Europe, as it happens.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by b4thenite, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    My my my....where do I begin. Marocan experience, my first Muslim country, the first African experience and finally out of my comfort zone and being challenged of everything I thought I knew about whatever I thought I knew.
    One thing for sure, if you want to know about yourself then throw yourself to the belly of a whale and see who comes out of it.
    I'm not that cool, smart, brave. I lie, pretend and most of all I'm scared. Meanwhile I'm enjoying way too much I wonder how the pay back will come haunts me.
    I'm not a beautiful but the Marocan sunset is. 20190910_193435_HDR.jpg
  2. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    So I left the city of Chefchaoen. I had breakfast with two French riders from Dakar. They said the rout from Dakar was no problem. I thought the border crossing in Mauritania was difficult but apparently it's not the case.
    I didn't take pictures of blue walled houses Chefchaoen is known for, but I took a photo up in the hill as I left the city. 20190909_093846_HDR.jpg
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  3. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    I'd like say all Marocans are friendly and treat visitor well but that's not the case.
    But to say Marocans don't treat visitors well would be very ignorant statement.
    There is a police force called Royal police, kind like federal agency under the Kings jurisdictions. They are usually on check points on national roads and differ from the regional police force.
    The Royal police is very professional outfit and they are very courteous to visitors. Some speaks multiple languages. I guess it's from the king's decree they should be up to the international standard.
    It makes driving on national road very safe. As you enter cities you'll encounter them.
    All around Morocco roads are being build, improved and many infrastructure projects are on the way.
    Some city entrance are as good as any European cities or better. There drive to modernity is thriving and it's very impressive.
    However ancient cities still exist inside of medina the walled city. In it along with old structures that tourists swamp to there exist old habits.
    Anyways, on the way to Fez I stoped by to refuel. The gas attendant tried to cheat me out of the change of 20 Dirham, about $2. I'm too smart for that. So I scrolled down on a peace of paper with the Arabian number so he can't say he doesn't speak English, Spanish or French whatever.
    With sly smirk he gave my change. I smiled.
    At the same gas station I had lunch. I asked for the menu and the waiter said they don't have menu for there are only two options, Chicken or beef. I ordered beef.
    It was good.
    After the meal I asked how much and he type number on his cell phone. 100 Dirham. By now I know prices of things in Morocco and it's about double of what it ought to be. That's why he didn't show me the menu. He won. I know I was cheated but there is nothing I could do.
    I should have known when the pump attendant tried to cheat me.
    Its near by Vollubills, the Roman ruin and they drop bus load of tourists while tour bus refuels.
    This is the place. So be aware. 20190909_135408_HDR.jpg
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  4. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    I made it to Fez. It's a modern city with big boulevards running all direction.
    In the center is old walled city.
    I usually don't bother with locals trying to help me but this time I could not navigate to the hostel. So this guy attached himself to me and I let him.
    He guided me to the maze. One time it got too tight I had to unloaded my side cases. He took them to the hostel. Cases were mostly empty so they weren't heavy. I only kept water bottles. Only valuable was my hiking boots and some maintenance stuffs. 20190909_154648_HDR.jpg
  5. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    His name is Musafir, or Musaf. My Catholic name is Christophorus. Which has connection. Maybe because of that reason I liked the guy. He is tough guy with clear expression with excellent English.
    He doesn't smile nor try to make himself approachable. He states facts.
    So after checking in, I told him to meet me at 7pm. I want to buy him dinner.
    So I shower and take nap. I go out to meet Musaf.
    As soon as I step out to a major strret, he sees me from a cafe. I sit and order a tea. He tells me places he can guide me. Ancient school of Madrasa, view points, tannery etc. I tell him I'm not a tourist. He calls me Christpher Columbus.
    I asked him how much he makes a day hustling. He said sometimes 20, sometimes 100. But he has family, one girl one son. Many mouths to feed.100 Euro a day is rare but once in a while he does good.
    I ask what he does to earn 100 Euro? He says he is well connected, knows everyone, can get whatever that sort of thing.
    I said we should go eat over there. Masif says no no no. All these places are dirty, they use two weeks old ingredients, he knows better place.
    He takes me for a tourist again. I have to make sure he understands that I'm not.
    By this time local cops are keeping eyes out on me and Musaf. Musaf is nervous. I grab the opportunity and ask him if he meets many from Korea. He said he has.
    I ask him if he met any from North Korea. He answers no. I tell him "they won't tell you they are from the North". His eyes twitches little. He hasn't thought about that.
    I tell him if he stop trying hustle visitors and be genuine local friend he can make much more money. If you let go what you are after it'll come to you easier that's Tao way.
    He says he is doing it to show Moroccan hospitality.
    I suggest we go eat. He wants to take me to this place. I follow. I notice he walks ahead of me as if we aren't together as cops eyes follow us. I keep distance and walk behind him. At one point I act like I'm checking out a vendor. He is way ahead of me in the crowd. I act like I lost him and walk the other way. In no second he shows up and gets my attention. He is good.
    He leads me to maze of alleys and I know he is deliberately taking round ways. One thing I'm blessed with is animal sense of direction.
    After while I act I'm exhausted and refuse to go any further. He said ok and just around the corner he takes me.
    In front of the establishment bunch of fellas are sitting and Musaf exchanges greetings discreetly.
    We enter and it's some sort of performance and dinner affair. There are local people sitting on a table but they don't seem to be interested. Performers in traditional garment ready to play songs and dances when we enter. There is a small girl there and she seems live there. So this is somebody's house set up as a place of spectacle and fine dinning.
    There aren't any other customers. Even couple of tables are occupied they don't seem to be customers. They look like they live there. Despite of fancy garments they look way too comfortable being in a restaurant or for a show.
    One lady comes to us and the performance will start shortly just sit where ever we feel comfortable. The deco is loud and each table has curtain so later if you want privacy it could be accomplished.
    I had enough of this and tell Musaf. I pat the little girl and smile. She smiles back.
    I bow to the people inside and leave the establishment.
    Musaf follows me out. He says if I don't like this we could go somewhere.
    I ask him "why do you think I wanted meet you tonight?".
    "Do you think I don't know where to go eat?"
    He is quiet. So I go for the main.
    "Has any of your customers took real interested in you? Have you ever had real interested in any of people you hustle?"
    Now he realizes he has wasted time.
    "After all that I did it for you....." I knew this was standard come back so I tell him cooly.
    "This guilt trip won't work for me".
    He looks at me. He is pissed and finally he is hurt.
    "You two faced. Your heart is black. You come here like a king on your motorcycle, you think you are so smart, you think you can cook people this way and that way...only thing you have is black heart in there. Allah will see you when you go ride your motorcycle how you treat a Muslim. You will see the taste of Muslim vengeance for your black heart".
    Now, I don't know what it means of black heart but I understand two words clearly. "Motocycle" and "vengeance".
    Musaf walks across and sits in the cafe earlier he spotted me from.
    I follow him and give him some money.
    "I'm sorry if you feel that way"
    By now he knows the hustle is over. He takes the money and tells me with chilling indifference I haven't seen from him.
    "Yeah you are a generous man" says him without looking at me.
    He told the truth about me. I'm the two faced, condescending, manipulative, self absorbed man who won't be hustled.
    So each of us told each other little piece of truth. That was more than enough for both of us.
    I knew he wouldn't mess with my bike for cops by now watched us. So for him to do anything is stupid. But more so that he really thinks I'm a worthless shit and it's not worth waste anytime any more.
    So I went have some chicken tagine and went sleep.
  6. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    The German rider I met on the ferry from Tarifa recommended a hostel near by Merrakesh.
    On the way group of GS riders passed me. They had French plates and by following them I noticed they must've been riding together for sometime. They kept the formation when they can and single file other times. They pass slow vehicles with quickness and disciplines.
    So I followed them. It was fun for the first time in Morocco I pushed locals out if the way.
    When they stopped I asked them if it was ok for me to follow them and they let me. One of them showed map of their riding schedule and I took note. 20190910_104521_HDR.jpg 20190910_125511_HDR.jpg 20190910_131208_HDR.jpg
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  7. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Monkey business with Chinese tourists. 20190910_115232_HDR.jpg 20190910_115214_HDR.jpg
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  8. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    I kept riding after riding with French posse. 20190910_193435_HDR.jpg
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  9. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    It got dark and I arrived at the resort hotel French mentioned. It's a lake side resort hotel. It was the most I paid yet. $60 a night with solid breakfast. Riding in and out of the area was priceless. 20190911_084512_HDR.jpg 20190911_080836_HDR.jpg 20190911_085055_HDR.jpg
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  10. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Next day I head out near Merrakesh. On the way I spike with one of the Royal Police and asked if I could take a photo of his BMW. He gave me the permission under the cond8 I avoid the logo.
    The officer was very nice and recommended a road through Ouzaoud Fall. It turned out to be an excellent ride. 20190911_093926_HDR.jpg 20190911_104304_HDR.jpg 20190911_104331_HDR.jpg
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  11. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    More photos on the way to Marrakech. 20190911_112057_HDR.jpg 20190911_114325_HDR.jpg 20190911_120618_HDR.jpg
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  12. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    There is a very nice Riad about 25km outside of Merrakesh center. I met with the German rider, Joachim.
    At night we took taxi ride to the merida.
    Jo saw a German plated Lamborghini and spoke with the driver. 20190911_222529_HDR.jpg 20190911_224959_HDR.jpg
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  13. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Next morning we rode out to together.
    Having a riding partner makes riding safer and photographic opportunity is better. 20190912_084227_HDR.jpg 20190912_120352_HDR.jpg 20190912_121314_HDR.jpg 20190912_130553_HDR.jpg
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  14. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    R203 out of Merrakesh is amazing road. I waved at the same French posse. 20190912_133038_HDR.jpg 20190912_120938_HDR.jpg 20190912_111926_HDR.jpg 20190912_111548_HDR.jpg
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  15. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    The other side of the mountain pass faces Sahara and the climate is changing.
    We found very nice oasis resort. Havinhg a second person gives tremendous advantage for the lodging option. 20190912_180826_HDR.jpg 20190913_090429_HDR.jpg 20190913_075452_HDR.jpg 20190913_090440_HDR.jpg
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  16. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Next day's ride to Tiznit. 20190913_091151_HDR.jpg 20190913_100522_HDR.jpg 20190913_120120_HDR.jpg 20190913_110456_HDR.jpg
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  17. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    More photos. 20190913_152020_HDR.jpg 20190913_151154_HDR.jpg 20190913_143942_HDR.jpg 20190913_135050_HDR.jpg
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  18. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Settled in Tiznit. 20190913_200702_HDR.jpg
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  19. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    This morning breakfast exceeded my expectations. It's much luxurious than any European one. I called it the "King's breakfast" 20190914_083421_HDR.jpg
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  20. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    After Taroudant we head toward ocean. From there we bid adieu for now.
    I went Agadir and found a chill hostel for couple of days of resting. I've been riding none stop for too many days. 20190914_105638_HDR.jpg 20190915_180138_HDR.jpg 20190915_180151_HDR.jpg
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