Tic-Toc Maroc: Long Day Down

Fez to Erfoud | October 21 | 271 miles
A young Drake serves cafe in the Low Atlas mountains today.

A young Drake serves cafe in the Low Atlas mountains.

Today was our longest day… and one that put me in a shitty ass mood… mainly because I was getting rushed through countless amazing scenes, yet I was alone. Perhaps riding with a group isn’t for me… not when I want to use my brain and take photos. Separated form the group before lunch and then again afterwards, my quick stops for a photo (or battery changes) tend to pile up and leave me way way behind. And as the sun sets, and the scenery changed from mountains to the desert today, I grew more and more angry as I had to miss so many amazing images… This will be my starting point for the NEXT visit! I’d seen an airport in ‘rich town’ and I’ll be back!

Leaving Fez this morning was fun, with wide open boulevards and a trek trough the modern parts of town. Down off the medieval walls and through the history of progress. We needed to fuel up and some of the guys got a little worried when the guides took us to the very edge of town to get that fuel, they thought they were getting forgotten… 🙂 Nikki today realizes I’m a journalist and tells me of her days as a television broadcaster.

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But once we hit the edge of town it was nothing but scenery, climbing through olive groves and winding roads to chilly high mountain pass… poor day to have chosen to ride without the windscreen!

Getting beyond the ski resort town of Ifran, the ‘moroccan wolves’ begin to find us at the curb side. Wild dogs are every where around here, I’m guessing that they were sheep dogs, but there wasn’t always a herd in sight. If was in the high plains that we stopped for cafe and we get our first sighting of radar guns, no threat to our route or crew just interesting to see them casual in use in really remote places.

Concubine Donkeys?

Concubine Donkeys?

By Zaida I’ve lost the group to picture stops, and wind around the town looking for a bunch of harleys, they would never be missed in this little town. Riding both forks and back through town again for a few more photos, I check the paper map to see I was wrong about the lunch stop, its the next one… oops. Powering on toward Midelt and possibly the tastiest tajine yet (#55 if you’re counting).. lemon chicken and very colorful food.

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From there, we were probably still only half way to home tonight and we ran well into the dark… beyond yet another million places I could have stopped to shoot, but didn’t. Pissed by twisting on, I eventually make it to Erfoud by ride right pass the hotel, this time a massive resort with walls that hid the batch of bikes.  And what a place! A true oasis in the storm and so beautiful…. super cool and I can’t wait to explore it all tonight on the rest day.     Tonight’s dinner was buffet style and pretty intense, in choices, not flavor. That was rather bland, institutional perhaps, but we get our first local beer on the trip, ahhhhh! Casablanca… a simple lager, but a beer non-the-less.  A few of those down down, cigars for the late night team and my head hits the pillow.

That was a long friggin day, damn!