Some people travel for dream
Some people travel for public welfare
Some people travel for seeing the world
But me, in fact, there is no purpose
Maybe I just want to tell the story of this world
About lonely, every stars in the sky has heard her secret; About fear, she never remembers what happened yesterday; but about love, she has a thousand of stories to tell.
The door of Africa – Morocco, Western Sahara
“In Morocco, we never leave the guests outside, which is our culture”
“You are our guest since you are here !”
“Can you stay for a few more days, we want to make you our Tagine and Couscous”
These are just the most frequently words I heard in Morocco, or even simple like “come and stay!” “Eat more!” “We like Chinese!”
This is the country Morocco,where the police protect you for 24 hours; the villagers invite you to eat whenever they see you ; numerous drivers wave to you, give you thumbs up or provide you water and food when cycling on the road. Even in Sahara, I never felt I was alone, the most primitive desert, but with the purest heart.
A smile can turn strangers to friends
Arabic, Moroccan dialect, French, the local languages that you can not speak at all is never be a communication obstacle.
Here is the back garden of Africa
Here is the God’s palette
It has the world’s most diverse colors
White Casablanca, red Marrakech, golden Sahara
Half of ocean, half of desert.
“The first night of Sahara I camped in the silence of the desert, time seems to be still, only the sound of the wind and your dialogue with the stars, the feeling was so good at that moment.
But suddenly a burst of bark breaked the silence, no, not one, nor is it an ordinary dog, but a group of police dogs!
They were triumphantly shouting to have found my trail, then about six gendemerie showed up,
‘Madam, you can not sleep here alone,it is dangerous ! Madam, go with us ,we take you to safe place.’
And that was just a start, the whole area of the police are aware of your presence, every afternoon, there will always be a police car parked in front of you
‘Madam,where are you going to camp tonight?’ How far are you going to ride ?’
‘I don’t know’
In the desert, everywhere is the same, everything is unknown.
‘There is a restaurant just 80 kms away where you can camp tonight’
‘Give me your number, I’ll call you tonight,let me know your location then.’
There is only one way to the desert, and if they do not see your tent
by the cafe, they will search for you the whole night in the desert. ”
I wrote this story on Ins, a girl who is hiking in Morocco sent me a message ,she said it is pretty overwhelming to be found by the police every night when she tries to camp under the stars,they don’t see any purpose of recreation in the great outdoors.
She said that the police are very friendly, but they also very annoying, because of the so called “insecurity” place so that she had no way to enjoy the fun of wild.
Until a few days ago, I told her the story that I was almost rapped, I said, we don’t know what dangerous is until it comes.
A few days ago, when I was looking for a cool place for lunch in the desert,a man who claimed himself a military invited me to have a drink at his house and showed me a guestbook from the travelers all over who thank his great hospitality for hosting them.
He said there were still 100kms to the next city and there was nothing between so he suggested me to stay at his house for the night , he kept saying that for almost 4 -5 times but I still insisted leaving , I trusted him but I just simply wanted to bike.
When I I was trying to take my bike out, he locked the door all of the sudden, then he walked to me and hugged me.I didn’t expect that he would do that to me,I know I was in danger but I tried to calm myself down.
‘Can I have some water first please?’
I knew that he was trying to take me into the room but I still pretended I didn’t notice that.
While he refilling my water bottle, my heart was going to pop out, I could even breathe my nervousness. God,Jesus,what shall I do?!! I was trying to find a chance to escape but he locked the door and blocked the way.
After he refilled the first water bottle I still didn’t think of a way to escape.
‘Can you help me to refill one more please?’
He took the bottle but apparently he was losing the patience, before he got out of control I ran to the door and tried to unlock it ,he grabbed one of my hand and tried to push me into the room, my another hand was holding the knob tightly, that was my last way to escape, after fought for a few minutes, I finally escaped!
I ran to the road and he followed me, he ran away after I took the picture for him.
I called the police immediately, 1 hour later, they caught him.
After that, the police protected me for 24 hours, the police car followed behind me while I was riding on the road.
I had a natural fear for the police, when I was young, the grown ups often tell us ‘if you are not behave ,the police will catch you up’,that was a silly to educate us, but it made to feel that police is a scary thing.
In Morocco, you can deeply understand the duty of police”serve for people’. Many times when they see me, the first thing they asked was
“Are you thirsty? Hungry? Need water? Need food?”
So they escorted me to the border of Mauritania, and I knew that maybe it wont be the same in the next country, but the word ‘police’ became warm because of them.
The most warm hearted people
When I was writing this post in Chinese in Morocco ,the owner of the hostel knocked my door and handed me a few pieces of candy and told me that he ordered a good dinner for me at the coffee shop.
Because it is not far from the police station, so they escorted me there and booked a room at a very cheap price,the owner of the hostel didn’t talk too much with me but since he saw I ate only bread for dinner so he bought me a big plate of chicken rice .
They are just businessmen,but they let you know the world is not just about money and desire.
One night, I was not able to find the place to camp by the cafe, so moved to the back of the coffee shop in the desert where a bunch of dogs lives , a chef saw me and took me to the front of coffee shop, he told me that there is an empty room with a bathroom, I can live free inside, I said I still like the outdoor windy place, so they took me to the roof, with a large open balcony which I can see the night of the desert, at that night, I slept so peacefully.
“Can you stay for another day? We want to do a Tagine for you”
One night I met a father when I was looking for a campsite in the city. It was really hard to find a camping place in the city, and that night I was looking for a quiet place for cooking,after I looked for hours I met him
“Bonjour, tu as besoin d’aide?” (Hello, do you need help?)
He saw me looking around and asked me.
After knowing that I was looking for a campsite, he immediately called his wife and told me, go to my house!
They seemed to be more excited than I am ,they prepared the shower, brew tea, dinner, and showed me their pictures , it seemed they are telling an old friend about their recents. The next day when I was ready to leave, they said’ can you stay for another day? We want to make a Tagine for you !’Tagine is Morocco’s most famous local food, in fact, they have already prepared for me a sumptuous dinner, but that was still not enough for them, they want me to taste the best things they can offer.
There are so many stories like this,whether it is in the city or the barren dessert.They are passing the same message of LOVE
The fastest established friendship
Larbi,who I never met ,but making the best route plans for me in Morocco
Aziz,Ahamed,Quofik, the three cyclists who never had a normal language communication with me but treated me like their little sisters.
Othmane,the Moroccon boy who is travelling around Africa,let his friends from each city I passed hosting me ,he said ‘ I am a traveler myself, that’s how people do to me ‘
Because of him, I knew Zak, like Superhero, drove hundreds of kilometers to help when I was in trouble, and he said, “Just call me at anytime you want ‘
Because of him, I knew Sohayboo, Abdo,the twin brothers who have a big heart ‘ We are a family, your thing is our thing.’
We travelers are never exist alone, we are the world’s adhesives, we feel love and pass love.
The question you want to ask
Q: Your favorite city?
My favorite town is Chefchaowen.
This city is where God knocked over the paint, surrounded by a variety of blue romance.
25 km from the city of Dakhla which is the paradise of surfers,living in the cave above the sea,walking along the beach in the morning,when the tides come in, you go fishing in front of your house( the cave),make Tagine for lunch,walk to the island;when the tide go out, you dug the shellfish,watch the sunset,sitting on the rock looking at the stars at night.
Q:Whats your route? Which way do you suggest?
Morocco has coast, alpine and desert. The diversity of terrain is its charm. This is my route.
But my favorite and also the highest elevation of the road is from
Marrakech – Ouirgane – Tizi N ‘Test – Taroudant to agadir
From Marrakech to Agadir there are several different road options, but this road is the most beautiful one, many foreign riders came to Morocco will certainly choose this route to ride.
Q: What is the price of Morocco? How much do you budget for a day? What do you eat ?
The price here is actually much lower than in Europe, the budget of 3 euros a day is enough.
The local main food is bread, a big bread cost only 1 dirham ,like 0.1 euro.
Their breakfast are Moroccan tea (mint tea), cheese, plant oil. Cheese is about 3 euros with 24 small pieces, and it doesn’t need to keep in the refrigerator,it could also be kept in the hot sun for a long time
Coastal cities are popular for fried or barbecued fish, you can buy a big plate of fish with 10drm accompanied with bread and sauce. half of the chicken is about 25 drh with salad and bread. The most famous local food is Tagine, raw materials are meat, potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Coupled with oil with a small fire stew on more than 1 hour, sprinkle a variety of spices, dipped in bread, is absolutely must taste.
Tagine 25-50 dirhams.
A fish, including fries, all kinds of dips and bread, 20-25 dirhams.
Couscous is my favorite food, but rarely sell in the restaurant because the time for cooking is about 3-4 hours.
Moroccan people do not have a fixed time to eat, they eat whenever they feel hungry.
In Europe and the America, I didn’t cook too much on the road,, because I can buy food everywhere, so sometimes prefer to make a simple sandwich. but in Morocco, especially the Sahara, almost every camping night I will cook , I take the dates and fruits as the energy supplies during the day. I cook vegetables ➕ noodles, or bread at night.
At the beginning of the ride, I was very concerned about the weight of the baggage, so I threw away a lot of things to lighten my burden.As the riding time gets longer and longer, I gradually realized that this is not only travel, it has already became my Life, eating, sleeping, riding, I want to make it more comfortable, my luggage gets heavier and heavier, but who cares? This is life.
Q: What app do you use to navigate? How is the road?What is the most terrible thing on the road?
In Morocco, you do not need to navigate! The road between the city and is very simple, most of which is a straight road, and there are signs. Google Maps can not be used here, my most commonly used navigation app is Komoot. The road is all paved but the traffic is scary! They drive pretty fast and usually don’t leave too much space for biker.
Q: What is your next route?
The next country, Mauritania, continues for more than 1,000 kilometers of the Sahara Desert. Then I will ride all the way to South Africa, and then north to Egypt.