Twisties, twisties, twisties

Trip report: Morocco 2007. The road from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh - Motomorgana, nomads riding around the world on a motorbike adventure.
The road from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh
Although my expectations for this section weren’t very high, I can’t but recommend it. The route is fast and has plenty twisties which ruined my boots but were so much fun! I really pushed my TKC’s to the edge and yet I was fully confident. As a warming up section for the trip home this can definitely count.
Marrakech itself was crowded and hot. I wasn’t able to go fast and still wore my jacket over the body armour, so there I was again in my steambag. I started to feel really tired now and I must have smelled like a pig. I was in need of a decent hotel room with a bath and a minimum of luxury and it shouldn’t take too long to find it! As a result I took a suite in the first decent looking hotel I stopped at because there were no more normal rooms available and I didn’t really feel like looking any further. It was overpriced but what the hell. When I added up the price of living of the last three weeks, it must have been a fraction of what I would have spent back home.
I changed the bath water three times and still there was Sahara sand on the bottom of the tub. I fell asleep and was woken up by the cold of the water. I was starving and no way they were going to serve me Tajine today. I decided to go for McDonalds and had two supersize McArabia menus (with diet coke to ease my mind). I normally don’t fancy this kind of food a lot but after three weeks of pretty much the same every day this was like the most secure option to get what I expected. I enjoyed the food a lot but one single menu would have been just fine as I was left with a forced stomach and half a liter of diet coke.
I walked through town but didn’t really feel like doing a lot. I got to talk to a local who appeared to have lived in Belgium and three words later was begging to pay for his coffee and cigarettes. I don’t pay for cigarettes so all he got was a coffee and he was clearly disappointed. I went back to the hotel and fell asleep in my suite with my clothes on. It’s a shame I didn’t even profit from the nice and fresh sheets on the bed.

Mc Arabia, yummmm!

I slept till 10, woke up, packed and went to pay for the hotel. I passed by the breakfast buffet and it wasn’t really what I would have expected from a hotel in that price category or it must have been that all other guests ate the nice bits. So I stopped at McDonalds again with the idea of having a breakfast type meal and found myself back on the terrace with yet another McArabia menu, this time normal size… It made me fart all the way to Rabat and luckily for me I was going fast on the bike!

Copper nicks bike…

As I set off to Rabat it started raining heavily and it didn’t stop until I saw the Atlantic Ocean somewhere south of Mohammedia. My gear was soaking wet but the waterproofs did their job and the rain had made me hungry. I left the motorway in search for food and was amazed to find a giant supermarket with plenty of ‘normal’ stuff like hard cheese, fruits, nuts and there it was: Belgian chocolate!!! I didn’t expect to find that. Real dark bitter chocolate ‘made in Belgium’. This tasted divine. I stuffed all the rest of the food in my panniers and decided to have the whole plate of chocolate as dinner. Burp… chocolate again. Yummm…

Trip report: Morocco 2007. Stopped for speeding... - Motomorgana, nomads riding around the world on a motorbike adventure.
Stopped for speeding...
Just passed Rabat, I entered a small village and as usual there were those 40 km/h roadsigns I completely denied as I did during the entire trip. As long as you waved at the police control when leaving the village, all was fine. Not this time! I was stopped by two policemen: ‘Monsieur, vous avez roulé trop vite!’ it appeared my speed measured by a radar was over 80 kms/h, enough to suspend your drivers licence in Belgium… ‘Papiers monsieur!’ I switched the engine off, got off the bike and wanted to get my papers in my pannier. Before I could do that, the smaller of the two hopped on my bike: ‘belle machine monsieur. Ça va vite? ‘Bwaaah, ça va’. He switched on the improvised lamp switch ignition, started the engine looked me in the eyes with a grin on his face and gave it a full throttle! That fucking bastard just rode off with my bike and all my luggage and papers in my panniers. And he wasn’t just riding 50 meters away. He completely disappeared at the horizon. What was I to think now. His colleague stood next to me with a giant smile on his face. Were these real policemen or just thieves. You never know what to expect here. ‘Ne vous inquietez pas monsieur, nous sommes des motards’. They were bikers themselves and now he mentioned, I saw he wore long leather boots. 10 full minutes he was gone with my bike and as I saw a headlight appearing at the horizon it felt like such a relief. These fuckers really scared the hell out of me but we had a good laugh afterwards.
The road had been pretty boring until now. Just plain straight motorway with nothing special to see, but from Souk el Arbaa on, it was twisties again. I had to be careful in the dark but this route must have been very nice during the day, although I can’t say a lot about the views.
I arrived in Chefchouaen pretty late and decided to go to the same hotel I was on my first night in Morocco. A quick walk in town and the I went to sleep.

Back to Spain

The next day I went to visit the town by daylight and took some pictures before heading north. This was my last day in Morocco and it felt strange to see the Mediterranean.
Customs were pretty efficient as I passed the long row of cars and buses without anyone asking questions. I didn’t take any local guy to do the paperwork although there were plenty around, and I got through in less then 30 minutes. As I entered Spain I had to open my panniers and the customs agent was a bit suspicious about my final drive bearing wrapped in a big garbage bag and sealed with tape to protect it form destroying anything in my panniers. As I took it out indeed it looked like a nice packet of hashish. The woman looked nice and she smiled at me. It made me feel home already and I smiled back at her.
I looked back at the African continent from the ferry. This is it, but I will be back, that’s for sure!