BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ouarzazate. The Sahara comes to us.

Saturday 23/2/13

I woke this morning at three am to a howling gale, with things bashing and crashing outside.I eventually got a couple of hours sleep at six am. I woke up really tired, and it was still blowing outside. It's no fun riding when the weather is like this, then I looked outside.

Dust storm Ouarzazate style.

It was like this for most of the day.

I checked the web and the result told me were spending another day here. gave the forecast of "Very windy" with winds from the WNW at 44 kp/h, gusting to 66 kp/h. Blah!

We had breakfast on the roof again, but this time inside a little dining room. We met a young French guy who is finishing his final geology project before qualifying as a geologist, and a Norwegian gent who was travelling with his daughter. Between the five of us we had a good conversation over a nice, relaxed breakfast.

We decided to go for a little ride around town and see if there was anything we hadn't discovered yet. When we got down stairs the bike was covered in fine red Sahara dust. In these conditions it becomes very obvious why the people here wear Sand People outfits (Djellaba) and Tuareg head wear. When this wind picks up, and there's sand everywhere, you need some protection from it.

Great digs, and a prime parking spot.
Azoul Hotel is a little gem.

Our ride was a real struggle in the wind, even with the protection of the buildings on the side of the road. I hate to think what it would have been like out on the open road at speed, or up in the mountains.

Ouarzazate is quite small, but interesting.

We raided the supermarket on the way back to the hotel and stocked up on some delicacies for dinner in our room later on.

We want to make an early start tomorrow, but we're not too sure which way we'll go. The fastest way to Tangier is back up through Marrakesh and Casablanca, but I'm not keen on backtracking, I'd rather see somewhere new. Although the pass was really good, so I wouldn't mind that part too much. We might head north through Beni Mellal, about three hours away. We'll see how we feel in the morning. The forecast looks good with winds around four kph, gusting to eight.

One thing I know is we have to get out of the main cities again - little towns and villages are so much better.

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