88km Casablanca to Temara-Plage

It is the worldAnother big day on the bikes: it’s easy to roll long distances when the wind is on your back and the roads are flat, as they have been for the last few days along the coast. About a third of the distance we covered today was just getting out of Casablanca, an expansive and rather dirty city at the edges, although we did enjoy seeing the huge Hassan II mosque before we left. After over an hour of pedalling we made it to the suburb town of Mohamedia, where we sipped a couple coffees and relaxed in the relatively fresh air. Traffic soon dispersed outside Mohamedia, mostly going towards the motorway, and we had a quiet ride along the coast, going past another of the Moroccan king’s palaces in the afternoon. We knew we were coming up to his palace well in advance because the road was suddenly lined with flags, a sure sign of a royal residence. The gates to the palace (maybe his summer home by the sea?) gave us a peek into a garden filled with palm trees and blooming flowers. The lawn could have easily been a five-star highly manicured golf course. We were tempted to ask the guards if this was the local campsite – so many nice places to pitch our tent! – but thought better of it as they sternly looked at us and held tightly on to their guns. Our home for the night turned out to be a rogue campsite just outside Rabat, not much more than an unmown field and a bit of cement for camper vans to park on. Had we looked at the toilets before setting up we might not have stayed. They haven’t been cleaned in some time and stink more than an outhouse on a hot summer day (despite their reputation among many westerners, the vast majority of squat toilets we have used have been very clean and not at all smelly). Having said all that, the two men minding the “campground” seemed happy to take whatever price we were prepared to offer, so it was a little security for barely a dent in the budget. Wild camping places haven’t been coming our way lately – we seem to be ending our days near cities in populated areas – and other campgrounds we’ve stopped at have been asking quite high prices compared to what we were used to in southern Morocco, nearly the same cost as a basic and clean hotel room.

Comments

  1. friedel
    19th March 2007 at 5:56 pm #

    R322 – The road is a multi-lane highway coming out of Casablanca (just follow the main drag out of the city, past the port) but the traffic seems used to dealing with all sorts of vehicles and there is a shoulder to ride on. Things calm down in Mohamedia and you again go straight through the town to follow the coastal road to Rabat. There are a few campgrounds just outside Mohamedia and again as you near Rabat. There seem to be several public water taps along the road, where you pay a handful of change for clean water that had a good taste. All the locals were paying as well and it worked out much cheaper than buying bottled water.

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