Automatic translation
SpanishPortugueseFrenchGermanItalianRussian
Supporters

Motoraid

 

REV'IT!

 

3P Racing

 

ELPA

 

eXTra Products

 

PlanetSim

 

Baja Designs

 

Travel Bookstore

 

NRG

 

Sena

 

Motomax

 

Flipped Horizons

   

Οικονομική Μακεδονίας

 

Moto Market

 

Cobrra

 

Atlas Panniers

 

Fifth Element

 

ANEK

 

Bikegear

 

Ω2

Morocco: Taste of Sahara!

   After Fez, we visited a few smaller towns, like Moulay Idriss and Meknès. In the last one, we were lucky enough to enjoy the Berber hospitality of a family from the desert. The family of Idriss lives in Meknès the last few years, as his father works there now. His mother could not stop preparing delicious Moroccan dishes for us, while Idriss guided us through the old city. Just imagine what a great time we had…

The warm family of Idriss opened up their hospitable home in Meknès for us.

   We had to visit the capital city, in order to get our visas for Mauritania. Even though Rabat is nothing special, just watching the waves of the Atlantic Ocean bursting in front of you is enough to give the city a pleasant charm. There, it was Bilal who hosted us, in the slum where he lives with his family. It was made out of pieces of tins, cartons and nylons. The toilet was taking over a small place, with a shoddy thrown over the door, for preventing of being seen. Everybody slept together in the room of the slum which is used as living room, dining room and bedroom. It was interesting to experience for a while the everyday life of many Moroccans.

This slum is home for Bilal and his family, who hosted us in Rabat, where we lived for a while as many Moroccans do.

   Through small country roads, after two days, we reached the mountains of Middle Atlas. There, we had our first off-road ride, the Cirque Jaffar, that took us to Midelt. We passed through some dried riverbeds (oued), full of stones. Christina was in shock! Wherever there were hard obstacles I would pass the two motorcycles, both mine and hers. She fell off four times that day but of course on negligible speed, so no harm has been done.

Preparing morning tea in the desert!

   We set off from Gourrama to Boudenib, in order to ride the Route M3, suggested by Chris Scott in his renowned book ”Sahara Overland”. Sadly, it wasn’t long before we discovered that it has been turned into tarmac until the last kilometer… Nevertheless, the scenery was amazing.

One of the first kasbah (fortified settlements or fortresses) we visited was in the region of Rissani.

   We arrived to Merzouga and finally we could admire the sand dunes of Sahara! I couldn’t wait to take off the saddlebags from Christina’s motorcycle, deflate the tyres just enough and test Leonida over the dunes… It was incredible! The motorcycle was going up and down the dunes as if there was not sand! In full second or third gear (OK, sometimes it was fourth…), it would go straight ahead and would climb even relatively steep dunes. When I discovered how delightful it is to move in the sand, I went to play deeper and found myself going up and down on endless, remote dunes! It was a blast!

The mad nomadess, thrilled, sitting on the hump of her camel!

   To keep Christina pleased, we took two camels and headed, with our driver, to enjoy the sunset from the top of the dunes. Youssef had hosted us at his home and he organised the camel trek for us. If you want, you can reach him at +212 670 780 710 or dreamofmorocco1@gmail.com or through his website at http://www.traveltoursmorocco.com.

The true exploring of Sahara, however, started the next day… We packed our bikes, we set on our GPS the coordinates of the M6 piste and set off to ride 240 km (149 miles) of desert, in order to go more south, to Tagounite. This was a great desert crossing! For two days we were riding on various terrains: dunes, hammada (stony desert), endless plains of hard, dried soil and what the locals call ”fis-fis”, powdery soft sand.

Soft sand is full of traps… Without momentum, it’s easy to get stuck.

   The people we met in the desert settlements intimidated us about some 6 km (3,7 miles) of powdery soft sand we had to cross, after the village of Hassi Remlia. When we told them we are Greeks, they mentioned something about some guys from Cyprus who had come here by their BMWs and had them picked up by a truck to cross this part. Nevertheless, with the small XR even Christina made it, without needing me to take her motorcycle! She didn’t even fall off! She just got stuck once but I was nearby, so I was quickly off my bike, pushed her while she was accelerating and it was easy to move. Maybe the problem is bigger when driving a 4×4, because there are some really deep ruts where the car may hit the ground. For a motorcycle it is not such a big deal. Following a rut, we had enough traction to keep us moving. No need to say, of course, that we had our tyres deflated enough once more.

The two-day crossing of the Sahara through the M6 piste was the most enjoyable thing we did in the desert!

   It wasn’t long before we left the tarmac again to ride a piste through the Drâa Valley. We were passing through oases full of palm trees and fortresses made of clay. It was a big fest that day (Eid al-Adha) and we could see lambs everywhere, ready to be sacrificed, in memory of the sacrifice of Ibrahim. We got invited in a house to celebrate and have lunch together. I had witnessed again the slaughter of an animal and knew what to expect but Christina was a little bit shaken. At least, animals here live a better life, being relatively free and not locked up in cages with machines connected to them.

Thankfully, in this part of Sahara there are many wells and we never ran out of water!

   After another dirt (well, better say rocky) road, the M5 piste, we crossed the Tizi-n-Tazazert pass, on 2,300 m (7,546 ft) altitude. We reached the Dadès Gorge and we wandered around to view the spectacular natural formations of the rocks and the fortresses that climb up on the hills. The soil in this area is reddish, so are the houses, which are made out of clay of this same soil. Christina was mad about this gorge! Now, we are in Ouarzazate, off to tourist places again. We even met some Greeks here!

The stunning Dadès Gorge with its earthen fortresses up on the hills.


 

Here you can watch the second of our three videos from our journey in Morocco:

Soundtracks:
Sting – Desert Rose
Traditional Arab melody

 

Where is mad nomad
Τα βιβλία μου

Κυκλοφόρησε το βιβλίο σχετικά με το ταξίδι μου στην Αφρική και τη Μέση Ανατολή!

 

Ταξιδεύω άρα υπάρχω

Ταξιδεύω άρα υπάρχω   Facebook

Newsletters
Loading...Loading...


TED Talks

Η ομιλία μου στο TEDx Komotini

TEDx
Interview

Ντοκιμαντέρ σχετικά με το greece2india

Asia
Awarded by
Jupiter's Traveller