I nearly forgot ~ Tan Tan, the town
Worth a mention if only because it was a nice town. Not big, nor fancy, but friendly people and just a nice ‘vibe’ off the place. The hotel was a welcome retreat from the sun, with good rooms of a high (relatively) standard. We parked the Bikes in a big shed out the back, which was handy as for the first time on the trip some serious mechanicking was required.
Above – the view from our last campsite.. The phosphate plant! (click on this – or any photo for a closer look)
Dennis and his Bike. This was the source of some niggling annoyance over a few days. It seemed that Dennis was deliberately going slower now as the roads and terrain were straighter and shall we say “less appealing” to some of us. Some of us that wanted to “make progress” over this type of road. First off – i must say i liked these roads. i normally detest with a passion straight roads. On these i was really enjoying the meditation time and the journey i was having inside my own head! But i can well understand the feeling of lets-get-out-of-here that some of us had. The thinking was that Dennis, that had thus far led all the way had for some unknown reason pointedly slowed down now just as it seemed time to get a move on and more to the point – we finally could; long straights and no hold ups that would drag the Gappers average speed down. If we could gain a little road speed, we could use that time – spend it taking pics during the day or at days end -making a more relaxed camp.
Some time around this point in the journey – either individually or collectively people were overtaking Dennis and going for a blast ahead of him. Never very far / but at times maybe a mile ahead – out of sight. This upset him. To the point that further on in the trip he made a point of becoming ‘tail end charlie’ and when it came to checkpoints and borders he would let the rest of us get to the checkpoint way before him and would not lead us into them. Quite the opposite of what he was doing up until then. That is, leading and doing the talking, showing the documents and explaining our reason for the trip…. I’ve sat here for some time trying to put into words my feelings on his behaviour and write it in words that are not simply abusive.
O.K. the best i can do is; childish Dennis, petulant and self defeating.
The frustration was plainly visible among us and it got to the point that i asked Dennis why the slow pace? His reply was along the lines of “what slow pace? / Why the hurry anyway? and That’s as fast as it goes!” To put an end to this once and for all – i took his Bike and he took mine – me thinking “I’ll show HIM some pace!!!”
Oh no i wouldn’t……
He was right. That damned Bike would NOT go any faster than 35mph, if you were lucky. on a flat straight.
Oh. right. … it was NOT him, being a b*ll*x deliberately. If i could blush in text – this is when i’d do it.
So, that Bike needed a severe talking to – which it got in Tan Tan.
The Bike got a top end rebuild. Either it would solve it or it wouldn’t – we would find out on the road the next day.
Moving on – we saw signs on the approach to the town for “Tan Tan Plage”. I’m intrigued – it appears to be a beach resort and the idea at the time of draping myself on a towel while sipping a long cool drink and listening to the waves lap the shore seemed very appealing.
While in Tan Tan, i took the opportunity to make what i figured would be the last phone call home as we were getting very near the limit of ‘civilisation’. To cut a long story short – the public phone ate my call cards. If not for a very kind policeman with perfect English i would have been fuming. He assisted, we swopped eMail addresses and i sincerely wish him well. Typical of most Moroccan people I met – proud of his country, very civilised, helpful and just happy that foreigners were curious enough to want to visit his homeland.