Overstayed Visa - A Race to Escape Morocco!
Buenos dias, I camped here last night. We are in an adventure park on the atlas above Azrou. The adventure park is owned by a Moroccan Italian family and they make the best pizza I had in Morocco. It's pretty good pizza and it even tastes better because it was free. This is the owner of the Atlas Park Adventure. See, they have all the the harnesses. This is a national park, no? So you guys need to come and visit this place. Look how beautiful and there are monkeys. I don't know where they are now,
but there are lots of monkeys. The best pizza of Morocco. You should come here only for the best pizza if you are in Morocco, because that's the best pizza in Morocco by far, by far. I think this is called the Ifrane National Park and it's a nice forest, lots of monkeys and there is the adventure park. So if you're visiting, it's a nice place. I'm almost on top of this climb, which means I'm officially leaving Azrou.
I need to get to Nodor as soon as possible. I think today I left very late. I will mostly do paved roads, I think. I look forward to get to Nadar and leave the problems that I've been having in Morocco at my back. But there is the major problem of my visa, so I think I need to go to court when I'm in Nador. I really do not look forward to being in a criminal court with the judge in a language I don't speak.
I just hope there is a way to be expelled from the country right then and there at the border. Even this area of Morocco is beautiful, very, very beautiful. Massif, massif.
Wow, look at this development. It doesn't even look like Moroccan at all. This is Ifran, or Ifrane. Very very different. I'm not really sure I like this part of Morocco. The nature is really nice but the city is so developed in a way, I don't know,
it doesn't feel Moroccan. New Valley. Look at the houses now, it looks Morocco again. I've been thinking I might try to get to Nador in two days. So tomorrow is Monday, Monday, Tuesday, so I should be able to get to the border on Wednesday. Because if I have to go to a judge, then I can go maybe Thursday, otherwise probably I'm stuck there until Monday to see a judge, because I don't know if the judges work on Friday, so I better hurry up. I need to do 350 kilometers in two days, two days and a few hours. That's why I don't have kids. Fucking hell. Nappies are a problem all over the world. Nappies and plastic bottles.
Beautiful, beautiful. 20 minutes to the sunset. Let's try to make some more kilometers and see if I can get to Nador in two days. Beautiful, beautiful valleys. Moon, tent, olive orchard. Very nice, very nice camp. And it got very windy last night.
And look at this guys. That's the giant... I haven't seen a creek this big since Namibia, the desert of Namibia. Remember in the desert of Namibia, they are very very similar.
I would say more greenish and a little bit bigger. And there are thousands, thousands of them. So much that if you stop and you pitch your tent, they crawl on your legs, on your back. And they are all over the tent at night and they make lots of noise as well. Look, another one here. And one of... I'm not sure if they are the same here.
But when I was cycling in Namibia, you would kill so many of them. And once you kill one, the other ones, they go and eat it. Insane, insane.
At least here there are only a few ones. But yeah, this guy was on my tent last night and he was making so much noise. I was like... took him out. Last night I was thinking I'm going to camp near the top. So tomorrow I have an easy start. I misjudged a little bit the top, 5 km of climbing.
This area of Morocco also is so beautiful. But I just don't have the head to stick around. I just want to get to Almeria. Too many things happening all together.
Unfortunate, unfortunate situations. I have to finish to find a solution for the mini-rack that broke. Later I'll show you the temporary fix. The bottom bracket is broken. I need to replace the tires, ASAP. And another thing I didn't show you guys.
The front wheel rim is about to also break. That would be a major disaster. So I need to get a replacement rim as well. So many things. The forest is fenced somehow.
I wonder why. Maybe it's military? I don't know. It's double fenced. Very strange, no? Oh man, I don't think I can make it by Wednesday at the border. So many hills. One climb after the other, after the other, after the other.
There's no one meter flat. Look at those puppies. What's up? You trapped? Are you trapped in the forest? Let's see if I can get them some water. So beautiful. I found a tagine for 30 dirhams which is 2 euro 70 cents. It's okay, I was about to cook my tortellini but...
Wonderful, wonderful places, look at this. Sunset in Taza. I stopped at this shack and I used some water to clean up myself and I asked the owner of this shack if I can sleep at the back, he told me to wait until nine o'clock and yeah, success. And this is what I did, I just set this on the chainstay with some tape and I'm thinking also to cut this one here and then do the same so they look the same. That's where I pitch my tent, very peaceful, I slept like a baby.
Today let's try to make some progress to Nadar, it's a bit late, it's 8.06, I got up at 6 o'clock but yeah, I packed up, had breakfast, let's keep going. So yeah, it's 11 o'clock, I'll be ready to find some shade, that will be the first challenge, and just lay down. But yeah, I've been cycling up from Taza, it's been already like steady climb, not into crazy but steady climb and I basically need to cross this mountain range, the Rif is a mountain range in the north of Morocco. It's very hot and I just want to lay down somewhere but let's keep going, I don't know if I can make it by tomorrow morning to Nador. It is what it is guys and I have to climb up to 1200 meters, so it's a lot of climb, it's not like a straight climb but there's lots of climb in between, so today I should do like 2000 meters of climbing.
I don't have it in me, I don't have it in me and it's gonna be very very lonely from here on, I don't know when is gonna be the next village. Yeah but, stick to paved road, I have no energy, I have no energy, I don't have the head, I just want to get to Nador. I left this tiny tiny village, these four houses, I wanted to eat something but I can't, it's too hot, so I had some leben, I drank a little bottle of leban and now I have about 25 kilometers of climbing to the next village.
Beautiful, very beautiful. I'm dead, I'm really really dead. I'm at very close to have a heat stroke. The village now is only four kilometers away. Those are gonna be four very very long kilometers. Living in the village, wow, what a view, what a view, incredible. I had a little nap but I wasn't able to eat food. I just, I can't stomach it. I had a couple of leben, a couple of leben, some yogurt.
And I cooled down, that's the most important. What a view! What a view! Beautiful, beautiful. If you cross this mountain with this weather, when it's really hot and you do dirt roads, you have to be very, very patient. What a climb! It's not over yet. About 100 meters more to climb. I'd say another 3-4 kilometers.
And then, hopefully, I can descend. The Riff! This is the Riff, guys. The beautiful mountain range in Morocco called the Riff.
Beautiful. Look at those roads. Beautiful. I'm dead though. I'm dead. Inshallah, I'm at the top of the Riff. Look, this side is more populated. Well, at least there is a village there. I can get some provisions.
Some cold drinks. Let's go down, guys. Let's go down. Beautiful, beautiful country. Till the very end. I wanna stop to the city to get some food.
I'm leaving Aizora. I had a sandwich, it was like this big. Beautiful. Beautiful sunset.
When I stopped for food, I knew it. This is the region of Morocco with fucking Le Chef. So I got picked up by security, but the security is not riding a motorbike anymore. They upgraded to a Dacia Sendero.
It's gonna be a problem to camp. I asked at this mosque if I could sleep here. And now let's see what the security is talking to the imam.
But I asked the imam. Sunrise. Hopefully last in Morocco. The mosque, the tent.
Tortellini, it's a great day, it's a great day to leave Morocco. Maybe it's a great day to die. Back on the road, maybe last day in Morocco, maybe the first day in jail, who knows. Anything can happen, I'm illegal. Illegal in Morocco. I think this is the last bit of downhill, and then I have to climb again.
65 kilometers to go. God bless my menstruations. Nadar Melilla. We're getting closer to my destiny. I'm either crossing the border as a free man, or being hostage of the bureaucracy of Morocco. I'm at the border officially.
Let's see if they let me go through or not. The only European clandestine. I'm in a hotel room in Nador.
So I went to the border. They sent me back to Nador, which is 15 kilometers, to the police at the foreign office. And it's going to be a big problem, because they don't really have a procedure for overstaying the visa. Which is a bit stupid in my opinion, because there are so many tourists in Morocco.
Yeah, I mean, it's crazy what I've been told. But let's leave it like that. So then I was asked, you have to stay one night, and spend at least one night in Nador.
So we can help you to solve this problem. Okay. You need to take an hotel... Okay. I went around, asked several hotels. And then I found one that was half decent, for 150 dirhams. Which is like 12, 13 euros, something like that.
But then I was talking to the guy, and he was speaking Spanish fluently. I was like, you know, I'm having this fucking problem with the visa. Oh, immediately, you cannot say. You need an authorization, we need to call the police. Obviously, the police was closed, because it was 20 past 4, so I went back to the police. And I was like, they don't give me another room, because, you know.
And he was like, which hotel? I'm like, no, I totally forgot which hotel. And I couldn't even find it on the map. So then the guy was like, but what kind of hotel? I was like, a cheap hotel. I want a cheap hotel.
So he was like, okay, look, I'll come with you. And he took me to this hotel room. Don't even ask.
But, yeah, it's disgusting. It's disgusting. I mean, I've been into some cheap places, but, yeah, it's disgusting.
Now, close your eyes if you don't want to see anything too disgusting. Look at the bathroom. He cleaned the bathroom now. I don't know what he put there, but it's still smell. This is the bucket of water I'm supposed to wash with. I mean, I'm fucking disgusting, but look at this.
Anyway, the room, it's even expensive for this shit hole. I'm paying 50 dirhams, which is 4.50 euros. Like, it's disgusting. The fuck is going on? Like, I'm supposed to sleep here. It smells like pee. Nador.
Attempt number two to leave the country. The last 24 hours were a bit of a nightmare. Moral of the story, don't overstay your visa in Morocco. I was very lucky that in Nador I found an officer at the Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That speaks English and was empathic and sympathetic. And apparently he sorted it out.
But, yeah, I had to stay one night in Nador. And now I'm going to the border. The border is 13 kilometers from the police station where there is a Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I will go up that hill and then it's, I think, almost down to the border. Let's see if I can leave.
Let's see if I'm a free man today and I can leave Morocco. He said to wait two hours. I still not free for 45 minutes.
But I will slowly but surely cycle there. I'm always afraid with the law to find myself in a Kafkaesque situation. So wish me good luck. As-Salaamu Alaikum.
Remember the problem. Thank you. I wanna cry almost. Okay, now I made it back in Spain. What a day, what a day, what an experience. I think in this trip I've been outside all comfort zones, all of them.
I'm leaving Africa, I'm leaving Melilla, this is the Spanish possessions in Africa. Back to Almeria.