19.09.2015 No Man’s Land

Go. Go go go. To go, to roll, to overcome. Inside me toss a lot of thoughts that encourages to continue the path. I had stayed too long in one place, in Agadir. Here there was a great company, but I encounter already familiar itchy feeling seconded my thoughts. It’s time to go.

After long gatherings I finally saddled my feathered gooz and said goodbye to everyone. Under the wheels there was asphalt again, giving me a sense of freedom.




I’ve been waited by Tan-Tan, the next town on the road, where I heading for friends of friends to have shelter for the night. The surrounding area is slowly becoming more like the desert. Conventional border of Western Sahara is approaching. At the entrance to the Tan-Tan I was stopped at a police post. For the first time of my journey. I didn’t knew yet that this post will start a series of stops at each subsequent posts, and not for reasons of curiosity, but for safety reasons. Friendly police representatives asked about the purpose of my visit and the intended place for overnight. Upon learning whom I was going to visit they asked the phone number of the Omar, the guy to whom I was traveling. While one of the policemen calls him on the phone, the other one said that for him is a great honor to invite me to his house. Local people sometimes completely incomprehensible. However, the link was established, and I was told where to go to the meeting point. I met Omar and had wonderful evening in Tan-Tan. Then there was the perfect way to Dakhla, accompanied by unrealistic views. Here, for example, I found in one place the road and the river, and sand, and the ocean:


I would really like to call Dakhla the next point, but again I did not sleep well at night. Dreams do not cease to haunt me. So, I woke up late enough, and decided that a reasonable idea is to stay in El Ayoun. The name of this city – a very strange thing. It officially wrote as El Ayoun, but the signs and the locals insist on calling it “Laayoune”. In this city I had no contacts of friends of friends, but it was good for me. Despite the hospitality and kindness of all those who I have visited as a guest – I began to realize that I slightly tired of the constant communication and that I want to be alone. Thanks to those who support me with finances – I had such an opportunity. I found the cheapest hotel in the outskirts of the city, something like 8 euros per night. Contrary to expectations it was quite decent, freshly built, and with a very friendly staff. I did not need more. I took a stockpiled bottle of local brandy and spent the rest of the day completely disconnected my consciousness, immersed in the sweet slumber of nothingness. In the morning I went to Dakhla, where contrary to plan, I spent two days – because of the peculiarities of the local banking system. Change euros for dirhams – you are welcome. But in reverse order, dirhams to the euro – there is no way. Not that you can not … They just do not have them, those euros. I walked around the whole city on my feet, visiting about 20 bank branches, plucking somewhere for 5, somewhere for 10 euros, somehere for nothing. Seemingly simple operation is scheduled for the morning, before leaving, it turned into some intractable problem. Truly, you never know with some tricks you might encounter. But most importantly started then… I went out from Dakhla.


By the evening I arrived in Barbas. The small village, the last hotel before the border with Mauritania. Mauritania, a country of which the Internet persistently warned by consulates of other countries: “Danger! Visit only if absolutely necessary!”. Hotel Barbas, inexpensive and very popular with travelers, which was very significant to me – because in my journey the most important is to meet people. I decided not to miss this hotel. And that was good idea. While still at the reception, I spotted a looking bored man, European in appearance. Christian was his name. Man of thirty-three years old, overgrown, cheerful. Charismatic, hardened German pirate. «One Man Mafia», as he called himself.


Christian worked up by buying in Greece intercity passenger buses of particular model (the good old Mercedes-Benz) and sell them in Mali. Greece-Mali, 3.5 years of life on the road, which was known to him by heart. This kind of business is very popular here in Africa, where strong demand for older vehicles built for the ages (and others simply do not survive) is very high. Our conversation over a cup of coffee slowly moved into his bus where there were some cans of beer of icy temperature. We chatted about everything, slowly getting drunk like old friends who had not seen each other for many years. We are connected by the Road. The dusty, black and white desert road under the scorching sun.

Christian managed to forget his passport in Tangier at the “transitier”, the man in charge of customs clearance formalities between Europe and Africa. He was very upset about this, as on the horizon comes “Tabaski” islamic religious festival, which lasts for five days. In this holiday nobody works including the bank structures. If he does not have time to solve all the cases with the current bus to the moment of Tobaski – a lot of people who are tied to a chain of bus business left without money. Transitier in Tangier sent a passport with a fair drivers on another lorry. Lorry – a very funny name. They called like this all of the working vehicles larger than passenger cars. Minibus, truck, tractor – it is all Lorry. Drivers, two Senegalese guys was so slowly that it could be assumed that it is not Lorry pushing them but they are pushing it. For three days they could barely get close to El Ayoun. After a little thoughts I agreed with the idea of ​​Christian to throw my luggage into his bus and on the next day to go to meet them on my motorcycle. Thus it was possible to gain at least one day, despite the fact that we have to go back on the road. Because the border with Mauritania closes at six o’clock in the evening, and if you do not catch up to the moment – you have to wait for the next day. Christian gladly accepted my offer, and the next morning we went in the opposite direction, towards Dakhla, then to El Ayoun. We had enough time we thought, Senegalese drivers still go towards us.

The adventure began. The road ran along the coast of the ocean, again painting a landscape wildly to me – a huge amount of water, encountered by the desert.


No life here. The lack of greenery just emphasized by sparse bushes of pale green color. We stopped in several places, sliding down the road to the ocean, looking at the place where the in the future times Christian could theoretically drive through the sand on a bus. One of these stops gave us the abandoned village. Snow-white as if just thrown. The water in the tank at the mosque has not yet evaporated. After, I learned that such villages were built by the government to local wild tribes but they did not want to stay in them rejecting the civilization … The silence and engendered unrealistic feelings. As if I was in a movie after a zombie apocalypse.


The stop again, the long drift on the sand to the overhanging cliffs – and we have not gone unrewarded. Amazing colors that nature gives, I think, could only be found here. Blue-green ocean meets the white sand harboring overhanging rocks. I was ready to sit here forever. The sound of waves woven into color perception like the perfect soundtrack. We stayed there for a very long time just enjoying another great creations of nature.




Kilometers passing by as we slowly drove to Al Ayoun. Our Senegalese counter drivers moving so slowly that the idea to reach Al Ayoun became to not so extravagant. Near the Boujdor we stopped for coffee under the cover of darkness in one of the roadside cafes. Assuming that drivers are just about we were relaxed. After a few cups of coffee a Mercedes-Benz minivan stopped near the cafe with the trunk full of all sorts of supplies. Senegalese guys handed passport to Christian and said goodbye to us moving further. Surprisingly they drove away quite quickly which made it possible to assume that they are not pushed all the way to the bus. The reason for their leisurely progress on Morocco remains a mystery to me.

After their departure we decided to move back to Barbas but fate decreed otherwise. I wanted to move the bike to more comfortable place where we could observe it from a cafe in the coming twilight but could not move it. The reason was the flat rear tire. The compressor and tire repair kit, together with other my things were at Christian’s bus. Cursing, I lit a flashlight to inspect the wheel for damage. What I saw made me not just swear. It forced me to shut up and to approach the Christian and to say «now we are totally fucked up». There was no puncture at the wheel. The tire was destroyed.


One chance in a billion, probably – everything leads to conclusion that between the tire and the part of the swing arm was a stone that cut off half the side of the tire deeper than the cord. Here we go. It was impossible to do anything. All we have left is to hope for help from the road.

We spent the night near the cafe which was shut down before midnight. Christian tried to sleep on the hard ground, but for me it was not possible. I tried to generate positives and be optimistic exactly to the moment I discovered that the tire is destroyed. All the plans and budget for the trip is now lost all meaning. The new tire costs about 200 euros and there was only a small chance to get it in Nouakchott, capital of Mauritania. But most likely only in Dakar, capital of Senegal. I was smashed by heavy headache, probably subconscious reaction to events, so I spent the whole night staring at the stars unable to sleep. The morning did not bring anything new except that we was visited by the camel.


Handsome, tall, slightly menacing, he was grazing nearby, staring at us comically turning his head. Dawn was beautiful as ever, and both of these events a little brightened my existence. In the end, I told myself, when you met the dawn in the Sahara?


Poor Christian slept wrapped in Emeregency blanket which I found in my topcase.


Somewhere in the middle of the day we were finally able to find transportation. Minibus Mercedes-Benz. French license plates. Driven by the Frenchman who converted to Islam, changed his name to Suleiman, but speaks English (a rarity!), and for the last 20 years living in Senegal. And goes to Bissau through Senegal to sell minibus. Isn’t it a good luck ?! We somehow pushed the motorcycle between the sofa and other little things in the trunk and hit the road again to the border with Mauritania …


Back in Barbas we met Senegalese drivers again. “Africa is teaching you to wait”, Christian told me and looking at these drivers I realized that this word of truth assimilated them by 100 percent. Despite our night spent in the middle of nowhere and half day of waiting they arrived only a few hours before us. Christian said that he was struck by the double irony – at first he thought that the Senegalese drivers arrive at the border before him, and then realized the opposite because we arrived a little later then them, and the border was anyway closed for a night time.

After long discussions and plans making, we decided that trying to shove a motorcycle into a Christian’s bus was a bad idea, because even if Christian wanted to show me the Bamako, capital of Mali I had to spend the day in Nouakchott (capital of Mauritania) to obtain Malian Visa. And Christian didn’t have time. Tobaski approaching rapidly. Therefore we split – Christian pulled to the frontier on his bus and I was left with Suleiman slowly riding on his minibus with my bike inside.

The border of Mauritania and the Western Sahara. A special kind of hell. Suleiman called it “10 euro here, 10 euro there…” Several mud houses under the scorching sun. Soldiers in olive uniform with face hided. No pointers. No signs. It will be difficult to cross the border for a man who first came here. If at all possible. Officials sit inside houses to escape the heat. And the only way to see them – use the services of “helpers”, people who will do the formalities for money. Visa is in one place. Luggage examination in the other. Formalities with the vehicle – in another. I was grateful for the coincidence, which cost me the rear tire. Suleiman knew all the necessary things on the border, and the only blow for me was the fact that the price of visas increased from EUR 50 to 120. Yes, to 120. And I’ll explain why is that later. Passage of the border took seven hours.


13.09.2015 Agadir, Morocco


The next link of my journey was to Agadir. Big city with the tourist area, very popular, though not as well known as the Casablanca. And the city which is picked up the relay baton of Marrakesh in an effort to surprise me.

While still in Marrakech I got CouchSurfing invitation for a couple of nights buy a guy named Zakaria, or just Zak. Having agreed to meet him at a certain point of Agadir I moved out of Marrakech, as always, quite late. But I did not regret it for a second – closer to the end of the trip I was blessed with a beautiful sunset in the middle of the mountains of red.

When I arrived in Agadir it was already dark. I gradually progressed to the point of the meeting. Overtook the bus on an adjacent lane when suddenly it began to honking and blinking lights, obviously wanting to get my attention. At first I had thought that I had something fell from the motorcycle, but everything was in place. Then I slowed down and the bus caught up with me. The driver smiling leaned out the window and shouted: “You know Abdellatif from Berrechid?”. Confused about question I answered him in Russian:
– “Da”!
– “Well, I’m his brother.”

What a meeting! We stopped at the edge of the road and exchanged joyful greetings. Since Zak awaited me there was not too much time to talk, but we agreed to meet later in the next day. I drove on, inspired by an event. Well, Agadir greets me warmly. Soon I was on the point of the meeting, where I met with Zak and we got to his house. It was late so we made a little chat and fell asleep.

The next day, Zak invited me to get out of Agadir. We purchased alcohol and provisions and went into the house with a view of the ocean not far from Agadir. It was definitely a wonderful evening. We were visited by Zak’s friends, morrocan guy Said and russian-german girl Rimma. Rimma was able to talk in Russian (and switch back to russian was not always easy, hehe), and Said told a lot about the Berber culture, language and music. I got in a perfect mood. These moment are definitely worth of living.

About Zak I can say a lot. This wonderful man was the first of my friends in Agadir and we spent a lot of great moments with him and his friends. Getting into a bar, going onto the beach, partying in the guest house… One of the things that I will not forget – the headlights of his car showing twisted gray tongue of asphalt in the black night; cool air rushes through the open windows; and Pink Floyd at full volume. That precious moments of life. Zak also was my “lucky star” – with a strange coincidence every time he was around the good news began to arrive. Everytime. At first I did not attach any importance to this but then it became too obvious. Well, when he stayed near and the ATM spit out 200 dirhams instead of the requested 100 (and sms from the bank I got shows that withdrew one hundred) – I believed completely. Probably I should to go to the casino with him one day.

The following days, almost a week, I spent in the Yassin’s family house and met all his brothers and friends. Yassin, Abderrahman, Amin, Mustafa, Brahim, Rashid. Each of them was very kind and careful in everything, and I felt myself like at home. We walked with friends, riding on “tobis” (as they call buses), visited the markets, went to the beach, drank a huge amount of tea (“atey”, as it is called here), and I learn a little bit of Arabic and Berber words. Seniors of family could not communicate with me because of the lack of a common language of communication for me and them, but nevertheless I have always been accepted as a member of the family. Here, I soaked the local life like nowhere else Morocco.

At one point the guys from the Positive asked me to write a report about my adventures in Southern Europe. I sat down at the laptop, started to press the buttons … and suddenly lost my peace within. I was angry, I was damn angry, all was seething inside me and for a long time I could not understand the reasons for this state. I called one of the friends, Abderrahman, for a walk. We went out in the evening twilight and I tried to find the reasons for the huge waves of almost rage that overwhelmed me. In the end I was able to find an explanation. After two weeks in Morocco, I was able to see a completely different life, a different culture, but most importantly – absolutely different people. And Europe lost comparing them with a crushing score. Indifferent, empty, living in their own little world, closed – that’s how I now saw the majority of the people I met on the way in Europe. People living happily, but concerned only about not to loose their well-being, not noticing the life that comes around. I have no right to blame them (although I had already done so), but one thing I do know – that something is wrong with the world. Something is wrong with us.

I was not able to find peace inside that night, but after walking I felt myself little relieved. Help came unexpectedly – Amin, one of the friends, offered to get somewhere away from Agadir, on a wild beach, and have a camp there. It was exactly what I need. In the local alco-shop we bought bottle of Russian vodka, bought provisions and rolled out in the afternoon. After a few hours of the road we found a great place close to Ait Tamer. Wild beach, the minimum number of people, the ocean – a worthy place to stay.


We pitched a tent, made dinner, Moroccan tea, and in the end uncorked vodka. Amin did not refuse to drink, but in his words – the last three times when he tried to drink vodka were terrible. I taught him how to drink the right way, russian way. We chatted about everything, warmed our feet near open fire and laughed. After some time Amin went to sleep in a tent, and I finished off the remnants of bottle, sang a few songs, and being drunken finally felt peace in my soul. The next morning, a picture inside my mind reflects the outside one – clear skies, bright sun and lazy waves. I was at peace. We returned back to Agadir without incidents. At the end of the day there was a more good news – Zak invited me to stay at one of his family houses (he and his family lived in the other). It was very handy, as despite the absence of any problems in the Yassin’s home I did not want to somehow disturb these fine people with my too long presence.

My long staying in Agadir explained simply – Mauritania visa costs 50 euros, and I was waiting for money from my rented out apartment. It’s quite a bit of resources (especially given our exchange rate from roubles), but for a short time that should suffice. But the most important thing is not in that. One day in Agadir I wrote a post about my adventures on the way to Marrakech and people from the Internet caught it. What happened!!! The small and large sums of money began to come. As a result nearly $300! WOOOHOOOO!!! My friends, those who participated in this, who helps the people who helped with the dissemination of information – thank you very much. There are no words to express my gratitude to you. I felt that I was not alone in this world. I felt that no matter what – again I can continue to tell the story. I was strongly elated! And despite the slight poisoning (probably swallowed ocean water on an empty stomach), which made me lain for two days in a fever – I was happy. Now I can go on! And I plan to do this tomorrow. Stay in touch! There is a one and a half thousand kilometers till Mauritania ahead.

P.S. On May 1st of this year, the Government of Senegal in order to attract tourists abolished visa fees, as well as online registration for it. What gives me the chance to get a visa at the border! Great news!

P.P.S. Uwe, I finished reading the book. Thank you for it. And for help. You’re the one of the guiding stars of my journey.

02.09.2015 Marrakesh, Morocco


… I was sitting in the shade of a tree beside the road, watching vehicles passing by. The motorcycle was parked on the roadside. Not far from it, backed by stone, there was canister with four words written on it: «no money need gas». I was calm and at peace. I knew that everithing would be well and remembered the past days.

I left Berrechid on my way to Merzouga very late and met the evening in the middle continuing road repairs 100 kilometers away from Berrechid. Reserve warning bulb lit up more than 50 kilometers back and I was expecting stop of the engine at any moment, looking for a place to spend the night. Because of road repairs it was not so simple, so once roadworks over – I stopped on the sideline. Thick dusk heralded the coming of night and I did not try to find a better place. I smoke the day’s last cigarette, took a sleeping bag and lay down next to the motorcycle. Sleep did not come for a long time and I tossed and turned trying to get comfortable. It took 10 minutes from the moment when I finally fell asleep when it’s started to rain. Cursing the weather, I took out the covering part of the tent and pulled it from the bike to the ground thereby covering myself. And once again I tried to sleep. Half an hour later the rain turned into a storm. Coverage swelled like a sail in the wind and the rain came down almost horizontally. Drenched, sleepy, in a very bad mood I took the rest stuff and put the whole tent. The mood was very nasty. Alone, on the side of a mountain road, with no money, food, cigarettes, gasoline, I felt lost and abandoned. Wrapped in a sleeping bag I fell into a weak sensitive sleep under the roar of thunder and the sound of drumming drops on the tent.

Morning brought a warm breeze and bright sun. During packing the tent I thought about what to do next. The options were not very much, or rather even one: without gasoline I’m still not going anywhere, so I could only wait for something. I unhooked gasoline can and put it on the roadside in front of me. The road was poorly inhabited. Every 20-30 minutes a car is passing, I waved the canister, but the drivers somehow did not pay attention to it. They happily honked and waved as a greeting but flying by. I spent half a day, constructing a pyramids of stones, throwing smaller stones in the pyramids, considering the surroundings, changing place in the shadow of the sun as it moves across the sky. When the sun was at its zenith one of the passing cars stopped. Fortunately for me inside were two young guys tolerably understanding English. After listening to my story, they took the canister and drove to the nearest gas station. When their car disappeared around the corner, my first thought was, “I have to say goodbye to the canister.” I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Morocco, and would not be surprised if the guys did not come back. Later I will know that all these stories are not worth a damn.

The guys came back after 20 minutes. They brought me a can of gasoline and even cigarettes. My joy knew no bounds. I heartily thanked them and handed a pair of visitcards with the directions how to find me on the Facebook. Refueled the bike I went further in the direction of Merzouga. However, after about ten kilometers I stopped. The road was getting worse and worse, but the worst thing – it became deserted. I have not met a single car for the time of movement. Five liters of gas in fuel tank is clearly not enough to Merzouga and the perspective of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere made me think about it. Well, apparently not this time, Merzouga. Fate wants it other way. I turned in the opposite direction taking the new destination of Marrakech. Navigator promised a busy road and a lot of towns on the way and it encourages me.

After passing a mere 70 kilometers I stopped again. Gasoline left in the tank to a maximum of 10 kilometers. I did a smoke break and took out a notebook and pen. I painted the words «No money. Need gas » on a two sheets of paper, and put them on one of the cans with a transparent adhesive tape. Then I unhook the canister from the motorcycle and waited. Almost immediately stopped the moped driver. After hearing my story he was surprised a lot and said me to follow him to go to the gas station. Fuel tank was filled with 4 liters and I myself was introduced to friend of that guy and invited to drink coffee in a nearby cafe. As soon as we went into a cafe – the storm began outside. The wind whipped folded umbrellas at summer terrace and all around was flooded by water. I was delighted – the air temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius, in the motorcycle gears I was like in a sauna, and once opened the visor on the go – I felt a hot stream of air like if someone directed hair dryer at full power in my face. Rain must facilitate the movement. The name of the guy who met me on the road was Salahaddin. Name of the other guy was Omar. While the storm raged outside we had a great chat about everything sometimes using a help of online translators. When the rain subsided I thanked the guys and with high mood got back on the road.

Next stop was after 65 km. Again gasoline canister goes back on the road sideline. The road was busy and within about an hour near me stopped a dozen of vehicles. No one spoke English. Using gestures and my little knowledge of French and Arabic I explaining that I have no money and need gasoline and after that stoppers losing any interest to me and drive away. The sun had already set behind the horizon and twilight stood out. Two guys on dusty chinese moped stopped by. The situation was repeated again. No petrol? The stasion is nearby. No money? Traveling without money? Well, you are funny guy. They were about to drive off but asked where I was going to spend the night. I don’t know, I said. Somewhere here. I have tenda. They spoke to each other and with gestures explained to me that to sleep here is a bad idea (I did not understand why), and that they inviting me to their home. Why not, I said to myself, let’s go, yalla.

According to the explanations of Mued and Abdellatif (that name again) we need to ride four kilometers. However, they did not say that that it is including 2 kilometers across the field away from the road. We were driving along a country road, the beam of my headlights picked out of the pitch darkness the tail of the moped, and I was visited by disturbing thoughts. It is not a big deal to arrange brawl here in the middle of the field in try to rob me. And maybe I’ll win the fight but the bike will fall at least… And maybe we go not into the house but to meet with a group of friends armed with improvised means to leave the unlucky traveler in the best case alive and with empty pockets, in the worst event left in the ground forever. I was ready for anything but we really got to the house. Actually, to call it home was difficult. Once upon a time the building was started, but was stopped halfway. The foundation, four walls, door. That is all. Sealed windows, bare walls, above the head – the sky. Everywhere felt poverty. I was ashamed of the thoughts that I had on the way here.

I was introduced to a family consisting of that two boys, father, mother and daughter. No one spoke in English, but with the help of sign language and common to all the words spoken (for example, country names) we got to chat quite bearable. Soon on the table there was food and Moroccan tea (oh, this Athey one of the most delicious drinks in thr world!). I shared a meal with the family as the head of the family kept saying manje! manje!. After eating I lit a cigarette. Leaning on the wall I looked at the stars in the sky and felt like I was flooded with a wave of inexpressible emotions. These poor people sheltered and fed me without wondering what the hell I was doing at their home in the middle of the night. Simple life, simple and kind people. I was in a completely different world. I sipped hot tea nourishing by the feelings and tried to understand and get through this. Somewhere in that moment I finally realized that I should cease to torment myself waiting for something, sit back and just let things happen around me. And it was the right decision. When there is no illusions everything happening in a natural way, allowing me to feel every moment of the present.

With these thoughts, I sat in the shade of a tree beside the road. Something good is bound to happen. Marrakech was a little over 100km away. Near the motorcycle stopped Mercedes with Italian number plates. I left the shade of a tree and went to motorcycle. Out of the car came three men (father and two brothers: Salah, Said and Mahdi). They spoke in English. I told them about myself. They took two cans and returned with them filled with gas. Now I have enough gas to reach Marrakech! They invited me for lunch, and carried to Marrakech. In Marrakech we left each other as a friends. Good nice people interested in adventures and travels. Mahdi later sent me in the Facebook quote from the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty»: «To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind the walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. This is the purpose of Life. ». And so it is.

Once in Marrakech I started looking for an open wifi with the Internet. On one of the narrow streets near the city center I could find a nice place in the shade. I parked and plunged into searchings for someone from Marrakech on the CouchSurfing. Search gave a lot of results but did not bring any success – people either did not respond or were out of town. But what was happening around me! First all the people from nearest shops came to talk to me. One of them, an elderly seller of ice cream, was very interesting and wise man, who in his youth had seen quite a lot of countries including Russia. He brought me a bottle of ice cold water and I was damned glad given the fact that the temperature was near forty degrees. Then two young Arabs in traditional robes stopped by and asked me whether I need anything. It was so unexpected that I could only shrug my shoulders and smile. They took me to a cafe where ordered, it seems, half of what is on the menu, paid the bill and wished me luck and left. I sat before the dishes and my mind could not cope with what was happening. After eating I went back to the bike. Nearby to my motorcycle parked scooter drove away with the passenger, a woman in western clothes. She gave me 100 dirhams and scooter went out so fast that I barely had time to shout word of thanks. With money in hand, I again tried to understand what was going on something at all. At first the old man with a bottle of cold water, then two brothers Arabs, and now this … my smile reached my ears. Now I have a local equivalent of 12 euros, not bad. It is 9 liters of gasoline for example. I managed to calm down a little bit and returned to the search.

The sun had long gone behind the horizon and the street was dark but my searches were still unsuccessful. I wrote about 20 letters, all in vain. However, my mood did not even think to deteriorate. I was approached by a young boy from the shop nearby and he brought a whole pile of rye buns. Then he brought the glass of Moroccan tea. Then one of the traders of fruits brought me some bananas. I was just torn apart by the senses. Without asking people just did good deeds. What a wonderful country, Morocco. So when it was midnight, and I was not able to find accommodation – in me there was not a drop of sadness. I went on the road, rode 15 kilometers from Marrakech and found a cozy place between two small hills in the rocky steppe. Expanding the sleeping bag around the bike, I lay down and looked at the surrounding area. The scenery was indeed Martian. Full moon shed a bluish light through a thin layer of clouds coloring the stones in fancy dark tones. It was so bright that I could clearly see my own shadow and the shadow of the motorcycle. I fell asleep pretty quickly.

On the next day I came to the same place. Shaking hands with everyone around already as old friends, I once again stuck in the Internet. Less than ten minutes later a moped stoppd by, driven by a smiling Arab in traditional robes. He stunned me by a question “Do you need money?”. I have not found the answer and shrugged with a smile, and he gave me 100 dirhams. Then he left as suddenly as the appeared barely allowing me to thank him. Again, I was at a loss, full of positive emotions. I even jumped a few times with joy. It seems like Marrakech tests the limits of my ability to surprise. And it was not the end! Several hours later a car parked near motorcycle from which came out a european man who introduced himself as Mathias. We chatted for a while, I told him about myself and learned that Matthias is from Austria, musician, and even performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Learning about my story, he gave me 200 dirhams supplementing them by saying that he wanted me to continue my adventures. I wanted to dance.

At the end of the day near me stopped moroccan guy on a Honda Shadow and from his mouth I heard Russian speech. At first I could not believe my ears. I have not heard so much time any Russian words and became so used to speak in English so it took me a while to deal with surprise and switch to my native language. Amin was the name of a Moroccan, studied at Voronezh University. Moreover, he found his wife there and together they left for Morocco. I was invited to visit their house. We saddled motorcycles and got to his house where I met his brother, his wife Tatiana, tasted wonderful food (I missed our Russian cuisine!), took a shower and went to sleep on the enormous bed. Falling asleep I replayed in my head events of recent days and could not believe myself. Was it possible to imagine such way of adventures when I left Berrechid? Definitely not. Once again I am convinced that as soon as you stop to wait for something from the fate it becomes interesting to her what else can surprise you, and around the wonderful things began to happen. All of these events … People who helped me on the road, a night in a family that lives in a house without a roof, the sudden kindness of the people in Marrakech, Russian-Moroccan family … This is the Journey. I felt inside me that something has changed. In thinking about this, I fell asleep, peacefully and calmly. The next day, the road ahead in Agadir, the next town on my way.

28.08.2015 Berrechid, Morocco

Day was certainly started well. For more than an hour I wade through traffic flow to the port of Algeciras, just to be surprised that while I was driving – the ruble has fallen so much that I did not have enough money even for a ticket for the ferry to Tangier not to mention the other expenses. I stifled a panic and went to look for some free WiFi. I found it and in the end Feodor came to the rescue, one of my friends that support me. Thank you, Feodor! I was able to buy a ticket for the next ferry and go for it.

In the queue for the ferry, I exchanged a few words with one Tangier citizen and funny guys from Austria who now go to Morocco on an old minivan. The mood was militant and played songs about Africa in my head. Soon the ferry was parked and a small procession of cars plunged into his belly. I closed this procession, the last rolla in the guts of the ship. Secured motorcycle with ropes, I went up on deck where I had to go through passport control. Not counting the huge queues, and the difficulty of filling the migration sheet (it is in Arabic and French) – everything was easy enough and soon in my passport was a stamp of arrival. After completing the formalities I went to the open deck to smoke. My unusual view (motorcycle gears among the people in light clothing) triggered the curiosity of one of the passengers and we struck up a conversation. Soon we were sitting at a table and talked involving sign language, my meager knowledge of Spanish and basic English of my neighbor. Yusuf was the name of my new friend, told me about Morocco and tried to call on the phone to his Russian-speaking friend (no chances in the sea). Periodically I was distracted for photographing beautiful views of Gibraltar and the setting sun. Time passed quickly, and at dusk, I rolled out of the ship.

Customs control was quick and confusing, but without any excesses, and soon I started my first ride on Africa – 30km from Tangier-Medina where the ferry arrived to Tangier itself. The first thing I saw was the beginning of the toll road. No, I said. “Do not want”. And turned into a secondary roads.

No light, poor road surface and driving style crazy locals cheered me in earnest. During these 30 kilometers, I clearly felt how it was safe to drive in Europe and even in Italy. Smy spirit was heated by several invitations to visit different cities in Morocco sent to me via CouchSurfing. One of them was directly in Tangier. I made my way to the city center, found an ATM, withdrew all the money in local currency, dihramah, and asked for the tea at nearest cafe and a password for WiFi.

Unfortunately, the guy who offered me a host in Tangier – did not go out for connection anymore. However, it was quite vivid dialogue with another guy, Abdellatif from town of Berrechid, which is near Casablanca. Distance to berrechid – approx 360 kilometers. We agreed that I will try to find an open WiFi in Casablanca as soon as I get there, and then we will see. I scratched at all possible residues and figured that maybe besides gasoline maybe I can have enough for one cup of tea on my way to Casablanka. With these thoughts I went in almost midnight. In Morocco allowed to put up tents anywhere, so a little strayed (to hell toll roads again) I managed to find a nice place in a small forest.

Quickly and habitually pitched camp I took last of stockpiled instant noodles and prepared it on the burner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time. I was sitting on the grass, leaning on a motorcycle, smoking and staring at the stars. Beautiful moments that stick in the memory. Somewhere nearby tree laughed mockingbird. Making fun of me – I thought. I grinned to my own thoughts and went to sleep.

The next day I arrived in Casablanca, found free online and eventually reached Berrechid barely on one wing. In my pocket was a little over 10 dihrams, gas cans is empty and “need gas filling” light burned 45 kilometers back. If Abdelatif suddenly could not find me – it would be funny. But we have found each other and I was greeted with a traditional eastern hospitality. Garage for motorcycle, shower, delicious food and a good attitude. Now I can take a little rest.

Abdellatif itself – a wonderful guy from Berrechid, finishing the last year of university. His English is not perfect (as well as mine too), but we easily found a common language. I eagerly absorbed the flavor and the surrounding atmosphere. Morocco – a secular state and then combines the amazing world, world of the orthodox Muslims and those who prefer the western way of life. For all the time I did not see any hint of hostility, no oblique view between the different approaches to life. I looked and did not understand – why it can not be everywhere like this? Dzhalabiyu you wear or jeans – the same attitude. People respect the lifestyles of others and everything is OK.

We walked a lot of Berrechid, met friends of Abdellatif, came late in “the Block” (dangerous area, almost Columbia, they said), and I can not stop wondering suicidal impulses both pedestrians and drivers of mopeds and cars. The infrastructure for pedestrian traffic is virtually absent, it is not surprising that they share the same way without considering the consequences. Horn – a way of expressing a wide range of emotions, from anger to admiration, used everywhere. However, I have not seen a single accident.

Vehicles are mainly represented by three kinds of techniques. The first and most conspicuous part – Mercedes W123. Yes, it’s just the land of 123rd Mercedes! Thousands of them! Look around and you always see the 123. The second category – the small little old diesel Peugeot cars. Apparently reliable. Third – mopeds of all kinds and colors. No scooter, namely mopeds. With pedals, all as expected. Old, ancient. What we have is revered as a museum exhibit and a rarity here is a means of transportation. Everyone riding it, young and old, in the absolute chaos on the road. Add some trucks, carts with donkeys and horses, a few pickups, a little new cars – and you get a picture of traffic in Morocco.

Abdellatif also have a moped. For some time we have spent for cleaning and adjusting the carburetor and finding out the reasons why the engine power is transmitted so bad to the wheel. The reason was simple – clutch is dead. But the process of messing with something metal and alive delivered as usual enormous pleasure.

The next night I made steak for Abdellatif and his brother, Mued. I was in a cheerful excitement. Russian man preparing american food for his Moroccan Arab friend. What the mix of cultures! My cooking was found good and I was awarded the highest praise. Then we got to the roof of the house, drank Moroccan tea and chatted about everything in the world. Can i forget such moments? Definitely not.

Well, after spending a few days in such an amazing place, it’s time to move on. One of invitors from CouchSurfing (yes, Africa CouchSurfing works in contrast to Europe!) Is still connected and calls to visit his house in Merzouga, almost in the middle of the desert. I have a 12 dihram and kindly donated five liters of petrol in the tank, and then – a total unknown.