10 observations about riding in Morocco with the crazy Moroccan drivers:
1. People walk in the street instead of the sidewalk.
2. Large slow vehicles will not let smaller cars/motos by so get used to passing like an A-hole.
3. In the twisty mountain roads, assume there will be a car/truck/moto/donkey in your lane around that blind corner.
4. Morooccan drivers NEVER turn thier lights on durring the day.
5. You will get flashed 4 times every 3 mintues for having your lights on.
6. Never tust a blinker.
7. If you come up behind a slow moving vehicle and you hesitate to pass, the car behind you will start passing you in your lane becuase there is "room".
8. When coming down a hill, expect to have to go off road because people will be passing in your lane. And they will flash thier lights at you for having your lights on.
9. Every truck and car must be loaded at least 2x the GVW.
10. People pull out first then look to see if there are cars coming. This is true for cars, trucks, bikes, mopeds, pedestrians, donkeys, and tractors.
My GPS tracks from Morocco. I forgot to put a map in part 1.
Back to the story...
Nov 4 Merzouga to Imilchil. 323 km
We pounded pavement for a while on the way to Troda Gorge. We stopped for lunch just before then and I made the mistake of eating slighly undercooked meat. I didn't eat diner that night because my stomach wouldn't have handled it. Before I left the US I got perscriptions for a variaty of things. The traveler's diaria pills work wonders. I felt better the next morning.
The last half hour or so before Imilchil, the KTM started to miss pretty bad. I assumed it was fuel/air poblems. Air filter was not to bad. Fuel injector looked a bit weak so I swapped it. I took it for a spin and it was still missing.
A few of the landscape south of Troda Gorge.
In the gorge. I wouldn't want to be here in a hard rain.
Some guys fixing a roof.
While I was working on the bike there was a large group a kids hanging out. The girls were just hanging out and the boys were asking for stuff. They didn't want us to take their picture so I gave my camera to an 8 year old (I think) girl to take some pictures. She took some good ones of her friends and then another girl took a few.
They took the following pictures. I can't take credit for them.
The camera war..
Nov 5 Imilchil to Midelt. 169 km
I woke up early in the morning to start working on the KTM. We cleanded the air filter, swapped the spark plug and did a 15 mintue reset. That seem to help. But later that day, It was missing again. Then it all but stopped all together and wouldn't start. I checked the spark and it was very very bad. It turns out my low voltage connections to the coil had gotten loose and were only kind of touching. I also resanded the grounding points on the frame. Boom. Problem solved.
There must have been some crazy rain because the road we were on was at one point totally covered by a land slide. We had to go into the river to get around it.
I really like the dry-mason work.
Why fix a landslide? Just go around.
Where did the road go?
Nice gentleman with a blade decided to make us a new road.
I'm surprised this road is still passable.
Getting onto the goat trails.
This single strand of barbed wire was supposed to keep the sheep in? Luckily Christophe was going slow. I slowed down when I saw he stopped and didn't see it till i was 10 feet from it. No markings or anything. Scary.
Snow on them there peaks.
I guess more of a donkey trail. not a goat trail.
Craig kicked the back of the Tiger out.
Northern Italy was good training for me
How many idiots hanging on the back would it take to wheelie when you dump the clutch?
Parking for the night. On tiled floor. Katriana is getting spoiled.
My first Whiskey in ages. No ice. No worries.
I unfortunately did not get a picture with the receptionist. She was a bombshell. She had Graham blushing every time she talked to him.
Nov 6. Midelt to Chefchaouen. 408 km
I almost died. In the Atlas it was raining so I slowed down because the knobbies don't work very well in the wet. I was going into a blind sharp left hand and there is a car in my lane stuggling to make the corner. He slammed on the brakes and slid abou 15 feet in front of my bike into the gaurd rail. I did not see him hit the gaurd rail because we kind of went past each other and I was trying not to go down myself. It tuns out he was passing a bus and had to much speed going into the corner, came through my lane before smacking the wall. In the afternoon we stopped at Volubilis. Volubilis is an ancient Roman city. This is the first Roman runes I have ever seen so I thought it was pretty cool. We made it to Chefchaouen in the dark and fog. We had a hell of a time finding a hotel with secure parking and ended up staying way up at the top of the hill overlooking the city. It was 60 euro per person wich is 2 to 3 times what we had been paying.
At a fuel stop. Times like this I wish I had my multi-meter. Curiosity I guess.
Must have been pretty impressive to see way back in the day.
For grinding grain.
OHHHH! Lunch! This was the tastiest meal IMO. And.. It didn't give me the shits.
Nov 7. Chefchaouen Morocco to Manilva Spain
Craig, Adam and I left early to try to get to the first boat. On the way up to Tanger Med it was pouring rain and storming very hard. We had tickets for the 10:00 boat and it didn't leave till noon. The whole way accross the boat was moving quite a bit. People were getting sick and puking. Both Craig's Triumph and Adam's XT660 fell over on the way and they were srtapped down like mine. It wasn't till 5:30 or 6:00 that we were through customs. I even got to see customs agenst pull out of a truck who was hiding to try and sneek into the EU. He was way up on top of the cab behind the air spoiler. The driver was acting like he didn't know. We didn't go very far before it started to rain again so we pulled off into Manilva to get a hotel.
Chefchaouen in the morning.
We counted 14 different mosques that we could see.
Doesn't really do it justice.
Glad this wasn't me.
Adam pretending he wasn't sick.
"Wait a minute.. they weren't on the centerstand when we left them... Wheres my mirror?"
Inspecting the damage. The triumph had a broken mirror and blinker. The 660 had a bent pannier, bent pannier frame, broken hand guard and a broken mirror.
Well. That's about it for Morocco. It was amazing. I had a great time with the guys but it is good to be back on my own.. I mean back at my own pace. I'm not waiting for anyone. No one is waiting for me.
And I will leave you with a video that Christophe made.