FLASHBACK to 1999 & how MOTOAVENTURES got started – – and more

Our plan was Tanzania. John was born there, had biked from London to Cape Town solo, & knew the trails.  So in 1995 we flew his Super Tenere to Nairobi & spent an eventful time biking around to check things out, only to find out it couldn’t happen as they required us to invest a minimum $250.000 & put it in a local’s name!! 1996. Back to Andorra to kick-start (Hondas 😊) our vision to make off-road biker’s dreams into a reality.

START UP – No website, fax, mobiles, GPS or sat phones. Brochures had to be printed, & volunteer lickers to seal them in envelopes to post. Our office was the kitchen table & our workshop was the garage.We had the princely number of 5 new Honda XR400s, an elderly Toyota HDJ60; and a flatbed trailer. Two months later & we had 7. The most we owned at one time was 26 for one of our Dakar tours, & 115 in total over the years to 2005.

The first 2 years were just tours in & around Andorra and then in 1998 we started our Trans Spain to Portugal & back, Beach Run to the Med & back, & our Moroccan mountain & desert adventures. There was no one else offering off-road tours in Morocco then.

I remember driving the 4×4 alone (no Hussein in those days) across the desert from Merzouga to Zagora (now a well beaten track but in those days still virgin desert) with just a good compass.  Frequent regroupings as no communication between us possible. Our GPS were natural landmarks.

In 2000 the DAKAR winner Cyril Despres was moving to Andorra but had no-where to garage his bikes. He contacted us, & for 2 yrs+ his rally bikes & mecanic Seb joined our hondas in the garage. Riders would get a bonus meeting him, & on some days he’d stay for a drink with everyone in our garden.

During the years we have had many adventures – flash floods in a gorge; freak snowstorms; 30hrs on a desert “island”; & more. We still do have them, but there is always a Plan B & we always get everyone home. That is one of the reasons so many of you keep coming back for more!! .

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“A fantastic trip. Each day, without exception, provided exciting and challenging riding, spectacular scenery and a huge sense of achievement. The accommodation was excellent with some truly exceeding all expectations. Le Mirage in Namibia was a favourite of mine, never have I needed a cold beer more after a great day's riding - a proper "Ice Cold in Alex" moment! Thanks to all the team for all their help and advice, and to Su, Johnny Maroc for their organisation skills and good humour. Most of all I have made some great friendships with like minded people and I am sure we will ride together again - soon!” ’’  – Dominic

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