Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chefchaouen to Temara + Travelogue #2

We left Chefchaouen on a sunny though chilly day. We rode the N13 south. The road was curvy and scenic and it had a good asphalt surface. After about an hour I thought it was time for a break and I found a little bit of green in a tiny village. I pulled over in the hope that we could play a bit with girls. Well, good idea. Unfortunately we became the attraction of a bunch of kids and no way we can let our girls free. We learned that lesson - no stops in places of civilization if you want to have a moment of peace. We did more stops along the road and typically in the middle of nowhere - much better!

Bunch of kids surrounding us
After Ouazzane, the N13 became more bumpy and offered several potholes. Even though the landscape became more dull, we needed to pay a lot more attention to the street besides the usual looking out for jumping kids and other crazy drivers: passing others when there is an uphill (so you can not really see whether somebody comes from the other direction) as well as passing in curves with low or no visibility are the usual. Skippy had again a hard time staying alive (what Skippy calls the alien...) and additionally some headache. Not a good combination for riding.

We made it to Meknes where we stayed for a few nights. The city did not offer anything special. We walked once towards the medina. We saw many stray dogs and cats living in enormous piles of trash. Kids jumping in front of us and dancing around us begging for money and wanting our girls. The majority of the time we explored the neighborhood around the hotel. It was rather quiet there and typically all windows of the buildings were fenced, the entire yards were fenced, often with security systems and guards watching. We put our bikes to private parking which costed 50% of the room charge. That was an outrage but better pay some money than missing half of your stuff from the bike.

Meknes - Bab Mansour Gate
One of the many stray dogs trying to survive in a landscape of trash.
Neighborhood of the hotel - suburban of Meknes
View from our "prison room" towards the street.
Heavily fenced and guarded houses.

Delicious looking orange trees - according to locals they are not for consumption as they are too bitter.
We left Meknes and got again lucky with the weather. It was best riding weather - not too hot neither too cold. Next stop was Temara near Rabat. We needed to do some official business in Rabat and also wanted to spend the New Year by the Atlantic Ocean, so we stayed there for four nights. We got a room with direct access to the beach and the room had central heating! What a delight. The huge door towards the beach could only be locked from the inside, so we could not really leave our room for a hike that way - bummer.
Unbelievable amount of trash at the shore became a turn-off.
Skippy taking movie clips of the waves.
Hertta loves bananas, apples, pears ... - a real fruit lover :D
The big hole in the door frame suggested that others had either similar problems (to re-enter the room) or burglars had prepared their entrance to the room. Who knows? The second night (and New Years eve) we watched Bruce Campbell's horror movie Evil Dead II and in the middle of the movie, somebody (potentially a security guard) closed the outer door with a huge squeaking noise. Now that was spooky! We did not really care as we were under the warm blanket :D and trusted that our guardian dogs will take care of any intruder...
Emergency opening in case you lock yourself out ;)
Beautiful flower in the garden of the hotel.
 A huge cricket (10+cm long) in the garden of the hotel.
In the first days, we did not feel like cooking ourselves and we found just besides the hotel the Soho Shushi restaurant. They offered a few meals which could be veganized and it took only two tries to get a vegan dish. It was really delicious and so we went there again the next day :) tasting some other things as well. It was - typical - freezing cold in the restaurant, so you need to sit there with your outside clothes on.
Soho Sushi in Temara
Our New Years goodies: vegan sushi :)
Vanilla tea in sweet little pots.
The days were mostly sunny and warm. Some days were more windy, sometimes less and we even had a real stormy day. We could not get enough from watching the waves breaking on the cliffs and the shore. What a spectacle! When the sun set, the outdoor-heater was off and it became cold instantly - a huge difference ... so back to our room and under the blanket :)

Besides all the environmental issues and animal rights issues, which we saw here, human rights need improvement as well. See here:

And here is our travelogue #2.

Try this link if you have trouble to see the video.

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Our Track (it also shows from Tangier to Chefchaouen)
~ Wolfi

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