Two days’ ride southwest we sit in a small cafe on the periphery of Africa’s largest and busiest market square, the Djemaa el Fna, (assembly of the dead) inside the fire-red walls of Marrakesh.
Clinging precariously to the northern tip of Africa, Ceuta is the last Spanish enclave in this vast continent and from where we’ll start our Moroccan adventure. At the border, it’s late November and 100 degrees.
A few years ago, some things happened that changed my life forever: I fell in love and married a girl who rode motorcycles, I left my career in aerospace and I got a job in the motorcycle industry. I've never been happier! My wife, Brayde and I make it a point to go on at least one ride a year and we've explored most of the Western United States, Canada, Northern Mexico, Baja and Europe in the last 4 years.
I ride a 2006 BMW R1200GS and Brayde rides a 2007 BMW F650GS. They're perfectly matched bikes for traveling together and this fall we’re going to finally take one of our dream rides: Seattle to Tierra del Fuego.
We travel South on the margin of civilization, deep within the disputed territories of the Western Sahara, a vast uninhabited and inhospitable stretch of barren desert, long fought over, with Morocco and Mauritania laying hostile claim. To our left the Sahara silently reaches out, shifting sand lit by the fast rising sun. It is 9:00am and already 100 degrees.
African nations are often only known for their violence, power struggles and corrupt governments. However, there is a more positive side to South Africa and its neighbors to the northeast. There is genuine human warmth experienced daily, and for the most part you could easily be forgiven for thinking you are in a scene from a National Geographic documentary.