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Nick and Bec's Big Trip Starting on the 29th of June 2008 Bec and I will be starting a year long adventure, spending 6 months in Africa and another 6 months in South America. It should be lots of fun.

Mountain biking in Morocco with only one gear

MOROCCO | Saturday, 20 December 2008 | Views [690] | Comments [4]

We are in Morocco, it is really chilly.  There is snow in the mountains and ice on the road.  This will probably be the last journal entry for Africa.  Next is a break in England and back into the thick of it in South America, Brazil to be precise!  Need to start practicing our Spanish.

Here is a couple of diary entries about sausages and mountain bikes.

13th December - Essaouira to Marrakech, plus Hassans Sausages

Yes the Hassan sausage stand in the square in Marrakech.  We toured the square looking for a good cheap eat, fending off touts for the more expensive stands, plus having a freshly squeezed orange juice at a stand laden with oranges.  I guess it was once a horse drawn cart, but now is one of the many oj stands, with a pile of oranges behind glass and a friendly Moroccan demanding your attention and hence his oj rather than his almost identical neighbour.

We decided upon the packed and smokey Hassan sausage stand.  The flames and smoke por out of a central grill surrounded by grubby waiters in once-were-white uniforms in turn surrounded by a square of tables and bench seating.  The cobbles of the square are covere in a layer of grime, mostly sausage grease from the cooking and spilt food.  We patiently wait for a space to appearin the seating and head straight for it.  Two lots of eight sausages are order with freshly cut tomatoes, the sauce, and a chunk of reasonably fresh bread.

So the stainless steel table is wiped clean with a damp rag and two squares of fish and chip shop paper is put in front of us to act as place mat and plate.  Round flat bread is served.  A saucer of tomato sauce is poured.  The string of sausages is being cooked now.  There is much shouting and gesticulation from the waiters gathered around the grill, as flames appear from the grill.  We are enveloped in smoke, that is quickly carried away on the winter breeze traversing the square.  The sausages arrived and are separated from each other by scissors.  We rip bread, make a cavity with thumb, insert sausage, dip in tomato sauce and eat.  This continues until the sausages are gone and bread is devoured.  We pay our way, stand up and let the next eager waiting customers sit and enjoy the experience.

We are back in Marrakech having travelled by CTM bus and walked to Hotel Essaouira.  We were both dead thirsty, so quickly headed out for oj.  This time we are on hte first floor and have purchased the necessary bog roll and toothpaste!

18th December - Cycling the Todra Gorge

Tonight we have both had the best showers in Morocco!  It only took 12 days to get a piping hot shower, really super hot!  Bec came back smiling and so did I.

As for today we hired a couple of mountain bikes and headed fro Todra Gorge, 15km away.  Unfortunately the bikes were complete crap. both with only one working gear, semi inflated tyres and rubbish brakes, plus one was really quite small.  Putting their crapness aside we cycled  along through an unending series of switchbacks or hairpins.  The as-the-crow-flies distance was probably only about 5km.  We spent most of the time zigging ledft and zagging right with little forward direction.

A complete aside I hate this blood French keyboard, it is driving me nuts!  Various lettters are swapped around like the q and the a and who know how to get an apostrophe!

Back to the story.  After a couple of hours we find a decent lunch spot just outside the gorge itself, in some partial shade on probably the only patch of grass south of the High Atlas, which in itself was about 1 metre square.  Lunch was bread, triangle cheese, vegemite and bananas with water to drink.  After lunch we climbed back aboard our tired, but so far trusty steads and entered the gorge, which is vert tall and narrow with a river and road running through it.  All quite spectacular and great to see it after getting there under our own steam.  We managed to avoid most of the sellers and their terrible attempt at conversation, "hi, where you from, Australia? Ah Kangaroo!  Buy my carpet!"  Not really riveting.

We sat in the sun and looked at the climbing walls surrounding us eating more bread, enjoying the scenary and relative peace.  We had one friendly tout who wanted to swap my shirt for a carpet.  He called my shirt "romantic".  I would say nearly all Moroccan men dont know the meaning of the word!  Anyway I would not look good in a carpet.  We also had another tout ride up on his horse, declare himself a nomad and demand we pay for a horse ride to feed his family.  Odd chap.  THere was a long pause as we thought how to say "no we dont want to feed your family" without sounding too rude.  Bec did a good job, I kept quiet.

So after all that we rode back to town to buy chocolate.  Mission completed we ate the chocolate and went back to the friendly restaurant we found last night.  We had two plates of beans, chips and bread (the amount of bread we consume is just crazy), finished off we mint tea.  Not bad for 2.77 Australian each.

So that is it.  Happy Christmas, dont eat too much.  See you in England in a few days or Australia in six months.



Nothing changes in Morocco then. Back when we all went a Morrocan wanted help in feeding his family for showing us the fishing boats. Enjoy the rest of your stay. Do they still not let any of their currency out of the country when you leave?

  Pat Dec 22, 2008 2:08 AM


You really have a gift for writing, I always enjoy your blog (please don't tell Bec, I enjoy hers too).
And the photos are extraordinary (is Bec the photographer or both?) Have fun!
You say: see you in Australia in 6 months - does that mean you decided to come back to Oz? Good decision, mate.
Cheers, Mirela

  Mirela Feb 11, 2009 10:49 AM


Your description was so good I thought I was there eating sausages with you and Bec

  Maureen Feb 12, 2009 4:14 PM


Sorry. The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.
I am from Moldova and , too, and now am writing in English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: "Davis finally got there, because it looked like this would be an interesting do it yourself project."

With respect 8-), Calantha.

  Calantha Mar 8, 2009 9:27 PM

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