After getting out of the port and going through customs, rejecting the first sim card provider and driving up a bit, I got a view of the port surrounded by a couple of cranes and nothing else. I don’t know what I expected… actually I know, I expected antelopes, lions, sand dunes, vultures flying overhead… but I think I saw more of Morocco in the Spanish port of Algeciras than here.
I continued on my journey, believing that my naive visions of Africa would one day become reality (maybe in 20 years when I go on Safari).
A few kilometers passed and I found myself in the mountains, in the Moroccan mountains and overlooking the sea. The sight was breathtaking and I was as confused as a forest bee. It was truly beautiful to look at, spoiled only by the need for the need.
When riding a motorcycle, jumping into nature to pee is the least of it. A thing that you do not think about does not bother you, it is always easily solved. Not in Morocco, of course. The only thing you need for this action is a place without people. But that doesn’t seem to be possible in Morocco. There is always at least one person on every 50 m of the otherwise completely deserted road. He’s going somewhere. And in 50 m there is another, only in the opposite direction. It’s a Moroccan unsolvable trap!
I arrive at the azure blue lake where I take a break. I just stare, cringing because it’s my first time in Africa, enjoying the moment and relishing the feeling of being humbled by one of my life’s wishes.
But as I later find out, you are never alone in Morocco, even if you don’t feel like peeing. Just never. The little boy is already surrounding my motorcycle, touching everything and laughing at me. I feel like in a movie, a Moroccan child sees a motorcycle for the first time and wonders what it is. I let him blow the horn and then I show him how to start the bike. He wants to try it himself and I almost immediately regretted not resisting the wish. He turned the key in the motorcycle and held it, he didn’t want to let go, and the fact that the engine roared and sputtered didn’t bother him at all. Me a little yes… enough actually.
In exchange for getting to know my bike, I stole the boy’s soul by taking his photo.
Cookies and hash
As you can see from the photo, he is not wearing a zebra skin suit and he has probably seen a few motorbikes in his life. And the stolen soul of the photographs was not so stolen either, because he immediately asked for money. He got a cookie instead. A rapidly approaching man also wanted to take advantage of my generosity.
With a few words in English, he introduced himself as the father of the child, which was confirmed by the fact that the son immediately went to him and grabbed his hand. In the second sentence, the gentleman then adds that he has great hash for sale. I’m not big on drugs, they don’t do me any good. However, decency is close to me, so it occurs to me that I could also offer my father a cookie instead of a shop. But I changed my mind in time, refused the drug-dealer father with a smile, put on my helmet and went on contentedly.
Continuing the drive brings more views of the Moroccan countryside and although it is completely different from what I imagined, I am absolutely blown away. I often stop and take pictures or just look around mindlessly. Maybe I’ll finally find a moment to pee without an audience. It is a pious wish, but completely unheard. And so instead of relief, I just love and love the surrounding landscape.
Just when it looked like I had a chance to save myself from being hospitalized due to an internal explosion and that no one was around, a man on a donkey appeared as if by a wave of a magic wand. Don’t ask me how such a thing is possible. The speed of a standard four-legged donkey is approximately 1 km/h less than a two-legged human, and 2 km/h less if someone is sitting on the donkey. How is it possible that I only noticed the gentleman on the donkey when he was almost at my place, I have no idea.
Before he can notice me, I take out my camera and… too late, he is already looking in my direction, out of politeness I point the lens at the landscape and act as if I didn’t want to take a picture of him at all. He passes me at a snail’s pace, skids to a stop, hooves whistling… He waves at me and suggests that I take a picture of him. The people here are great!
I’ll take a photo. I’m happy. The Lord dismounts from the donkey and walks towards me. Look at the python… He asks for some money and smiles. I don’t have their money yet, so instead I offer him the last cigarette in the pack and a lighter to go with it. I quit smoking anyway. I’m actually a non-smoker. But cigarettes are part of the motorcycle, so I had to buy them on the way. A proper biker is like a cowboy, he has an iron steed, he chases cows instead of herding, and he wears a helmet instead of a hat, but the rest is almost the same: he has Malborky and a sore ass. It doesn’t matter anyway, smoking is over and that’s it! Apparently with peeing too.
I don’t have a fuel gauge on my bike, but looking at the kilometers traveled since the last refueling tells me that I’m in for a drama. This should be avoided. I go to the gas station, in addition to the chickens running around, I also find the attendant and ask if I can pay by card. They say no. The terminal just doesn’t work. And so the drama begins.
I arrive in the first town, I can see the beaches from afar, but I happily ignore them, you need to hunt for money instead of waves. I’m already driving past the first ATM, looking for a place to park and returning to the ATM. Helmet in hand, I collect the money and go back to the bike. Here I am already waiting for a gentleman who almost slapped himself after checking how tight my mobile phone case was attached to the motorcycle. Not really, it comes off really easily. He was almost caught in the act, but in order to save the situation, he began to passionately teach me about Moroccan customs: “You can’t do this, someone would steal it from you. You were lucky here, this is a small town, but you’re definitely moving on to bigger cities and there they’ll rob you before you say couscous.” English version: “Not good sir, bad. Here ok, other city bad, rob you!”
I’ve only been here for a few hours, but I’m slowly starting to sense how things will develop here. It’s not Europe and I’ll have to start being a little more careful. I managed a month in Brazil, sharks in Borneo and a queue at the Czech Post, so I can manage Morocco too. According to what I have read, Morocco is one of the very safe countries and the biggest trouble that awaits you here is just pickpocketing. And I only have a dusty motorcycle, an old SLR camera and a computer with a screen split in two, I’m not going to put any of that in my pocket, so I’m actually fine.
While passing through a small village, I discover an unpleasant thing. Moroccan roads are made of glass. Maybe to reduce friction, maybe because they have quality cylinders or just because they boil asphalt from water, who knows. But when going down a small slope, even at very low speed, it’s not a good idea to hit the brakes when an elderly grandmother walks into your path. Although they drew crosswalks on the roads for the Moroccans, they no longer gave them instructions for them. That’s why they happily ignore them and you have to be on your guard all the time. Here, older people have priority even over motorbikes. I hit the brakes and the bike keeps going and the tires just squeal, me too. Grandma’s eyes widen and she freezes like a doe staring into the high beams of a truck. He freezes and stares at the roaring two-track machine… will he stop? won’t stop? Everything happens like a slow motion movie, but that doesn’t mean I can’t accidentally run over the lady and cause her both mental and physical trauma. I pull the bike aside and stop at the curb. I look at the ground to see if I ran over a banana peel… nope. I test the asphalt with my shoe and yes… it’s like an ice surface, just Hubertus and skates.
A little scared, but still satisfied, I continue on. I’ve only been here for a while and I’ve already saved an old lady’s life. It is said that a person must be able to praise himself.
I continue to wander through the landscape and love myself as much as my loving abilities can handle.
Today’s goal is approaching. I only drove about 60 km. The city of Tetouan looms over the horizon like a nuclear submarine in Cuba, and I sense that another adventure is coming. But more on that in the next chapter.
And for a taste, a few photos from the next travelogue: