jeudi 14 décembre 2006

28-10 Foum Zguid Marrakech 350Km Floods

The wind blew all the night, wake up at 6:00 am, breakfast, we load the bikes and for the third time, "dismounting tire" in the garage, the front wheel of Patrick’s bike is once again flat.
I have to say that he is efficient now, the job is done rapidly. In the garage there is an Honda Transalp which has been fully crumpled in a crash by a german guy on the track few days before. (Without too much injury for him). There are tires "Michelin desert" on this bike, a short moment we thought to change the tires, we didn’t.

Departure, the clouds are well fixed on the mountain, we cross Foum Zguid, at the exit of the village the foundation raft for the passage to ford is covered with a thick layer of mud and the oued runs with floods, it is not good forecasts at all. Stop to the gas station, refueling, verification of the oil level.

We leave, 9 km on the road and we take the track. It curves around a completely dry oued , everything is ok, we are driving cool then suddenly a large hole, catastrophic braking, nevertheless I pass.
I hope Patrick has seen my stylistic device and has been thus warned, I am turned over, and right in the middle of the ditch, a XR on the ground and Patrick sitting close. I turn and go back, he doesn’t worry, it’s ok.
We continue, and arrive in a really splendid valley, with oases, small villages, people very friendly wave us, children everywhere too. Wonderful.

Altitude is gained, we approach the clouds, the stony and wet track is very sliding specially with overblowed tires and overloaded bikes, the front wheel wants to live his own life on several occasions, we drive carefully.

We are close to the top of the pass, in the clouds, this track is superb in spite of the weather. At the top of the pass there is an extraordinary landscape on the plain and the village of Issil with the storm which threatens, unforgettable.

We are now in the valley, this is quite muddy First ford in Issil, there are traces of truck, the villagers indicate to us where to cross, Patrick launches out first, it’s ok. Quickly, the second ford, it’s not very large, no fear. The following is more wide, water is muddy we don’t see the bottom, once again Patrick engages, without problem

We arrive at a small school, I approach, the teacher goes out, I have some pens that I give him for his pupils. It doesn’t speak well French, but enough to say to us that the track is " finished " It’s not a good news, anyway we go and we will see. The following ford is wider as the others with strong current. Can we cross or not ??.

A local guy explains us we have to wait, Patrick decides to go to probe with foot, the guy precedes him, get out his shoes, go up the legs of his trousers and takes Patrick by the hand for the crossing. In fact there is not too much water except at two places and specially at the exit.

I cross first, without problem, Patrick follows. To tanks the guy we give him our picnic and take a picture.

Are there other fords further ?, Inch allah. It was the last. Arrived on the sealed road, we turn on the right hand, straight to the storm, we stop and put on our rain wear, good idea, in the following minutes, we are inside the storm, only 20 km to Tazenakht, but it seems a longtime.

Stop to a restaurant, anyway we have no picnic and it’s raining. Tajine, kefta , mint tea, it’s going better. We meet three French bikers who explain us that they arrive from Ouarzazate by the road and they cross a lot of oueds in spate. One of them is riding a 100 cc and is going to the Benin, brave guy. We have a look to the map and the track I planed for this afternoon begin in an oued, wisely we decide to take the road.

Arrived at the crossroads with the main road 9, we decide to give up Ouarzazate (we won’t see Ait Benhaddou and the track of Telouet. an argumpent to come back) and we go directly to Marrakech.
180 Km through the Tizi n’Tichka, a pass around 2200m high, inside the storm, it will be good. By place the road is covered with mud pulled by the storm, we stop in a gas station, no more electricity this means no pump (ah gasoline in jerry-can in Mhamid!!!). As we were going uphill and downhill, we have rain, wind, hail (to be honest three or four hails not more), mud, gravel, and so on. We saw also a car crashed on a truck, further a car without nose. Riding a bike in those conditions was very impressive, really.

A sealed road which worth a lot of track.

We pass the guys with the Cherokee, but right now we don’t really want a beer.
30 km before Marrakech, we stop for refueling, we call the Toulousain hotel ( where do you want I go ) we book a room and we go.
On this road in the dark, I was much more afraid that in the pass under the storm. There are everything on this main road, people, Mopeds, bicycles, carts, donkeys, goats, nobody has lighting, (our are not very efficient ) the cars are running very fast, it’s dangerous everywhere.

Finally we arrive. Hot shower. We take a beer in a bar, where every body seems to be drunk (no aggressiveness, they are laughing).

An other exciting day..

"Hé Patrick, on est moulu, hein !!!...."


Square Jemaa El Fna, here we are