Eager to embark on a real adrenaline-fuelled escapade, I have signed up for The Maroc Challenge – Spring 2024, propelling myself and my trusty companion, Ventura, into an off-road mission spanning the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains and the vast Moroccan desert. The Maroc Challenge sells itself as having the Spirit of a 1970’s Dakar Rally race for today’s adventurer, which sounds nothing short of a perfect for my intro to the world of Rally driving.
With over 2,000 kilometres of heart-pounding dune bashing and rock crawling awaiting us over seven thrilling days, The Maroc Challenge promises to be one hell of an adventure, and I can’t bloody wait. However, the excitement doesn’t just start there — our journey from Lisbon to Almeria in Spain and then from Nador to the mysterious destination of Erachiddia in the Middle of Morocco adds another nearly 3,000 kilometres to the epic expedition.
In order to further build excitement I made this video from a collection of other clips on the web, If I can get anywhere near this amount of excitement I will be over the moon!
Preparation for this ridiculous adventure will be key, and I have dedicated myself to ensuring Ventura will not be the weakest link in our quest for glory. The detailed process will unfold in its very own blog post (I know, you will have to hold back the excitement), with a target completion date of the upgrades by the end of February to allow for crucial off-road testing weekends.
Immersing myself in the Maroc Challenge rulebook, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of doubt at the enormity of the task. Yet, with an excellent wing man co driver who shares a similar level of mechanical ineptitude, confidence is as ever bubbling to the surface – What could possibly go wrong!
The route map, a labyrinth of adventure, was nothing short of spectacular. While my current lack of cartographic skills prevented me from creating a visual masterpiece, I eagerly plugged the coordinates into Google Maps, unveiling a road map version that highlighted the 1,500 km of on-road excitement. When factoring in the connections through Portugal, Spain, and Northern Morocco, the grand total reaches a staggering 4,000 km — an awesome and thrilling expedition that will really test my old Land Rover to the max.
A small extract from the race organisers on the route:
We will start out from Er-Rachidia, then head on down towards Zagora, the capital of the Draa Valley. From Zagora we will continue heading south towards Tata, where the bivouac will await us. From Tata we will go up to M’hamid, passing through Lake Iriki and the areas surrounding Erg Chegaga. From M’hamid we will move on to Erfoud, where we will make a loop in the fifth stage to finish off with the now traditional waypoint stage that will take us all the way to Merzouga at the foot of Erg Chebbi.
As ever watch this space for more in the coming weeks.