The last day in Morocco threw up so many more challenges – food, language, security, and oh yeah – language again! It has definitely been one of my most exciting and demanding trips I’ve ever done and I’m happy to have survived the Sahara Desert dunes. But I was finally going home.
Last 2 days in Morocco! I had an extra day at the Marriot in Fes to rest before I flew to Casablanca. I decided to go to a local shopping centre where there was a Burger King and get something normal to eat. I thought I’d catch a cab there, but the Moroccan taxi driver had other ideas!
Andrew Houlihan has finished the 2019 Rallye du Maroc in 9th place in the Enduro Cup category. He completed today’s final stage – 490km from Erfoud to Fes – in 12th place. The last day of the race was one of the toughest with dangerous tight and rocky roads that caught many riders out.
“After the challenges of the last few days, all I wanted to do this morning was get on the bike. Our 2.10pm start time couldn’t come around quick enough. The prologue stage was a short 70km route, and I had more bike problems right from the start.”
An early start today to bring the bike back for the final technical inspection, and there was one more issue to solve. It was stressful as we were quickly running out of time, but we made it through the necessary steps to compete. But there is still a problem with the throttle sticking.
This morning started nice and relaxing – and then the mayhem started! Getting through the rally administration took an hour and a half, and then technical inspection was all good until the last station. But the ride through Fes was absolute chaos, I was sure I was going to get hit by a car.
A lazy morning today. Ah you have to love Morocco! The hotel WiFi is down and we can’t pay our bills with credit cards, so we sit and wait … and wait … and wait. The build up to Rallye du Maroc is in full swing. The Monster Energy Dakar service truck and many others are in the car park today.
The last day! All sand dunes today and they saved the biggest ones for last! My bike is good to be raced and as I missed day 5, I was in the last pack to start. So it was always going to be a difficult day. The first 20km of dunes were good and today we had the biggest dune yet – over 200 metres high.
A failed Stella tracking device and a jammed throttle have created some issues for Andrew Houlihan on Day 4 of the 2019 Pan Africa Rally. About 10 metres from the peak of the biggest dune I went to back off the throttle but it had jammed and I landed about 20 metres down.
“My start time this morning was 8.50am. Thankfully, our direction this morning was opposite to the dunes, and everyone was relieved to be on flat ground for the start! The last rider from yesterday’s final dune section was not back until 1am this morning!”