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Ouarzazate Travel Blog

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Reached the comfort of BikersHome in Ouarzazate, with Peter, Zineb and a shy little Selma.  Woke up in a cold room at 7am to the sound of rain outside, the dark clouds of the Atlas again or maybe you should call me the Rain Man.  Was difficult to get out of the warm bed knowing the distant we had to cover and that’s why we had a early start.  Put the padded liners back the trousers and jacket and went for breakfast of juice, coffee, bread with cheese and one with jam.  Retrieved my water proof all in one from the round mortar tube fitted to the bike (when I pulled it out the sound of the suction was just like a mortar launching).  Loading the moto up in the rain we started to sing ‘Always look on the bright side of life �" Monty Python’, this really made me smile as the rain ran down my face and that song stuck with me all morning.  I was all dry and warm apart from my hands after we set off so the heated grips I promised myself when I decided to buy another bike was put on full blast (with three smashed wrists in my time I thought I better take care of them).  Everything was grand for the first half hour or so was we rode up to 2162meters in the cold and rain but then my hands started to get cold again, hmmmm, strange they are not on?  Switched them on only to see all the LEDs flashing at me, oh no, oh no.  Replaced the battery for an orange Halker but I’ve never been too happy with it starting the moto (maybe it is just a high compression engine but the last battery seemed to start it better), the bloody battery must be crap that they sent me!  Must have been laid on the shelf for years then I got it, arse!  With cold wet hands I kept switching them on and it kept switching off even with my lights switched off there wasn’t enough power but then it stopped.  Guess it will be cold hands this time then. 

Along the road was tall red sticks made from branches marking the road for the winter snow and also concrete walls with gaps between each block to let the wind through but stop snow drifts on 50feet sections of the road, the landscape was barren and rolling rather than tall cliffs further south in the Atlas.  I rode some of the off road sections up here the last time, I recognised the Infame road junction with the café when I rode north to the Rift back in April.  Once we got over the mountain range the rain was less and got warmer and with that I settled into the long ride that lay ahead that day.  When you get across to the east of the Atlas mountains the landscape changes to reddish rocky desert and the longer straight roads. 

We stopped for fuel and a coffee later, a very expensive coffee.  20 Derhams and finally told the person he should start wearing a mask, in that way people would feel better about being robbed.  I gave him 20 and walked off only to hear him say you gave me 20 Euros, hmmm, he does have a honest side.  We spoke outside as we were getting our jackets on and he asked if we thought it was expensive and I told him not if you include the skin tax rubbing my arm, we both smiled and we both knew. 

The final ass numbing ride into Ouarzazate was west into the now low setting sun.  The peck on the helmet shading the sun give you an inch to see through, less than a letter box, which got less as time went on and the rough road meant a lot of head bouncing and flashing in the eyes from the sun in which you had to concentrate to see ahead.  We found BikersHome and put the bikes safely inside the garage, showered, had a great meal and caught up.   Also managed to loss weight by taking off a couple of metal boxes i had made up, real shame to loss them but i needed to loss the weight..

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photo by: nathanphil