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Old 04-20-2013, 12:16 AM   #19
Don T OP
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Denmark-Europe.
Oddometer: 429
Day 5:
Algeciras (Spain) – Meknes (Morocco) – 395km.

I was up early as I had to be at the ferry terminal at 7 am – 1 hour before departure. Normally the hotel didn’t serve breakfast until 7.15, but when I told them that I had to check out before that to catch a boat they opened up the restaurant at 6.15 so that I could get something to eat before leaving – excellent service.

From the hotel it was only a short ride to the harbor, and as I already had my ticket, it didn’t take long before I was parked at the ferry ready to embark.



The crossing went smoothly and the subsequent paperwork at custom in Tanger MED took less than 30 minutes so before long I hit the road in Morocco.

The line at customs on the ferry:



My last look at Europe for some time - The Rock of Gilbraltar disappearing in the morning haze:



I had only ridden a few kilometers in Africa before I hit the first piece of gravel and dirt. According to my map the road should have been sealed, but because of road repair the tarmac had been strip from the first 20 kilometers, and parts of that had been covered in 10-20 centimeters of loose gravel – a very interesting start to the Moroccan part of my journey.

This is a good part of that road:



After that the roads got better but not much.
The smaller roads were a mix of mainly tarmac of varied quality, but often it was replaced with stretches of gravel and all the time you had to look out for potholes – some of them very deep.
The scenery was beautiful and all I all it made for at fantastic day of riding.
Here are some pictures from the day:









In the afternoon I stopped at a roadside BBQ to get something to eat.





With a full stomach I continued south heading for Ifrane. At this point the weather was getting very hot and for the first time on the trip the temperature exceeded 35 degrees.





30 kilometers north of Ifrane I got a text message from Jim (jbar28) another ADV inmate (you can read his RR here). He was staying in Meknes and asked if we should meet up and head south together the next day. At that time I was in the middle of nowhere and when I set the GPS to take the shortest route from there to Meknes, I was in for 45 kilometers of very interesting riding. Most of the roads were gravel and I even had to do a small water crossing – a great end to a great day of riding.

When I arrived in Meknes I found Jim’s bike parked in front of the hotel.



After unpacking the bike and a cold shower it was time for a much needed beer on the terrace with Jim.



It was getting dark while we sat there drinking and talking and later in the night we took a stroll down into the medina to get some dinner.



My first day of riding in Morocco have been everything I had hoped for I’m really looking forward to the days to come.

Don T screwed with this post 04-29-2013 at 05:25 AM
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