Day three ...
Quite a big day planned; 211 miles from Fez to Er Rachidia through the Middle Atlas mountains. We ended up doing 235 miles as it was nigh on impossible to find our way out of Fez on the right road and then took a wrong turn in Ifrane. Lucky that we did though because we saw some fantastic scenery crossing from Ifrance to Boulemane. After a quick stop there, we continued down to Midelt where we were befriended at the petrol station by Abdul who wanted to show us his carpets. We agreed although told him we weren't buying but the offer of tea was compelling. Abdul's friend, Mohammed did a sterling job of trying to sell us a carpet but we politely refused and headed out on our way again.
A little way out of Midelt the scenery grew even more stunning and I pulled over to snap a few pics when Vincenzo came roaring past shouting, "Paul ... no...". He had no clutch! So we rode the remaining 80 miles into Er Rachidia and straight to find yet another mechanic shop.
Both of us had very near misses during that 80 miles. First, an ambulance roared up behind, we discovered shortly afterwards, looking for it's pick up. Having passed Vincenzo it quickly came up behind me. I moved to the right and waved it past. As it passed me, two people waved at Vincenzo and I from the right side of the road. The ambulance driver, thinking they were waving at him suddenly braked and pulled to the right even though he was along side me leaving me nowhere to go but off onto the gravel shoulder at 60mph! He found his pick up a mile further up the road. Later, as Vincenzo made to overtake a lorry it suddenly turned left on him. No brakes, no indicators, just turned left. We laughed when we arrived at Er Rachidia and high-fived but really; we were both very lucky.
Er Rachidia seems like a good place full of nice people. The Hotel Milano can't truthfully be recommended but the Imilchil restaurant is good. Directed to the mechanic shop, the security guard from the college across the road, Aziz, came over to help interpret. Aziz speaks Arabic, French, English and German and we enjoyed chatting with him. The mechanic said he could fix the bike after evening prayers but it may take until the morning.
Wildman screwed with this post 10-01-2012 at 03:29 PM