As we drove down the mountainous off road route to Smara in the Western Sahara avoiding the occasional land mine marked out with rocks on the ground, we knew this rally would be another unique and explosive adventure.
The Moroccan Rally 2012 was successfully completed on Saturday 22nd September. It was a truly epic adventure that lasted 15 days and saw us travel 5,633 miles (9,013 KM).
On our previous adventure, the Moroccan Road Trip 2010 we managed to get from London to the southern tip of Europe, Algeciras where we catch our ferry to Africa, in 48 hours. We had to beat this record and came very close on our way down to Morocco, but only managed to meet the record and do the drive in 48 hours again. On the way back, we pushed the odds to the limit and managed it in 44 hours and 20 minutes, this includes our ferry from Calais to Dover. Although Red, our Land Rover, only has a top speed of about 55mph (and much slower if going up hill), we managed to beat it through some persistent power driving through Europe.
The adventure in Morocco and the Western Sahara was another incredible journey for us. We covered most corners of Morocco and the Western Sahara from east to west and north to south.
We shared many a cup of Moroccan tea with the locals, whether it was someone we bumped into in the road, met in a shop or someone who was welding or repairing our car, everyone from all walks of life welcomed us and shared some of that infamous tea that seems to be the foundation of any social occasion in Morocco.
We're also thrilled to have raised over £1,200 for the Mercy Corps and have raised the most amount in a single rally for them. This is not possible without everyone who donated whatever amount they could afford, the support we've had really was overwhelming.
This rally suffered a major setback in June 2012, when we first launched, due to engine failure in France. However, we managed to get the rally on track thanks to the help and support of some incredible people. When we first broke down in the south of France, Drew Brown gave us a place to stay for the night and gave up his Sunday afternoon and night to help us try and get Red back on the road. When we realised Red was not going to get back on the road, Drew looked after Red for us for a couple of months before starting Red's journey back to the UK. He also helped us locate a replacement engine for Red, something quite essential!
Mark Granger, at very short notice, helped us continue Red's journey to the UK just two weeks before our scheduled re-launch date. This saw Mark and Alex drive over 1,500 miles, departing on Friday evening from the UK and go to France to pick up Red. The car was returned on Sunday morning to Red's UK service centre facility hosted by the Desert Bunnies.
Moss of the Desert Bunnies and Lewis from the Rusty Rhinos Ground Crew, helped us get the replacement engine into Red and by the end of the week we had a working Land Rover once again. The time that Moss and Lewis have put into helping us with Red made this adventure possible again.
We must also thank Chris and Kai at PebbleTrack for continuing to provide us with the vehicle tracking facility that you see on our website during our rally. The vehicle tracking has become a rally essential and many of our followers use it to check out where we are in real-time.
This time we also had a special sponsor, Ecosse World. Ecosse World made a large donation to the Mercy Corps on behalf of our rally as well as facilitating our crossing to France (via Eurotunnel) and back to the UK (via Ferry) through Motis. Motis very kindly funded both of our English channel crossings, something that we really appreciated.
The support didn't end there, Jim from Ecosse World, also spread the word of our rally, this resulted in numerous donations to the Mercy Corps. We are incredibly happy to have had Ecosse World as our sponsor.
As with previous adventures, we have a vast amount of video and photos that will be uploaded to the website. In the meantime, we will leak some photos onto our Facebook page. Remember to like us on Facebook to get the latest Rusty Rhinos update.