Saturday, 30 January 2010

Photos 4

Heres Kev paying for the mechanics sons school fees and a family holiday

Ooh!

Take the next left after the sand dune...
Red tent over yonder
Thoughtful
Dunes
Pots
Snails escaping fast
Marrakech
My favourite colour

Waiting for the post
The road from the desert of Zagora

Thursday, 28 January 2010

What really happened...

Disappear
Yeh? Hang on a minute!
What did really happen?
I can´t remember a great deal. I´ve started growing a beard and my system of measuring time (1 x shave = 3 or 4 days) has grown out of the window.
Well, Kev has been practising his magic ready for his finale. (My french is still improving). His final disappearing trick was to leave Marrakech and Morocco and reappear in a totally different continent altogether.

I still belive Kev sold Munchy to a hareem. She always did turn a few heads when she was coming down the street. People began to walk into lamposts they didn´t know were there as they watched Munchy roar past.

or, for our friends in Norwich,
Despair
Actually, the crux of the matter is, that Munchy munched her way through Kevs wallet faster than anticipated and Kev had to file for a divorce from Munchy. She was a high maintenance, low speed kind of crunchy and Kev just could not keep up with Munchys demands any longer.
And alas, it is so, that, there came a day, when, lo, Kev had to leave poor Munchy laying lonely in a hotel basement.
For tax reasons, he never actually sold Munchy but instead, pawned her. (I think he ´porned´ her myself)
We are all hoping that Munchy will be there when we will  one day return to Marrakech. Flying there is definatly the cheapest option to do this, as oppsosed to riding a moped there via Portugal.
A very helpful guy in the Ali offered to help Kev out and made him a deal he could refuse.
But Kev did not refuse the deal and went ahead and booked a flight to Sevilla, Spain, where he would then somehow get to Portugal, where his van was.

Diss
So it came to be that Munchy the crunchy was left behind in Marrakech. Kev had to sell her to pay for a flight back to Portugal. Unfortunatly he could only get an expensive flight to nearby Sevilla, Spain. So when he reached Spain he would then have to sell his shoes to pay for the bus ticket he needed to get to Portugal.
Once in Portugal, he would then need to sell his boat to get the money to take his van to Marrakech, where he would have to sell his van to get the money for riding Munchy back to Portugal. When he reached Portugal he would then have to sell Munchy again to pay for a flight to UK so he could get a job to pay for the return trip to Portugal to buy poor Munchy back. Then go back to Moroc......
You get the idea by now.......

But hey.
It´s all irrelevant.
There is good news.
Munchy has given birth to Munchy 2.
And Munchy 2 will soon be old enough to join Munchy in Morocco very soon.
Probably this summer.

Pair
So this leaves me and the Vespa in Marrakech, wondering what to do next. I still have to ride it home after all which means I´m only a little more than half way through the trip. And I am after all still under the "get you home repair" which I very much hope gets me home ok.
Do I wait for those illusive spares to turn up or do I head for Spain where I would be able to replace the bearings?
Do I head south as originally planned?
Who knows? (Actually, I do, as this all happened 2 or 3 shaves ago)

Coconuts
The continuing saga of the Vespa is still very much happening. More photos will added soon enough but my to do list is getting more than 1 thing a day on it. This means I´m busy, doing nothing!
Ciao amigos

Schroody dooby do

Where are you?
In the early hours of the morning, a psychedelic green campervan pulled up outside the Hotel Alibaba in Marrakech. Inside were Freid and his sister Schiffer, both from Germany. Along with Vic, a stoner from Poland and Fatima who belongs to Belgium. And of course lets not forget their large, hungry pet cat, "Schroody", for without Schroody there would be no adventure.
They had all noticed whilst they were checking in to the hotel that there was a sad, lonely and unhappy man who was checking out of the hotel and was about to leave Marrakech.
There was also a very happy looking hotel manager rubbing his hands with glee as this man, Trigger, handed over the keys of his C90 to the manager, as he was about to leave Morocco.
You could almost hear the cash registers ringing in his ears of the manager and you could almost see the giant novelty cheques appearing before him.
The gang in the campervan later discovered that Trigger, was having difficulty retrieving his Honda C90, named Munchy, from the basement of the old hotel, as he said the basement was haunted.
So to help poor Trigger get his Munchy back, they decided to investigate.

We got some w*rk to do now
They sent Schroody down into the haunted basement to investigate but at first he refused to go.
Not even for a Schroody snack.
He wouldn´t even go down into the dingy basement for 2 Schroody snacks but he gave in when they offered him 4 tagines, 4 pizzas, 4 chicken and chips, and an all you can eat buffet, all layered between a tower of khoobz (bread).
He left the cous cous.
Vic was also peckish and feasted heavily on this food too.
Schroody then led the way into the scary basement, closely followed by Vic.
"Yoinks"! Schroody had slipped and fallen onto a large, black plastic sheet and began to slide downwards into the basement, taking Vic with him.
Then the lights went out.
"Arrrgggghhhhhhh"! they both cried.
Then they felt something moving. Someone else was on the ´bag´ sleigh with them.
It was the ghost.
"Yikes. Like, let´s get out of here", said Vic to Schroody.
They were all now sliding along on a large black plastic sheet, further down into the depths of the basement, which was so far down that the floor was now a sheet of snow and ice.
They bumped into some more people, who it turned out was Freid, his sister Schiffer and Fatima the hitch hiker.

Surf
So there they all were. All 6 of them. Surfing down a snowy icy slope, sitting on a large black plastic bag.
Whilst sliding down hill on his bottom, Triggers' mind turned to the camels he had recently ridden in the desert. He had the same uncomfortable feeling returning to his rosy cheeks and it wasn´t pleasant.
Luckily they came crashing to the bottom of the hill and the ghost who had been haunting the basement was about to be un-masked by Freid and and his cute sister Schiffer.

Persil
"Why its Scooter. The caretaker at the Hotel California. But why did you need to haunt the basement"?
"Well, Trigger had just had Munchy fixed and I saw it doing wheelies down the street and became concerned that his C90 was going to be faster than the Vespa. So I thought if I made the place where he stores his Munchy haunted, then he would never be able to overtake me as he would never be able to retrieve Munchy from a haunted basement".
"So it wasn´t the hotel manager then"? they all thought aloud.
"No. He´s a friendly chap who tried to help", added Fatima.
"I would never have guessed", came Vics response.
"And I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn´t for you meddling kids".
"Not now you won´t. You´ll be doing 5 - 10 in the state pen", said the chief of Police who had been called earlier.
"Book him boys....", were the last words Scooter heard that day and he was banged up abroad.

Shake and Vac
"Schroody dooby dooooo".

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Marrakech

Hitch Hike

In the bar we met someone else who told us we mad. Thanks Ian! In the past he had owned vespas and C90s and been to Marrakech about 30 years ago. (He also put a little info somewhere on the c90 website http://www.c90club.co.uk/ ) . He was one of many people we met in Marrakech. Most people we met were in the bar of the Grand Hotel or on the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Ali, which I can highly recommend if you need somewhere cheap to stay in Marrakech.
I spent a lot of time haggling with the manager of the 'Ali' for the Vespa. Of course I would never sell her. Not even for the 200 Euros he was offering.
If you want to know anything about 'all you can eat' buffets at the Ali then our friend Martin is the man. He could not get enough of them buffets. (Thats buf fettes to all that know him) Although he betrayed the buffettes after a couple of weeks and turned to Pizzas for company.
Then there was Oliver. We met Oliver, from Belgium, who hitch hiked all the way here. I would do the same if I lived in Belgium. (Only kidding Oliver!) Oliver did not have the same time scale as me and Kevin and he ended up going to meet his folks at the airport two days in advance. We use the traditional way of telling which day it is, or how long ago something happened, by how many moons had passed. Or for a longer time scale, how many shaves we had. Or for an even longer period of time, how many haircuts we had had. We could also define the date by working out how many mechanics we had used. This brings us neatly to the continuing saga of
'Munchy'.

Monkey
After leaving Tetouan all those shaves and a haircut ago, Munchy was still feeling poorly. She was still knocking and banging all the way to Marrakech. In Marrakech we found a suitable mechanic to carry out more open heart surgery on Munchy.
Now, most of the mechanics workshops we have witnessed, although small, appeared to be well equiped. Although I suspect that all the spanners, sockets, pliers etc hanging neatly on the wall were there just to keep the nails that were supporting them, from falling out. So they were left well alone. The tools that were used were as follows;

1 x screwdriver
1 x small hammer

Now if these two tools could not do the job then a larger hammer was called for. The young lad ran in and out of the workshop, trying various size hammers to hit the end of the screwdriver with. These hammers were far too big to be hung up and were readily available on the floor, where all the work was carried out. Being close at hand, the hammers were in frequent use.

Bananas
To be fair, the chief mechanic, who worked on Munchy was pretty thorough and sneakily used a few specialist tools such as spanners and sockets but only when he thought no one was looking.
As Kev has turned into his alter ego, David Blaine and dissappeared again I cannot be too sure exactly what work was carried out on the engine, as I was too busy waiting for my parts to arrive.
I believe that a new crank, with new bearings were fitted. Along with new valves. I also believe that the parts used were probably made for the similar kind of bikes that are found all over Morocco, namely the Yamaha Mate or the chinese equivalent, the Docker C90. They look the same at least! We worked out that the previous mechanic must have changed the original Honda crank for a knackered chinese one, which turned out to be just as bad, probably worse.
 I was at the mechanics workshop to witness the all new Munchy being tested out by the mechanic after he had finished working on it. He was popping wheelies up and down the street like a true pro. It seems Munchy felt like a new woman! Which almost leads us neatly to the continuing saga of
'What I did on my winter vacation'.

Nuts
It was new years eve my friends. The bar of the Grand Hotel was pretty full. Sat next to us were a couple of girls from Texas and Oz. We got chatting and decided to try and find another bar in the more up market part of town. After a long walk we found a few potential bars. After we asked the admission price to these upmarket joints, we decided that the Grand Hotel was actually not a bad place to bring in the year after all. For the price of admission alone was enough to fly us both to a full moon party in Thailand. We left the girls (from Lezbos) in the new town, who carried on searching for a cheap bar whilst we headed back to the bar we had just left, just in time to witness the anti climax that is New Years day.
Hootanany!
The drunken Spanish and Argentinians we were trying to make sense of were in high spirits. The 'Toilet clerk' was also in very high spirits. He was the guy who insisted that everyone should leave a tip for him on a plate placed just outside the toilets. (Don't eat yellow snow springs to mind) If you didn't leave a tip, he cursed you to die in Hell whilst he pissed on the floor, swallowing another lung full of the glue he was sniffing.


Superglue
We have a new compardre.
For a few days at least.
A shave later, when all the new years sparklers had fizzled out we went to meet Sue at Marrakech airport. Unfortunatly the weather was foggy and the plane had been diverted to Agadir, a four hour bus journey south west of Marrakech. So in the afternoon we again went to the airport, this time we found her ready and waiting for us.
Our 'one thing a day' routine would now involve at least two things a day. How would we cope with this busy schedule? Actually we coped pretty easily. Sue was great company and was a welcome change for Kev and me, what with having to put up with each other for so long. After we arrived back in town we booked her a room in the Ali. We then showed her the way to the nearest bar and we never saw her again.
Only kidding.
We ended up booking a tour, by mini bus, to the desert of Zagora. Apologies go to the Vespa and Munchy for not taking them there. They were tired and needed a rest. It would have been a long and arduous journey for both machines straight through the Atlas mountains. Especially as they were feeling so poorly at the time.
For us to book the tour to the desert we had to sell Sue to the tour operator. He did after all offer the princely sum of 2,000 camels. On condition that Sue joined the Jedi clan and bought a black Jedi outfit. An offer we could not refuse. Whilst booking the trip, drinking tea and selling your mate for 2,000 camels, we noticed that the weather was getting a little fierce. Would the rain that followed us all the way here follow us all the way to the desert as well? Kev is adamant that I'm cursed by prevailing bad weather. We shall find out the next day. We had an early start the next morning, and I mean really early. So early in fact that I still don't know what time we left.

Prit Stick
On the bus were couples from France, Spain and Brazil. (Hi to Patricia and Miguel from Brazil). I confess to finding all that out on the return journey as I was in the Twilight zone on the way there. The scenery was spectacular. I wished the Vespa had seen these mountain roads. The all inclusive 2 day tour to the desert, everything included except drinking water and lunch. Well almost everything was included. Except for the breakfast on the first morning. Lunch at an over priced restuarant. The evening meal was a tagine shared between six people but that was included. The breakfast in the morning barely broke my fast (included) and again the not included lunch at an overly priced restaurant, followed by the not included teas and coffees en route (more french) and the not included evening meal on the second day. Also the long turban head scarves that the tout said we needed, to protect us from the sand and the wind and the desert sun... we're not included. God forbid, I almost had to get my wallet out.
Thankfully Superglue had bought 2 scarves with her, one of which I borrowed. As for Kev, he had his crash helmet with him so he was fully protected!

Camel Toe

I want to point out a fact. And let's face it, there have not been too many facts on this blog. You can google Morocco and find out all this for yourself. The fact for the blog, as far as I know but I could be wrong, is..... there are no Camels in Morocco.
The Berbers ate them all.
Now there are only Dromedaries. And we were driven to Zagora to find out why. Why were Dromedaries so uncomfortable? I'd like to pass you over to Kev who has a better insite than me, as to why these creatures are so disagreeable but he has disappeared once more. Ask him about it when you see him next. I too had difficulty resting my bags comfortably whilst on the dromedary and ended up riding side saddle to the Berber tents, where we were to sleep the night, just visible in the distant sand dunes. After we arrived at camp we listened to exotic tales of Berber life around a camp fire. Ancient, mystical stories of a nomadic tribe who had to survive on their instincts and navigate by the stars were told with great admiration, only to be cut short by a Britney Spears ringtone coming from the pocket of the chief story teller. "...Oh yeh, can you record Eastenders for me", I think I may have heard him say.

Choccy starfish
But the stars....!Oh the stars in the evening desert! What a beautiful site. Truely. Amazing. In a clear sky with no pollution there appeared to be a great many more stars than I had ever witnessed anywhere in the world. I left Kev to count how many new stars he could see, whilst I gave Superglue an obligatory introduction to the stars.
"That's the Milky Way that is", was about as far as I got before Superglue passed Kev 5 Dirhams to pay for the bet they had arranged earlier. (ie. How long would it take before someone pointed out the bleedin' obvious).
Of course we all know how the stars were created.......

Intermission
A Demon in the world of the Gods above decided that he would steal a prized deer from off the earth and from the heavenly gods, so that he could have it all to himself. He would be the envy of all his fellow demons. When the heavenly gods noticed that the dear deer was not to be found on this earth anymore he was furious and gave chase after the demon.
The skies darkened as they was no longer any radient light shining from the earth which was now devoid of its radient prized deer.
The good god, lets call him 'George', picked up his bow and arrow and gave chase after the bad demon, let's call him 'Barry'.
Barry, clutching onto the deer and using all his skill, darted out of the way, narrowly avoiding the constant stream of arrows. The arrows then went on to pierce the blackened sky leaving small 'pin pricks' in the dark sheet that had envoloped the whole world. The 'stars' you see today are actually rays of light escaping through the tiny holes, trying to reach earth.
I never did find out what happened to the deer or the demon. Or to George come to . But I do know that that's the truth, 'cause my mum said so.

Through the eye of a needle
So after a very memorable experience in the desert we headed back towards Marrakech to claim our 2,000 camels we were promised.

More fact finding tales of woe are to be had later on when I can find the time to write them all. Tagines and cous cous are calling me closer to the cafes.

The tale is by no means finished. Much has happened recently. Things that could potentially make it the end of the trip.

It's all very dramatic.

So dramatic I need to have a long lay down and think about it.

Ciao

Friday, 8 January 2010

Photos 3

En route to Marrakech
Actually, Marrakech is 208km away

As it says on the tin
98km
not far now
Crafty snails
Above is Kevs plans for the Vespa

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Xmas

Swiss
In the morning, after a great nights sleep for me in a large double bed and for Kev, on the bathroom floor, we were ready for another day. Thankfully when we awoke in the morning inside the nice warm Swiss style hotel, in a Swiss style town that has pointy red roofs and lots of snow, we found that the weather was sunny at last. We also found out that this hotel was over 1650metres above sea level and has fine skiing in the area. That probably explains the reason why our bikes were struggling so much. We did not really notice how steep the roads were as our heads were down, trying to hang on for dear life in the torrential rain we were riding  through.

Tony
Xmas day. Khenifra, just 100km away was our next destination.
Long gone are the days when we used to say, " Come on, lets go 250km to the next town".
It's been slow going. I stopped a couple of times to adjust my timing as the Vespa was slow. Very slow.
Passing through the villages and towns we noticed that half the houses were being propped up with scaffold etc due to the extremely, ferociously bad weather that we had suffered the previous day. Sandbags and boats were issued to all concerned. It was that bad. Noah would have loved it here.
We arrived in town and had some food.
Food.
Now there's a subject me and Kev spend endless hours talking about and applauding. Applauding the fine spices that Morocco has but does not like to use in their cooking. I could devote a whole section about the menus we encounter and I will one day. When I'm really bored. Actually there wouldn't be much to write about and I would repeat myself quite often.

Family Robinson
The town was home to a university which meant lots of nice young people. Even when they are out with their mothers the girls could not help but admire the English talent. Unfortunately, we never made it to the local Disco where were planned to show them all how to do the 'Peanut Duck'. Kev got so excited that he snapped his kickstart, which he later got welded  back together.
It was here in Khenifra that we found out Kev could get a brand new engine for Munchy. 110cc or 125cc. What a choice. The choice actually was, what does he want....? Chinese or Japanese? I don't think this was the first time he's had this choice either but that's another story.

The Waltons
After a couple of days in town we got back on our bikes, which were by now beginning to squeak and knock more than ever. My bearings need changing once more and Munchy needed some serious attention. The Vespa was drinking about 3 x more than usual so frequent stops were needed. At one petrol station we stopped for a coffee. After a leisurely drink I went to pay, using my finest local dialect.
"Kawha, bisshal?", I coughed. ('How much for the coffee'?)
"9 Dirham" was the snappy reply.
"Bezzaf"! was my astonished answer. ('That's a lot'!)
The waiter leaned forward onto his toes and staring straight into my face asked, "Problem"? in a rather  menacingly way.
"No problem". ('Crumbs'!)
I whispered to Kev along with a signal that suggested we get the f out of there sharpish but he was too busy watching the local retard directing the traffic, which consisted of 2 cars, a tractor and 5 cats.
"Kev. Psssst"!
"Huh? What"?
"Lets get the f out of here, its going to kick off".
Two things I found out in life that day.
1) Vespas and C90s are not really made for fast getaways in sticky situations.
2) Kev still wasn't really sure what had just happened.
Our escape was like watching 2 snails trying to get out of the soup bowl they found themselves in.

What am I now, What am I now?
We set our rendevous point to Beni Mellal which is about 260km from Marrakech. In true spirit, we arrived seperately. Without realising I had passed Kev whilst he was filling up with petrol, I carried on through Beni Mellal towards Marrakech as we could almost smell it, it was close. Kev in the meantime headed into town. I was heading out of town. The force sent me back into town, whilst Kevs force sent him back out of town. So we were forced in and out of town. Our paths never crossed and it was here in Beni Mellal I laid my crash helmet down for the night, wondering where David Blaine had gone this time.
Kev in the meantime, pleased with a good days riding, on a nice sunny day, decided to carry on towards Marrakech. He made great progress and went for a further 100km. In his haste and as his C90 was going faster than the speed of light, he accidently run over an old lady. Just a flesh wound. Kev did not see her as the lights on Munchy were a little dim to say least. Also, riding into the dazzling, setting sun did not help matters either. The old lady span round on her heels, clutching her washing basket and wondered what the hell had just happened to her. Kev did not hang around to find out. He ended up in a nice hotel, no, not a Moroccan jail cell but a proper nice hotel with swimming pool, jacuzzi and a massage was only 5Dirham. Apparently.
My hotel on the other hand was occupied by the international under 21s all girls mattress testers who were very thorough. Alledgedly.
This meant we both had a good nights sleep and dreamt all night.

Little house on the prairie
I awoke early the next morning to catch Kev waiting for me 100km away in the first garage out of the town he was in.
Marrakech was now in our sights. We were heading in the direction of the Atlas mountains that we have been following for the past few days. Since arriving in Morocco it's taken us about 23 days to get this far. A few more hours and we really believed we were going to be in Marrakech, in time for tea, fairy cakes and a nice slice of waterhog flan.
For the second time this trip, we arrived in town, at the same time, on the same road. Amazing!
We headed for a cheap hotel that, although it was full, we were able to 'book a bed' on the roof terrace. We had some more food (another Tagine) and had a quick shower.
I noticed Kev was shaking and foaming at the mouth.
"What's wrong"? I asked.
He turned south and silently pointed with a big smile.
"Alcohol"!
After 7 weeks with no booze, Kev, who now took on the stance of a bloodhound chasing an escaped criminal, eagerly set off towards the Grand Hotel Tazi, with me chasing after him as fast as I could.
" I must have some booze. I demand to have some booze", Kev shouted.
We had to work fast.
"A pair of quadruple whiskies and another pair of pints please landlord"............ 

Monday, 4 January 2010

Just like that

North and South
So here we are back again and on the road heading south from the Rif mountains in northern Morocco.
It has been a long lay down which means we have become very lazy indeed and have not updated this blog as often as perhaps we should have.Our excuse is the weather. Whether or not we were going to get out of Chefchaouen. Its a nice enough place but after constant rain for what seemed like 40 days and 40 nights we decided enough was enough. Come rain or shine we will leave the next day. We waited for a small pocket of sunshine, put on all our wet weather gear (or should that read 'wet wet weather gear') then headed south.

Apples and Pears
 We made an early start for the road to Fez (approx 200km) and I found out that 8am exists on my watch. I thought I only had 8pm. It would take us most of the day to reach Fez.
 The weather wasn't ideal but it was ok. We started with all of our wet, wet weather gear on, found the pocket of sunshine and got out of town.
I would like to say it was all downhill but alas, no. The bikes were making progress though. The surgery I performed on the Vespa, on the rooftop, seems to have paid off. It sounded totally different but I was not so sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. It sounded like it would go faster, so I decided it could only be a good thing.
Munchy the crunchy (its a girl by the way) was running kind of ok too. Not great but not exceptionally bad.
We have plenty of time for that to happen.
We also found out on the way;
Dogs like to try and eat my side panels but only when I'm riding at 100kmph past the gate/driveway they are guarding.
Munchy the crunchy makes donkeys re-enact the mad MB game 'Buckaroo'.
Riding the same speed as Kev makes me want to go to sleep but I think it must be part of the David Blaine act he performs.
But more importantly we found out that the mechanic in Tetouean was a better magician than Kev and performed various cunning stunts on his engine such as the, "Now you hear the banging, now you dont, now you hear the banging again but its louder" routine. Amazing.

Mines a pony, raise you a monkey
On the way to Fez, whilst stopping to adjust some loose nuts, we were passed by a couple of old Peugeot 205s and a couple of old Land Rovers with english plates, all dressed with rally stickers, roof racks and spot lights.
Thats we needed on our machines! Big stickers with large numbers on, maybe that would make us more reliable and maybe even help us go quicker. They were all 'J' reg and from UK.
We quickly put our screwdrivers away and chased after them. After a few km we caught up with them and we were menacingly close.
Kev took the lead and, wait for it ladies and gentklemen, he overtook a car.
Ok so it was only an old 205 but something more amazing happened.
He overtook the Land Rover too. I was watching from the rear of the convoy of 2 cars and 2 Land Rovers with glee.
"Look at Muchy go", I cried.
The look on the faces of these guys and girls driving their old bangers through Morocco must have been of total amazement.
 They were being overtaken by little old Muchy the crunchy. A Honda C90.
The road was getting straighter so Kev went for the "Right. I'm going to have the lot of you" manoeuvre and proceeded to overtake the remaining 2 rally vehicles in one go. What class!
Munchy was happy munching away the km and those rally drivers were left flabbergasted.
They had just been overtaken by a C90.
I was still watching from behind and laughed out loud at this moment in sheer admiration of Kev and Munchy.
I waited for the rally drivers to recompose themselves and then suprised them by whizzing passed them all (or should that be wheezed passed them)?
One or two of the drivers/passengers waved back but most seemed to want ignore the fact that they had just been overtaken again but this time by a Vespa.
We watched them go past us again when we stopped for coffee but they did not see us as we sheltered from the downpour of rain in a cafe, so I'm guessing they thought we were still in front of them. Ha ha.

Eastenders
It was a nice scenic route which took us straight to Fez before 6pm. Once again whilst riding around the outside of the old medina walls looking for the right entrance, I took a stupid route and this time it took us through the fruit and veg market.
But there was one major difference.
Kev was directly behind me and he followed me in.
There was no vanishing act, no waiting or wondering where Kev was. We made it to the same town at the same time. I believe it was the force of Tommy Cooper.
After quickly haggling down the price of a hotel room and parking  we were in another hotel in another town.
Our first impressions of Fez were not good. The hotel we ended up staying in was not too good. Kev had an ensuite sunken bath in his room. A drunk made us feel welcome by deliberately barging into us when we carrying our bags to the hotel. Well, he more or less bounced off Kev and took revenge on me by attempting to kick me. I was not in the mood for a fight and ignored him.
It was still raining, the food was more expensive than we were used to, the hotel was rubbish and the welcoming commitee was rather rude to say the least.
"I'm leaving at 7 o'clock in the morning and getting the f out of here", were Kevs comments.
I remained quiet as the weather did not look like it was going to get any better.

Dot Cotton
At early o'clock the next morning a bang on the door from Kev woke me up.
"Come on then, lets go", he said.
My reply was a little less friendly. I was ready to change hotels but did not want to be riding in what looked like another storm that was approaching.
I tried to talk him out of it but he was having none of it. He was going. Whatever. So I thought I'd better keep with him and reluctantly tagged along.
BIG mistake.


We rode in what was probably the worst weather I've ridden in during the whole trip so far and I was riding in it against my better judgement which did not put me in a good mood.
After 2 hours of battling with the rain and the wind I almost stopped in one of the few houses I saw dotted along the highway to ask for a bed for the night. I'd had enough. In all my years of riding I've never ever felt this way before no matter how bad the weather.
I was asking myself, "What the f am I riding in this crappy weather for"? I knew the answer which wound me up even more. The answer lay behind me somewhere on a C90. He too was beginning to ask himself the same question.

The road to Marrakech

Sexy Deidre
I stopped at the first hotel I saw. Asked the price of a room. Scooped my jaw from the floor and once again got ready to be beaten up by the weather. I didnt realise hotels could be quite so expensive.
The directions out of town were not that clear and I ended up heading in the wrong direction. After 15 minutes the force turned me back the way I came, back into the town of Ifrane and it was here that I bumped into Kev who had the same problem as I had when trying to decide which road we needed. It was only about another 15km to the next town which had cheaper hotels but we did not even make it that far. After 2 or 3km we stopped at a motel and asked the price there. This was more reasonable, about £30 a night (we were used to paying around £5 a night). Kev, to his credit, offered to pay due to;
a) it was xmas ...and 
b) for being such a dick for making us ride in the worst weather we've had so far. (Sorry Kev)

Kevs genourousity and having the chance to dry our clothes in a nice warm hotel (even the stairs in the corridor were heated - luxury!) made us more cheerful and we left the next day feeling a little more refreshed.

Well'ard
It is here that I will have to leave you all again as food is required. We are off into the Sahara tomorrow for a couple of days after which I promise to update this again.