Wherever you go ~ there you are
Right, so we’ve gone so far and we’ve so far to go. (Truly an Irish turn of phrase if ever there was one!) But seriously, it’s a time to reflect on the joureny so far and what lies ahead. Lately the roads, the terrain, the scenery and the amenities have changed and a new pattern develops. No longer are there easy convenient stopping places – whether for food, fuel or a bed/camp for the night. I find myself projecting in my head the next few days of travel and comparing them to the last few.
We’ve finished coming down the mountains (cue banjo music). After the extremes of going up one side of the High Atlas mountains, the downward leg was a much more gentle affair – much less extremes of descent and much straighter roads. Relatively speaking at least – there was still much twists and turns and so, enjoyable Bike roads.
But now, we are well and truly on the flat and on the long, long dead straight roads. As for the land, it’s now a more light brown, arid and with much less plant life. Even the wild camels have more sense than to venture here. The rain when it comes is fierce and always preceeded by an almost electric atmosphere and a tang, a scent that I’ve never smelled before – slightly burnt and spicy. The link between smell and memory – if i ever smell that aroma again, i know for sure i will be instantly back on that road.
Taking photos that might capture even a small amount of the full sense of this is hard. Just taking photos is hard as we dont take/get/demand the time to do so. Dennis and the constant drive to… drive! Yeah, yeah – i know, we have to keep up a pace and moving or we’ll be here forever. BUT, FFS! we could afford ten minutes, morning and afternoon in our stops the time it takes to go ‘click’ a few times!
Best time to take a pic is the worst time too; when we’re stopped at checkpoints. Do Not Even Try It! There is not one single uniformed person in the entirety of the African continent that is keen on getting their picture taken. No idea why – just dont do it. The least you get is a stern talking to, the most could be your camera taken off you at least, if not a more ‘intense’ inspection of your Bike and your paperwork. You would certainly be delayed to put it mildly.
Time to move on i think.