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Women-Only Morocco 2020 Details


In March of 2019 we co-promoted the very first women-only Sideburn Morocco Desert and Mountain adventure, and the first intrepid group loved it. We've listened to feedback and implemented some changes, and we're doing it again, in March 2020. The first trip was four days riding, 2020's tour will have five riding days to enable the group to get to the amazing dunes at Erg Chebbi, the highest in the Sahara.

The route is reversed to 2019 with the extra day, inserted in the middle. It will consist of a half-day of riding that ends at a gorgeous auberge with a pool set in the shadow of the famous cathedral dunes. Have lunch, relax by the pool in the afternoon, then, if you want, back on the bikes for a ride to the top of a high dune to watch the sunset.

Sideburn partners with Moto Aventures, a specialist company who has been running Morocco trips for nearly 25 years. By joining the Moto Aventures’ Sideburn trip you benefit from being in a group of likeminded individuals all on the same wavelength, so even if you sign up on your own you’re going to be in a group of new friends from day one. How do we know? It’s just how it happens on the Sideburn collab trips. We’ve done four in Morocco and three in the Himalayas, and strong, global friendships have formed from every one of them.

The trip is operated and run by Moto Aventures, but we will send a Sideburn rep to ensure everything is just right, and to cover the event for the Sideburn website (and posterity).

HOW IT WORKS

You fly into Marrakesh no later than 1pm on Saturday 14th March. You can extend your trip at either end at your own expense and we can recommend gorgeous riads to stay in if you want more time away. Just let us know.

We organise a transfer from Marrakesh to Ouarzazate by minibus. We’ll either pick you up at your hotel in Marrakech or at the airport. Once at the Le Fint hotel in Ouarzazate you’ll meet the Moto Aventures crew and guide team, get introduced to your KTM, have a group meal and get to know your fellow riders. The next day you ride!

The accommodation is a mixture, ranging from a 200-year-old converted Kasbah, top tourist hotels built in a Kasbah style and and an exclusive night in a traditional Bedouin camp in the shadow of another area of the dunes (with proper showers and toilet blocks).

After FIVE days of riding, you will have one more night in Ourzazate before transferring back to Marrakech to fly home in the evening of 20th March, or continue your holiday in Morocco if you wish.

GOOD BUT IMPORTANT

Moto Aventures differs from the vast majority of tour companies because every bike is fitted with its own Garmin satnav that has every metre of every day’s route inputted. That means you can ride at a pace that is comfortable to you, no need to get stressed trying to stay on someone’s back wheel or be isolated and have to guess at desert crossroads. The groups normally split into smaller groups, a minimum of two riders together to assist each other, and ride at their pace.

If you want to stop for a photo or a rest, do it, knowing that you’ll meet up with the group at the next stop. Alternatively, if you ride at a quick pace you can. You don’t have to wait for anyone, just stay safe. Remember the support vehicle follows a short way behind on the same route as the bikers, to sort any bike issues out.

There is a fully equipped support vehicle, complete with mechanic, that transports your luggage during the day. All you need to carry is your Camelbak and camera.

RIDING LEVEL

This trip is for confident off-road riders only. The trip is 90% off-road and worthwhile off-road riding experience is essential. The terrain can catch people out if they ride beyond their limits or become over-confident. For some reason, we think this is less likely with a women-only group than a mainly male group, but Morocco can bite if you get it wrong.

IMPORTANT - some of the first women's group were unprepared for the length of the riding days and the terrain. Because some riders were cautious and slower than we anticipated it meant for some long days. Even though riders can ride at their own pace, the group must wait at designated points or they risk being hours ahead of the back-up vehicle and its medical support and we cannot have that happening.

All our first group of women said that any person going on this trip must have a good level of trail riding experience and/or have attended specialist training. Depending on where you live, we can help suggest training schools. We will be asking riders to give honest appraisals of their riding ability and off-road experience, before we take deposits.

Nothing will prepare you for riding in the dunes, except riding in the dunes. It’s wonderful and surreal and tiring and unforgettable, and Moto Aventures’ John will guide you in this alien landscape, giving tips and guidance if needed and not push you further than you, or he, thinks is safe and appropriate.

During the riding days there are regular meal and drink stops in memorable locations, some with pools to cool off in. All the hotels have swimming pools too.

THE HIGHLIGHTS

· Nearly 90% off road

· Spectacular trails combined with dramatic mountain landscapes and awesome views

· Beautiful winding trails, gorges, rocky climbs, and some big wash-outs. Beware!

· 2500m mountain passes with spectacular scenery

· River crossings - with and without water

· Sandy river beds & vast dry lake beds

· Isolated mountain villages

· A night out under the stars at our desert bivouac with campfire and local musicians – 90km from nearest road!

· Excellent accommodation

· Good food, with plenty of veggie options.

· Alcohol available every night, even in our desert bivouac!

DATES

14 to 20 March 2020

You must arrive at Marrakech airport no later than 13.00 on 14th March. In the past really early arrivers have taken a cab into Marrakech for breakfast and a quick explore and transferred from there.

Return flights should be after 17:00 to allow for the transfer time from Ouarzazate to Marrakech on the 20th March.

THE PRICE

€2060 based on two sharing a room. Single supplement is €120. On the first and last nights you will have separate rooms to be able to prepare for day 1/ pack your luggage for your return.

We have ten spots only.

We are able to offer three lowered KTM 450s, but they must be reserved in advance.

This trip is marketed by Sideburn, but operated solely by Moto Aventures Europe SL.

To book reserve a place email us, giving us details of your off-road riding experience.

A 30% deposit is to be paid at the time of booking and is accepted as part of the total cost of the tour and will not be refunded unless the applicant cannot be offered a place. The balance of the total cost for the tour must reach Moto Aventures no later than EIGHT weeks before the tour date.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

  • Six night’s accommodation (based on two people)

  • Five days riding

  • Bike rental of late-model, meticulously maintained KTM 450 enduro bikes with free GPS installed.

  • Fuel

  • Transfers to and from Marrakech

  • Full board and drinking water during the day’s riding (soft drinks & alcohol extra)

  • Fully equipped support vehicle with mechanical back-up

  • Guide who will ride with you

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights

  • Personal travel insurance (must include repatriation cover. Email if you need details)

  • Riding kit

  • Money for alcohol, souvenirs, etc. Reckon €50 unless you’re a big drinker…

  • A 700€ returnable deposit against bike and/or GPS damage.

To book reserve a place email us, giving us details of your off-road riding experience.

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