A little detour to Fez
From Nador IÂ went over the N15 to Guercif. A good 120km which were easy to drive without any traffic. Klaus, GÃ©rard and Kerstin, whom I met on the ferry before, joined me shortly after Nador, so we were in a 4 motorcycle convoy.
Every now and then there was a jeep of the rally de gazelles, old overloadedÂ trucksÂ and sheep. But unfortunately also aggressive, motorcycle chasing dogs. On the right hand of the road is aflock of sheep, GÃ©rard brakes, Klaus too, they both look right at the sheep – and from the left from the desertÂ a barking dogÂ races toward them. GÃ©rard was too far forward, I too far back, so Klaus isÂ the target of it’s attack.
At only 35 km/h the dog throws himself under the front wheel, Klaus can hold the machine upright with a lot of luck and a using theÂ right foot to stabilize the machine. The dog is goneÂ after he ran awayÂ to die in the desert, we assume …. Klaus has a swollen right foot for the next week, this could have ended much worse.
In Guercif we take a deserved coffee and tea break – the mint tea with biscuits is really delicious. Then we separate our ways until Saturday, where we are going to meet again at the Saharacamp. The 3 of them drive east and then the Algerian border to the south south, I take the N6 west towards Taza.
In Taza I need to buy gas, one euro per liter. Going further south, I hear the mountains calling me. My navigation system thinks that this detour will take me another hour, so I go for it.
My navigation system from Garmin was wrong, so wrong. The detour over the R504 and the R507 was Â 263 km long, although it saved me a good 70km of the straight route using the N6. Â But it took almost 6 hours of riding time with no stops. Because I went from 250 meters altitude up to to 2200 meters …
According to my navigation system, it was Â 8261m up and 8471m down. The temperatures went from 16 degrees and sunshine to 2 degrees and rain. Snowmasses at the edge of the road. Calling it a street is very, very optimistic. The worst part was the good 3km on the summit. Red clay, wet red clay. Probably the worst surface I ever had to ride.
The tyres I got for this trip, TKC70, have saved my ass up ther. We discussed beforehand that most gravel roads in MoroccoÂ can beÂ driven with the Tourance Next or a normal road tyre. That is true.Â But I would never have been able to get over those 3km with a normal tyre. And believe me, one drop of the bike on that surface and I would not have been able to lift the bike up again.
At about 7:30 pm I arrived in Fez. At the location, where according to Booking.com the riad Â I booked should be, is nothing …..
It rains cats and dogs, and I search in the dark for a hotel …. I call the hotel, and the location given by booking.com is just wrong , the hotel is 2.5km in a different direction. After arriving there, a young local helps me find the garage, and leads me to Riad Myra. Since this is in the middle of the medina, if only 100 meters away from the garage, I would not have found this in the dark and the rain without his helpr. The riad itself I highly recommend,Â very nice place.
I spend over Â 10 hours on the bike this day, I drove from Â extreme heat in the desert to snow on the mountain peaks, for on stretch of 270km I did not see a gas station, sat over 6 hours at a time on the bike and will always remember this as one of the greatest days on the bike I ever had.
I have learned, that my Zumo Â is very unreliable with the choosen map here in Morocco in the mountains. The projected end time was 15:40 (good), then she jumped to 19:50, then to 18:15, or 19:10, depending on the curve, until I was again on the main road, the N6.
Simply a fantastic first day – less rain and it would have been perfect. The detour was great, the tour to the Tis’n Tiskine I can highly recommend, but better not ride it end of March.
The time in Fez itself was rainy, but stillÂ very nice. The medina is a place where you want to explore and get lost in. Which you will. Visiting this city is definitely worth it.
The road to Fes
A little detour to Fez