Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Russia, Moscow
We drove again along the ocean, beautiful road, except awful smell of phosphate factory near Safi.
I would like to say a few words about the tagine - stewed in a special dish meat / fish and vegetables. The most delicious and cheap tagines we found at the gas stations. Helge even said that thanks to us with Robert, he discovered such an option as a lunch at the gas station, which he never did before.
Beautiful Essaouira with long, sandy beaches, seemed to us like a paradise on earth, after a terrible Safi, and the first line glamorous hotel with swimming pool, finally convinced us to relax on the beach . Besides the colorful medina, there is a fishing port in Essaouira. Very interesting to watch the fishermen which unloading boats, salted the fish, periodically throwing part of the catch to seagulls and cats, traded with customers, weave new networks. The port lives their own special life. But in Essaouira and we found a small spoon fly in the ointment: the first (and last) time we gave our things in the laundry at the hotel. As a result, on my motorcycle pants, in one location, appeared the spots as if discolored acid!
Of course, the pants are not new, but in any case - very unpleasant. It was useless to make trouble, so we did not pay for the laundry. The phrase which became the slogan in Morocco, and which Helge even learned to pronounce with a sigh, in russian language, without an accent: "Eto norma, eto Afrika!" (This is the norm, this is Africa!)
Argan Biosphere Reserve. Morocco - the only place in the world where argan trees grow, the fruit of which makes valuable argan oil. Argan nut covered hard shell, and to avoid damaging the kernel during the splitting, since ancient times used natural cleaning method: local goats love argan nuts and passing them through the digestive tract - give valuable shelled nut kernel.
The most interesting thing in this story and why we went to look for these goats - that's how they collect argan fruit. Goats grazing in the trees!
It was the last day on the ocean, so we had a small photo session and went deep into the country - in Marrakech.
On the road to Marrakech we met this little tornado. It crossed the road in front of us, and I made video.
The closer we drove to Marrakesh, the hotter it became, and in the city our board computer showed 40 degrees. We began to look for a hotel in the medina, but mindful about the "protected" parking in Safilot - more meticulously examined place for our motorcycles .
In the end, soaked through with sweat, quarreled with the police, who would not let us to drove to the hotel in the pedestrian zone (switched off and push heavy moto, although there were a lot of different driving mopeds), we left the medina and found near it the modern hotel with parking. Prior to entering the hotel garage, motorcycle Helge issued an explosive sound and switched off.
Somehow we switched on it and drove into the garage where on closer inspection found that in the area of the injector the petrol slightly sprinkles outside. It became clear that some pipe is torn and motorcycle needs service. Helge had formalized agreement about Assistance, by which it was possible to arrange a free evacuation, but only to the official service of BMW. And here we were very surprised by the vaunted "BMW owners support around the world" when Helge dial by phone at BMW Motorrad Marrakesh and outlining the problem, got the answer that now (tuesday) they are very busy with other orders and will be able to see (just see!!!) motorcycle only next monday!... Long time Helge tried to explain to them that he is a foreign traveler and that he need to go on the ferry the next day, eventually representatives of BMW Motorrad Marrakesh agreed to see the bike after 3 days, on Friday! We informed the Assistance company about refusing from official representative of BMW, and started to wait any other offers.
Honestly, Marrakech was not impressed, maybe because of the daytime heat and tiredness, and maybe because of the strongest gas concentration (in Moroccan cars missing a catalyst, somehow). We even wanted to spend the evening at the hotel, but gathered his strength, and went to the evening Jemaa el Fna Square, declared by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage. And did not regret! It is a theater, restaurant and open-air market, absolutely awesome place like nothing on earth, and that we will remember for a long time.
Robert and I had a limited amount of days in Morocco, while Helge had more days, because he was returning to Italy by ferry, and we were supposed to go on the ground. So we decided that we will solve the problem with the service for Helge and then continue our trip separate. In the morning Robert and Helge on our VFR went to explore a moto-service, which advised in our hotel, but Assistance company call and reported that they found moto-service and Helge`s bike will be transfer there free. Tow truck was supposed to arrive in 2 hours, so we said goodbye to Helge and went through the outstanding beauty of the High Atlas mountain pass to town Ouarzazate.
Atlas mountains now have a special place in our hearts, because such a variety of colors we have not seen before: red, yellow, brown, gray. A mud houses of local villages very organically fit into the surrounding landscape - they are the same color as the surrounding mountains. But there is one major disadvantage of the high mountain passes of the Atlas: ride on them not only cars and motorcycles, but also trucks! We constantly had to make overtaking slow driving and smoking black smoke laden trucks on mountain serpentines.