Which landforms characterize Morocco
May 2, 2014 - from Waldems via Düsseldorf and by car train to Alexandria
I left home on May 2nd. My first stop was the train station in Düsseldorf. There I went on the train with the KTM. I would have loved to drive from Neu Isenburg, but it was completely booked out. I had just changed and set up in the compartment when an announcement came on. The driver with the registration number RÜD-IP should please come to his vehicle immediately. Of course I got a huge shock, grabbed my motorcycle jacket and ran what felt like a kilometer to the end of the train. That's how I got into jogging. The whole way I was wondering what could be. When I arrived at the motorcycle, a friendly railway official told me that I had to dismantle the two petrol cans attached to the suitcases and the two water bottles. I replied that the two canisters were empty. The officials were of little interest. Rule is rule. So I dismantled the stuff and ran back to the first wagon. The train departed….
May 3, 2014 - from Alessandria to Genoa and on the ferry to Morocco
I arrived in Alessandria around 9:00 in the morning. As always, the night in the couchette was not that great. I was happy that the ride was over. At the unloading track I met an old friend again. The nice Italian lady has always done the job. When I arrive in Alessandria, she is always there and instructs the passengers accordingly. I rolled the KTM out of the wagon, packed it and left Alessandria as quickly as possible.
I drove through the famous Gavi wine region. Empty winding roads presented themselves to me and for the first time something like a holiday feeling came up. In Gavi I had a delicious cappuccino and strengthened myself with a slice of pizza. I made a lot of stops and breaks because I didn't have to be at the ferry in Genoa until 3:00 p.m. A little over 80 kilometers later I was already in the port of Genoa. You should be at the check-in 3 hours before departure.
When I drove into the port area, I was wildly waved by some motorcyclists. As it quickly turned out, there was a mix-up. Werner, Lotte and Jochen were waiting for another passenger. He also drives a KTM 1190 Adventure R and they thought I was him. The 3 kindly took care of my motorcycle and my belongings while I stocked up on some provisions in the supermarket. Far too little, as it turned out during the 48 hour ferry trip. Muffl, the fourth in the group of nice motorcyclists from the Augsburg area, also arrived with his 1190 Adventure R. Muffl and Werner have already been to Morocco several times and I was grateful for all the tips they could give me.
Then we quickly went on the ferry and the motorcycles were lashed. I share my cabin with 3 Moroccans who of course spoke neither English nor German. And since I speak neither Moroccan nor Italian, our conversation was limited to the essentials. But they were friendly….
May 4, 2014 - on the ferry to Morocco
The ferry is definitely past its prime. The cabins are dingy and the whole ship is not in a really good condition. The lifeguards looked like they hadn't been checked for years. If in doubt, they would certainly not have worked in an emergency. There was really good coffee at a reasonable price, but the food was a bit overpriced. Somehow I'll get through the 48 hours, I thought.
Of course, I didn't have enough food from the supermarket. Muffl, Lotte, Werner and Jochen took me in like a family. I was overwhelmed. The 4 were already sitting at a table. I was waved to me in a friendly manner and they offered me some of their food. How natural. Unfortunately, apart from a salami and a few nuts, I couldn't contribute much to the meal together.
There was a lot of talk about various motorcycle trips and of course Morocco. The 4 made the long ferry ride really entertaining and I was glad to have met them.
May 5, 2014 - Arrival in Tangier Med
The journey passed and the port of Tangier Med in northern Morocco came into view. I made friends with Mufflon, Lotte, Werner and Jochen on the trip. The 4 are really super nice and I was happy to have met them. We agreed to drive part of the route together. But since I had already planned the first days of the tour, we parted ways in Tangier at first.
The entry at passport control was quick and I thought that I could leave the port before 7:00 p.m. But far from it. The customs formalities took over 2 hours. We were dependent on the arbitrariness of a Moroccan official and the chaotic conditions during clearance.
I said goodbye to the 4 Augsburgers and made my way to Tangier, 50 kilometers away, where I had booked a hotel for the first night. I had arranged to meet my new friends in 3 days. From there we want to drive a bit together.
At first I was looking forward to my single room with shower in Tangier. After one night on the train and two nights on the ferry, I deserved it.
May 6, 2014 - from Tangier to Chefchaouen
I slept a little longer and had an extensive breakfast in my 5 star hotel in Tangier. I was in no hurry. A short refueling stop and then I tortured myself through the traffic out of Tangier towards the south. I first followed the N2 to the southeast and shortly before Tetouan I turned onto the N13 to the south in the direction of Chefchauen. The track wasn't particularly nice at first. It only got nicer when the road slowly meandered into the mountains. I had only planned a short stage for this day. Just under 120 kilometers to Chefchaouen.
Life is blue !! At noon I reached the blue city of Chefchaouen. On the direct route I first drove to the pension, the Casa Annasr. I was greeted with a warm tea by the host and was delighted with the Moroccan decor of the small reception. The rooms were also lovingly furnished. I got a room on the 5th floor. Groaning, I dragged my luggage up the narrow stairs in the heat. The stairwell was very stylishly lined with Moroccan tiles. At the top, I was rewarded with a great furnished room and roof terrace with a view.
The privately run Pension Casa Annasr (La Gare Routiere Av. Maghreb Arabi, 91004 Chefchaouen, N35 10.083, W05 16.549) is highly recommended. Quietly located with a guarded small parking lot, stylishly Moroccan furnished with great rooms to relax in.
Chefchaouen is named after Djabal Ech Chaouen, which consists of the double peaks Djabal Kelaa (2,050 meters) and Djabal Meggou (1,116 meters). The town enjoys the reputation of having an abundance of water, which has earned it the nickname “Brunnenstadt”. Chefchaouen is particularly worth seeing both because of its beautiful location in the Rif Mountains and because of its picturesque alleys with the blue and white whitewashed houses.
After a tour of the old town, I made myself comfortable in one of the numerous cafes and drank a delicious coffee with milk while I watched the hustle and bustle of the city. By the way, contrary to various statements from travel guides, I was not approached once about buying hashish. In the souk, too, I was not approached unpleasantly about buying any souvenirs or even bothered. I experienced a wonderful and relaxed afternoon in a great city with very nice and hospitable people.
There are many typical Moroccan restaurants on Place Outa el Hammam. The square practically forms the center of the old town. In the middle there is a very nice fountain and in the shade of the trees it is very tasty to eat. A Moroccan salad and delicious couscous with beef was my dinner. After dinner, it is a good idea to stroll through the picturesque and illuminated alleys of the old town. A couple of guys spoke to me in hashish after all. One very energetic. But my reaction was just as energetic and the guy quickly let go of me. Some young people looked very stoned. They staggered arm in arm through the narrow streets, but let me enjoy the city's otherwise pleasant flair in peace.
May 7, 2014 - from Chefchaouen to Fez
Yesterday evening I spoke briefly with the host of Casa Annasr about my tour planning for today. The idea was to cross the Rif mountains towards Taounate via Ketama on my way to Fez. Right through the canabis growing area. He strongly advised me not to venture this route alone. Nothing is likely to happen in a group, but solo travelers occasionally fall victim to insidious tricks. Animals have already been driven onto the street to provoke accidents. Fake police checks were used to force you to stop. The police are supposed to be working with the drug dealers. You are powerless against it anyway.
Thick fog lay in the valley of Chefchaouen when I set off. I didn't want to risk the more than 200 kilometers through the Rif Mountains on my own and finally decided on a different route. I drove via the N13 to Ouezzane and on via Nzala-des-Beni-Ammar towards Fés. I let the KTM purr through gently rolling terrain. After the sun had driven the fog out of the valleys, it quickly became warm and the ride was even more fun. There was pleasantly little traffic on this street. At Jorf-el-Melha I turned onto a branch line via Karia-Ba-Mohamed in the direction of Fés. First I drove through a wide plain. Now I didn't have any motorized traffic at all. A couple of donkey or horse-drawn carts came towards me. Kati's thermometer showed over 30 degrees Celsius on the plain. 30 kilometers before Fés the road meandered into the valley basin and offered beautiful views of the city. I reached Fés after 230 kilometers in the early afternoon and the thermometer on the motorcycle climbed to 34.5 degrees Celsius.
The hotel Les Merinides is conveniently located very close to the medina of Fez. From the outside it didn't make a particularly good impression. But it was inside and the rooms are okay. Here you can pay for the location extremely well. A rich fruit platter is on my table as a greeting. I took a quick shower before heading to the medina.
Fés is the oldest of the four royal cities and, next to Marakesch, certainly the most interesting city in Morocco. It is the spiritual center of the country. The medina of Fés has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1976 due to its exceptional importance as the country's cultural and spiritual center.
In the ätsten part of the city is the medina and in the middle of it is the tannery quarter. Leather and hides are tanned and dyed here in heavy manual labor. In some concrete tubs the skins are whitewashed, in others they are colored. Leather goods from Fez were transported to Baghdad as early as the 12th century because of their good quality.
It is not easy to find a view of the tanneries. But it is easy to show someone the way. I ran after the boy through the catacombs of the medina for a few minutes. We climbed many narrow stairs and then I had a view of one of the tanneries from above.
After the photos I had to look at the leather goods, of course. However, I thanked them just as kindly when I was encouraged to buy. Nevertheless, a tip was due. I gave the boy 20 dirhams (about 2 euros) for the 5 minutes of his time. Very generous, I still thought. He looked angry and said that 20 dirhams was nothing. I explained to him that in Germany some people had to work a full hour for 5 euros and I said goodbye briefly. I went to one of the numerous small restaurants and in the middle of the medina I got a delicious minced meat kebab with fresh salads and squeezed orange juice.
There is an old cemetery very close to the medina. Obviously it has not been cared for for many years. Weeds overgrown the many whitewashed graves. Ant roads with 1 cm long ants connected the tombs. What do they live on?
May 8, 2014 - Fez to Missour
At 6:00 am the alarm clock rang. I wanted to leave early. At 10:00 o'clock I had made an appointment with Mouflon, Lotte, Werner and Jochen in Taza. I met the four of them on the ferry from Genoa to Tangier. We wanted to go on together for a while. Shortly after 7:00 am I left the hotel in Fez. After I had driven out of the basin, I went through a long plain on the N6. The temperature was pleasant and I was able to run the Kati properly. In Sidi-Abdallah-des-Riata I left the N6 to follow a beautiful mountain road. The route was further, but I had enough time, I thought. The small mountain roads meandered seemingly endlessly through the landscape and slowly time was running out. I was worried about not making it in time. Shortly before 10:00 a.m. I rolled over to the campsite. The meeting point near Taza.
I was very happy to meet the Augsburgers again. Jochen had left the group in the meantime and so I continued with Mouflon, Lotte and Werner.
We drove via Merhaoua over the Tiz Oulmou (Ziz = pass) in the direction of Imouzzer-des-Marmoucha. The mostly asphalted route also had some off-road passages to offer. When we arrived in the valley, we followed a mostly straight tar road to Missour. A sandstorm was brewing about 5 kilometers from Missour. But we just made it into town.
We check in at the Hotel Baroudi. A shabby hotel in which nothing works properly except for the WiFi. Dirty rooms with bad sanitary facilities. The beds are also a bit dirty and I pull a T-shirt over the pillow so that I don't have to lie directly on the pillow. Well, it's only for one night….
At least the hotel has a liquor license and we have a Moroccan beer. Drinkable! Then we stroll through the city. An ATM provides us with the local currency again for a while. We find a nice place in a restaurant where we can sit outside and let ourselves be pampered by the Moroccan cuisine.
May 9, 2014 - Missour and the stone desert
From Missour we drove straight to a dirt road (not on my map) into the stony desert. Werner had already driven the route and so we followed him. The temperatures were still okay at 9:00 a.m. with a little over 20 degrees Celsius. But it quickly got hotter.
This day was not a lucky star. There were problems with Lotte's Beta 200. The motorcycle didn't do anything anymore. It was just a backup and the fault was quickly found. But why was the backup through? The backup backup did not last long either. Fortunately, the beta still has a kicker, so that wasn't a big problem either. Probably a cable was chafing on the frame somewhere. But we never got around to analyzing the problem in more detail.
We drove on and wanted to get out of the hot desert first to find a shady place for troubleshooting. It then happened about 30 km away from Missour, in the middle of the desert. Lotte lost control of her beta and fell. It quickly became clear that something was wrong with her right shoulder or arm. There was no way she could go any further.
Moufflon and I drove back to the Hotel Baroudi in Missour, while Werner stayed with Lotte. When we arrived at the hotel, Mouflon organized a pick-up with the help of the hotel and half an hour later Mouflon led the pick-up back into the desert to the place where we had to leave them both. Of course we had saved the coordinates. I stayed in the hotel. Werner had built Lotte a small "tent" so that she was not exposed to the blazing sun all the time.
Lotte was taken to the hospital and with the help of Mr. Baroudi everything went very quickly. The x-ray showed a tear in the shoulder capsule and the arm was inserted and immobilized. Lotte did it all really bravely. Back at the hotel, the “yellow angels” in Germany were notified. Presumably a doctor will come from Germany and accompany Lotte home. Actually nonsense, because Lotte herself said that she can travel alone. In addition, she will have to wait longer. Otherwise she could have flown tomorrow. It will probably take a day longer before the doctor is there. She won't get any more details until tomorrow.
All in all, it was not a good day in Morocco….
May 9, 2014 - from Missour to Erg Chebbi
I said goodbye to Lotte, Werner and Moufflon again. Lotte had news from the ADAC. It looked as if she could fly with Ryan Air from Fez, just under 200 kilometers away, to Hahn that evening. I hope for her that everything will work out and that she will soon be receiving good medical treatment at home.
I drove from Missour on the N15 towards Midelt about 30 km on a new tarred road. That stopped and there followed about 50 km of construction site. It gave me the impression that it will be many years before the new road is ready. At the intersection near Midelt, I turn left onto the N13 in the direction of Rich and Er-Rachidia. There is a petrol station right at the intersection. I let myself be drenched in Arabic music at a café au lait.
The road now led steadily uphill and meandered through the hilly landscape. I wanted to take a photo at a vantage point. A young Moroccan from Fez wanted to take photos of his girlfriend with my motorcycle and we held a little shoot.
On my way to Rich I saw more and more stork nests on the towers of the kasbah. I drank a Coke at Café Iraha before I reached the Gorges du Ziz between Rich and Er-Rachidia. A really beautiful gorge with great views. I drove quickly through Er-Rachidia and Erfoud to Rissani. The archway to the city was really impressive and of course I had to take a photo despite the no stopping.
I finally reached Erg Chebbi near Merzouga, my destination for the day. The KTM thermometer climbed to a murderous 42 degrees Celsius. I had to turn off the road and drive through the desert to get to the Auberge du Sud. I had saved the coordinates and it should be about 9 km from the road. There were several tracks left by off-road vehicles and one I followed. According to Navi, that was roughly true.
Small fields of sand kept coming. I wanted to bypass one and change lanes. It happened the way it had to. Typical rookie mistake in the desert. I got into a deep sand field and got stuck. At first I thought I would get out, but the Kati's rear wheel dug in up to the hub. Crap …. 41 degrees and ... dig. Backwards I pulled the motorcycle out inch by inch. Dig in between times. I reached my limits. I gasped for air and the sun burned my skin. After half an hour I had Kati free again. I actually had to relax, but the Auberge was only 2 kilometers away. And there was shade and cold water. Of course, I didn't take any photos of the excavation work. Whenever you're in the shit, you don't think about it. When I arrived in Augerge, I clearly felt my circulation and had to rest first. I was provided with tea, water and nuts and after what felt like half an hour I was ready to check in again.
The Kasbah-style Auberge du Sud is located directly on the Erg Chebbi dunes. An accommodation that I can absolutely recommend (N31 12.592, W04 01.442). Large, clean rooms, great beds with clean sheets and shower with warm water. The whole thing crowns a great swimming pool. The hosts are really friendly. Since I don't speak French, I am pleased that Hamid speaks English very well.
When I was still writing this report in my room, there was suddenly a knock on my door and someone called Ingo, Ingo…. I thought something had happened and Hamid calls me. When I opened the door, the joy was great. Moufflon and Werner stood in front of me. Lotte was driven to the airport in Fez by ambulance and is now on the plane to Germany. That was very good news. Muffl and Werner started right away and were at the Auberge at 8:00 p.m., in time for dinner. We would have loved to have a beer goodbye together. The only downside to the Auberge is that, unfortunately, they don't have an alcohol license.
May 11, 2014 - Erg Chebbi and Merzouga
We stayed one day at Erg Chebbi in the beautiful Auberge du Sud. I wanted to “play” a little in the sand with the desert foxes Mufflon and Werner. Anyone who has ever driven in the sand knows that it is not as easy as it looks. And ... driving sand is one thing ... and driving dunes is another. Of course, especially with the heavy KTM, I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks. Too much gas means involuntarily descending, too little gas means…. dig. So you should stay somewhere in between. I was grateful for all the tips and with Werner's 610er Husaberg I thought I could do a little more.
In Merzouga we drank a cafe and in the afternoon we had a good time at the pool of the Auberge du Sud. The two did another lap in the dunes and had actually found beer in another hotel. Although the beer was warm it went well and in the cool pool it was bearable at temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius.
We rented 3 quads and drove out into the dunes with a guide in the evening. That was a fun! I didn't think so. So I got a little more feeling for sand and dunes.
We spent the night in the dunes and slept in the open air, although a Berber tent was available to us. It was cooked for us and overall it was a nice change. Just a few cold beers would have been nice ...
May 12, 2014 - from Erg Chebbi to Tinerhir
The night in the dunes wasn't really relaxing. At first I couldn't sleep when the moon was almost full and then I woke up again and again from noises in the camp. A cat wanted to lie down with me on my bed for the night - however the cats got into the desert. It wasn't until the early morning that I fell asleep and we practically had to get up shortly afterwards. With the quads we drove through the dunes back to the Auberge du Sud.
We packed up our stuff and left the hot Sahara. Moufl had put together a tour that took us to Tenerhir on the edge of the Atlas Mountains. We drove back to Erfoud via Rissani. There we initially covered ourselves with dirham (local currency) and drove over small streets to Goulmima.
Moufflon hadn't promised too much. The route became more and more beautiful. He had driven it years ago. We drove through two beautiful gorges with great views.
From the north we came to Tinerhir through the Gorges du Todrha.
We checked in at the Atlas campsite. A really nice campsite with good toilet facilities and WiFi. Nicely located near the Todrha Gorge. Starting point for the tours of the next few days.
May 13, 2014 - Tinerhir and Tinejdad
I spent a very relaxed day today with Muffl and Werner. We stayed at Camping Atlas in Tinerhir. Moufflon was already on this campsite in 1996 and some things have changed in the meantime.
Minor maintenance work on the Mororrwheels was also due and had to be done. We drove towards Tinejdad tnjdd (no, that's not a typo). On the way we saw a small workshop. We stopped there because Werner had lost a screw on his exhaust bracket on his 610 Husquarna. The mechanics were great. They immediately dropped their work and helped. A corresponding metal tube was quickly found as a spacer and also a screw, although Werner also had a screw with him.
After the work was done, we were invited to tea and we talked to the people - as far as possible - and took a few photos. We got the email addresses and should definitely come back if something needs to be repaired.
We said goodbye to our helpers and Werner paid for the repairs. 10 dirhams were due…. the equivalent of about 1 euro. Incredible, that will now totally ruin Werner's vacation fund. We drove on towards Tinejdad tnjdd and after another 30 kilometers we reached our destination. The Sources Musées Galerie d´Art museum.
In 28 years of work, Zaid has collected exhibits for this museum. Zaid studied in Heidelberg and has long been concerned with the history of Morocco. Of course, he was particularly impressed by the region he comes from.
It is definitely worth visiting the Zaid Museum (from Tinehir about 5 kilometers before Tinejdad on the left). He has an incredibly extensive craft exhibition. In a beautifully landscaped area, Said has old Moroccan interiors and jewelry, old pottery, household items, books and photos. Overall, everything revolves around the 4 water sources and how the water has influenced the people of Morocco and especially the region. Zaid describes in a particularly impressive way how the water was allocated and how the time was measured with the help of a "water clock".
His wife runs a very nice cafe with a beautiful garden and many other Moroccan antiques that you can also buy in the village (a few kilometers further, after the Shell petrol station 300 meters on the right). We got an excellent fresh salad and omelette. The Cafe au lait is also highly recommended there.
On the way back we bought a few cans of beer and a bottle of red wine for dinner in the Chez Michelle supermarket (the only supermarket in Tinerhir with an alcohol license) in Tinerhir.
May 14, 2014 - from Tinerhir to Zagora
We started from Tinerhir without luggage. There were also some off-road passages on the program. First we drove through the well-known Gorges du Todrha through which we had already passed yesterday. Then shortly before Tamtattouchte I took the branch to the west over the pass to Msemrir. Contrary to all announcements, this off-road pass was easy to drive. It began as a "gravel highway". The section (approx. 10 km) through a river bed was pushed clear and easy to navigate. That would have been easily possible even when fully packed.
We continued through the Gorges du Dades. Impressive views were offered to us. Of course, the view from the terrace of the café of the serpentines of the valley run is particularly great.
At Ait Youl we turned right onto a gravel road which we followed for about 60 kilometers. In Skoura we came back to the main road and drove via Ouarzazate to Zagora in the Djebel Bani in the Sahara. The temperature was steadily increasing and when we drove into Zagora the thermometer of the Kati showed 42.5 degrees Celsius. I didn't take the heat well. Maybe I hadn't drunk enough. But when we arrived in Zagora after 435 kilometers I was not feeling well. I think I had some kind of heat stroke. I was no longer able to do anything. Moufl fed me a few more medication and then I went to bed a lot.
May 15, 2014 - from Zagora back to Tinerhir
I had recovered somewhat from the day before over night. I was feeling really bad and for today I didn't have a good feeling. However, this got better for the first few miles and the further we got the more normal it got. From Zagora, of course, we first went to the well-known sign to Tombouctou. There I absolutely had to take THE tourist photo before we drove on. Those were the days, 52 days on the road with the camel….
It went straight to the slopes. Mostly gravel and a few sand fields crossed the Djebel Beni desert. In a sand field I put the Kati on its side right away. 4 Moroccans came running up and helped me to get the motorcycle upright again quickly. I had no idea where the guys were from, but I was very grateful to them.
The piste went about 100 kilometers via Tanoumrhit to Nekob. In Nakob I decided to take the tar road back to Tinerhir, while Muffl and Werner stayed on the piste and drove over the Tipi-n-Tazazert Pass. I got into a sandstorm and had to go to a small cafe on the roadside for a short time. After half an hour, however, the worst was over and I continue on my way.
In the evening at Camping Atlas, I first got the equipment in order and packed the motorcycle again. Tomorrow we are leaving Tinerhir….
May 16, 2014 - from Tinerhir to Marrakech
Again 375 kilometers were on the program. We got up accordingly early. I drove alone towards Marrakech. Mouflon and Werner wanted to avoid the cities and drove a different route. A day later we wanted to meet again. At 8:30 a.m. I left Camping Atlas in Tinerhir.
The first 200 kilometers were pretty boring. It usually went straight out like a motorway. I was able to run the Kati 130-140 km / h. It was still quite cool in the morning and so I made good progress. From Tinerhir I drove on the N10 via Boumalne-du-Dades and Skoura to Quarzazate. There I turned right onto the N9 towards Marrakech.
Shortly afterwards it went up into the mountains and the route became more and more beautiful. Temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius were also very pleasant at noon and the few drops of rain that I got on the way didn't bother me. The road wound beautifully through the mountains. I took one or two coffee breaks and still, around 3:00 p.m., Marrakech came into view. I checked into the Hotel Kenzi Farah. It was conveniently located near the medina and was therefore particularly suitable. The hotel is good. The staff was very slow but tried hard. Quickly showered, I went straight to the old town / Medina and there to Djemaa-el-Fna, the “square of the hanged”.
The "Square of the Hanged" is a unique spectacle and forms the historical center of the city. Criminals were once executed here. Their heads were exhibited until only the bald skulls were left.
In the afternoons, showmen, acrobats, dancers, snake charmers, storytellers and musicians offer their show not only for tourists. I was surprised how many Moroccans attended the performances. Hennatoos were painted and if you wanted you could lay your cards down and let the future tell you. I was so busy taking photos that I was almost run over by a donkey cart.
In the afternoon I drank some tea with fresh mint and stared at the goings-on on the Jemaa-el-Fna for hours. As dusk slowly fell something suddenly changed. I could watch it very nicely from the roof terrace of a café. Donkey carts rolled up and brought all kinds of iron bars and kitchen accessories. One garment after the other was set up and part of the square slowly became a large restaurant with many small stalls.
Soon it smelled of tangine, kebab and soups. Whole steamed or fried mutton, grilled brouchettes or fish, everything your heart desires. For little money you can get great food here and of course I didn't miss the chance to taste my way through various garb booths. A freshly squeezed orange juice was also available for 4 dirhams (approx. 40 cents).
It was a great experience to spend the afternoon and evening on the Djemaa-el-Fna. I had a lot of great impressions there. I was particularly impressed that the locals also took part, especially in the evening. I wasn't bothered all the time either. A quick hint or a quick wave of the hand was enough to turn away all the salespeople. Only once did I get really frightened. When I was standing on the square in the evening and taking a few more photos, someone from behind put a snake around my neck. The cattle were lucky that they didn't fly to the other end of the square….
May 17, 2014 - from Marrakech to Azrou
It started early again. I wanted to meet Werner and Muffl about 200 kilometers from Marrakech. I left Marrakech at 8:00 a.m. at a cool 16 degrees Celsius. The temperature was then all day in sunshine around 22 degrees Celsius. So perfect for riding a motorcycle.
The first 200 kilometers are unfortunately quite boring again. But I had to go because I wanted to meet the two of them in Oulad M'Barek at noon. I drove from Marrakech on the main road via El-Kelaa-des-Sraghna towards Beni-Mellal to Oulad M'Barek. The meeting went very well and together we drove on towards Beni-Mellal.
The devil broke loose in Beni-Mellal. King Mohamed was expected and a horse race was to take place in his honor. Finely dressed up, the Moroccans, clad in Berber clothing, sat on their even prouder horses and waited in the sun for the start.
We drove on and at Khenifra we turned onto the nicer side road towards Azrou. A beautiful route through hilly landscapes. It got greener and greener and we drove through pine forests.
We reached Azrou in the afternoon. We bought something for dinner and Moufflon quickly found out which supermarket had a liquor license. A short time later he reappeared with two bags of canned beer. Muffl and Werner wanted to cook for themselves tonight.
Of course, I wasn't prepared for that. I didn't have any cutlery, crockery or anything else with me. At least I could do something with washing up.
May 18, 2014 - from Azrou to Martil
After we had dismantled our tents and packed everything again, we drove off again. It was always north today. We were practically on the way back. It was pleasantly fresh. The termometer has meanwhile dropped to 13 degrees Celsius. We had a temperature difference of 30 degrees within a few days. During the day we rarely reached more than 20 degrees. So the best motorcycle weather.
From Azrou we drove on the N8 first to Fés and on to Taounate. From there we followed the N8 through the Rif mountains.
That was the route that I didn't want to drive alone on the way there. I was strongly advised not to drive this route alone (see May 7th). It's good that it still worked out. It wasn't a problem in the group. A super beautiful landscape. We drive up to 1,700 meters on a winding route through the canabis growing area. We got the most intoxication here through the curves.
We reached Ketama. The center of the drug area. Shortly after the town turned left onto a very beautiful mountain stretch and connection to the coastal road N16 in the direction of Tetouan and Tangier.
We actually wanted to drive to a campsite shortly afterwards. But those that were given as POIs in the Garmin no longer existed. So we drove on and on and on along the coast. A great route, almost always with the sea in sight.We had to drive to Martil up to 60 kilometers from Tangier to find what we were looking for. We pitched our tents at a campsite.
450 kilometers of curves, curves, curves. The result of this day was pure driving pleasure. That's why there were hardly any photos that I could show here.
May 19, 2014 - from Martil to Tanger Med to the port
Because we had to drive so far yesterday to find a campsite, today we only had to drive about 60 kilometers to the ferry to Tanger Med. So we spent a relaxing day.
We calmly packed our tent and went to the sea a little longer. We didn't leave Martin for Tanger Med until noon. We drove a few more detours, but still arrived in Tanger Med in the early afternoon. We spent a few more hours at a lookout point and then we went to the harbor.
The departure went smoothly and a short time later we were already in the queue for the ferry. She was scheduled to leave Tangier Med for Barcelona and Genoa at 11:00 p.m. We should be there 4 hours beforehand. At around 9:00 p.m. we drove into the belly of the ship and looked forward to our ice-cold arrival beer.
Of course, the handling in Morocco did not go according to plan and the last cars did not get on the ship until around midnight. At 00:30 the time had come. We left Morocco and the African continent.
May 20, 2014 - on the ferry from Tanger Med to Barcelona
After a few beers yesterday I shut it down tightly and for the first time in a long time I could sleep in again. How best to get around the day on the ferry? Time dragged on like chewing gum and you couldn't do anything. So I tried to plan my next route from Barcelona. Muffl and Werner will take the quickest route home. I wanted to spend the last few days relaxing on beautiful routes.
I could still drive part of the Pyrenees? Then on to the Maritime Alps? Are all your passports open?
May 21, 2014 - Arrival in Barcelona and drive to Prades in the Pyrenees
At 6:00 a.m. it was wake-up time on the ferry and at 7:30 a.m. we docked in Barcelona. A pleasant 20 degrees Celsius in the early morning were okay. Entry was quick. Passage without any control. We drove out of Barcelona and had breakfast at a gas station. We had to say goodbye. Muffl and Werner drove home on a relatively direct route and I still had some time. I decided to go to Andorra and the Pyrenees.
I first drove towards Terrassa. My navigation system had got out of the car in the meantime and ran out of maps. The Zumo 660 was sparkling clean. No more maps available. I tried to transfer the maps again with MapInstall, but the program stopped each time. What the heck, I had to go on with good, old maps. That also went pretty well after I found out about Barcelona. I drove on towards Manresa. At Berga I turned right towards Ripoll. A really nice route with an infinite number of corners.
Time to pee, I thought, and stopped in the middle of nowhere. When I wanted to start the KTM again, nothing worked. Only the ignition was still on. But nothing happened when starting, nothing at all. Sure, I thought, definitely the side stand or the emergency stop. But nothing, everything is fine. So, luggage down and bench down to get to the fuse box. Everything OK. Checked all possible visible cables, nothing either. Shit, I thought the Alasser. How stupid, in the middle of nowhere. No car, no nothing. Then I pressed the emergency stop and the start button wildly…. and lo and behold…. suddenly Kati started up again. Obviously a wobbler at the emergency stop. I let the engine run and in the meantime packed the motorcycle again. I didn't want to take any chances. Then up on the Kati and let's go.
I reached Ripoll and stopped for gas. Everything back to normal. We continued via Puigcerda in the direction of Prades. On the pass I had just 8 degrees Celsius, drizzle and 30 meters of visibility due to fog. That was about 50 kilometers. Then it got better again and everything was clear again on the valley run. I crossed the border from Spain to France and everything turned out fine….
When I got to Prades I was dry again. My destination for the day was the Villa du Parc. A hotel very well run by Mireike and Oliver. I was here years ago, but everything was booked out. A hot shower and a delicious meal woke my spirits up again. Simply a place to feel good.
When I got a beer, I met a few people straight away. Nice guys from Fürth and Nuremberg. They wanted to drive almost 900 kilometers in the Pyrenees for the next two days and take some passes with them on the way. They asked me if I would like to go with them. Since I had time and the guys were very nice, I decided to take up the nice offer. That with the accommodation should also work and so nothing stood in the way. I had checked the location of the passes in the Western Alps and Maritime Alps area online. Here some passes were still closed, so my route home was restricted anyway. Let's see what it looks like in two days when I get back to the Villa du Parc….
May 22, 2014 - Through the Pyrenees
A wonderful day in the Pyrenees! The guys from Fürth, Nuremberg and the surrounding area were really really nice and it was the right decision to join me. We started with light luggage. I left the suitcases with Mireike and Oliver in the Villa du Parc. Jochen had worked out a tour. 900 kilometers and some well-known passes in two days. That was exactly to my taste. Today we walked 450 kilometers on beautiful roads through the Pyrenees on the French side.
Jochen had chosen a super nice route. Also some Tour de France passes. We drove over the Col de Jau (1506 meters), the Col de Portet (1069 meters), the Col de Menté (1349 meters), the Col de Aspin (1490 meters) and of course the well-known Col de Tourmalet (2115 meters) Meter).
There was still a lot of snow on the Col de Tourmalet. The sign before in the valley showed us that the pass was open. Once at the top, it turned out that the valley run was closed. We decided to go through the barrier anyway and see how far we can go….
The valley run went without any problems. There were just a lot of stones and rubble on the road. The pass was not yet "ready for summer" and we were probably the first to drive down the pass on a motorcycle this year.
In the evening we stopped at Werner's "Les 3 Baudets" in Lieu-Dit-Escoubes (N43 05.994, W00 39.293). Jochen had already been here years ago and had fond memories of the small hotel. Highly Recommended. The Swabian landlord Werner is a trained cook and has lived in France for many years. In the evening he conjured up a great barbecue dinner for us. There was also delicious house wine and to top it off, it turned out that Werner is a cigar smoker. He took out Cuban cigars and we enjoyed a relaxing evening with cigars and calvados.
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