Monkey Run 2024 Adventure

Monkey Run 2024 Adventure

Kennie and Sune participated in the Monkey Run – an insane race organized by the equally insane company, @theadventourists. Their goal was both to participate in the race and to explore Moroccan food culture for their TV series: FEARLESS FOODIES.

The Start in Merzouga

The race started in Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara. Not a bad place to start. It was beautiful and, as they could see, a mecca for off-road bikers from all over the world. They were also given a motorcycle – or, it’s almost not fair to call it that – a 50cc Chinese-built monkey bike that would be their means of transport for the next six days.

First Day Challenges

The start was challenging, but without falling over, they fought their way out to a paved road, and the adventure could begin. On the first day, they already moved away from the paved road and into what is popularly called the Berber desert. It went well at first, but quickly, the very fine sand began to pose challenges.

The tiny wheels on their cute monkey bikes almost dug into the sand, causing them to come to a halt. They had to carry them back onto solid ground and continue. The joy didn’t last long, for about 50 meters later, it happened all over again. In a moment of inspiration, they thought of driving off the road or trail to avoid the sandy areas, but unfortunately, there were both thorny plants and stones. Now they began to crash – repeatedly. It was a choice between getting stuck and carrying their little motorized friend out of trouble, or constantly falling over. As they got tired, they also started to fall when they got stuck in the sand. Here, they were more than grateful for their pants and jackets from Fuel Motorcycles.

Sandstorm and Lost in the Desert

After a break, they realized they were also lost, and to top it all off, a sandstorm began. After the frustration gave way to a sort of acceptance of the situation, they continued the impossible journey and, after many hours, found solid ground under the tires again. By now, it had become dark and really cold. After almost 30 freezing kilometers, they finally reached the guest house they had booked.
Here, they were treated to all sorts of local delicacies.

That was only the first day, and they were already almost overwhelmed by experiences. A bit surprised by how tough the first day was for their nearly 50-year-old bodies, they decided to take it easy and continue driving only in the afternoon. They also had some air filters to clean, chains and other parts to free from a mixture of sand and oil, and they needed to decide on a route.

Their common wish was to avoid the sand a bit, so they headed up into the Atlas Mountains. It was simply beautiful, and they alternated between driving 5 km per hour in first gear up the mountains, crossing flooded roads, and racing downhill at a thrilling 60 km per hour. It might sound slow, but when you’re sitting 40 cm above the ground on one of the most unstable vehicles, it’s pretty fast. 

An Unexpected Stay with a Local Berber

Again, they were caught by the sunset and the cold. The town they had chosen as their destination did not have, as promised, a hotel. Now they were in a pickle because they were incredibly cold. The solution was to stay overnight with a local Berber in his house, built of mud and stone. He lived there with his family and goats – and now them.

The experience was fine but also quite awkward since they couldn’t communicate with their host. Therefore, they continued very early the next morning. The sun had barely risen, and there was ice on the puddles. Their hands were so cold, even though they were wearing the finest gloves from Fuel Motorcycles. They stopped every fifteen minutes to warm their hands on the cylinder.

They reached the next town and ate until they could barely move.

The next days passed at a leisurely pace without major challenges – just enjoying the landscape and tasting their way through the beautiful North African country.

But soon the end was near, and they had to cross the Atlas Mountains. They simply had to get to the other side of the mountain range – there was no way around it. Monkey bikes are not built to go uphill. So, it was again a matter of driving 5 km per hour uphill and a bit faster downhill. Unfortunately, the air was so thin and the machines so hot that even on flat stretches, the little machine couldn’t go much faster than 15 km per hour.

Two-thirds of the way through, it was time for lunch. Morocco showed its finest side, offering grilled lamb that had never tasted so good before. With renewed energy and cooled machines, the last stretch went quite quickly – it was almost all downhill.

Final Stretch Through Marrakech

The last day featured a journey through Marrakech’s lively and sometimes dangerous traffic, ending at the finish line in a new desert. The last 60 kilometers were a challenge for both the poor little motorcycles and their rear ends. So, when they finally stood on the podium with a cold beer in hand, it was with smiles all around from all the experiences and yet another adventure completed, and enough footage for the upcoming TV program.