Day 8 The end of the beginning
Trip Start Mar 19, 2012
30Trip End Apr 10, 2012
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Where I stayed
Almeria – 5 miles by foot..
After the madness of the long ride yesterday I have enjoyed the space it created. The long ride down here always had a sense of a deadline about it, about being at a port by a certain time. In terms of narrative structure this ride down was the beginning, Morocco is the middle and the return journey the final part, hopefully with even less pressure other than the urge to get home and see everyone face to face rather than in pixels.
Today has being the usual stop day of a Ural rider - clothes washing, unrolling the tools and tightening a few things, putting oil into places and air into tyres. I did manage to spend a lot of time walking around Almeria, which in the light of a new day seems a really nice town. I've not seen any great medieval architecture or galleries, but I’ve never been in a more pleasant town. Everyone is so, well, cheerful and at ease in their work and leisure. Most are really well dressed and chic, far more so than the UK. I can understand why Roxy my oldest thinks of getting a teaching job here – the atmosphere is just so civilised.
For me though the biggest draw is the ferry port, which was buzzing with the thunder of dozens of Traureg Rally desert riders returning battle worn and covered in mud and sand after a week in the Moroccan desert. This is the biggest rally left after the demise of the Paris Dakar. It is amazing to think this time tomorrow I will be on African soil after all those years of fantasising.
Whatever happens from now on in, a big box has been ticked – in my mind if I can mentally and physically get myself to Africa under my own steam with this bike, then I can get it anywhere, even if I never do another long trip. This was in one sense a training trip for Russia, but in many ways it has more obstacles, not least trying to convince myself I can plan and execute the trip.
I’ve found an aerial photo on the web of where the insurance (assurance) offices are in Nador, so hopefully I can get cover tomorrow and get 50 miles or so south and look for a hotel near Saka on the way to Missour. Missour is 200 miles – too far with a 3pm arrival, and even Guercif at 100 miles will be a challenge, so I’m hoping Saka has some accommodation, however basic.
Web access may be an issue from here on in, so don't panic is there is radio silence for the next 13 days. If it's still quiet after that then call interpol..