Ifghane to Marrakech

Ifghane to Marrakech

Due to its vista towards the Atlas Mountains ⛰️ we depart one of the most splendid wild camping spots.

The days cycling entailed peaceful back roads and cool valleys, with the most gentle of climbs. All too good. The highlight for me was the purchase of the best Dates I’ve ever had ❤️ Like melting sugary-crystalline-honey in ones mouth. Natures PowerGel!

The area is covered by pine forests. Considering we’re up at an increasing altitude, its about the only tree specie that would survive well, due to it been coniferous 🌲 After a brief crossing of a nearly dry river, we embed in a pine forest for the night!

As I’m lying in my tent 🏕️ wrapped up warmly from the chill of the night, I’m thinking, this would be ideal Big Foot country! Then bang, I hear a load thud! Like a piece of wood against a tree! My eyes become saucers 👁️‍👁️‍and I freeze still in my bag!

Folklore stories of Big Foot … that if they’re unhappy with people been in the vicinity, they would sound their displeasure with a sturdy branch walloped against a tree trunk!

After I prize myself from my bag and peep to see what hairy behemoth awaits me out there in the last twilight of the evening, I notice one almighty conifer 🌲 cone not too far from the head of my tent. Well, that’ll explain the thump! Think I may’ve received a more profound shock, if it had landed on my tent! At least I would’ve had my heroine in a tent near by to save me if Big 🦶🏾 Foot had considered a visit!

The next day was nearly all free-wheeling, as we descend towards Marrakech. Again, the only negative was a stone hosting episode. Kids 🧒🏽🧒🏽🧒🏽 running alongside asking for money, then if no money, we receive stones … so predictable! My cycling buddy was struck on the back at one stage! This ensued she charged at them shouting with rage. You f#@ꓘ’ers! 🤬 I intern loaded my bar bag up with rocks preparing for the next wave of attacks. Typical … didn’t happen again! Far too much excitement for one day! 

A tremendous surprise on the outskirts of Marrakech was the occasional bicycle lanes. Not always there, but good when they were! The roads are sufficiently broad, so traffic never really a concern.

We had a contact for a Riad in the old historic Medina (Unesco heritage site). Eventually locating our host to guide us to it. We would never discovered it on our own. It’s a labyrinth in there!

After our intimate excursions with stone throwing kids and nappies 💩 abound, we decide to get the coach to Tangier’s after feeling we’ve (I) had enough of Morocco 🇲🇦 It’s a beautiful country, but I for one don’t persist cycling somewhere with the possibility of violence towards me for just riding my bicycle. It’s not a religious problem i.e. Islamic … it’s a cultural one! I’m liberating the country from more violence, as I’ll lose it with the next stone throwing kids!

I’ll hand the authorities some due, as Marrakech is very clean. This is also the center for tourism in Morocco, so they need too. No stone engaging kids here!

The coach 🚌 up to Tangier’s is an overnight express or shall we say, just overnight! The coach is OK. Not so sure about how they pack bicycles onto one! Looks all very loose! Merely lean them against a pole!

Fortunately, the night was uneventful, and we arrive in a warm and sunny Tangier’s. Panniers back on the bikes and off into the traffic to the Intercontinental Hotel 🏨 Sounds very posh, but it’s the closest to the ferry and not too expensive on Booking.com!

I had a plan to book the ferry ⛴️ the day before. Hence did every other ferry tout also entertain the same idea on the route towards the hotel. I nearly did hand over some cash 💵 to a booking agent clerk, but I couldn’t tie him down to whether the bicycles 🚲 are included in the price. Everyone, including every other tout said it was. I didn’t believe them after what felt was a false (made-up) phone call from the clerk to the ferry operator. I didn’t hand over any money, but the initial tout on the road felt he should’ve been rewarded! He didn’t get rewarded! Some people, give you nothing, then want money for it! Brilliant business plan! I May try it out one day!

We did find the official ferry operators office, which was idealy located next to the ferry! 🤪 They didn’t receive no such phone call asking about bicycles! Told you so. Trust your instincts and not touts! Booked tickets to Tarifa, Spain with bicycles. How hard was that!

Finding the hotel was not exactly hard. It stands grandly over looking the port of Tangier’s ⚓ But every dam tout thinks you require his help to locate it! One took such an objection to me refusing such kind guiding, that he spat at my feet! I couldn’t be bothered as I’ll be leaving the next morning. Hope he has dehydration problems!

At the Intercontinental Hotel we had a top floor room over looking the harbour. Very posh!

A hearty breakfast 🍳 on the posh balcony before we joined the ferry to escape from the amiable hearted 💔 touts of Tangier’s.

Photos generally shot with a Samsung EX1 24-72mm f/1.8 and a Nokia Lumia N9 phone as back-up.

The map is interactive. Click on the route or icons for detail.