Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Day 9 – remainder of 1000++km by bus Wednesday 11/04/2012 Ouarzazate – Tchika - Marrakech – Casablanca – Tangiers - Tarifa

It was a little bit tricky getting the bike onto the bus, why they wouldn’t let me just lay it on its side I will never understand. In any case I was pleased that it was loaded and that things should be fine now. A police-man then entered the bus and asked whose bike it was. Oh dear I thought, what now. Luckily all he wanted was to see my registration document, passport and temporary importation papers – I never did get asked for my insurance thankfully!

I sat next to a local Ouarzazate man ‘Saiid’ who explained in French that he’s on his way to Tangiers to find some building work. He was a nice guy and insisted on keeping me well fed and informed throughout the journey. I must have looked like a total div with all my motorbike gear/boots sitting on a bus.

The bus took the Tiz’n Tchika mountain pass that I was so looking forward to riding. The pass went on for hours and the coach driver was obviously enjoying himself on the bends. Unfortunately at least three of the passengers sitting around me didn’t enjoy it quite so much and started puking for much of the remaining 13 hours on the coach… Anyway, after a quick tour of several Moroccan cities including Marrakech, Rabat (the capital) and the very uninteresting Casablanca, the bike and I were safely delivered to the bus station in Tangiers.

Managed to drag the bike of the coach pretty quickly before 10’s of unnecessary ‘helpers’ got involved. Whilst re-assembling the bike and collating all of my gear and bags I re-enquired about the distance to the port. I was told 5km which seemed about right considering that I recognised a petrol station where I filled-up after having first got off the ferry into Tangiers. Anyway €10 later I’d managed to half squeeze the XR400 into a tiny Suzuki van (it was literally hanging-off the back, secured by some rope that I happened to have on me) and I was dropped off in the port at customs. All the paperwork was done quickly and efficiently as soon after I was on the 13:00 ferry back to Tarifa.

The wife and kids were waiting for me at the port in Tarifa and were obviously glad to see me back in one piece. Also, it was handy they were there to help me push the bike back up the hill to the apartment where my car / trailer were waiting to whisk us all back home! The journey home, whilst long, was a doddle and it was great to be back with the family. This adventure travel stuff is fun, but it’s great to be back home – I suppose these kind of trips make you appreciate what you have. That said, one day I will return as I have some unfinished business……..

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