May 31, 2006

Road to Morocco - Marrakesh Espresso

OK, so here we are on the way to Morocco and I always thought it was a little dorky to take pictures of your trip en route "here I am boarding the plane" - but this was our only "taste" of London - even though we did stay there one night on the way back.

Here we have liquefied scrambled eggs, baked beans, interesting grilled wild mushrooms, unsalted "bacon", grilled tomatoes and bangers that were under so much internal pressure they violently exploded in your mouth with the slightest bite. I'm thinking this is the breakfast Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten would have eaten on a daily basis! God save the Queen!

So in Morocco (Marrakech) we land and all roads and transport are at a standstill. After asking around we find out that the King of Morocco and the president of Egypt will be driving by soon. Sure-as-shit, 20 minutes later here comes about a million black Mercedes followed by a stretch Mercedes Limo, no tinted glass and there they are. They both look over and we make eye contact and they both flash me the "rock on" sign. I gave them a look like "whatever dude" and pulled the camera out but started to panic at the last minute thinking pictures of the king might be grounds for Ji-had.

For all you olive lovers out there - Morocco is like a crack house. Tim, this is what HELL looks like - no beer and only olives to eat.

Speaking of beer - it's a little hard to find in Morocco, but it's there - you just need to know where to look. Pot (kif) is easy to find and you can buy as much as a "hay bale" on the side of the road in the northern part of the country.

If you're looking for kif, carpets, baskets, mint tea, or fake minerals and fossils, you've come the right place. If you're looking for a cheese burgers, beer or bikini babes you've come to the WRONG place.

The "Place Djemaa el-Fna" - the central "square" in Marrakesh is kinda messed up. It's full of snake charmers, storytellers, healers, henna painters, acrobats, freaky meats, freaky fruits and....tourists! It's a big ol' dirty hippie drum circle come round midnight and they drum and drum and drum. Holy shit, thought it would never stop. It's stinky and sticky and smoky and there are plenty of people waiting to rip your tourist ass off by charging you 10 times more for something that you can find for normal price elsewhere in the country. Don't believe the hype, Marrakesh is a bit cheesy if you ask me.

The call to prayer always starts with a guy that sounds like he's ready to sneeze; "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH....." and then some arabic words that I can't understand. We stayed across the road from the big mosque in Marrakech so we were "treated" to this several times a day - starting a little before 5:00 am. It's loud as hell but actually pretty cool.

Marrakech has several really cool "madersas" which were actually old boarding schools converted into museums. After laying lots of tile at our house here in NM - I can appreciate how much work is involved in these huge places - hundreds of thousands of square feet of intricate tile setting. That must have really sucked.

This is why Moroccans have thighs as big a Miguel Indurain - "squatter" toilets...gotta love em...unless you got something that might take a while.

Off to the Sahara.

May 08, 2006

Santa Fe Dirt - Rio en Medio medium loop (aka Eat yer Raisins Bitch)

I guess this ride is technically closer to Tesuque and Nambe, but we’ll call it Santa Fe since they need something cool to associate themselves with besides native American “art”, Val Kilmer and a lame spiral staircase. We started this ride by parking on FR102 at State Rd. 592 and started the long climb up 102 through Pacheco Canyon and past the legendary lesbian compound. It’s about a 7 mile climb – pretty gradual. At Aspen Meadows we jumped on the Rio en Medio trail for about ½ mile then back onto the fire road and finally left onto the most northern portion of the Borrego Trail. This part of the Borrego does not get much use and it looked as if we were the first ones down it this year. Lots of branches and crap on the trail, which was already pretty technical. Bad ass down hill all the way to Nambe Creek. At the creek we headed west, still downhill and finally hit a clearing and the trail intersection to Rancho Viejo. Three hours in and have not seen anybody.....nice. Continuing down the creek we hit the cutoff back to Rio en Medio trail which starts off with a nice little hike-a-bike up an old drainage and finally back on to something that sort of resembles a trail. This climb and the next one are pretty brutal. After the second ridge it’s all fast downhill to En Medio. Back on the pavement for a few miles (including a nasty little climb at the end) before we reached the beer…um, I mean the car. That’s where John realized he left his wallet at one of our stops along the way – oh crap! Luckily we found it next to the forest road in Pacheco Canyon and were able to drive there – good thing because I really didn’t want to do another lap on that trail.

Number of times we had to look at the map to figure out where the hell we were: 20

Number of miles: 21

How long it took (hours): 4

Number of people saw in the first 20 miles: 1

Wallets lost:1

Beers drank: Fat Tire, Sam Adams

May 02, 2006

Santa Fe Dirt - Windsor, Borrego and Bear Wallow

The Windsor, Borrego, Bear Wallow sharp and pointy lollipop was worked over by Jeff and John last Sunday. Start in Tesuque-end in Tesuque-drinking beer before noon. This is about 1.5 hours of climbing followed by another 1 hour of downhill. Numerous water crossings and even a few inches of snow up high on the Borrego.

Trying not to get our feet wet since it was freezing ass cold when we started out

Proscuitto? ....the meat slicer

Some of the white shit

Whoa man - put that thing away

The reason for all the angry frogs along Tesuque Creek

Post ride beer: Breck Oatmeal Stout with a Tecate chaser