For most of the year, Jason Markos rides a motor cycle. But for those jobs that can’t be done on two wheels he relies on a Defender 110, which he bought as an ex-hire vehicle. Even though it had been very well used, it had also been thoroughly looked after and serviced regularly.
For Jason, the Defender was the obvious choice of vehicle. It’s fun to drive, very practical and can take him wherever he wants to go – as it proved when he and his girlfriend, Donna, travelled to Morocco in August 2010.
When the couple were asked to join some friends on a two-week holiday touring through Spain and into north Africa, they couldn’t resist and set about getting the Defender ready for the 4500-mile round trip.
An internal water tank was fitted to ensure a supply of clean water and a secondary battery was added, along with a number of auxiliary sockets in the cab. Rear spots were added to the roof rack, which played host to a second spare wheel, jerry cans for water and fuel, and a roof tent.
After disembarking the ferry at Bilbao, the route took the two vehicles down through Spain and over to Morocco, heading right down to the southernmost tip of the country – all done in temperatures that peaked at 57ºC. They spent 10 days in Morocco, camping wild in the desert and on the beach.
As a first-time overlander, Jason was pleased to have the experience of Paul and Lucy in the second vehicle. They’d been to Morocco a number of times before and were able to offer invaluable advice, including showing them some excellent back routes, taking in some superb off-roading and stunning scenery along the way.
The true spirit of overlanding saw the friends using improvisation at its best: a jerry can and hose for a shower; an aerosol cap to replace a missing driveshaft cap; and a pit stop in Zagora for a local workshop to replace a worn-out front propshaft universal joint.
Understandably enough, Jason and Donna are now addicted to overlanding. Perhaps Mongolia next… or maybe China?
This owner review appeared in the June 2011 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.