January 23 2008.

Craig Carey-Clinch writes from Morocco:

After five days of excellent riding through the warm and pleasant Moroccan winter, the Globebusters / Motorcycle Outreach West Africa research expedition has reached the ancient Portuguese Port of Essaouira, for a well earned rest day.

Craig Carey-Clinch and Barbara Alam have covered just under 700 miles through the impressive mountain areas of the Rif and Middle Atlas.

The Berber mountain town of Chefchaouen was the atmospheric first stop in Morocco, the daunting backdrop of the high Rif peaks, hanging over this ancient and for many years independent city. The Medina and street markets providing a colourful start to the expedition proper.

A journey then took the riders and their BMW R1200GS out of the Rif and towards the Imperial city of Meknes. The vast Roman ruins at Volubilis were visited, as was the holy town of Moulay-Idriss, a place where the Muslim faithful can experience the Haj if Mecca is beyond their means.

Passing through busy and hectic Meknes, a night was spent in the foothills of the Middle Atlas in the regional town of Azrou and the following day, the Middle Atlas were challenged, with a long and twisty climb of several thousand feet through breathtaking mountain scenery to Azilal and then onto the spectacular waterfalls at the Cascades d'Ouzoude.

The long ride to Essaouira then followed, via the traffic chaos and pedestrian anarchy of Marrakech.