Monday, February 17, 2014

South Morocco and West Sahara with travelogue #7

It was a lovely Sunday when we rode off from Aourir. This unexpected delay of Hertta's operation caused that we felt like being a little bit in a rush to get in and out of Mauritania because our visa for Mauritania would expire soon. That also meant we skipped the rest of Morocco, decided to take the big road and get some km done within the next days. The road was mostly rather boring. We had our first break and wanted to leave, when I noticed that the nut from the rear axle of Skippy's bike was missing! Panic! OMG - Skippy did not notice anything and we had one short curvy piece with drops of few hundred meters into the valley! Skippy had some nightmares the following nights.
Pussy Ride with missing nut.
I took the axle with me when I rode back some 20 km to the previous village. I found a local shop and explained the issue. The guy took out 3 old cut open engine canisters full of screws, nuts and bolts. Let's search... Luckily we found a fitting bolt after a few minutes. Now we needed a big washer. We found one but it needed some work so that it could fit in the Suzi swing. The guy wanted 20 dhs (1,80 EUR) - I think the Suzuki part would have been much more. Some 30 minutes later I was back at our break place. Bolt fixed - no harm done.
Happy shop owner and friend.
We stopped at the first hotel in Guelmim and they did not allow dogs. I remembered that we did book once a place nearby Guelmim and we went towards there. By now it was already getting dark. The place was pitch-black. The next Auberge did not allow dogs either, the next was full but there would be one on the other end of the village. The streets in the village were horrible with some soft sand, so I asked Skippy to wait along the main road until I found this next place. The place looked quite decent and I went back to get Skippy. She told that her bike won't start :(

And once more, we needed to jump-start her bike. About 3 minutes later we continued since the cables and connectors were ready this time.
Peaceful auberge in a sleepy village.
Skippy on her way to breakfast
The other tent for eating, smoking, discussing...
Beautiful indoor wall-paintings.
It was amazingly clean around this place.
Really nasty looking thorns.
Saying goodbye to the German-speaking owner (and his uncle).
The next days were like this. Hit the road and drive 100km/h until next stop or hotel. The big washer at the Suzi's rear axle was only a band-aid because it made adjusting the chain impossible. So we went to some local black-smith who made a copy of the metal plate which is required for adjusting the chain. Our next stop was in the next bigger village to buy some food and as an usual routine I checked my rear shock.

At the local smithy.

The crowd of little monsters keeps now some distance after calling for some discipline :D
It was all wet and there was hanging one drop of oil. This bloody shock! I needed some help to call the repair guy in Agadir. The boy from the shop called his English-speaking brother to come over. He was so kind to call the fellow who fixed my shock in Agadir. The repair guy told him that of course I could send the shock back to him, he will fix it and send it somewhere along our route in Western-Sahara. This did not sound fine to me and I decided that it must have been a little bit of oil which was left hidden somewhere during assembly and which came now out.

We decided to ride on. Suddenly Skippy heard some funny noises and we saw that the chain protector started to have it's own life. That was easy to fix since I have a few spare screws with me.

Skippy's bike with a missing screw, again...
We are on the right track - staying at Hotel Paris-Dakar.
Our bikes were safely parked in front of the hotel. The owner suggested to drive the Suzi inside the hallway.
Room service, please?
Beautiful cliffs (with the usual amount of plastic around it).
Camels - amazing creatures.
No hurry whatsoever when crossing the street!
There was the whole herd.
Protected from the sandy wind and burning sun.
We stayed one night in Boujdour where we made the worst experiences of Morocco. Besides the usual dirt and shit around the city, the kids were the most annoying we have met so far! I can understand they beg for money and candy, but what made it really bad was that they throw some stones after us and the dogs. One of those stones was so big that it could hurt at least Ulpu seriously! Skippy shouted some bad words in Finnish and that seemed to help for a moment until we were out of their reach.
Again a walk through the shit-park.
Plenty of rotten trailers and trucks.
Plenty of old stuff here as well.
Evening snack - a bag of olives for 50 cents (Euro).
One can see from the flag that we had strong winds!
We made good progress and decided to camp wild after Boujdour. It would make our next day's ride and the border crossing a bit easier.
Good enough spot for camping wild.
Strange looking stones with plenty of holes. Appears to be that smaller and harder sand pieces caused some erosion.
Amazing flowers in the Sahara. The body is filled with liquid.

One annoying element were the constant control points from customs and various police forces. They always asked for a fish (fiche in french). Fiche fiche - no fiche, only passport. They took then the passports to write some key data of us in their log book. Once I needed to write it myself and the other time, I went into the station to provide the info. This became really annoying and time consuming. By 5-6 stops per day and each took about 10min, we lost easily one entire hour! All the way throughout Morocco they waved us through and checked only locals. After Guelmim, we were constantly stopped and the locals got through without being stopped.

We stopped at about the last place of civilization before the Mauritanian border - Complexe Barbas. I bought the vehicle insurances for Mauritania and some fruits. We also had a quick Skype-call with our real-estate agent back in Finland (we finally got our house rented, what a relief!) and got an email from the hotel owner in Aourir that our international driving licenses finally arrived...

By 17 o'clock we were at the border station and some 30 minutes later the gate opened to no-mans-land between Morocco and Mauritania.

And Skippy keeps on making travelogues. Enjoy this one - click here (the HD version will come once we have a decent internet connection).

~ Wolfi


  1. Hi globetrotter,
    unfortunately the video seems to be broken at 7:19, but your text + photos + the 7min of video were already very exciting. Take care!

  2. Watch the UV light over there - I burnt the back of my hands after taking my motorbike gloves off for 5 minutes the last time I was there! Have fun!

  3. We know Boujdour very well. There´s a restaurant from a German guy and a very good bakery. Kids can be a problem, yes!

    1. Great reading this one, look forward to read about the Mauretania escapades. Bonne route !