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Old 10-30-2013, 08:46 PM   #106
stoke
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I will qualify the following by stating that yes, I have what was at one time considered a "classical" education and no, I'm not some literary dickwad quoting stuff all the time. Our bro Henry just said some stuff that stuck with me over the years. The education didn't really do me any good besides stringing a few coherent sentences together on a motorcycle forum from time to time .

Now then.

I have to say, if motorcycles had been around when Thoreau had been alive, he would of ridden one.

"It is life near the bone where it is sweetest."

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...”

All Thoreau, all crazy relevant to riding motorcycles and moto travel in my opinion.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:36 AM   #107
tuna101
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Just found this and read it all , very cool but, WHERE ARE THE WAVES?
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:29 PM   #108
MKJ
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just found this and read it all , very cool but, where are the waves?
x2
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:01 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by MKJ View Post
x2
just building suspense I promise
waves on the way..
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garnaro screwed with this post 11-04-2013 at 05:14 AM
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:38 PM   #110
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A Score at Safi




As a traveling surfer you’re always at the mercy of the ocean’s rhythms for the success of your mission. You may have arrived at one of the best surf spots in the world, during peak swell season, have your super casual tube-ride pose down cold and ready for the cover shot, but it’s just not up to you whether you score or get skunked. This is part of what makes riding good waves both at home or in far flung corners of the world so special: they are here one day and gone the next. This was my week to score.
When I rode into Safi it was under a blanket of fog, so that I could hardly even orient myself relative to the coast. The city is dominated by a massive sea port and rail line that block access to most of the shoreline. From my talks with people here, I’ve gathered that both the port and rail line are primarily occupied with moving sulfur and phosphorus extracted from mines north of the city. Some of what comes out of the tops of the local processing plant wafts through the city air. This scene was hardly what you’d imagine as an idyllic surf destination of endless summer dreams.

So then, why in the world have I come to a place like this? The same reason that surfers have come for decades - a cranking right hand barrel of a wave dubbed Le Jardin (the Garden) on the north side of the sea port. First ridden in the early 1980’s by surfers who kept it a secret for many years. On its day it has been called one of the world’s best waves by legends of the sport like Tom Carroll and Gary Elkerton. Every winter, top pros and feral surf travelers alike show up hoping score Safi doing its thing. The catch here is that the wave is fickle, requiring at least 10 feet of swell in the water and a low tide to start working and all, and the water is severely polluted by waste material from local processing of phosphates (see paper here). If you can brave the dirty water, and have the fortune to find the right swell and wind direction, the lip of the wave will pitch out to let you start riding through the wave rather than on it. On the right day,the wave can look like this:
image source: http://www.surfinn.travel/surfcamps/morocco/safi
On arrival, there was some serious swell potential on the horizon marching our direction.

Since I couldn’t even see the ocean, let alone identify where the wave was located, I was just riding around town without much idea where to go. Fortunately, I finally stumbled across the Safi Surf House, where I met my host, Medhi, who filled me in on the local wave conditions and everything else that I needed to know. Since the swell was still too small on my arrival for the main wave at Safi, we surfed a beachbreak 10 km north of the city. I quickly realized that weeks of sitting on a motorcycle stacked on top of the hectic days of preparing to leave California had taken a toll on my paddling fitness. It felt good to be back in the water again after such a hiatus.


The next day the swell cranked up and the wave at Safi started to fire off. Mehdi and I had the main wave at Safi to ourselves, and the days followed on with excellent waves and very little crowd. No barrels yet, but I was more than happy with the head high racing walls. Mehdi knows everyone at the beach and in the water and the familial attitude amongst some of the local surfers and bodyboarders was immediately apparent, with a good vibe pervading our days in and out of the water. I felt privileged to share some waves with this crew of guys at their home. Mehdi is consummate surf host, making sure that I scored waves and looking after anything I could have needed while in Safi. If you ever get the chance to come surf here, Mehdi’s 'Safi Surf House' should be your first stop. Here's my host ripping it during my week of surfing here:


One day after surfing, I went with Medhi to the local hamam for a uniquely Moroccan experience. We entered a square room completely covered in tile from floor to roof and filled with steam and layed down on our backs straight onto the tile. By the time that I was nearly ready to pass out, we exited to another room and layed down on another tile floor on rubber mats maybe 1-2mm thick when a guy wearing some little shorts proceeded to twist me into a pretzel. While on my stomach with my limbs behind me tangled up with those of my tormenter, I imagined it looked something like your favorite WWF matchup, complete with me pounding an open hand on the floor in defeat. My attempts to tap out and grunts for mercy didn’t seem to make much difference in the severity of the pretzeling. I got the idea that he thought my behavior indicated he was doing his job well. When that was finished, he started to scrub me down with what felt like steel wool, followed by another round that felt about like a brillow pad as though he were incrementally removing my grit with finer grades of sandpaper. After such I thorough treatment, I may not need to shower again until Cape Town.
A week after my arrival, a good clean swell arrived. Still few barrels to be had, since the low tide just wasn’t low enough, but we enjoyed rippable overhead walls rumbling in all day long.

Yours truly:



In the evenings I strolled the markets in the Medina while I ate dinner from street vendors. With so few tourists about it never took long for someone to say hello and offer a cup of tea and some conversation. From these encounters I learned about the history of the city, its main industries, and how people thought of the few European tourists or business people that would come and go. This is really one of the great things about surfing while traveling: it brings you to places like Safi that you wouldn’t ordinarily go without a mission of some kind, which in turn provides a different view of a place than sticking to the more well trodden tourist trail.





Mehdi has been struggling for years now with local politicians as the local representative of the Surfrider Foundation to advocate for reductions of industrial pollution and maintenance of the small degree of tourist infrastructure, but to no avail. The road down to the main wave is in ruins and cannot be driven any longer, not even on a motorbike. It seems that the bottom line is that Safi is an industrial town. The money comes from the phosphate mining, processing, and transport, not the tourists. But the surfers will always come.
The giant sleeps:
The swell declined and I now had some info on surf spots further south so I got ready to motor on, now frothing for more surf after having a taste of what is on offer at Morocco’s point breaks.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:09 PM   #111
MKJ
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Finally......... he paddles out. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:30 PM   #112
arjones
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Laugh Yeahhh!

Man, I was hopping for some more "juice", but you scored beautiful waves!! I knew something was heading your way, since those last news about a monster swell in Portugal (where a brazilian, Carlos Burle, rode what seams to be the biggest wave ever until now). But there is more coming, so south shore is a very good option!!

I was curious about that little pouch (?) in your waist...


Anyways, I'm pretty stoked you are riding everything that is in front of you (roads and waves, that's it).

Cheers,

Arjones.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:57 PM   #113
805gregg
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Cool the first ride report I've seen where the rider surfed during the ride, and surfed good waves, thanks. I built a rack to haul my Pope Bisect on my V-Strom, one ride convinced me it was not a good way to travel with a longboard. I should have done a ride in the early 70's when I rode short boards, keep it up
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:11 PM   #114
rms56
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Dude!!!!!

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Old 11-06-2013, 01:59 AM   #115
garnaro OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjones View Post
Man, I was hopping for some more "juice", but you scored beautiful waves!! I knew something was heading your way, since those last news about a monster swell in Portugal (where a brazilian, Carlos Burle, rode what seams to be the biggest wave ever until now). But there is more coming, so south shore is a very good option!!

I was curious about that little pouch (?) in your waist...

Anyways, I'm pretty stoked you are riding everything that is in front of you (roads and waves, that's it).

Cheers,

Arjones.
still waiting for the really big swell.....

that little pouch is waterproof camera
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:11 AM   #116
YYguy
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I only now saw this. Great RR. In addition to what others have said, your photos really rock. You have a great eye. Subscribed so look forward to following your journey.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:16 AM   #117
jonsims
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Mate!~!! Classic trip! With a surfboard... Biking and surfing. Now all you need is a floozie that loves to tag along behind and never talks..
Or talking of riding bikes and surfing in China.... my blog is www.simplesite.com/jonsims
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:38 AM   #118
Sroz
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Great write up so far. Surfed Safi and a lot of other breaks back in 1991. Road down to the break was crap then. Back then it's was known as the "money wave" by the locals as it was on one of their bank notes in the background. Im not sure if they have changed the notes so check them out.
Keep up the great work. There's a plethora of breaks down to Mauritiana and beyond. Talk to the locals on the way down. They didn't get many guys back then and were really welcoming. Hopefully it's still the same....
Mega stoked!!!!! Have a BLAST!
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:42 AM   #119
garnaro OP
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I only now saw this. Great RR. In addition to what others have said, your photos really rock. You have a great eye. Subscribed so look forward to following your journey.

Thanks for the encouragement - I'm only beginning with photography and this trip has allowed some time to look around for interesting shots.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:45 AM   #120
garnaro OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sroz View Post
Great write up so far. Surfed Safi and a lot of other breaks back in 1991. Road down to the break was crap then. Back then it's was known as the "money wave" by the locals as it was on one of their bank notes in the background. Im not sure if they have changed the notes so check them out.
Keep up the great work. There's a plethora of breaks down to Mauritiana and beyond. Talk to the locals on the way down. They didn't get many guys back then and were really welcoming. Hopefully it's still the same....
Mega stoked!!!!! Have a BLAST!
Must have felt like quite the surf frontier back then! I have much gratitude for the surf trail blazers that came before me here and elsewhere..
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