To Africa: Rabat – Ouzoud
Continuing my trip into North Africa, we took off from Ouezzane where we stayed at questionable “Hotel Rif”.
Carlo and Max went for breakfast somewhere else and got offered some roses by their waiter on this romantic date. We used them to decorate the truck, goes well with the outside color.
On the way to Rabat Lukas was looking for a little road to drive up a hill, when he spotted this dry riverbed we went straight in.
We had some lunch amid the fields in the rolling hills; Moroccan flatbread with cheese and onions.
Once we got to Rabat, we ran into the same guy, Yusuf, at the same parking Lukas met him last year. Of course he could arrange an apartment for us, and so it be done. We had a rooftop terrace with a view over the old Medina, that would be our base for the next two nights.
While in Rabat we gave ourselves some time to do proper sightseeing and all that. Rabat as the capital is pretty big, but we only really saw the old city, the Medina. Part of the old city was reminiscent of Chefchaouen, with the blue walls.
The most interesting part was really the main Medina with all its little shops and tiny streets. While it was not as charming as Marrakech (which I visited 4 years ago on a trip with a very different philosophy) visually, I did feel less hassled by vendors, though I’m not sure if that’s because of my more ragged looks these days or the mentality of people. I did get approached a few times by locals who seemed to want to “help” at first, but really just want money in the end. One guy managed to go from just pointing me the way to giving me a bit of a tour, progressing without me realizing. It was kind of interesting, so I didn’t mind that much paying him in the end. I do need to learn to just be ruder and say no to avoid this kind of thing.
Morocco, being an islamic country, does have some interesting contrast. Alcohol is illegal to bring into the country, but you can just buy it in Carrefour supermarkets in the cities. And while men (since that’s all you see in bars at night) don’t tend to drink alcohol, but tea, a lot of them smoke hashish. In shops you have hijab and other religious attire being sold next to skin-tight yoga pants. Cemeteries don’t tend to be the tight, clean areas we’re used to, but rather have weeds, stray dogs and trash all going about on them, even in the capital.
We set off from Rabat after 2 nights, everybody felt like we had enough business for a while. It was good to head into the countryside again. We had another stop in the desert with bread, cheese and onions, some of the last European cheese we brought along from Spain.
Here’s brad with part of his new outfit, after he went shopping for leather in Rabat. Now there’s no more doubt who’s the American among us. I do have to get used to the wacky stuff Brad does and mostly says sometimes, it’s a bit of a challenge for me sometimes.
Goal was to get to the Ouzoud waterfalls by the next days, but that was too far off for one day’s ride. We stopped at a market and bought fresh produce for the night’s camping.
That night’s camping turned out very interesting indeed, some locals showed up and joined us by the fire. They didn’t speak much French or English but it was all very funny. They drank some strange Moroccan booze and some got very drunk, proclaiming more and more we were their dearest friends.
The next day we had only 40km to go, though slow over winding mountain roads. Lukas let Max take the wheel and sat on the roof again with Carlo.
When we reached what we thought was the highest point of the mountains before Ouzoud, we unloaded the bikes and all but Max went downhilling to Ouzoud. Turns out there still was some uphill and I was on a bike that was stuck in a useless gear (we didn’t really bring the best bikes to Africa).
Ouzoud is known for its waterfalls, but is not that well known among tourists yet. Lukas has been here before as well, and knows a hotel where we can camp or sleep. Plan is to stay here again for two nights.
So we’re just hanging out a bit again, with no big plans other than to go see the waterfalls and monkeys tomorrow.
Been reading your stories since the Swedish adventure… Awesome trips you get to experience, and this one to Africa in a freakin’ firetruck is just so crazy that I wish I would be doing that some time. Am also thinking that it would be cool to bring an enduro bike to that river bed… Some time, some time…
Hey thanks Peter, nice to hear you still follow me! I hope your arm is healing well!