One of the things you do while cycling 4-5 hours on the road every day is start to notice the different ways countries mark up the road. This also tends to be where we find the answer to our common question: “How much further?”
Here are the specifics of this marker. On the side we see this is National Route number 9, or N9, and beneath that is the number 546. This is the total distance since the start of the road, in this case 546km from Casablanca.
The top of the sign is painted red, denoting a major road. They can also be yellow, blue and green for lower class roads.
On the broad side of the sign, the one facing traffic, you see the next town noted in Arabic and Roman script, and below that the distance in kilometers obviously to reach that town or city. On the opposite side of the marker will be towns you’ve come from.
The towns listed on the markers alternate. Over a few markers, you will probably see the distance to the nearest town, the next large town – which could be some way off – and the town at the end of the road.
These kilometer markers in Morocco are set at the left or right side of the road, depending on which way you are travelling on the road. In this case, the marker was on the left side of the road, meaning that we were moving away from Casablanca, the start of the N9.
We’ve also noticed that just because the route is measuring a distance to a town, the road quality may not be consistant. For example, on the N12 route from Rissani to Sidi Ifni some of it is a paved road and in other parts it turns into a piste, only designed to be navigated with a 4×4 and your nose.