Morocco Monkey Run – Hell Road

When I last left you, we were in the process of making up time and feeling pretty good about ourselves…

Because of our unfounded confidence and our terrible short term memory from the first day, we decided to take a smaller, but more direct side road through one of the gorges in Morocco.

Within several kilometers one of our teammates tapped out and headed back to the highway to meet us further down the road later in the day.  He had already fallen a lot and this road was rather close to a steep drop, so I get it.  The rest of us persisted.

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I mean, no road is conducive for falling, but this one was markedly worse.

We stopped for taking photos, chatted with some locals along the way, and were generally enjoying our offroad experience.

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Setting the bike up here took awhile and we thought it was going to be the hardest activity of the day…
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Be still my ovaries.

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Yea, 50cc should be fine…
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Sexy photoshoot, helmet on.

Then one of our chains broke…

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Now, if you remember, we were taught how to fix this at both the starting line and again on day 1 when a lovely Belgian couple stopped to help us the first time this happened.  So we were reasonably confident we could knock this problem out.

As it turns out, once the bolts were loose and the chain was back on we completely blanked on how to tighten it back up.  Of course, in our mind that’s just fine and we continued just using a loose chain and had to lightly re-attach it every 10-20 km or so.

That is of course until it breaks completely and sends one of us over the handlebars.

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uhhh…whoops…(yea we took a photo before helping her up)

She was fine, just slightly more fucked up knees than before I guess.  But now we had a gimped person and a bike that wouldn’t drive with maybe 2 hours until it got completely dark.  It wasn’t all good news though, we were only like 4km from the nearest town blip on our map so we sent two of the bikes ahead to find a place to stay and send back a car while we slowly walked the bike there.  We did not make it nearly as far as we wanted overall and we were down 1.5 teammates and had 1 bad bike.  I had to break out the Tep wireless to let the missing teammate we would have to find him in the morning and we got to walking.

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As I was not with the two riders that went ahead I cannot account for their full experience, but I can say the walk to the town was great.  We lost the chain and had to go back to find it, that was a minor inconvenience since we were now basically on reserve fuel.  One of our teammates switched bikes with the fallen rider for chivalrous reasons(I don’t get it either) and refused to switch off I guess out of pride which I can respect it, it was a solid work out.  When we got closer to the town many curious kids came out to see us and you could tip them to push the broken bike.  They seemed to enjoy it.

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That said, they could get a little pushy on revving your engine and wanting a ride.

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That escalated quickly.

We did give some of the more polite kids rides though…

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You did have to be pretty stern with these kids though, some didn’t know how to take “Hell Naw” as an answer.  Actually, by the time we got to this town we were within about 1km of the hotel the two ahead riders had found so when they got their car to us it wasn’t much a trek to the hotel, but I’m glad they succeeded in finding a place.

Also noted, this place was like an unexpected oasis.  It was apparently a big stop for foreign tourists hiking through Morocco and they were prepared.  They even had wine…

Also the gave us Tajin again, so that is now 2 or 3 days in a row we had it…

I didn’t take many photos of the place but the link below will have plenty.

If you are curious what this magical hotel was it was called Gîte d’étape Tamaloute and that can also gauge how little distance we made on that road…

However our spirit wasn’t broken but rather invigorated that we had, in fact, not peaked too early.  There was already a mechanic scheduled to check out our bikes and we were all set to hit the road again…after some wine and sleep…

 

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