Chefchaouen to Fez | October 20 | 135 miles
Today was yet another amazing, and often shocking cross section of life in Morocco. It’s really only our second ride day and already there have been countless times that Chris rolls up next to me with his arms out and his head shaking in back and forth… unspoken but fully understood, “can you believe this place?!?!?”
The only thing tearing us away from this quaint village of Chefchaouen is the knowledge that we’ll be returning to this place for one more night before we cross the ferry back to Spain… beautiful, accepting (despite people yelling at us not to tae their photos) and worthy of more than a single night’s rest.
From there, the Edelweiss guides kept the screws on. Filling the day with not only scenic rides, but also interesting stopping point.
Our morning buzz stop in Ouezzane coincided with the release of hundreds of children into the street, many of whom wanted to be photographed standing with or sitting on the motorcycles. Much of the sat to rest, with local olives, bread, some sort of bean plate, coffee and teas but I don’t think I ever sat down. Photographing everything around me… our first real look at real life in Morocco. I tried to pick up a local SIM for my phone, but with it being lunch time, there were too many people in line, another time… I got that tonight in the medina anyway, with a much better story!
Our actual lunch stop was in some dirty crazy place that I cannot recall, but there again, I didn’t sit. Chris and I, again the crazy camera nuts, took to the local souk just off main street. If there was ever a place I would have picked up a disease on this trip, THIS was going to be the place. Knee deep mud, with vegetables sold directly off the ground, toy markets, clothing districts and live animals galore… all under what appears to me a hand-built network of plastic tarps and branches.. perhaps build that day, for this one single market day. A massive and amazing place… shit my luck for leaving my bag and extra batteries back with the group…. I had no idea what I was getting into, thinking I’d be back for lunch… we missed it completely!
Kids watching our departure brought down Charlie and Nickkis bike when they tried to roll out… it was madness upon departure for sure. So many watching eyes… shy people shouldn’t even goto Morocco!
From there, a little respite and some brown and burned farmland with bumpy but beautiful roadways winding through them.. scary, fun and plain old nuts all at the same time. Donkeys in the apex anyone?
Where we landed tonight made up for any such grief we might have had however, as the hotel in Fez is world class… ritzy beyond belief. If there was ever a place that I felt regal and royal just being there, this was the one. And shit did we get lucky on our timing, 30 seconds after we parked, the skies opened up, dumping heavy rain and hail for about 15 minutes… just enough to drop double rainbows onto the medina… good signs indeed!
I learned a new Harley-Davidson technical phrase tonight as well, while some guys adjusted their suspension on the guide rider’s Sportster… “if you can’t fix it with a hammer, it must be electrical.” That’s a keeper!