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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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"............