Fez and no, i didnt buy one!
I left Chefchoen relatively early this morning after getting lost carrying my kit back to the bike.
I paid the parking monitor and the bike was still intact which is always a relief, I can never quite believe that nothing gets stolen but luckily I’m mostly pleasantly surprised.
i am using a different mapping app today as google maps live mapping is not supported in Morocco, it sucks your data and just doesn’t work. I did a bit of research on the net and found an alternative called Sygic. Using it for the first time today it worked really well, I did notice some messages whilst I was riding and I may have to buy it after all, it did say it was free but we will have to see.
Excellent riding through the mountains and remote villages in the heat of the day, the roads were a mix of really quiet and busy too when I approached towns along the way. Most of the roads are in good condition but that can change as you roll on through. On one occasion all was going well then a sudden change to deep tarred gravel, just as well I was relaxed and loose on the bike as it was a bit of a surprise. The little Honda handled it all in its stride and I had another pleasurable day in the saddle.
My sheepskin is doing its job well, I did feel a little guilty as I rode away from home around a week ago, with some of its mates watching me leave though!
So today I made it as far south as Fez as the title suggest. I found a good hotel on iOverlander App and pulled in to a warm welcome. The room is clean and it has a bed and looks out onto an alleyway in the medina with interesting glimpses and sounds of everyday Moroccan life.
I decided to give the guidance a miss and venture into the medina on my own. Fez’s medina houses over 400,000 people and is reportedly one of the largest in the Country. It’s nowhere near as picturesque as Chefchoen but provides the trading space and income for many thousands of people.
I experienced the usual carpet salesmen and managed to get away unscathed, we really don’t need anymore carpets and my bike is fully loaded already.
I happened upon the tannery here and popped in for a look. It said it was free but when I tried to leave money was on the agenda. It clearly says ‘Libre’ but I didn’t manage to leave without parting with some coins. I didn’t want the hassle but the guy was beginning to get aggressive and with all those knives around I just wanted to get out of there, it was pretty smelly too! Anyway I escaped and I won’t be going back. It really spoils everything when things turn that way and I wasn’t doing anything wrong. The Moroccans can be challenging at times, in a way I suppose I can too. No harm done, I will have to be extra careful in future.
I watched with interest as an old man hand beat a copper cooking pan, his work was excellent as he teased the copper to a perfect lip on the pan, I love the traditional skills and was treated to a real gem here today, he told me the noise was ‘music to his ears’. I bet that noise will be ringing for years to come!
Back to the hotel and took advice on where to eat tonight, I went to a lovely family restaurant and ate in fabulous surroundings whilst watching a wildlife program on TV. The food was superb and more than I could eat.
So I’m now sat outside the hotel and what happens next? I hear a bump and a scream and two German tourists are knocked flying by a fast reversing car. They were waiting for a cab and a local driver reversed straight into them. Luckily there are police nearby who rush to help. They are an elderly couple and nothing more than a few grazes in exposed elbows, I go over to check them out and all seems OK. It was pretty scarey though as the car kept coming back and almost ran them over. It could have been much worse… it could have happened anywhere.
I had intermittent contact with home on dodgy internet, I can’t complain though it’s a far cry from the old blue air mail letters isn’t it now?
Internet is rubbish, I can’t load images so I will update the blog when I have better service! Sorry!