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5MO 1501 - Morocco on Harley-Davidson

Sunday, November 1, 2015 | Ted Goslinga / Andreas Fetzer | Africa

DAY 1 - Malaga - Chefchaouen

 

Nine shiny Harley-Davidsons waiting in line at the beautiful located Parador hotel in Malaga!. That is how a H-D tour should start!. One by one the guests are showing up and in the yesterday evening everybody has arrived to join the welcome briefing and the hand over of the bikes. Full of expectation some early birds are already at the bikes to pack the side and topcases and having a breakfast. Since we have to catch the 10.30 ferry to Ceuta, we had to leave a little earlier. Halfway the Spanish rain gods decided to present us a nice rain shower but nothing can spoil the good mood the group is in!

This time we had a pretty fast ferry , so in only one hour we arrived at the Spanish enclave in Morocco: Ceuta. After disembarking we drove up to the bordercrossing and like almost every border crossing it was a nice chaos: horning cars, yelling people, traffic jam: Welcome in Africa!

But our "helpers" were already there and helped us out with the paperwork. So after a little two hours we were ready to go. First lunchstop of this trip was at a reastaurant at the seaside were slowly some blue skies appeared. So after the first taste of couscous and tajine recepies, we headed further south to our first hotel of this tour in Chefchouen. Here we had to squeeze and turn on a crowded parking lot to get all the bikes and the support van in. And of course the Harleys attracted a lot of public!

The lugage was already picked up by a mini mini van to the very beautiful hotel in the smal medina of this city.  For the majority this was the real first Africa experience: very small streets with all kins of vendors, a cup of nice mint tea, and to finish the day a very nice diner at a restaurant close to our hotel.

Great day to start our first Edelweiss Harley-Davidson Morocco tour!

 

Day 2 - Chefchaouen - Fes

Fit and fruity everyone woke up for a real nice prepared breakfast in our familuy hotel. What a way to start the second day of our two week journey!

Luggage was again transported to the bikes with mini mini van (incredible to see how it manoeuvrers through the small alleys!)

The weather forecast promised a beeter outlook than yesterday and so we took off at 9 a.m sharp in southern direction.

FInally after a beatiful ride the group arrived at our fantastic "thousand - and - one - night" hotel in Fes. In this very lively city we couldn't resist to go strolling around the small alleys were the sounds and smells immidiatly fills the brain with Morocco! What an experience!

Back in the hotel we were surprised by a belly dancere and a dgreat diner in the brand new dining hall in the hotel. What a way to end the day!. Satisfied and full of good memories of this day everyone went to their rooms for a well dserved night rest

DAY 3 - Fes - Erfoud

Saddle the bikes for a long riding day! With tourguide Ted at pole position the Harley-Davidsons growled downhill into the morning chaos of the city of Fes. But everything went ok so after half an hour we could leave the hectic morning rush hour behind us, and ride further in southern direction to go to the borderline of the northern climate and the deseert climate in Morocco. After the Ski area of Ifrane with their beautiful colored trees, the scenery gradually changes into warmer, drier and spectacular ones!. What a great place to ride!. And by every hour it got even more beatufiul and more spectacular!. Tourguide Andreas was already ahead to make sure the lunch was prepared at the city of Midelt.

DAY 4 - Restday Erfoud

What a day we've had today! No rest for this group whatsowever!! Starting the day at normal routine we were at 9 sharp at the bikes heading to Erfoud where we had the real desert experience: camel bakc riding in the desert. Everybody took this change to get the real desert feeling. A lot of fun and for sure a fantastic scenery made this day already a succes. But it wasn't done yet: after washing our bikes( HD's have to be shiny and proper!), we rushed back to our hotel where the next adventure was about to start: sunset quad riding. Divided in two groups we headed for the sand daunes and desert area right behind the hotel. What an adventure! Shaking our kidney's and pushing the quads to the limit, it was fun all around!. Even a watercrossing at the end with our boot s high up was part of the deal today! Great riding, great fun!. At the diner it was obvious that it was not going to be a late one today!

Day 5 - Erfoud - Boumalne Dades

Leaving the restday location behind, (most of the group called it an Activity day!!), we are slowly moving westward towards the High Atlas mountains again. Which means that we are going to leave the dry desert climate for the High Atlas mountain climate

Absolute highlight of the day was the Gorges du Todra, a well known place by photographers. And since we have two very dedicated photographers amongst us in the group (Alfonse is even taking pictures of garbage ) we were sure that we were in the right place today!

A "gorgeous" day in the valley of 1000 kashba's !

 

captain Maroc explaining the lunch
the great Tajiin kitchen

Day 6 - Boumalne Dades - Ait Ben Haddou

Leaving the enchanting hotel in Boumalne Dades we headed north first for a loop through the fantastic scenery of the Gorges du Dades. With the water deep down in a small river the road crawls up to high points with again great astonishing views. Stopping for a coffee or , in the meanwhile very addicitive, cup of mint tea, we enjoyed this nice side loop. Coming back at our hotel we gathered for a lunch in the small city down along the street curb while watching the daily melting pot of noise, crazy vehicles  and people of Marocco.

After lunch we took off westbound to follow an old trade - and camel route , called the Kashba route and followed the endless rows of brown colored places to the UN world heritage village of Ait Ben Haddou. Again a "thousand-and-one-night" hotel where we met our other Edelweiss Marocco tour and exchanged the adventures of the past days

lonely donkey..

Day 7 - Ait Ben Haddou - Marrakech

On today's program was a visit planned to the famous kashba of El Glaoui. But to come there we were heading back into the High Atlas mountains. This was indeed a spectaculair road to ride. We proved on this first Harley-Davidson on Marocco tour, that you can ride every road with this American Iron machines!. Arriving at the village of Telouet, we were welcomed by Ali, our local guide for of course, a nice warm and sweet cup of tea, and after that we walked into the former Kashba which was surprisingly , still beautiful on the inside. With a lot of nice history facts in our minds and exchanging aspirines etcetera for coca cola and peanuts, we followed the spectacular mountain roads up to the high pass of Col du Tichka at 2260 m.

Going down from the pass, getting into warmer weather, we had our lunch at a nice restaurant at the foot of the Atlas mountains. 

When finished we followed our way to the famous city of Marakech, where our senses where bommed by the influences of this big city. Tired but very satisfied we finally arrived at the beautiful Atlas hotel. 

Beautiful early morning skies above Ait Ben Haddou
Up to the High Atlas mountains
Traditional tea ceremony in a Berber tent at Telouet
`Chris having a fysiotherapy by the Fonz!
Local guide Ali explains the history of Kasba El Glaoui
At the top of the pas "Col du Tichka"
high mountain passes
a well deserved lunch after sharpening our mountain riding skills!

Day 8 - Restday Marrakech

What an unforgettable day! A real attack on all your senses in the most vibrating city of Morocco!

Starting with a nice breakfast in the hotel garden  was an excellent way to start our restday in Marakech. A little sleep in for some, a very long sleep in for others, but almost everyone was ready for the bus ride with local tourguide Achmed who showed us some nice spots in Marakech around and inside the old medina. Stepping out the bus at the Djemaa el Fna (Place of the Beheaded) we soon lost ourselves in the souks of old downtown Marakech. But Achmed rapidly took us from alley to alley and after we started with a visit to an old palace he took us to a shop where an hilarious guy in doctor outfit, told us about making oils, conserving herbs and all kinds of healthy things. Of course a visit to a carpet shop  we couldn’t resist either and in this very nice old ryad house, good business skills were shown by the owner and his very quick helpers. A nice lunch and some free time to stroll around the souks concluded the end of the first part of the program. After a short and late siesta break everyone was again ready around 8 pm for the last part of this great day in Marakech: an evening walkaround at the Djemaa el Fna and watch all the storytellers, snake charmers and other vendors and sellers and creatures! A diner in "restaurant " 65 was the real final and after singing songs together with the kitchen staff and taking pictures with everyone in the "kitchen" it was time to grab some taxis and head out to our hotel for a well deserved night rest

the hilarious wonder doctor explaining his healing- and healthy things in his store
the aragon oil already starts to heal Beth's arm!!

Day 9 - Marakech - Bin El Ouidane

Day 10 - Bin El Ouidane - Meknes

nice way to wake up...!
Morning brief at the poolside
beautiful photoshop at lake side
Chris trying to capture his latest photo model
following the narrow roads up to Meknes
the Fonz at his best !!

Day 11 - Meknes - Chefchaouen

Waking upl in the souks of Meknes is always a special thing. Surrounded by uniue sounds and smells from the streets brings you right away back into North Africa!. Our unique hotel had a very nice rooftop terrace where we started our brriefing for the ride northbound back into the city of Chefchaouen, where we also spend our first night in Africa of this tour. But this time a clear blue sky so it promisses to be a nice ride. And it was!.

Highlight of the day was a visit to the excavation site of the old Roman city of Volubilis. Local guide Mustafa took us along the remnants of what was once one of the biggest cities of the Roman empire

Going back into the Reef mountian area we enjoyed all the nice long sweepers through this beautiful area of Morocco. Today's ride was a relatively short one, that gives us some extra time to stroll around in the blue coloured souks of Chefchaouen. So after a enjoyable lunch south of Ouazazane, we suddenly faced the blue city in all his beauty. 

Arriving at the already familiair parking spot we found our way through the labyrinth of alleys to the hotel. The owner family had prepared us a very nice diner and so we all enjoyed our very last evening on the African continent. Tomorrow back to Spain to the famous city of Ronda!

the beautiful roof terrace of the hotel in Meknes
view over Meknes
Volubilis
Beautiful mosaics of the old roman empire
Beth overlooking the old temple
recognize Larry??

Day 12 and 13

Chefchaouen - Ronda - Malaga

The last riding day on the African continent was a pretty spectacular one: riding along the beautiful coastal way north to the border crossing was a stunning one. Nice long sweepers, great switchbacks and really astonishing views made the last riding day in North Africa a special one. The border crossing went pretty smoothly and it leaves us some time to have a last lunch in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. In a very nice and quite environment  (NOT!) we enjoyed our late Halloween lunch here. After disembarked we headed north to our hotel in one of the nicest towns in Andalusia: Ronda. Late arrival made everyone pretty hungry.

Next day was the very last riding day of this fantastic Morroco tour: The morning ride through the famous White Towns of Andalusia and the afternoon ride back to our starting hotel in Malaga.

After the bike handover we had our farewell diner and it was time to say goodbye since some of the group had to catch a very early plane!

Thank you all for a great adventure in this very surprising and diverse country of Morrocco and hope to see you all back on one of our super Edelweiss/Harley Davidson tours!

As a last salute, a picture of all the great tour members of this wonderful tour!

 

Ted and Andreas

 

Jim the Mechanic and Beth
Larry the Captain and Rayna
Cole the Doctor
The Fonz (FZ 2.8)
Chris the Drive
Charlie and Nicky 5000!
Kevin (KJ)
David and Annie
See you all!!
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