So we ride down the ramp and into the port, as I pulled up and took my place in the line I was approached by a guy with a name tag and some papers who asked for my bike documents, at first I ignored him, but he got more persistant so I handed it over. He started filling out a form which I guessed was the D16 form (this is the form needed to import motor vehicles into the country). Prior to the trip we had filled our D16 forms out online. Terry asked me if the guy was a genuine worker and told me to show the guy my D16 form, I did this and the guy screwed the piece of paper he was writing on and then asked me for some money
I told him no.
Once we had sorted all the forms out and the officials had seen and stamped our passports we were fianlly allowed to go through the large gates and beyond.
First thing we needed to sort out our insurance. As soon as we were through the gates we were approached by two guys asking if we needed insurance and dirhams (Moroccan currency). The first guy was to-ing and fro-ing between the insurance office and saying he could do this for so much and for so many weeks would be another price. While this was going on the second guy kept asking if we needed money and he could give us a good rate.
We decided to approach the insurance office ourselves and the woman inside couldn't have been more helpful and we sorted it out ourselves to the dismay of our new found friend. We then took advantage of the other guy with the wad of dirhams as the minibank wasn't working, we found ourselves and the bikes centre of attention as we were beginning to attract more and more onlookers, we soon kitted up and rode out into the melee.
I've ridden in some busy places, London, Rome, Genoa, but in relation to Tangier they're a ride in the park! The day we arrived was a public holiday and the streets were rammed! Kids shouted and waved at us, some gave us the bird
Horns blasted, lights changed to green, more horns blasted, cars, bicycles, trucks and buses fought for a space on the road. Roundabouts were a challenge, it was like a game of chicken, you really had to have eyes in the back of your helmet! We managed to make our way out of the city and finally make our way south.
As darkness began to decend on us we travelled on a rollercoaster of a road and witnessed a car travelling the wrong way down a road we were riding on, a cyclist cutting across us and then we saw a guy on a scooter with a kid on the back riding down the other side of the road......... the wrong way!
We eventually reached the end of the kamikaze road in one piece and found a hotel in Chefchouen.
As we slowed down as we passed a couple of hotels a guy came runnng out asking us to follow him to his hotel claiming he would do us a good deal. We settled on 20 euros for the night each and when I asked about secure parking for the bikes he simply opened the double doors and invited us to ride into the hotel foyer/dining room
Rob and Jack happy we'd found a hotel after the hairy ride.
The gent offered to take us into town for food once we'd all been showered and changed which we did and we tried our first tagine of the trip, it wasn't very good!
Terry with some local headwear
The narrow streets of the town were much better as we returned the next morning to take some pictures of the cool blue painted houses.
We then returned to the hotel to kit up, get the bikes out of the dining room/reception and get on the road.
Petes' bike outside the hotel.
The weather was warming up despite the early morning.
We stopped to take a few pictures as the scenery was pretty stunnng.
Keeping out of the sun.
We passed through many small villages in the Rif Mountains on the way down. We all had an assault on our senses as we rode through, without any tarmac underneath us, some of the villages felt a tad intimidating as some of the older kids shouted at us, some just stared and some younger kids threw stones. You could just sense an underlying almost threatening atmosphere, but we all passed through with no incident at all. I must say some of the younger kids did wave at us which was pretty heartwarming for me.
We found the start of a piste and got kitted up putting on our body armour. Some of the locals came to talk to us too which was great.
It turned out not to be much of a piste though as it had been covered in tarmac, but it was good practice for Jack and I 2-up as the tarmac ran out for a few yards at a time every now and then. Then we had our first slight mishap of the trip, Petes' bike had spluttered to a halt. He knew exactly what it was, as some of the 950's have a fairly common fault with the fuel pump.
We were in the middle of nowhere, but luckily we knew what the problem was and it was a quick fix. Pete dropped the bash plate so we could get access to the fuel pump, removed the cover to get at the points. When the cover was removed we could see that the points had just stuck together and a quick tap and wiggle they were free. Pete started the bike up a couple of times to be sure all was well, once it was the cover was replaced and all buttoned back up and we were back on the road.
We reached our destination of Fes that day after a few stops for fuel for the bikes and water and soda drinks for us. Rob negotiated a good price for a good hotel Hana had recommended, we had to shake off a faus guide first though who was trying to get us to follow him to another hotel. He eventually got the message though as we all ignored him, he still had the cheek to ask for some money though
The hotel we stayed in was the Zalagh Park Palace and it was pretty impressive
We parked up and went to sort our rooms out.
Rob thought it would be a good idea to go for a dip in the swimming pool
but we did once the receptionist switched on the lights.
When we finished our swim we got showered and changed and went for food!
We decided we should have a rest and a day off the bikes the following day as we'd been on the road every day putting some big miles in the saddle, so we moved the bikes under the watchful eye of our security guard. This also meant that the next day we could go and have a wander round the Medina in Fes