Midnight At The Oasis. Showtime In The Sahara. The decaying and dusty streets of Morocco are begging to be revisited. I’m planning a ride from Rabat to Casablanca. Funny things, road trips. They can be the best way to get under the skin of a country. Or your own skin. Or someone else’s.
Apparently I’m gonna need some mighty patience. The expressway I’m hankering after is 57 miles long, which in the grand scheme of things is a mere blip o’ this life, but the traffic I’ve been warned is an absolute beaut, with long delays and slow movements par for the course. I quite like the idea already.
I’ve been told of Morocco’s dangerous drivers who supposedly neither dip their lights nor slow down at corners. But that’s ok, I drive in Cape Town, across highways I shouldn’t, and even once in such torrential rain that I think my headlights got excited.
There’s something about a drive, something so compelling. From first rides of life, illegal smells (cigarette smoke in a car!), graduating from incense to perfume in gloriously confined spaces, lemon trees billowing through car windows and the architecture of buildings (maybe) lining motorways. I’m reminiscing now, but it gives me a tingle to see my joyriding evolution. And goodness, I’m only just getting started at this life.
Rides and journeys, destinations and dalliances, they get me going they do. I could tell you about a myriad of roads, lanes and paths I want to drive down. Some are at shores, some are high atop mountains, and others, they’re just off the beaten track with not a soul around. I love to listen to music when I’m driving just as much as I love listening to birdsong and the wind. Especially if my arms are out the window and they feel like they’re going to fall off.
I also like the louche, laid-back and (a bit) seedy ride you can take, which is probably why I’m itching for the Moroccan road trip. The air, she’s a bit raffish, but the labyrinthine hearts of towns remain intact, mazes of tiny streets, souks, monuments and traditional dye pits. I want to chase the sun knowing that there’s nothing a full tank of gas cant fix – it’s the essence of optimism in motion. It’s definitely sexy when you’re with someone you find sexy. Oh, and vice versa. It’s the idea for both of you that renewal (or something else – sorry mum) waits just around the bend. The wide open highways beckons, but also challenges.
Which leads me back to Morocco, the beating heart of North Africa that borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. I just want to stuff my face with lemon cake and mint tea under rays of pink-soaked afternoon sun filtering through trees. I want color, history, hairpin turns, flocks of goats, a camel or two, maybe an impromptu festival, definitely lots of markets, oh, and starlight over my head. Maybe the trip will be the road itself. I’ll let you know.