Day 8 : TREK (Tineghir)

Riding around with Peter is like going to adult Disney World ... The rides are exciting and sometimes scary but you somehow know in the back of your mind you won't die. (Ha- ahahaha insert nervous laughter here).

He has been driving these "roads" for about 30 years tracking each trek with a gps creating a spiderweb of trails across Southern Morocco. Seeing it in real life is impressive. He knows where he is going although there are no roads. Vast nothingness leads into a village in the middle of nowhere where you honestly believe time has forgotten.

Looks like Utah. All we wanted to do was mountain bike.... Except for the 100 degree temps.

Now going into this, we had no idea what to expect. No idea what we'd see. No idea what we'd eat. No idea where we'd sleep. The brochure is a referral from a friend, a Facebook introduction, a promise that we'd have a good time and get an inside look at Moroccan life with no hassles.


Pucker up butter cup! Just a small taste of the cliffs. It's NEVER as scary in a photo as when you are cruising around these just a little too fast for comfort.
A close-up view of one of the mountain villages. Driving through these is an experience. The car just baaaaaarely fits.
Oooooh no. Seriously a flat tire? and that is NOT the goiter one. We for sure thought the front tire with the huge side wall goiter would be the first to go.
Moroccan mystery machine. Scooby Doo and the gang decided to solve a mystery in Morocco. We needed to pass trucks like this all along the way. Usually sitting and staring at each other deciding how it can be done with a cliff on one side and a mountain on the other.
One of the many mountain villages we saw along the way.
Brian's nuts. This is a walnut. The fruit looks like a lime and It does not taste good. It smells great though. Then inside is the walnut in the shell that we all recognize. Hm.

A perk of our trek is that all food is provided. And on a Trek that's 6 days long you have to stop at local "lunch spots" along the way. Sometimes it's at a picnic. Sometimes it's a little roadside stand. Sometimes you literally give a family money to share their dinner with you. And sometimes you are simply invited to join.  For food options you get what you get. So we pull over for lunch #1 of the entire journey. It's a roadside cafe of sorts - a lone shack on top of a mountain pass.  And sitting outside on a shelf - marinating in flies and sunshine is possibly lunch???

This better not be part of the soup du jour....

Add a little marshmellow fluff and it's right up Brian's alley.

From melanie erdmann, on Sep 15, 2013 at 05:44PM

Brian said he does LOVE marshmallow but Nutella would be better with goat 9x out of 10.

From Brian and Marisha Cowles, on Sep 15, 2013 at 06:07PM

Night 1 : Was spent in Peter's mountain house. A camp to us, but already starting our trek off in a very cool way. He and Zineb found the house on one of their treks, met the local man who owned it and they bought it. They did a little work to it, added a proper bathroom and now use it for little getaways or when Peter takes guys out on week long motorbike tours (his main bread and butter).

The mountain house from the outside.
Picking almonds off the almond tree in the front yard. Simple. Small. One room and 2 storage rooms. We told him he needs camp chairs and a fire pit and it would be the ultimate camp house.


The mountain house inside. A little propane, a huge water jug...and have a house. There is a u-shaped couch in back and mattresses for the floor. It was a very cool way to start the trip. It needs mountain bike racks though.
The view from the backyard to Peter's closest neighbors. I had Brian go out there to yell over and tell them to keep it down. The goats and chickens were keeping me up.

So Dinner #1 went well considering the massive language barrier. Peter knows a little Berber (the indigenous language of north Africa) so we had a little info. We had "app's" in the living room. A lovely plate of fruit from their orchard as a nice snack. Then they brought out homemade butter (best ever), fresh warm bread and cheese.

At the jonse's. This is At Peter's neighbors house. These are his pets/dinner. We told them sorry for the loss of your cousin as we left....

Dinner #2 was ... How should I say....entertaining (especially for Brian). He got a front row seat to the Marisha show which was nothing short of a very bad episode of National geographic. The woman of the house, her sister and daughter just couldn't get enough of me. First they kept pointing at my hair. Then giggling at my braids. Then they scarfed me up. They dressed me up. Then eyelinered me up which is a massive black line under my eye... Me praying the whole time it wasn't henna (for thise of you that done know, henna lasts months). We also weren't sure if this meant I was marrying the village goat herder because it seemed a big deal. Peters Berber doesn't go much past "please", "thank you" and "cheese". In all seriousness though, it was a huge honor to be invited to a feast of food where these people seem to have nothing (except cell phones, everyone on the planet does have a cell phone).


Dinner! Ooh daddy. So freakin good. Buttered couscous, veggies, and meat (goat or beef) weren't sure and couldn't ask.... Best couscous we've ever had.


wtf...just one pic of the morisha show. - From melanie erdmann, on Sep 15, 2013 at 05:44PM

That is awesome! PS- I am not on the blog email:( Mel forwarded me the link, now I am loving the pics! From Jess, on Sep 16, 2013 at 02:08AM

So after a night of lets dress up Marisha and sting her eyeballs out with liquid acid we slept at Peter's cabin where I took a horrifying trip to the outdoor bathroom in the black of night. In the morning we hit the road again even higher into the Atlas Mountains. The scenery was incredible.


Day 2
What a typical oasis looks like. A patch of green in the middle of nowhere. Natural springs pop up to form these so they take advantage for farming, orchards and drinking water. They channel irrigation systems from mud and rock. Oh, and up front there...are the only white people in a 100 mile radius.


So on we went onward on day 2 with a primary destination in mind (tire repair shop). Now that our back tire needed a patch and after inspecting the  goiter -bubble-tire on our overnight layover - Peter decided it needs attention. It's frightening - wait until you see......

At the car doctor. We are finally in a reasonably sized town getting that tire looked at. The flat in back was patched... (4 hours later) and is still leaking. The front tire, commonly known as "bubble tire" also received a hand stitched sidewall patch.... Which, by the way, is never allowed in the US for safety reasons. :0
SEE....Seriously? Bubble tire and The miracle patch. Or so we hope. Peter doesn't seem to be phased by it. He said we could do at least 180 kilometers an hour on this ...minimum. Officially worried.

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