The Right kind of Vehicle…

Posted by on 15, Apr 2015 in 2015 - Iberia and Morocco, Morocco, North Africa, Taffy

The Right kind of Vehicle…

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‎There are 2 types of vehicle down here near the Algerian border in an area the Foreign and Commonwealth Office deam as a no go zone, presumably because you are likely to be killed by the kindness of the locals.  The 4*4 brigade who are the unruly 2 year old child of the motorists hurtling into every puddle and onto every dirt road in a desperate effort to get as filthy as possible then refusing to wash, and the goody two shoes mummies boys mtprhomers who wash behind their wheel arches and wipe down their windows everyday to make sure they all look showroom condition, oh and there’s  us too, presumably the teenager who won’t get too dirty so they don’t have to wash, and if they do need to they find someone to do it for them!  

The 4*4 lot come here for the adventure heading off into the dunes for some dune riding – great fun, and off onto the pitted dirt tracks to drive through the remote oasis villages and palmerias with their guides and turn the corner and find a tandem hurtling towards them with 25 kids on clapped out bikes laughing and yelling in hot pursuit! I bet they never mention when they get home being forced off the road by cyclists!   ‎I’m not sure quite what we look like but we’ve started to think of ourselves as the Pied Piper on a bike. 

Taffy’s not ideal for many of the small dirt tracks here but we’ve found Tilly is. We can cycle virtually anywhere – even places the unruly 4*4’s can’t go and whenever we get to a village we’re accosted by kids ‎saying “How are you” and waved at by adults who will often shout “Welcome to Morocco” . We’ve cycled across desert, through palm tree fields and on river beds it’s been really good fun, and almost everyone wets themselves laughing at the tandem. Though some of the men who we’ve talked to have looked very impressed when I’ve told them Linda is the engine. I’m not sure that’s a good idea really when you always see the women doing all the work here anyway. 

For us Taffy /Tilly is the perfect combination and we’ve not had trouble getting anywhere in Taffy apart from one tunnel which was 3.5m high and we are 3.8m. But we’re prepared for this type of thing anyway. Linda gets up on the roof (well pops her head out of a sky light) with a walkie talkie and I edge into the tunnel to see how we’ll fit. On this occasion We found a local guy who stopped the traffic at the other end so we could hog the middle of the road and we sailed though with feet to spare.   The guy told us the tunnel used to be signed at 4.5m high but the authorities had got fed up with people crashing into it (presumably at the edges) and so had changed the sign to make people think. It worked with us! ‎

We’re now as far South East as we’re going . We’re a few miles from Algeria and I’d love to nip over to see it but even I am put off by the border sign “Minefield “. Next,  We head back in land (to the safe zones) before turning south into The Western Sahara…

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