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Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

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Denver, Colorado
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Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

I'm trying to orginize a one day trip to the Chebbi Dunes from Marrakech, this Tuesday June 17.

If it's going to happen, we'll leave at 02:00 ~ 03:00. It's a 4X4 with a driver, (as advertized). We'll have about 2 hours there and head back to Mkch around 13:00. Not for the faint hearted or those that need a lot of rest and shopping brakes. There are 2 of us, so there will be room for 1~2 more very ambitious people. We will share the driving. I've inquired on several "Adventure" sites regarding the same, waiting for a reply. (From someone that realizes there are more than 17 hours in the day)

Any "Privateers" out there?

Thanks

Cardiff, United...
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11. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

If this is what you have to do, then go for it, I personally don't think it is possible to do this much driving in a day, so I will be really interested in ready your trip report once you have returned from Morocco.

I love adventure and pushing the boundaries but having done this journey a couple of times, I would say doing it in 2 days would be pushing it (and not enjoyable), 3 days is probably the minimum (2 easy days, 1 long day), 4 days is just about right (4 easy days).

Like I said before do what you got to do and let us know how you get on..............

Mirleft, Morocco
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12. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

Knowing that it won't change the OP's opinion, but hopefully others will find this when using the search: Every bit of advice given to the OP is absolutely sound. Even the most careful driver WILL get into very dangerous situations when doing such a trip. I've traveled the country pretty extensively (about 15.000 km on the road) in recent months and when there is one thing I've learned it is that you get a hotel after sunset - you just don't drive.

Edited: 15 June 2014, 11:45
York, United Kingdom
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656 posts
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13. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

I really don’t want to sound like a killjoy or discourage folk from going for it, as that’s usually when you have the best adventures, I just want to give you a heads up about the possible pitfalls.

If you do head out on your own personal cannon ball run then (if you find a driver who takes on your challenge) just make sure your driver is alert and on the ball when the going gets tough, as many Moroccan road incidents are caused by tired drivers who are working long hours on little sleep and food (a particular issue during Ramadan). These guys will do what they are told by their bosses and may not be as precious with their cargo as you may be when getting tired while driving.

Denver, Colorado
8 posts
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14. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

We just got back Thursday 26. (Then took my son to the Pikes Peak Intl. Hill Climb early Friday.) I thought I'd have a look here to see what's up. The summary of all your inpuit is very solid and thank you all. In short, we did not make the Erg trip. Not becuse of being scared away by the posts, but simply flight foul-ups and other facts of nature that this 12-18-24 hour shift worker fails to understand.

The day before our departure from Denver I get an email from Iceland Air that states our flight has beed canceled due to a mechanic strike next day. My wife, sweet as she is, straightened things out with IA in less time than it took me to complete my out of body experiance. The inbound equipment was late, and the connecting Air France from Minn.St.P to CDG was the most dated, cramped, dirty, blood pooling, clot dislodging, worst excuse of an air plane I can rembember being on. We had no problems through CDG to Marrakech. Even the ride into the heart of the Medina and the walk to Dar Dada Mouss was a pleasure. However, after a few crepes from Mustaphas mother, very nice, and a plop on the couch, I could see that if I wasn't to be thrown from the roof, I had better let my Daughter sleep for as long as she wanted. The morning call to prayer, 4~5, woke me from a nightmare of being sucked out of an airplane. I checked on my spawn to see her sleeping in such a way that can only be discribed as, well, possesion. Ramsis himself was no doubt more awake in the glass box at Luxor. It was only then that I had better concider a softer itenarary. Mustapha let me out to get some snacks and drinks and I put them on her bed hopeing that the krinkling noise would congier her awake, in my absence, if she happened to roll onto them. The next call for preyer she hadn't moved. After lunch I put my camera lens next to her nose. It got slighty foggy. At 15:00 we went for pizza and back to the riad. I made another run accross the street for some goodies for the fridge while she did some FB. I chatted with Mustapha and another guest from Egypt on the rooftop chill spot and cought myself dosing. I checked on junior to find her as asleep as asleep could get. That was how it was. We made it out a few more times, watching a few locals try to teach her how to hagel. I got some pictures. She was amazed, sleepy, suprized, confused, frightened, worried, restless, as was I years ago. "There's a lot of different out here" I keeped telling her. It's not this or that, Just different that's all. It's all real different isn't it. We went on to Nice and a friends in Marseille for a few days, then to Paris. We were home for about ten minuits before she found one of the silly t-shirts we bought, and put it on. Donkey smell and all. sorry for the spelling

Thornton Cleveleys...
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15. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

Thanks for letting us know how it went - I think you made the best decision by not attempting the Erg Chebbi trip!

I also think your post proves exactly a point that is often made on this forum - there's no need to rush. I think we all have a tendency to try to fill every second of our holiday time because there's never enough of it! We arm ourselves with guide books and make list of sights to tick off and things to "do". It works pretty well in Rome, Venice, Madrid, London etc..........but not in Morocco!

As fabulous as the palaces and tombs and madrasas are, I think it is vitally important to just stop, look around, breathe in the smell, feel the heat and jump out of the way of a speeding motorbike! Those are experiences in themselves.

Edited: 05 July 2014, 00:35
Denver, Colorado
8 posts
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16. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

I won't let this go that easy. The comments herein are good advice for the average, "easy go lucky", momys college money, (robbed and locked up), tourest. and thank you again, But that's not me. I put a lot of work into these trips I do and I don't expect to have fun or even relax much for that matter. I go out there and get it done so that when I retire, and the kids are grown, we can go as a family, with the confidence of knowing what it takes. How long? How much? How dangerous? Waching them have fun is what's fun for me. I know that it takes only 1 EGP to cross the river at Luxor. I know our stuff will be safe in Hamams little red car while we walk down Setis tomb. (and I still think I could hitch hike from Marrakech to the Erg and back in 24 hours) Tim, did I see you hanging out in the square on the 19-20th?

Cheers all

Stockholm, Sweden
Destination Expert
for Morocco
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17. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

"and I still think I could hitch hike from Marrakech to the Erg and back in 24 hours"

yes of course you could do that, but, what it is for point of such trip?

Paris
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18. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

Starting from Marrakech at 2:00 am, you will be in Merzouga by 11 am rush driving.

If you start from merzouga at 13:00, you will be in Marrakech by 11pm. I think you need 3 drivers but think about it and stay in Marrakech to do your last shopping things in the souks or a day trip to Essaouira. 1000 kms in one day, Marrakech - Merzouga racing instead of Paris- Dakar racing.

York, United Kingdom
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19. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

Hitch hiking in Morocco is common and many universities in the UK run trips to hitch to Marrakesh through Europe. The only think to know is that a local will usually get a free lift but a westerner will usually always be expected to pay, so you may as well get a taxi.

Denver, Colorado
8 posts
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20. Re: Quick trip to Chebbi Dunes?

Thanks Bhapp, That sounds about right.

...And with hitching, you have a better chance of getting a fresh driver!