Date: 20th September 2019
Travelled: 489 kms from Meknès to Marrakesh
Stayed: Parking Koutoubia Mosque €14, the usual services. N31.6238, W07.99534
Budget: xx days @ €xx per day
We enjoy another quiet evening in Camping Zerhoune. The air-conditioning making September in Morocco manageable. We service the Hymer and say goodbye to our host and turn for Meknès. We make a quick ice stop at the Carrefour, before continuing south on the N8.
Whilst I’m not a Morocco expert, there appears to be only two ways to travel south to Marrakesh, the coastal road or the inland route. As we are intend returning north via Casablanca and the coast road, we take the inland route along the N8 skirting the Atlas Mountains. Its roughly 500 kms which we would not normally think of driving in a day, but there is only a single overnight spot listed at Beni Mellal.
Map of northern Morocco, the icons on Meknès, Beni Mellal and Marrakesh
Grossly overloaded trucks, laden with hay lumber along at 60 kph are a constant distraction. As are old cars that struggle up hills and but come down at breakneck speed.
The larger towns on our route such as Azrou, Khenifra and Beni Mellal have long tree lined boulevards as we enter and depart. Even some traffic congestion. We pass Police checkpoints at every major cross road during our travels today and several mobile radar units. The Police have a very visible presence on the roads so far on our Moroccan travels.
It’s barren country and you wonder how people manage a living out here. We decide not to stop at Beni Mellal and go on to Marrakesh.
From Beni Mellal the road improves and we make better time despite the overloaded trucks. The problem now become the mopeds and scooters as the light fades in the early evening.
Eleven hours after leaving Meknès we roll into Marrakesh’s Friday evening traffic. Without a GPS it’s a nightmare. A young entrepreneur on a push-bike offers to lead us to the Koutoubia parking area. Obviously he knew a lost motorhome as an opportunity. We follow him for 10 minutes through the traffic to the parking area. We settle on a price and say goodbye.
Michael and Pam