Morocco 02 – Pape, Fabio and Nunzio in Morocco!

Our three friends are travelling through the African country. After a fascinating first night in the city of Marrakech, they picked up the Yamaha Ténéré they had reserved and then left. On Sunday night they reach Ouarzazate. On Monday, their next stop is Ouarzazate-Zagora, with a couple of mountain tracks along the way

Jemaa el-fna Square in Marrakech

The African adventure of our three friends, AlbertoPape, Fabio and Nunzio, began on Saturday, December 2nd, with the flight that brought them all the way from Bergamo (Italy) to Marrakech. Once they landed at 6pm local time, they found Jachib, the renter of their bikes, waiting for them. He then proceeded to take them to their hotel: he would come back the following morning to escort them to his shop, where they would collect their bikes.
Once they left their stuff in the room, the trio went to eat at Jemaa el-Fna square, a place in Marrakech which functions as the centre of the city. It’s basically an open-air circus: everywhere you look, there is an exhibition going on. Folk dances, snake charmers, drum players or just strange instruments played by the locals. And then dozens, perhaps hundreds of kiosks, offering any kind of food or drink you can imagine. All of this while fumes and smells invade the square.
After dinner, they had a walk in the Medina, and the three friends were then ready for bed.

On Sunday, December 3rd the first step is the bike collection. An hour and a half is spent just to take the three Yamaha Ténéré -Pape calls them the “Tenerelle” – lovey-dovey in Italian – which together had traveled for roughly 218 thousand miles. Jachib swears that the engine is okay, but, as Alberto writes, “as far as the chassis and suspensions concerned, well, they’re done”.
“We manage to come out of Marrakech – as we can read in the diary – only at 10:30 in the morning. We head towards the Atlas, the day is wonderful and the temperatures range between 8 and 18 degrees. We aim for the Tizi n-Test, and the road is just so convoluted and bumpy that it takes us four and a half hours to make 124 miles. We must also account for the stop where we gobbled-up two baguettes with some delicious Mantovano salami”.
During the first day on the roads, there is also room for a different kind of emotion. “Nunzio and I enjoyed a fabulous motorcycle stunt from Fabio. A true tightrope walker: he managed not to fall while in a corner with the bike sideways, just to avoid some moron who had the fantastic idea to invade our lane, facing the wrong direction”.
“We made the last 125 miles on a plateau at 4921- 5905 feet high, with seemingly endless straight roads about 12-19 miles long. At last we reached Ouarzazate, where we will stay overnight. An excellent 4-star hotel for 70 pounds overall, including dinner and breakfast. Tomorrow we’ll travel along a couple of mountain roads, then we’ll reach Zagora”.
See you tomorrow!

Previous chapter here
Morocco 01 – Alberto’s Mal d’Afrique, when saudade crosses the ocean

Next chapter here
Morocco 03 – The African way of life


Street food in Jemaa el-fna Square (Photo courtesy of Hector Garcia)


Riding in Morocco on bikes that saw better days


Never ending straight roads in this first day


African landscapes


Atlas mountain range in Morocco
Our friends boarding the plane in Bergamo (Italy)
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