November 07, 2011 GMT
Saturday 15th May 2010

The roadside hotel in Boumaine du Dads treated me like a king, I loved it. The locals warned of a 7 hr ride to complete the 192 miles to Marakesh via the tiza n techza pass over the High Atlas mountains. It is a route I had planned well. Setting off I could see the snow peaked mountains ahead getting closer. Following the signs for Telouet, the road changed from tarmac to gravel. The now rocky road got steeper. I remembered before I left my Dad advising 'take no risks', it was too late. The pass was too narrow and steep to turn the heavily loaded bike around. There was no going back. The pass split into two, one reasonable path with a no entry, men at work sign and a steeper, rocky path. Unfortunately, I was directed up towards the latter. I remembered reading in a guide book 'if in doubt, keep the revs on and bounce your way up'. Thud! I was down. The front and back wheel of the bike stuck in two, almost perfectly made ruts filled with sand. Hmm, suspicious! The bike went crashing into the rocks, 'ouch'. The gradient of the pass and weight of the bike made it difficult to pick up. Adrenalin pumping and all alone (or so I thought) I began to remove my luggage from the bike. Three Locals conveniently appeared to help. The sand too deep to ride through, I had to walk the bike up in 1st gear to flatter ground and instructed the helpers to bring the luggage. Although suspicious, I tipped the helpers and was on my way with hurt pride and a broken looking bike, hopefully only cosmetic. The 30 km pass improved along with my off roading skills. I breathed a sigh of relief and and felt a sense of achievement, but was also thinking nearest BMW dealers, Casablanca. Soon after, I located a beautiful Riad in Marakesh and wished the wife was with me to share this experience. I found Marakech Madina to be a cultural and crazy place. I also think the splattered flies are good for the skin but not the eyes.

Posted by Tommy at November 07, 2011 12:48 AM GMT

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