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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    Location:
    Korea Town, Los Angeles,
    Local musicians. 20190914_214253.jpg 20190914_214210.jpg
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  2. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    I found a local motorcycle mechanic. He rides 1992 Honda Transalp. On Sunday he takes day off but when he heard a Transalp needs service he came to the shop.
    Oil, filter changed. Chain serviced. Bike feels much smoother.
    Went to the local market. Had a plate of mixed fried fish for 30 Dirham.
    Local people use hands to cook, prep, serve with hands. I have no problem following local custom. Some other visitors might have issues.
    You can find European standard establishments in any decent size cities in Morocco, but I try to avoid them.
    In the local joint it's a customary to share little bit with local cats. 20190915_192018_HDR.jpg 20190916_124555_HDR.jpg
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  3. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    The mechanic and his Transalp. 20190916_175653_HDR.jpg
  4. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Korea Town, Los Angeles,
    Some local street birds. 20190916_134659_HDR.jpg
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  5. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    She's been traveling for 2 years. Surfing and diving is her thing. How do You do it? I asked. "Will to travel".
    If nothing else matters, you have to go for it. She says. 20190916_091132_HDR.jpg
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  6. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    After 3 days of rest, I rode. Bike feels good. I feel good. Swung around the southen tip of the mountain range ended up near Merrakesh. I didn't bother to stop by Merrakesh. Once is enough for that madness.
    Instead I rode toward Oukaimeden. It's Africaca's highest ski resort. Of course there is no snow there now but ride up there intrigued me.
    I didn't make it there. I stoped at the foothills of the mountain and found a room at the local hotel. It's run by a Belgian expat. Before check in I bought some fruits from across the hotel. 20190917_123306_HDR.jpg 20190917_193705_HDR.jpg 20190917_200730_HDR.jpg
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  7. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    It was nice to have a private room for a change. I decided to stay one more night. It means I'll loop around and the ride should stress free for I already know where I will end up.
    The beginning part of ride was simple country road. As soon as the pavement ended, it became lot more interesting. 20190918_081306_HDR.jpg 20190918_103938_HDR.jpg 20190918_103954_HDR.jpg 20190918_104605_HDR.jpg
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  8. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    After the initial adjustments of being on the real off road,I sang praises for the Anakee tire. They are awesome off road tires. Better than 606. I though it burned fast but it seems I'll have more thread left after 4k miles plus.
    At first I thought I should quit. I should have dropped side cases, is my chain too tight? I'm worrying and thinking too much.
    That's when I met local rider. He had a passenger and holding a cell phone on free hand. I was impressed. He lives in a village at the end of the road, about an hour away.
    He motivated me to go on.
    The payoff was the incredible view. Of course photos do not reflect the true magnitude of the scenery. 20190918_105742_HDR.jpg 20190918_105759_HDR.jpg 20190918_111348_HDR.jpg
  9. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    More 20190918_115039_HDR.jpg 20190918_135850_HDR.jpg 20190918_135724_HDR.jpg
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  10. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Photo of African ski lift, out of season. He showed up and wanted to sell me something, anything. 20190918_134116_HDR.jpg 20190918_134026_HDR.jpg
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  11. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Ah...traction. 20190918_120338_HDR.jpg
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  12. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    I had the best grilled meat here in Morocco. Freshly killed and chopped, grilled. Simply the best way to eat dead animals.
    However you need some skills. First you have to negotiate the price of meat. They don't tell you the price to foreigners.
    Some place rather try to surprise you with price at the end than do a normal business.
    So I walk away anytime they refuse to give me Arabian number price. Even that is tricky.
    So after you negotiate the price of meat, you can either let them cheat you with the weighs of the meat or you can keep hawks eye on it. Once they take the meat to the grill, you also have to keep an eye on it for the grill man might still your meat.
    I just let them steal little bit, explanation forthcoming.
    So when the meat is grilled it's marvelous. Fresh, fresh, fresh.
    They might cheat you with grams but they do not feed you bad meats. I guess it's not halal way.
    After devouring a plate of meat, the real work begins. The second phase of negotiation. For a one person with tea at the end, they usually ask for 100 Dirham. That's when I give angry look and say in mostly broken English "but you said 35 Dirham. I no understand".
    And he'll put series of Arabian numbers and come up with "90 Dirham".
    I say "no no no" and give him 50 Dirham.
    He'll huff and puff and go to the butcher. They talk in Arabic. He comes back while the butcher watches my negotiating skills in awe. He explains meat is 35 Dirham but the grill man and tomato and onion and olive tea etc.
    I finally say ok still with annoyed expression and give him 10 more Dirham. He murmurs and looks a little apologetic. I still keep my angry face.
    When the transaction is finally over I thank him and the butcher, grill man for the great meal. "Shukran". I put on my gear they wave.
    Once the deal is done, we can again be friend.
    You have to assess how much you are willing to be cheated. Also have to know the value, not the price.
    I'll say again. It is the best grilled meat ever. 20190918_152907_HDR.jpg 20190918_152833_HDR.jpg 20190918_152809_HDR.jpg
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  13. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Today I go deep. Near Sahara I go. But before heading out to the desert, I need to fill my belly with tea and bread.
    I stop by at the road side cafe. It looked clean.
    I asked for the menu they don't have it. Here we go again.
    So I order tea and some bread. He brings honey and cheese. Cool. He keeps asking if i want eggs. I said no.
    I finish. He wants 49 Dirham. I laugh and give him 20. He says no no no. I give him 5 more and walk out. Be sure you get everything before you begin dealing. Too much distraction and you might forget something. I already had my helmet on.
    Ready to go. Even I only gave him half of what he asked for he never even try to stop me. So I went. Bad taste in my mouth. I don't want start a day like that. 20190919_103950_HDR.jpg
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  14. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    I rode N9. Used to be an amazing pass. Now it's a busy dusty highway project. I admire modern road but it's not interesting any more. Interesting roads are disappearing. Good for natives but bad for riding experience.
    After the high pass scenery changes. The mountain faces Sahara side and it's much barren.
    And down the mountain a river runs and field of palm trees appears. What a surprise. Morocco has full of surprises, bad and good. 20190919_150848_HDR.jpg 20190919_174738_HDR.jpg 20190919_132434_HDR.jpg
  15. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Stop by at the market for late lunch. Half chicken and tea. He wants 100 Dirham, I gave him 50. I'm sick of this shit.
    Found a room at Zagora. It's advertised 14 Euro, he wants 25 Euro. I'm really tired of this. I settle for 22.50.
    If the king is reading this post you need to do something about this cheating. If cheating gets anyone rich, there should be many rich moroccan, but the opposit is the case. Think about that your highness.
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  16. Turre

    Turre Adventurer

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    Aug 25, 2010
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    62
    Very interesting RR, especially the Morocco section, looks amazing.

    But I must say that I dislike sales pushing, price negotiations and haggling. So your stories have increased my prejudices (about travelling to Arabic countries)
  17. Lone Stranger

    Lone Stranger Adventurer Supporter

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    May 16, 2010
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    67
    Location:
    International
    In this part of the world haggling is a way of life. When I lived in Egypt I learned enough Arabic to haggle a bit and to get around in taxis. Unfortunately I have since forgotten much of it.

    Great thread, though!!! I'm looking forward to reading more!!!
  18. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    We all lived in cave once. Prejudice reinforces itself without the real knowledge. Only way is to learn is by one's experience so you may decide for yourself without prejudice.
    You should travel there to find out for yourself.
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  19. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    By the time I got to Zagora, I knew I reached the end. From here one can travel to Mhamid and experience the sand desert, ride camel, stay at the tent, wake up with sand in your mouth etc.
    I don't need that. I had plenty of sand experience before. Also I noticed humidity in the air. Not a good sign.
    So after the breakfast I head north. Suddenly I miss Spain and its wine.
    On the way I noticed cloud forming. I also saw goat tenders moving their herds and keep eyes on the forming cloud.
    I see dark sky in my mirror but forward is blue sky. Good sign.
    I stop to check the map and an old man sitting across the street pointing his walking stick up ward to me. Another sign. I put on urgency, not panic. Forward sky is not too bad.
    As I ride north I see group of GS riders and I point finger upward, they just wave. 20190920_093032_HDR.jpg 20190920_143647_HDR.jpg 20190920_133503_HDR.jpg
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  20. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    I feel droplets. Luckily I'm on the edge of the dark cloud.
    Finally at the Errachidia I got caught by massive sand storm. I take refuse at the gas station. Over the southern sky it's really dark. I feel very lucky.
    I continue after sand storm pass. It's still very windy. It's about 6pm, still day lights but I know sunsets in an hour. I'm about 75km away from Midelt.
    I stop at a small town called Er-Rich. There are no tourists here. I pass by small market place, taxi stand. Cafe, nobody comes after me.
    I ride around looking for a room and a man sitting at a cafe points finger at the ditection and smiles.
    I check in to a room. 50 Dirham, less than 5 USD. Shared shower and bathroom. It's an old fashion squat style that you por water after the business. The room is clean and I can see the bike from the window.
    I shower and go to the market place for food. Many people speaks French. People here are very gentle and calm.
    No one approaches me to show "Marocan hospitality" or trying to sell me something. As I walk in a young man asks "sandwich?". Sure why not.
    I eat a meat sandwich with olive and hot pepper paste. Really good stuff. I order tea and it's very sweet and minty. I pay 30 Dirham. No cheat here.
    One of the customer ask where I'm from. I don't say USA for my own reason. I always say Korea. It's always more interesting. He says south of course. I laugh and say maybe. He laughs and says "welcome my good friend".
    I go to my room. I hear an old man shouting. He sounds like an senile old man. I don't know why. Periodically he shouts. An old lady gently tells him something he quiets down.
    Marocan ladies talk very sweetly. They rarely talk to me and I never converse with females here. But when they are with their people I noticed how their talking is so different than their male counterpart.
    I noticed such way in Yucatan and specially Colombia. Ladies in Colombia talk very sweetly, like a singing voice. Korean girls do that when they want to. We call it "ae gyo". I love that.
    Senile man shouts out again. I guess he is calling his friend. Soon a voice joins him. Even if the voice is harsh I know they are friends. They laugh together. The other one stutters with deep baritone voice. In my head I name him village idiot. By his speech he is very slow. He repeats same words with stuttering and much difficulty. The senile old man corrects him or helps him with his staccato high pitch. Village idiot tries to answer with his deep voice.
    They laugh. Old lady quietly tells them it's late. They quiet down little bit. But the old man is bored and call out his friend again. It's a music.
    Finally around 11pm everything is quiet, I fall asleep.
    Next morning I get ready before sun appears over the mountain. It's an early start. I see how the protected my bike with flower pots. I think about the old man.
    I feel Morroco. 20190921_073257_HDR.jpg 20190920_194417_HDR.jpg 20190920_192810_HDR.jpg
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