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MCT1301 Morocco Tour - Pura Vida meets Insha'alah

Sunday, March 24, 2013 | Angela | Africa

Day 11-13 Rest day Fes - Chefchaouen - return to Malaga

After we left the Atlas mountains behind us, the maybe most interesting of Morocco's imperial citys was waiting for us. Our restday in Fes included a visit of the UNESCO World Heritage Fes medina - a very revealing journey back in time!

We first visited one of the pottery producers outside the medina.

In the potter's workshop!

Gaby, as well as everybody else, was impressed by the traditional manual production of the tiny tesserae!

The production... 

...and the finished product.

Our guided tour of the old town started at the "Bab Boujeloud" - the blue gate. Yes, it's green on this side - the colour of the Islam, representing peace.  The gate is only blue on the other side, representing the blue sky.

The only way of getting through the crowded medina is by going with the flow

One of the countless mosques inside the Fes medina

A koranic school and dormitory decorated with colourful mosaic and elaborate plaster ornaments

Next, we visited the famous tannery. If you haven't got the impression of life at least 100 years back in time by now... in the tannery you definitely will have!

And besides, this is also an interesting experience for your sense of smell! I guess you agree, Mark and Michael?? Better take a smell at your mint leaves

From Fes, our next riding day took us back to Chefchaouen - here, our loop of Morocco closes!

A last "Berber whiskey" (a really sweet mint tea) ...

...before we hit the road again towards the Moroccan-Spanish border

We crossed the border "quickly" ... at least according to Moroccan sense of time

A last view of Morocco...

...and a first glimpse of Spain!

Finally, everybody returned back safely in Malaga where we enjoyed a nice farewell diner in our base hotel.

At the end of this tour, the only words, I think, which are appropriate here are:

Insha'allah everything was PURA VIDA

Your tour guides, Michael and Angela, would like to say thank you to all the adventurous bikers of this Morocco tour! We had a great time guiding you through this unexpedtedly manifold country!

Although this is one of the regular Edelweiss tours, for sure this was a special one! Special thanks and greetings to Costa Rica, USA, Saudi Arabia and Germany

Day 8-10 Erfoud (incl. restday) - Fes

Boumalne de Dades early in the morning... already now you can tell that this is going to be another fabulous riding day!

Which first lead us into the Gorge du Thodra.

Here are Erika, Federico, Max, Aida, Roberto and Gaby and Uwe amidst the steep cliffs...

...not to mention the hundreds of background actors which suddenly showed up  at the river that flows through the Gorge du Thodra

Following the road we discovered some of the most impressive rock formations here in Morocco.

As impressive as these rocks were, even wild camels could not keep us from heading on to Michael's desert picnic! 

Arriving in Erfoud we stayed in one of the nicest hotels of the area - a typical Moroccan Kashbah. Normally, a Kashbah is home to a whole family clan! Our group of bikers enjoyed this charming place for another restday.

You definitely can't complain about food here!

Looking for somethig special to do on the restday??? Just trade in your motorcycle for a camel...

...or even for skies or a snowboard! Have a look at the pictures - it was great fun in the sand!!!

Checking out the camels!

Hey Gaby and Uwe...how do you like the BMW R 1200 desert RT??

Irvania also traded in her van seat for the camel

The caravan of bikers is ready to go for the big sand dunes...

While some of us were trying to snaffle some sand...

...Abdullah and Carl were totally in their element!

And Uwe liked his new desert helmet

The most courageous guys challenged the sand dunes with their skies and snowboards!

Getting up the dunes is hard work, though!

Here are Roberto, Mark and Michael racing downhill in slowmotion mode

Well, we had sand for lunch... guess what we had for our coffee break? - A totally awesome afternoon in the SAND, of course!!

It was a blast taking the ATVs out into the desert!!!

Ready to go, Aida and Max?

Roberto producing doughnuts

Withouth helmets you could see Roberto, Federico and Erika beaming with joy...

...and so were Michael and Mark!

What an adventure day this was!!!

Thanks to Asiz, our guide, everybody found their way back to the hotel again.

Looking back, we all agreed that we wouldn't have wanted to miss a thing of this great day!!!  

 

Well, since finally everything has to come to an end some time, we, too, will continue our tour. With Erfoud being the southern most point on our trip, we are going back north from now on.

Uwe is taking out his rain gear...

...because the Atlas mountains were awaiting us with some rain.

Nevertheless, we found a cosy place for lunch and enjoyed the delicious Köfta and Tajine. Hey Carl, are you trying to get the secret how to prepare the Köfta?

A very enjoyable typical Moroccan "get together place"...

These are not just simple pine tree trunks - the Atlas mountains are home to the famous and huge Atlas cedar tree!

Wait!! We are not back in Europe yet! This is the Moroccan "St. Moritz" as they call the town of Ifrane. Everything in this Moroccan ski resort looks very neat and European!

Day 4-7 Marrakesh (incl. restday) - Ouarzazate - Boumalne Dades

Continuing our journey out of Rabat, we were heading southwards for Casablanca on the coastal road.

Abdullah makes for a perfect tail light with his bright yellow  jacket and helmet

The police seems to be present on the road all over the country. But they are very friendly and even proud to welcome you in Morocco!

Entering into the hungry mouth of the Casablanca traffic...

...until it spits us out again right in front of the famous Hassan Mosque which was built right on the Atlantic coast!

Abdullah, Carl and Ron in front of the Mosque.

You wouldn't think that you find so many motorcyclists in Morocco... but that's wrong! You just need to wait in front of those beach restaurants, and all of a sudden they seem to pop up out of thin air Here is Marciano with his GS...

Delicious food at the Tahiti Beach Club Casablanca with fantastic setting!

Some guys of our group of adventurers are really enjoying all the things to do Edelweiss offers on the restday in Marakkesh! In the morning the whole group went on a guided tour through the Medina, the old town, with our local guide Ahmed. Without him you would probably get lost in this maze...

Not enough excitement, though for Uwe, Mark and Carl, Michael and Angela! They took their bikes out on a loop into the Ourika Valley. What shall I say other but let the pictures tell the story...

In the evening, we all met again to try the food on the famous market place "Djemaa al Fna". Just choose one of the many food stands and enjoy the special flair!

Music, however, is sometimes a matter of individual taste

But this doesn't keep people from being happy and passing their joy on to others! Here are Ron, Abdullah and Carl getting their fair share...

There are many artists here on the juggler's place in Marrakesh, as well as various things to do and look at. It is almost impossible to get the ring over the bottles with these rods! Uwe can sing a song or two about this

The next morning we said good bye again to Marrakesh and were heading for Ouarzazate. Inbetween those two locations, however, there are the Atlas Mountains, the highest peak of which is the Toubkal (13,671 ft)!

The landscape is so breathtaking, that it is hard NOT to stop all the time to take pictures

The Costa Rica Gang: Max, Aida, Roberto, Erika and Federico (Federico's wife Irvania is accompaning the tour in the van)

Breathtaking views from the top of the world - the Atlas Mountains...

...and over one of the many biker's dream roads here in Morocco!

The pass road is called Tiz 'n Tichka and it's highes point is on 7414 ft.

One of the country's best places to have a coffee is right here at the highest point of the pass road!

Carl has even found a new friend!

And Gaby from Germany is properly dressed - Edelweiss riding gear!

Same as Abdullah...

...Roberto can't wait to see more of this fantastic mixture of gread motorcycle roads and rugged mountainous landscape!

Dennis - already in pole position, ready to go

The cultural highlight of today was the Glaoui Kashbah - which used to be the "villa" of one of the Berber rulers in the 19th/20th century. Although it doesn't look like new from the outside, there are still some nicely decorated rooms left in the interior!

But before visiting the Kashbah we got back strength by having a good helping of the famous Moroccan Tajine...

...in a typical Berber style location! Of course, now we are in the south of Morocco where the majority of inhabitants is of Berber origin.

The next riding day starts with a visit of the Atlas Film Studios in Ouarzazate.

This area of Morocco is famous with the film industry. Many movies such as "Sodom and Gomorro", "The Bible", etc. have been made here! But be aware of touching this stuff! It's all fake!

Meanwhile, Angela has prepared the popular Edelweiss picnic at the entry into the Gorge de Dades. The rock formation you can see in the background is called the "brains of Morocco".

Later the famous Gorge de Dades must have done magic to eache biker in our group! Everybody returned to the hotel with a smile in their faces

Day 1-3 Malaga - Ceuta - Chefchaouen - Rabat

Salam from the Moroccan West Coast to the rest of the biker world!

Our Morocco tour is already in full swing. Three days ago, the 14 adventure bikers have left their base hotel in Malaga to challenge the western part of North Africa!

After Gibraltar, the first highlight, we were heading for the ferry boat to cross the Strait of the same name from Algeciras to Ceuta on the African continent.

The tour guides Angela and Michael with all the bikes ready to go.

And so were all the tour members on the day of departure.

Going up to Gibraltar

Everybody had fun with the wild Berber monkeys who live up there on the rock

The monkeys were brought into the country by the Moors who invaded the Iberic Peninsula in the 8th century.

Waiting for the ferry boat at the port of Algeciras...

...before we entered with our motorcycles into the belly of the boat.

Here are Max and Aida from Costa Rica and Abdullah from Saudi Arabia...

...and the rest of the gang

The ride along the coast of the Ceuta peninsula was just perfect to get the right feeling for the road again after the shaking cross-over

Ceuta welcomed us with a special event:

Right now, all over Spain, there are the "Semana Santa" festivals. We were lucky to get to see the Holy Week procession in Ceuta. Have a look at the pictures - it was quite an impressive happening!

There are more than 30 people underneath, carrying the statue through the streets! Look at the bottom of the thing - you can even see their feet !

The procession is accompanied by marching bands and the kids are really good at playing the drums!

Good night Ceuta...

...and hello Chefchaouen!

The boarder crossing into Morocco usually involves a bit of an effort. A little "smalltalk" here and a little "bakshish" there...

We were doing not too bad and managed to arrive in Chefchaouen just in time for a snack and a walk through the wonderfully blue painted village. Just enjoy the pictures!

Frederico from the Costa Rican PURA VIDA group

toghether with Abdullah and Carl and Ron from the US.

Michael absolutely likes this neat village!

It is just fun to walk around the alley ways and see all the little shops. I guess you could easily decorate your entire appartement within two hours shopping here! ...

...including the colour for painting walls!

Strolling through the alleys...

...to the most relaxing place of the village...

...you probably won't get fresh orange juice any better than at this place!

Cheers, Abdullah, Ron, Carl and Michael!

Robert from Costa Rica, Abdullah and Michael had the best Tajine (typical Moroccan dish) ever

Who says that there is no rain in Morocco? This morning  rain gear was dress code! But this couln'd stop us from continuing to the Moroccan capital Rabat!

Drying up our gear at the lunch stop in Moulay Bouselham at the west coast...

...while we were helping ourselves to some fantastic fish and seafood!

We arrived in Rabat just in time to see the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum at sunset...

...and to stroll through the "souk", the local market.

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Max Ocampo
Monday, April 15, 2013 at 03:23

Muchas gracias a nuestros guías Ángela y Michael, además a todos los compañeros de viaje, por un viaje tan especial. La pasamos realmente ¡Pura Vida!. Saludos a todos desde Costa Rica.
Martina
Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 11:41

Hi meine Lieben,
ich hoffe, es geht euch gut. Leider haben wir hier in Deutschland nicht so tolles Wetter. Hier in Eisenach liegen 10 cm Schnee... Mia benimmt sich ganz ordentlich. Sie gibt sich Mühe beim Seminar, weil sie so eifersüchtig auf Bolle ist. So ist's recht Genießt die Tour, ich hab hier alles im Griff
Dickes Bussi
Zwergl
Angela
Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 23:23

Hi Jeff!
It's great hearing from you! Hope all is well with you, too!
Yes I definitely enjoy the time with Carl and Abdullah and of course with all the others! They are very pleasant company and Abdullah comes in handy when it comes to Arabic conversation
Actually, I think back to you, Gary and Glenn on my first Morocco tour every time I tour Morocco! How could I forget my stomach continuously hurting from bubbling over with laughter
Oh by the way, on the Christopher Columbus tour a few days ago I met David. Rings a bell??? You toured NZ with him. After this tour and now that I know the two of you I am pretty sure that you must have had a hilarious time in NZ
Please say hello to Gary and Glenn and Bob!!
Angela
Glen
Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 12:32

Hello Angela
So you are back in Morocco! I think in many ways this was one of my best tours ever We had a great group And a great group of tour guides yourself included (i am not sure about Allan with all that hair?)
This Dave guy i remember.It was a cold day in N.Z. and it was raining and we all were very cold so Thomas found a nice coffie stop I was the first in line for a hot coffie then i took my seat and this Dave guy stold it and drank in front of me. Watch him !!!(But the cold beer later was good thanks Dave!
Enjoy tour trip Angela
No more Ducati!
jeff kagey
Friday, March 29, 2013 at 14:09

hallo angela ... good to see and hear you are well ... I have passed on your greetings to gary and glenn and bob ... AND I do remember dave fox .... and you are correct ... glenn and I had a lot of laughs with him ...when you and I tour again ... I have some great stories that will make you laugh ... dave is a funny guy ... will you be at the MOVIE tour ... glenn and myself are to be there ...hope to see you then jeff keep enjoying morocco ... tell carl and abdulla I will see them in june
Angela
Friday, April 5, 2013 at 01:52

Hi Jeff & Mr. No more Ducati
I am glad to hear that Edelweiss took my advice I don't know yet if I will be on this tour but it would definitely be a great pleasure riding again with the two of you! So if Edelweiss asks me to do it, I won't say no!
Thanks Glen for your good advice! This explains why I intuitively kept guarding my coffee on this tour with Dave ;-D
In fact, I've just imagined how to survive a tour with all of you in one place??? Probably, they would take me off the tour again since I wouldn't be able to work because of continuous giggling...
Yep, Morocco, indeed, is a fascinating country! I am happy to come back again and to enjoy!
I do look forward to seeing you again this year!
Angela
jeff kagey
Friday, April 5, 2013 at 22:23

hello again angela ... alot of the pictures look familier .... I still remember a great time there ... ask carl if he prefers camel rides or ostrich rides jeff
Angela
Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 20:23

Carl is already on his way home. Maybe he will have a look on the blog again and will let us know about his preferences, Jeff
Angela
Dave Fox
Friday, April 5, 2013 at 17:10

You borrow one cup of coffe and no one trusts you !, lol, hey Glen and Jeff good to hear from you, wonder how Frank's brain is doing since NZ ?, inside joke Angela, one of us will explain to you next time we are on tour together , enjoy Morrocco ,
Cheers
Dave
Angela
Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 20:03

Hey Dave, Jeff and Glen!
The word "borrow" makes all the difference, don't you think?
You've already won back my confidence, Dave
Looking forward to your explanations and stories among familiar riding buddies
Cheers,
Angela
jeff kagey
Friday, April 5, 2013 at 22:18

hola dave .... good to see you had fun with the help in spain ... I would enjoy telling the story about frank and the amoebas in the water during his bungy jump ... speaking of bungy jumps .. check out the one in s africa ... biggest ... glen and karin from edelwiess and myself did it a yr ago last jan ... hope to ride again with ya dave ... lets have anagela along .... see how well she can tour guide while laughing jeff
jeff kagey
Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 20:12

hallo angela .... hope all is well with you ... I remember all this fun .... I see you are traveling with my friend carl and his friend abdulla ... you will enjoy there company ... I will be watching and remembering all the fun I had on this tour with you .... machs gut jeff gary says hallo

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