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France - USA - Morocco - France - Switzerland



I arrived this moring at Marrakech, I got my sidecar from Younes and Mia's house, I will go pick up Jean-Louis when he arrives from New York.


I picked up Jean-Louis at the train station coming from Casablanca with a bag full of stuff and a good looking helmet !!!

By the way, arriving in Marrakech feels already like home, I know all my way around, how it works and people are very nice!



I have been working the whole week with Sebastien to include "Google translate" on my web site. It was quite involved changing the format of every single page of my website to be compatible with Google. After a few "nuit blanche", I just put the English version online. There are still a few bugs but overall, it's working.

Thank you so much Sebastien for putting me on the right track, without you, I would have never been able to do it.

Tomorrow morning I will leave Giorgio and his "Pagnolesques" friend and take my plane for Marrakech tomorrow morning



Saturday night, Chantal succeeded to corner Francois who thought to meet someone interested to buy a Porshe but to find a couple of dozen of his good friends to celebrate his 60th birthday !!!

Happy birthday François (Botero' man)



On my way to Giorgio and his Pagnolesque friends in Geneva.

In the train, I will finish the last story for my website "Le souk des teinturiers"



Sharing these rich moments with about twenty passionate people at the Closerie des Lilas, is a privilege that I will carry with me to the African tracks.

All had the passion of travelling in their eyes. Martin, a "Pied Nickelé" from Kyrgyzstan came.

I knew 2/3 of them from last year or before and 1/3, I never met before.
Martin with Gauderic, Jean-Louis' nevew
Frédéric came with his daugther who ride in Mongolia with him and a huge "Coulomier" (French cheese)

Not to forgot my dear Nico and the happy owner of this brand new Ural Tourist sidecar !!!



Just to confirm:


Tonight March 22, starting at 6:00pm, I will be in front of the "Closerie des Lilas" (Angle Boulevard Saint Michel and Boulevard de Port Royal) to meet who ever want to came.



What a great day I had:

- 8:05am - Landing at CDG Paris

- 9:50am - Drop a suitcase for Gary at my sister Marire France's house

- 10:30 - Doctor Dubert identify that my problem is now the finger next to the one I had the surgery last october. He gave me a cortizone shot to see if it works.

- 12:30pm - Lunch with my brother Patrick

- 4:00pm - Shopping for detailed African maps at IGN - Institut Geographic National.

- 5:00pm - Degustation of the best "Gauffre" (French waffle) in Paris at Carefour de l'Odeon

- 6:00pm - Tea time then dinner with my sister Marie France and Bernard at their house, Jardin du Luxembourg.

- 10:10pm - Movie "Vents de Sable, Femme de rock"

Once a year, the nomad's women of the Toubou's tribe, do a 900 miles caravan ride with their
camels through the over heated Sahara and sands storms with their children to sell their dates and
generate enough money for their family for the year and be independent from their husband !!!



I had a great great time with Lorraine and Milou in New York...

I'm on my way to Paris.



I will arrive in Paris monday morning for my doctor (finger) appointment.

Tuesday march 22, at 6:00pm, I will be in front of the "Closerie des Lilas" (Angle Boulevard Saint Michel and Boulevard de Port Royal) to meet who ever want to came. Then I will go to Geneva meet Giorgio and "l'equipe Pagnolesque" and go be with Francois' birthday (Botero).



While I am "coo-ing" with my beloved Lorraine in New York, Jean-Louis kept riding toward the city of "Fes" in Morocco. You can see his story I just posted.



Arrived under the snow in Rochester for a 10 days vacation with Lorraine during her spring break.

Will fly to Paris on March 21 and then go to Geneva visit my friend Giorgio and surprise Francois (Botero) for his 60th birthday (don't worry about a thing, Francois would not even know how to start up a computer !!!)

Will return to Marrakech first week of April.



It's amazing how easy it is to travel on the other side of the world these days.

5 Days ago, I decided to go to New York see Lorraine, I bought a cheap ticket online, this morning I went at the airport where they gave me a boarding pass at the view of my passport, they showed me the way to the right airplane, the helped me to find my seat, they feeded me, the showed me the exit in Madrid where I took the subway to spend the evening and the night at my nephew's house Johann. We went to eat tapas in the old Madrid with Lidice his girl friend. Tomorrow morning, I will board to the USA... Very easy !!!

Tapas with my nephew Johann in Madrid on my way to the USA.



I just bought a couple of days ago a plane ticket to go to New York to be with my beloved Lorraine during her spring break next week. Then I will fly by Paris to visit the doctor who screwed my finger surgery last october and I will go to Geneva visit Giorgio and be at the 60th birthday of my good friend François (the Botero man). As soon as I bought the plane ticket 2 days ago, I splitted with Jean-Louis to come back to Marrakech where I am now at Mia and Younes' house.

As for Jean-Louis, he was riding to Fes and will come back to Marrakech next week when he will take a plane to go to New York see Alison and finish a few loose hands.

We will both fly back to Marrakech the first week of April when will be riding south to Mauritania and Dakar.

Thanks a lot for my blinker rear light Giorgio, I will pick it up as soon as I can !



While circling the Erg Chebi, we slept in a Berber tent the first night, then we had a very good Austrian dinner [schnitzel] in Marzouga and last night, we put our tents in the middle of the dunes.

So far, we used the shovel, the pulling and the pushing but we did not needed the sand tracks yet !!!



"Erg Chebbi" is a huge dune area close to the Algerian border.

The 2WD Ural would not let us challenge these huges dunes, made for the "Enduro" riders only.

Don't be fooled, we can only play at the bottom of the dunes, a Ural is not an enduro, but a lot of fun !!!



We spend 3 days in the mountains between the Dades' Gorge and the Togra's Gorge, sleeping in the moutains and drinking tea in a Berber's tent, we had a great time.

Giorgio, tomorrow morning before going to work, stop by "Millet" in Geneva to order a
orange light homologated for the 1972 Geneva busses, I lost mine in the Dades' Gorges !!!



We are leaving the hospitality of the Skoura's palmeraie for the Dades' Gorge.



Finally the warm weather, I passed the Tizi n'Tishka pass at 6600 feet in T-shirt with no socks in my little shoes !!!

Tonight we are having a couscous.



We are leaving Marrakech this morning for Ouarzazate and the south canyons...

Finally, Jean-Louis is putting some stickers on his sidecar!



We are at the end of working on our sidecars. For Jean-Louis, the anti-parallelism, the balance of the motor (we opened the exhaust and that made a huge change), the installation of the command for the rear shift and 2WD, painted the gas tank and the gericans that were not the same white and many little details that he did not have the time or did not know yet how to do them since he bought the sidecar. For me it was more simple, with welding the crack on the sidecar frame, completing the electric on the front (changing a faulty relay and installing connectors to be able to remove the windshield easily and a few bricoles.

We might hit the road as soon as tomorrow.

I put my name(s) on the front fender including the Arabic version of it!



This morning, I am entering my 7th year on the road and I love it even better than the first day because I don't have any more pressure to know if I would be able to do it or not and the 4 minutes late I had when I left New York don't bother me as much as it did that day !!!

It's only pleasure as I imagined it would be.


Thank you to all of you for your support.


Morgan AKAYuruul, Humberto, Humbertof or Hubert (say U-bear)



The good news of the day was when I noticed the sidecar frame braking at the same spot I already repair it 2 years ago in Kyrgyzstan.

It was a good news because it was braking only an not yet broken and we were in a big city with a lot of competent craftman ready to help.

After all, it could have broke in the middle of the desert !!!

In less than 2 hours, the sidecar frame was welded and ready to go!



Yesterday, we had lunch with Mia, my niece I never met before. Mia lives in Marrakech from the last 6 years. Today, we worked on the anti-parallelisme for our sidecars (beleive me, you don't want your wheels to be parallel)

For Jean-Louis' sidecar we could knock out the parallelism from the outisde...

But mine was more reticent and we had to use more persuasion to get it right !!!

With my nieve Mia and her fiance Fernando from Argentina.



Walking the Madina of Marrakech might feel like a tourist pelerinage at first but wen you go deeper inside, it become a fascinating world with thousand of people exercising their craftmanship, on leather, wood, metal ect...

The main place is Djermaa el Fna where during the day you have a few artist and snake or monkey shower but in the evening, the place become a whole carnival
of storytellers, musicians and entertainers; not to mention the food stalls that are a show in themselves.

Last night we were at the place Djemaa el Fna. I started to take a few video here and there and by the time we got home, I had plenty of material to put a video together that I am putting online as we speak.

The souks of Marrakech are worldwide known and the craftmanship of these people is just amazing.

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