I’d first met Billy Ward, aka Billy Biketruck, when I did the Tasmania and High Country Tour.  Billy was co-ride leader with Charley Boorman.  Unsurprisingly for an Irishman, Billy is a good bloke and even better raconteur.

Billy mentioned he was the leader of a couple of tours in Morocco through Wheels of Morocco.  After a couple of emails to Billy and Wheels of Morocco I had secured a place on the 2022 9 Day Atlas to Desert Tour.

The tour overview per Wheels of Morocco was as follows:

Fly Ride Adventure – Discover Morocco with Billy Biketruck – Exclusive (7 Riding Days)

This is a completely bespoke nine-day motorcycle adventure led by Billy Ward – a truly experienced adventure rider, but more importantly, a great host – funny, entertaining and extremely capable. You’ll have the opportunity to chat to Billy about his travels, hear stories and anecdotes about his times with Charley Boorman and Claudio von Planta – get the inside story of Long Way Round.

This nine-day tour promises to be a unique adventure unlike any you’ve undertaken before. Some of the highlights of this trip include the Cedar Forests of the Atlas, Barbary Apes, Dades Valley, a night in the Sahara, the hidden Oasis of Fint – not to mention World Heritage sites and incredible infamous passes. There are not many places in the world where you can ride from cedar-forested mountain passes to desert dunes in just a day. The exhilarating switchbacks of the Atlas mountain passes lead us down into the Sahara Desert where we’ll spend a night in the heart of the dunes in a luxury Berber camp. With opportunities to go off-piste, crossing rivers and dirt tracks to find hidden oases and explore the local way of life, this adventure will not disappoint and is a superb way to experience the magic of Morocco.

30th April – 8th May 2022. Arrive 30th – depart 8th (We recommend you arrive early on the 30th as we have meet n greet and briefing planned late afternoon – or better still come a day early to see more of Marrakesh)

If you have the time, pre or post tour, we are happy to help you arrange your accommodation and provide advice on things to see and do.

Location: Marrakech, Morocco – Arrival / Departure Airport: Menara Marrakech Airport

Distance: Approx. 2300km

Hotel: Quality hotels – all Twin Occupancy rooms (Request if single required)

GPS: Some bikes may be fitted with Garmin GPS with routes installed – we don’t ride in a tight group – no pressure

Highlights: Cedar Forest of North Africa, A night in a luxury camp in the Sahara Desert, Dades & Todra Valley, Atlas Mountains, Ouarzazate, Famous Film Studios, Ait Benhaddou, Tizi n’Tichka Pass, Marrakech – Jamaa el Fna Square

Roads: Predominantly tarmac, some broken tar and fallen sandy gravel, road-works, but some gravel options available on-demand – flexible to the group’s requirements.

For more info click here.

Wow, this sounds great. I selected options of the single supplement and motorcycle BMW F800GS, F850GS, F800GSA.

I treated myself to business class flights on Emirates (Brisbane/Dubai/Casablanca/Marrakech). This was going to be a very long haul (30 hours and 10 mins there and 27 hours 35 mins back). Plus I’d have the extra luggage of my motorcycle riding kit (adventure boots, suit etc). To make the scheduled pre ride briefing I needed to arrive the day prior. No problem, that would give me some time to look around Marrakech before the tour proper started.

I purchased travel insurance from World Nomads Travel Insurance.  Lastly I booked a pre-departure PCR test (required for entry into Morocco).

All that remained was to pack and wait for the Emirates Limousine to take me to the airport.