Published: December 25th 2009December 15th 2009
Me and my shadow
Last night was spent at Camping Abba in Nouadibou, hit the town for a Chinese and a beer , returned home and snuggled up to the cockroaches and set myself for an early start.Well before dawn I awoke, don't know if it was excitement or apprehension, either way as soon as first light broke I was on the road. Got to the border post and filtered past the trucks, thought it was 24hr obviously not. Just as I got to the barrier a guard nodded and lifted it, I was first in, through the myriad of douane/police/customs/moneychangers and I was into no mans land, this is the 5km stretch of bare desert that is mined east and west, not so daunting this time but still difficult as first in and no tracks in the sand to follow, just Gps. But as you can guess as im writing this I got to the other side without too much trouble, passed through Moroccan customs and even made acquaintance with a few guys from my first time through. Got the visa for the KTM extended for a month and that was it. Another 400km or so and I was showered and relaxing in the
Dave and Merrel, attempting to get to Senegal at the second time of asking, good look to you.
biggest bed you have ever seen with crisp white sheets and a sea view,,,,,heaven.
Had a leisurely start to the day, good breakfast and made my farewells , nothing much to report, stopped to photograph the stranded fishing trawler on the beach south of Boujdour, filled up a couple of times and covered about 320ish kms, still another 200 till campsite so i looked at staying at Boujour, reasonable sized town with an Army barracks by the look of it, one hotel looked ok but no parking, next had a locked garage, room ok and clean, 100dh (£8) sorted.
next job find some food.This didn't go well, went to a cafe and had chicken, fries salad and a coke, now normally it would be around 50dh, I didn't ask first and he tried to charge me 85, about £7 saying it was because it was a holy day bollox and all that, told him he was robbing me and taking the piss too if he thought I was some nieve tourist, we settled on an in between figure, helped by the fact a local plod was eating in the place.But you don't need the hassle do you ?
La corbine d'argent
The lounge which was right on the beach, Idyllic and even better when the host opened the drinks cabinet, if only i knew they were free .lol.
a very slow ride, trying to preserve tyres, it is still so hot and the road temperature is too in the afternoon.Enjoyed the bit of offroad to Le Roi Camping Bedouin , an oasis of calm in a mad mad world, too calm,too quiet, i need a book,a football, some running shoes anything, only been here a day and already i have serviced and cleaned the bike and myself....what will i do tomorrow ??
Today clear blue sky's and very hot with no wind, met a couple last night from somerset, on there second attempt to get to Senegal, last time there truck's transmission gave out on the no-mans land between the countries, better luck this time.My ipod has eventually given up the ghost, shame as it has been a good servant, but technology is great until its starts to stop working.
Yesterday i went for an 8km hike in the desert to climb a mountain, and a very good view i had from the top too, was a little concerned about stumbling upon a snake or other nasty but none was to be seen.Apparently it was of strategic importance and was recently fought over by the Moroccans, a
I'm glad i didn't pitch my tent on the top of this cliff the night the floor fell away,
few remnants of munition was in evidence, gave it a spooky feeling and being so isolated it was also quite spiritual, i had a word with him up there to look after my friends, he didn't answer but i think he heard me.
Later to amuse myself i decided to compile my desert island disc line up,list on request !!!!!
Tonight i am staying at La corbine d'argent,about 70km south of Tan Tan plage, quite a nice little walled hotel, 200 dh for the night with breakfast, i think ? (as they speak no English at all ) It is right on the beach and that is where i am heading to while away a few hours. Just been given a very nice cup of coffee and plate full of homemade biscuits, must have looked like i needed cheering up.Cheering up and feeding up as later was just looking at the ocean thinking deep thoughts when i was beckoned over for an aperitif, strange as i had said no to diner, but a ricard in my left hand and a cheese thing in my right i was feeling most at home and even chancing my arm at holding a
sink hole another view
very big hole and very deep
conversation in french, of sorts !! Strange not long before I was thinking what an awkward bunch they were as i struggled to get into a conversation with them, later were best buddies.
The morning came with warm winds from the south and blue skys, a great breakfast spread, honey, toast and chocolate cake and then the bill !!!! 200 dh a bargain. Will list this as a great alternative to Le roi bedouin.
Steady ride north, stopped at tan tan to catch up on internet and then went to ocean villa on the plage.Was happy last time, nice room, does good food and a very relaxed atmosphere and the bike gets a garage all to itself.
Unpacked to find my very expensive battery charger from Amman (2-3 £ ) broken, walked around town and found a better made replacement for 20 dh about £1.50. but no local internet what so ever.No tele, no internet what will i do for two days.Better get the shorts on and go for a swim.Sat and watched a local football match on the beach, with ref, whistle and full sized regulation pitch the lot, even had some argy bargy when a penalty was
Match of the Day
A good crowd had gathered to watch tan tan boys try to out fight the old boys
given, was funny to watch as the sea encroached on the far side touchline, a good crowd shouting encouragement from the sides gathered too.A government minister is meeting some local high flyers in the hotel opposite so most of the crowd are either police or army!!!!! its a hard life.
I don't know whats the matter at the moment, well thats not true, I do know, I just don't want to admit it. Since Dakar I have felt a bit low, why ? Its still an adventure, every day is a challenge, but it don't seem to have the same meaning, no urgency, I need to find my desire....I can not just tread water waiting for the calender to tick by. I either need to get home or find another goal, north is cold (so I have been reliably informed ) Billy even asked if I wanted some muffs, it took me a while to get what he was asking !
I have just read Nigels blog http://blog.bignoseontour.org/ and although he has encountered a few problems in Gambia with his motorcycle,and he now has reached one of his goals of seeing the riders for health guys in action.But he has
Tan Tan sunset
sunset on Tan Tan Plage, as the Britain and northern Europe was shivering the beach was quite nice even if the Atlantic was not what you would call warm
a destination of cape town to conjure with and I know it is always a balancing act of finance against dreams divided by reality .If I go south....it would be a dream, but I just cant see me being able to fulfill it.
I need a little windfall then I could do this full time, forget work, they most likely have forgotten about me,and I would be free to roam, to meet great people and experience different cultures and just taste life with all its flavours.I need to find a reason.A destination.
My batteries are fully recharged now, to the extent that i am chomping on the bit to get some miles done. Yesterday when I looked outside I could not quite believe it, it was pishing it down and as it is rather dry most of the time, drainage is obviously not a high priority as there were floods left right and center. You would be riding down the road and just come across a river running across it, seemed strange looking at the desert with puddles in it.Anyway I get ahead of myself, left El Ouatia and the western Sahara and entered Morocco proper (this last region
View from breakfast table in la toulousain, Marrakesh
of the Sahara is disputed teritory claimed by morocco , Algeria and the Spanish ! ) and headed for sidi ifni, about 180km away, the ride was wet and cold, it was a shock after the 30oC of the day before. It chilled me to the core, I got to the area i needed to turn off the main highway but all the sand tracks to the place, which was about 40km to the west were washed away, visibility was bad, I was cold and decided to keep going and see if i come across a metaled road, I didnt find one so after doing 200km i needed to find a warm shower and even warmer bed. Continued for what seemed like an age until after 300km came across hotel Biris on the edge of Agadir, negotiated a price of 150 dh a night, about £10, very nice clean room and what went in its favour was the promise of plentiful hot water and wifi...hey result......i thought.
De camped and hit the freezing cold shower, jumped in and out pretty sharpish and booted up the laptop whilst drying myself....hmm connected to wifi but main server down so no internet in
Kitty in the desert
Had a ride out to mzouga to sample the erg chebbi, and make the odd sand castle..
the area.........bloody Africa.
Did have a very nice meal off sole with trimmings for a fiver followed my a good nights sleep but still.........i need a shower !Did have a very nice meal off sole with trimmings for a fiver followed my a good nights sleep but still.........i need a shower !
Good nights rest and another cold shower in the morning, it is supposed to be good for you but i am not so sure. Hit the restaurant for breakfast had Honey, this other bowl had a brown thick sludge that was full of herbs and a nutty taste to it, and olive oil this i had with a traditional mint tea which i had to prepare, with supervision ! and a cafe au lait followed by omelet this for 25dh, £2.
The tea is good,you get a pot with herbs in it already, add the tea and hot water and pour it from a great height into on of the three glasses supplied, you add it back to pot and keep doing this until it is a dark colour, then you add two inch by inch blocks of sugar into this little pot making it incredible sweet, you
The natural inhabitants of the desert..
then continue with the pouring and putting back until all sugar is dissolved. You then pour out three glasses and share it with whoever is around, if no one around find someone !It is an acquired taste and you are not allowed just one cup, if refusal after one it is an insult, so you have to have two, but don't be greedy and have a third that is said to be very bad too!
Well the day was spent going into the local town,wanted some bits and bobs but found nothing, lots of nothing but nothing any good all the same. Came back and washed the bike, she will think something is wrong me giving her all this attention!!! then watched a film, first in absolutely ages, it was called Dot the i , A brit flick with arabic sub titles, but was quite good and passed a couple of hours. Later went for a tagine at a little place down the road and spent the rest of the evening with some local guys who were friendly and fun to be with. Blue sky's greeted me so decided to make the most of it and headed north, through Agadir and onwards to Essaouira, went into the old town and looked at a couple of places and the Medina, thought it would be a good place to visit again sometime, and then returned to the Belle Mai, the room is exquisite with hot water !! and internet downstairs, the restaurant is closed but you cant have everything.
Today Marrakech and who knows what that will hold for me, cant wait to see the snake charmers , the sun dropping over the medina wall as i grab a meal at one of the local cafes and the sound of the call to prayer drifting on the cool air and urging the devoted to the Mosque. First I have to get there and then find somewhere to sleep, done a little research this time ,normally that's a recipe for disaster as you seem inclined to want to find the place you have read so much about regardless of how many circles you have gone in looking for it, only to find it is not all it is supposed to be.Like to use my instinct and judgment at the time, but hey a little information cant be bad can it ?
Was at a lovely place last night with great food and a warm bed, but just as i was falling asleep world war three broke out and much screaming and shouting throwing of saucepans and plates went on for a good hour, but then they are French and could sense some tension between father and son earlier in the night.Will be interesting over breakfast!!
Breakfast came with some most humble apologies for the previous evenings frivolities, nice but unspectacular ride to Marrakesh. Settled into the toulousian hotel and showered and prepared for an evenings entertainment courtesy of the locals.
Marrakesh....wow what a place, snake charmers, monkeys , transvestites and wrinkly story tellers not to mention the doctors !! peddling remedies for every ailment you could ever think about and a few you don't want too. I'm left to ingest and absorb the madness around me, along with Ali and Aziza my new companions.Later, much much later than planned I am joined by Jo and kitty to sample the delights of Morocco.