Crossing the Spanish Border
At last! Crossing the Spanish border was like a liberation; I can finally cross a foreign country! My joy was quickly cooled by the price of tunnels and tolls. The price is exorbitant, at least the yellow vests allowed me to pass the tolls in France sometimes for free. But in Spain, no more yellow vests…
My first stop is Barcelona, where I was able to be hosted by two wonderful people, who allowed me to discover Barcelona by night. After eating in a delicious restaurant in Tapas, I started looking for the Royal Enfield garage in Barcelona, what a disappointment when I noticed that it was unfortunately closed for religious holidays?
I didn’t want to visit the Sagrada Familia, already done and 20€ to enter a church: « no way »!
Catalan is everywhere in this city, difficult to understand the signs I who understand Spanish rather well (what’s the point of teaching it at school if you can’t speak it in Catalonia…)
I warmly thank my friends, and continue my journey to Valencia, an extraordinary city that I had already visited. I take this opportunity to stop in Chinatown, near the station, where I can’t sleep because my dorm neighbour snores like a bulldozer.
The Spanish roads become more and more beautiful as I progress towards Morocco. The landscapes are sometimes desert, sometimes dotted with olive groves. As I walk along the coast, I see cities like Benidorm and its huge skyscrapers. I stop in Estepona, where a Spanish friend I hadn’t seen for a long time kindly hosts me. This trip allows me to see old friends, that’s what life is all about.
My first African kilometres
Once I have bought the Tangier ticket, I go to the city of Tarifa where I board my motorcycle on a huge ferry. I am finally on my way to Africa! The sea is calm, the crossing goes smoothly and everything goes well with the Moroccan customs.
I am still obliged not to declare my drone (these are prohibited in Morocco). As I am a little thirsty, I stop by a snack bar at the entrance to Tangier. A Moroccan man in a biker jacket calls out to me. He is the president of the Tangier motorcycle club, and he is surprised by my Royal Enfield. He gives me the contact of the president of the Moroccan motorcyclists’ union in Casablanca. He will later help me to carry out the first overhaul of the bike on African soil.
Casablanca is a huge city that I enjoyed thanks to Marie, a friend of my girlfriend who is an International Volunteer in Business. The city is huge with a huge mosque and very dense traffic. I leave Casablanca last me, towards Marrakech, then Agadir, a city I knew a little bit about because I worked there for almost a year and David one great friend from my last job host me.
The Moroccan south is on the other hand a total discovery, the city of Tantan at the gates of the desert sets the tone with a roundabout flanked by two statues of camels facing each other.
The warm welcome of the Sahrawis The visit to the capital of Western Sahara, Layoune, was extraordinary thanks to three Sahrawis who kindly hosted me. Their generosity was such that they contacted one of their friends in the next town of Boujdour where I was planning to go, so that he could accommodate me.
On the road the many police checkpoints are not very attractive, the sand is omnipresent and the winds are strong. The crossing is still magnificent and it is after two weeks of travel that I find myself at the Mauritanian border, a kind of Hollywood Farwest with men wearing turbans and a desert as far as the eye can see.