Ever booked a couple of days in a motel at a place where everyone says “Oh you’ll love it there!” only to find you wished you hadn’t booked for so many nights and can’t wait to leave. Well you have our sympathy because that describes our stay in Tetouan.
Tetouan is a sprawling coastal city on the Mediterranean with smaller satellite coastal towns of Mdiq and Martil not far away. After spending six days in El Hoceima we looked at the weather forecast for Tetouan and thought finally we’d cracked the jackpot with some sunny Mediterranean weather. Alas it was not to be for not long after booking four days in Tetouan the forecast changed. Actually it changed so often that we were unsure whether the forecasters had any idea or were just having an each way bet.
The ride up from El Hoceima was pretty stressful with light fog initially close to Tetouan but heavier as we progressed along the coast crossing up over the Rif mountains. At a few stages visibility was down to about 10 metres with only the centre line to guide the way. We took it pretty slow as oncoming traffic drove down the centre of the road taking avoidance action at the last moment this combined with shear drop offs into the valley below and rockfalls kept us extra alert. Luckily we caught up to a 4wd driving with his flashers on and just tucked in behind him, letting him run interference for us. If it wasn’t for the fog however, it would’ve been an amazing ride for every now and then we had glimpses of lush green valleys, and tiny villages. The Mediterranean was pretty grey, with a ring demarcating the clean waters of the med and muddy water spewing from local creeks after the downpour in the mountains.
Originally we planned to explore the area surrounding Tetouan and if the weather was warm enough maybe even hit the beach. “If the weather was warm enough” well that never happened, however we took a few trips out to the beach at Martil and Mdiq. The weather guaranteed that we didn’t venture further afield eventually turning too cold to leave the room. If only we hadn’t booked the ferry for a specific date e we could’ve just packed the bike and either picked a warmer spot or just left Morocco.
It got to the stage that we were Moroccoed out, probably just cabin fever. Riding around Tetouan with all the seaside condos, cranes and building the Paul Kelly song “Every City Looks the Same” just ran on loop through my head.
Two more days left in Morocco hopefully a few days of brilliant sunshine up near Ceuta will improve our mood.
Our highlight however of the last few days was an article on our travels was released in the Have a Go Newspaper in Perth. We were contacted over a month ago, when we were in Essaouira with interest of writing a story about us. A whole heap of questions were sent out and from there a story formulated. A few photos were sent in and we roped in one of the American Peace Corps reps to take some high resolution photos for us. It was a nice article and hopefully there will be follow up stories in the future.