Finally in Morocco,what a story to tell........
Awoke Tuesday morning at what i now know was 06.30hrs(phone's wrong-auto change!),heard cars
outside running through puddles,"wet!",roll over,back to sleep!Finally got going at 10.30hrs,trundle
through Ceuta in the rain to the Moroccan Border to be met by the Amsterdam - Dakar Rallye,a
charity event just like the real Paris - Dakar apart from using old,cheap vehicles(late '80's Honda
Dominators being the weapon of choice in the bike catagory!).Once in Dakar all the vehicles get
auctioned off,and the monies go to a Gambian childrens charity,a worthy cause!
Anyway,an hour of faffing around,by the use of the obigitory 'helper',the D16 form and Police chit
filled out,stamped and on my way(10 Euros lighter to the helper,as i had no change,but he was
around 70yrs old and he probably doesn't have a pension,so who cares!).I set off following 2 Dutch
and a Belgian who are on the Rallye and heading to Fes too,and as you can see,i couldn't.I was
thinking to myself,"What are you doing?",you stick to the coastal roads in fog,and cross the mountains
later......apart from that,i only had half a tank of fuel and no local currency.So i u-turned 3 miles out of town!
So,a trip to the supermarket,1 Michelin Map,a currency exchange a 'top up',a spag/bol at Pizza Hut
(taking it slow on the local food stuff :p ),of we go again on N2 heading towards Chefchaouen and
straight from the off your realise you are no longer in the affluent West.People living out of a landfill
site,roads,though the surface aint bad,it oozes slime! In the main uneventful,just getting used to my surroundings
and being a professional driver,having to keep all your wits about yourself.I'm an expert at reading other
motorists,but Moroccans can do things you wouldn't even think about-crazy!
First stop,to get out of the waterproof suit is at Derdara,where the N2 & N13 split.Did i not meet 'Care in
the Community',a guy who was obviously a few teeth short of a sprocket......"Get me outa here!",trying to
get my boots out my suit!Once escaped i began to realise how much dope is around here,all these Berber Tribesmen flashing big 'dods' at me,and a signal to ask if i smoke......i aint starting now,let's see how CO/WA,
USA gets on there! I was looking for the R419 to Ourtzarh but somehow missed it,which was no biggie,as the
road i was on wasn't great,and the town streets horrendous........1 foot deep holes are commonplace.....mud,
The Moroccan scenery was coming into its own though,and if you look you'll see a landslip that has went right
through that village.......bet people were killed in that,huge rocks!
I love that colour of the hills near Bab-Berret,that brownie green.......
As i headed to where the road splits for Fes at Ketama,i'm riding up high on the mountain,lined with
evergreen tree,spruce probably,i come across an opening,and the sight of the never ending cloud below
took my breathe away-stunning!
Even up there,in the middle of nowhere,you are still getting pestered by people,they are hanging about
everywhere.In Norway in similar circumstances,you can stop and enjoy the silence in such beauty,that
doesn't happen here,it's full on constantly.I would stop and take far more photos,but it's best to keep
moving at times!
Arrive Ketama,into the usual melee that is a Moroccan town,slime,huge holes dirty,harassment,this
one guy greats me in English.So after a little chat,i turn off the bike,and he invites me in for some
mint tea.It's movie night in the cafe,stuffed full!He asks where i am heading,"Fes",i say......"You come
stay with my family tonight,Fes is too far!"(160km,and it's only 17.00hrs,but the sun is getting low!).
So in the craziest thing i've ever done,i agree.As 7 Arabs pile into a 1980's Mercedes Benz,i start
to quiz my wisedom...."You follow!",he shouts,as we drive out of town onto a forestry track!Five mile
later and i'm thinking,"Can my bike and my past moto x experience beat that Merc. outa here?"
We finally arrive at a small village,i've never been so happy to see a throng of children,it was reassuring
in a way!(i've seen too many American Redneck,getting lost in the backwoods movies,ha ha!). This is
real 3rd World living,though there is power,a portable TV which the local female come to watch Arab 'soaps'
on(woman the same,the World ower!).So after i'm introduced to his wife and 3yr old daughter,i'm far more
relaxed.Mint tea was duly served,followed by a fish dinner,lovely it was too!
Then,from nowhere i look up to an outstretched hand,"Fatima"! I'm guessing she was around 13yrs old,
her father is asking me if i want a Moroccan wife.After a month of Jimmy Savile(an ex-BBC Radio1 DJ who is now dead!) stories that blew up in the press after his things were auctioned off,the Murdoch press empire were using this guy to beat up on the BBC after News Internationals phone hacking scandal,before some greedy Lawyer out there realised there's a 4.3 million GBP estate lying there that should be going to charity,and everyone's in on it now
.I'm thinking,i'll be getting beheaded,and not from the neck up,ha ha,for getting that suggested to me!Savile seemingly missed a trick!
Finally get ready for bed,comfy,cannot complain,i awake with Love & Rockets tune "I'm alive" going through
my head.So it's up out to the sludge,just wanting to get going again,but then we are called to breakfast(something
i never bother with much at home!).The conversation turns to what this guy does for a living."Oh i farm too!",came the reply after him seeing my phone which has a John Deere tractor and baler on it....."What do do farm?",thinking animals or crops,"I grow plant for hashish!".......bejeezus,not only does he want me to marry his 13yr old daughter,
he's the poorer Moroccan Pablo Escobar!!!
Makes you appreciate where you stay!
That is the 'Freewind' under a cover.Some local kid thought he'd have my GPS cable,not a hope of pulling
that off my bike!
So,after thanking everyone,a photo(Fatima hiding relieved she's not be palmed off to some foreign land,ha ha!),
i finally slithered my way back to the main highway,a 3rd World experience to behold!
Off to Fes.......