Atlantic Coast Highway

Today’s route is along the African coast. Parts look like the Pacific Coast Highway, except the ocean to the west is the Atlantic. The road is challenging us with tight turns and changing altitude. We are entering the Sahara proper, The highway runs through”hammada” – stony, scrubby desert. Occasionally the fog from the ocean comes up and obscures our view. Then the Sahara winds came up to really obscure it. The visibility got down to 30 feet. As we were riding across a valley we saw a sand storm parallel to us but a few miles south. Our road goes deeper into the storm and we come up on road construction to rebuild a bridge damaged by the previous week’s torrential rains. We wanted to take pictures but were afraid of what the fine sand would do to our cameras. Our helmets still give us trouble opening and closing the visor and sun shield.

We get back to the coast and have a wonderful lunch at a cafe on the beach. The house in the picture was taken with us in the restaurant’s parking lot. I should be consistent in my terminology. Over here cafe means coffee, Coke, but no food. Restaurant means food, but probably no alcohol. Our restaurant for lunch one day had beer and wine, but not after dark. The beer and wine cooler was empty and turned off.

Adventure travel means that you have to be flexible. Plans don’t always come together. Richard rode ahead because he couldn’t get confirmation that our next hotels were ready for us. In Tan Tan they had some rooms under repair and were overbooked. We were moved to some beach cottages 15 miles down the road. Maybe more like beach proximity. One room, with no furniture except the bed. Wooden shelving was built into one wall. The bathroom had a shower in one corner, but no curtain. Water pipes were screwed to the wall and no spare toilet paper roll. Real basic. The property also included an RV park. A couple from Austria planned to stay there for three months

Moroccans are very energy conscious. The lights are turned off at dawn and didn’t come back on in our cottage until dusk. In larger hotels the hallways are dark and there are switches on the walls to turn them on for a short period before they go off automatically. There is a master switch in rooms that can only be activated by the room key card. Remote microwave transmitters use solar panels because there are no power lines to them.

Saturday 4Dec, Essaouira to Tan Tan 330 miles

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