leaving europe...

Chefchaouene Travel Blog

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Back in the other world again then...The one of sweaty long rides and roadside life. After Albu feira we rode to Gibraltar and then took a boat to Ceuta and crossed into Morocco. 

In Portugal i did my first proper beachride. We waited until the evening for the tide to go out and then did an emarrassing trek through soft sands, carrying our bikes with tourist sending us disapproving looks, questioning our sanity. After a wobbely start it turned out to be well worth the questioning looks. The strech is 30 km long, all national park so totally remote after the compulsory last nudist. Small round birds with long legs were racing around in the wateredge to lazy to fly.  As the sun set lots of wild bores and their little ones came down to dig for worms.  I always thought they were dangerous but they were scarred of us.

Unfortunateluy our plans to stay on the beach didnt work out as there, at the end of the park, was a boat ready tro take us to a city across a river and a park guard ensuring that we did so.

The city offered no camp spots and we ended up sleeping behind some polytunnels. Having put the tent up in the dark on a little pass, as there were thorns everywere else, we tried to settle in for the night in this shady place. However an even more shady character arrived on a motorbike. We were equally surprissed at seing eachother as none of us were supposed to be there: We were trespassing onto what we first thought was his property and he came to empty the property that obviously wasnt his after all... So we sleept with some alternative weapons within reach. He did come back for a second run much much later but we let him rob the place and he let us sleep...It did cross our minds to move after our first encounter as we were right in his way but it was dark and we were soooooo tired!

The road down south offered nice mountains, andalucian horses, monkeys in Gibraltar and unfortunately some headwinds. But worth it. After spending too much money in Gibraltar on brittish things, weve arrived in Morocco and ive got a long faced cat on my lap.

The border from Ceuta is, despite its bad reputation a hasselfree place. Within 15 km of cycling on a nice large road, a car pulled up. Being all paranoid i expected some weird comment or so, but the guys just stopped to hand us three freshly baked breads from the car window. Nice!!!The  days are very different here at the moment. The muslims are not allowed to eat or drinlk whilst the sun is up. I think due to ramadan the hours are pushed and the days start and end late.  When people are hungry tempers are high, But everybody always jumps in to solve any squabbles. Around sunset everybody becomes a litlle more rushed, the athmosfere changes. After the call from the mosques people rush home to eat. The later evening is the buisiets time with everybody out and about.

azsalsa says:
I would have liked to see the long faced cat!
Posted on: Feb 19, 2009
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photo by: sulemaniya