2 May, 2022
Breakfast at the hotel commenced at 7:30am. I was the first to arrive having woken early again. Breakfast proved to be a more satisfactory dining experience. I had an omelette, made to order, followed by yogurt and fresh fruit. Accompanied by an espresso from the coffee machine of course. Breakfast was great and plates were clean!
We left the hotel around 8:30am. We managed to get some photos before our departure – another perfect Moroccan day. I was looking forward to the days ride and eager to hit the road.
Our first task of the day was to refuel. There was a petrol station not far from the hotel on the outskirts of Ouaouizeght. Only problem was there was no petrol!
After considering our options we decided to press on our scheduled route. The next petrol station was in Tagelft, close to 60km away. Being the first refuel of my T7, I wasn’t exactly sure of it’s range. But what choice did I have? Unsure if I could make it, the group set off and I crossed my fingers. By the time we reached Tagelft, the fuel gauge was showing empty. Made it, now where’s the gas station? We passed one on the way into town but it too was out of fuel.
We made it to Tagelft and parked outside the café scheduled for our first drinks break of the day. The café hadn’t opened – due to Ramadan. Our arrival saw us inundated by children. Fascinated by a bunch of white people riding motorcycles in strange clothes. Billy and Abdoul went in search of fuel options. Lucky for us they found a store close by selling fuel 4 litres at a time from a plastic bottle. Sounded a bit dodgy but better than nothing. We each took turns getting only 4 litres, hoping the fuel wasn’t contaminated.
Fingers crossed that will keep us going until we find a petrol station that actually has fuel.
We took the R306 all the way from the hotel to Tagelft. It was undulating and had plenty of tight corners and sweeping curves. The scenery, as I was beginning to get accustomed to, was spectacular. Still on the R306 we stopped to regroup about 30 minutes out of Tagelft near Tizi Tamelakt.
We continued along the R306 and stopped again to regroup 100m after joining the R317 near Naour. It had been almost an hour since our dodgy fuel stop in Tagelft. Refuelling at a petrol station would soon be a priority. Lucky there was a Green Oil around the next corner.
Every now and then Abdoul would drive off ahead of the motorcycles. So he could position himself to take some action photos of everyone riding. Here are some photos taken by Abdu shortly after refuelling at Green Oil.
A little further on we stopped on the side of the road beside a large rock for a group photo and to admire the views.
The R317 from Green Oil at Naour up the range, down to the big rock and further downhill to El Ksiba was sublime. The road surface was very good. There were many tight, blind corners combined with some “slower than us” cars. The combination made it both challenging and enjoyable. When we reached El Ksiba I was hoping Billy would let us turn around and go back so we could do it again. But lunch was calling so we pressed on. Abdoul got some more action photos of us coming down the hill.
It was almost 2pm when we stopped to regroup after Ijjiwine at the intersection of the P3229 and N8. It was under 5km from here to our luncheon venue.
Lunch was at Restaurant Najah in Zaouiat Cheikh. By mistake I referred to it as Khenifra in the Relive Video below. Again we were . Another traditional Moroccan was fine by me. Instead of Cous Cous and Tagine, Abdoul ordered Lamb Chops and Meatballs. Of course there was bread and Moroccan Salad. Cooked over a traditional charcoal BBQ, the meatballs were delicious. I’m told the lamb chops were also very tasty.
We continued on the N8 headed for Khenifra and encountered roadworks. It was a hard packed gravel surface for 10km between Ben Khlil and El Assa. This would prove to be the worst of the roads we’d encounter on this trip – and they weren’t that bad. Abdoul took some more action photos.
Staying on the N8 we made our way to Khenifra. I referred to Khenifra by mistake as M’Rirt in the Relive Video below. We stopped for a well earned drink at Café Opera. From Khenifra it was only 80km up the Mid Atlas to our hotel for the evening in Azrou.
Our last regroup of the day was outside Quad Ifrane, referred to a Tisshilat in error in the Relive Video below. It was now only 40km to our hotel for the evening, Le Palais des Cresiers in Azrou.
Once everyone had caught up we commenced the final leg of todays ride. We passed through Azrou and refuelled, arriving at Le Palais des Cerisiers around 5:20pm. The hotel is at almost 1,500m altitude so it was quite cool as we gathered our roll bags and room keys from Abdoul. Time for a hot shower, slip into something more comfortable than my motorcycle kit and find the bar. I was looking forward to a couple of beers or wines before dinner.
Before I could make it to my room, it shattered me to learn the hotel had recently lost its liquor license. There were no beers on ice or wines for us this evening at Le Palais des Cerisiers.
Again Billy & Abdoul would come to our rescue. For over an hour they scoured Azrou for a liquor shop with no success. They ended up finding someone dodgy who said they might be able to help. As we were sitting down for dinner in the hotel restaurant he arrived. Armed with cold beers and three bottles of Moroccan red wine. Our evening in Azrou would be complete after all.
Three cheers for Billy and Abdoul!