahara offering hospitality that is second to none. On your way north you will have time to visit Meknes where we will be staying at the Riad Yacout which is situated in the heart of this historical city.

The journey south to the start of this adventure is a long one as we have to pass the vast Agricultural Plains of The North and get well below Agadir. The prize is some of the most incredible off-road tracks and desert that you will find anywhere in The World

The Route

Day 1: Tanger Ibis to Essaouria Camping

Day 2: Essaouria Camping to Sidi Ifni Wild Camp

Day 3: Sidi ifni Wild Camp to Fort Bou Jerif Camping

Day 4: Rest Day at Fort Bou Jerif: visit to Legionnaires Fort

Day 5: Fort Bou Jerif to Plage Blanche Wild camp

Day 6: Plage Blanche

Day 7: Plage Blanche to Oued Draa Estuary Wild Camp

Day 8: Oued Draa estuary Wild Camp to Oued Draa Valley Wild Camp

Day 9: Oued Draa Valley to Acacia Valley Wild Camp

Day 10: Acacia Valley Wild Camp to Tissnit Wild Camp

Day 11: lac Iriki

Day 12: lac iriki: Chegega Dune Wild Camp

Day 13: Hotel Kasbah Azalay

Day 14: Rest Day: Visit to Kasbah or sitting beside the pool

Day 15: Kasbah Azalay to Marrakech

Day 16: Marrakech to Meknes: Riad Yacout

Day 17: Riad Yacout to Tanger(option to spend a day in meknes and leave for tanger on day 18)

Conditions to Expect in Morocco

Sahara Desert

Temperatures will range from 45°C at the hottest part of the day to 15°C at 2am

Sunshine all day. Shade is important· Warm wind from a zephyr to force 8· High winds will mean that sand will be airborne·

Stones (small to large), flat rock, dry lakes, sand rivers, mountain passes and sand dunes 200 meters high

Camps are basic.

Hotels vary from good to excellent

High Atlas and The Anti-Atlas

Temperatures will range from 35°C during the hottest part of the day to 0°C at 2am

Weather is variable but generally warm and clear

High winds will mean that dust will be airborne

Rock or sand track abound. Flat rock, mountain passes and if it rains very slippery mud will be an interesting challenge

Camps are basic. Hotels vary from good to excellent

Driving and Rules for Morocco

1. Always Slow down early for Police Checkpoints and be polite and courteous. They will ask you where you are going and are often interested in talking about what it is like in England and in your car.

2. On the off road tracks it is often very slippery and you should always use four wheel drive with a locked center diff. Extreme Caution is often needed on bends and brows of hills. Always drive at a speed where you can stop easily in the distance that you can actually see ahead.

3. Punctures can be quite numerous and you will be able to get tyres repaired at all towns and most villages.

Further Details

For more information please check out the following pages: grading, equipment, roadbooks and camping.