09.20.10

Our Motorcycle Adventure

Posted in Excerpts at 04:30 am by admin

           

On our way to Marrakech

Today we are starting the second week on the BMW 1200 G.S. motorcycle. Westarted in Seville, Spain.  There are two guides and 7 couples, a total of 8 motorcycles and a mini van that caries our gear plus an extra motorcycle. Three couples are from Rio de Janeiro, one from Canada, two couples from Sedona, Arizona plus Bill and me.  Our incredibly handsome main guide, Nuno, is from Portugal, and newly married to a Brazilian. The driver Malcolm is from Argentina where he has a raspberry farm, run by Malcolm, his wife and two young children, and to supplement their income he leads motorcycle tours 4 times a year.

            We crossed over from Spain to Morocco by ferry and Tangier was our first glance of this amazing Country. Tangier was a pleasant surprise.  The women wore beautiful long colorful dresses with matching solid color head scarf.  Young girls usually wore jeans and a colorful blouse often without head scarf.  The young men wore jeans with colorful shirts.  There were many women driving cars, which surprised me.  The men looked like any western dressed men, only occasionally the older men wore long, white traditional dress. The children loved to wave at us, and many wanted the motorcycles to make loud motor sounds and with their hands asked us to rev-up the engines and then they laughed and waved.

            Without going into a daily travel log, I will summarize the trip so far, as being damned difficult. The first day we travelled only 200 miles to Menzeh, on a freeway, going about 75 to 80 PMH and the temperature was averaging 106 degrees.  We made frequent stops, and lunch took about 2 hours, so it was a full day.

            The next day we rode 310 miles (about 500 km) to Marrakech.  We crossed the Atlas mountains which gave us some relief from the heat of the desert, but the roads were winding and the motorcycles had to slow down a bit.  By the end of the day Bill and I had used every bit of our energy, and wished we were 15 years younger.  The traffic in Marrakech is something else, lots of traffic circles, and full of cars, trucks, motorbikes , bicycles, horse driven carriages, etc… In the evening the group went out to eat at a traditional Moroccan restaurant with belly dancers, lots of atmosphere and great food.   Bill and I could hardly stay awake.

            Thank goodness, the next day was a free day.  We slept, exercised, had massages, and in the evening went to the Djemaa el Fna market which is the busiest and largest market square in Africa and the world.  Here we saw snake charmers, story tellers, musicians, vendors selling everything from fresh fruit to live chickens.

            The next days of riding took us through the foothills and Gorges of the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert.  The temperature was lower, only in the 90’s.  On our 5th and 6th day we even had some rain, which is very unusual.  Today we are in the city of Erfoud in the Sahara desert and will leave at noon for our stay in tents, and this evening we are all riding camels to observe the sunset from our desert bivouac.

            More later.

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