So, as we arrived in the town of Zagora, at the bottom end of the Draa Valley, a motorcycle pulled up alongside us, and a chap was telling us all about his garage and waved a business card at us. We politely declined, but this had little effect on him. This suddenness still startles African GirlChild, and arouses a feeling of discomfort. Viking Explorer – much calmer – takes the guy’s card and says we’ll think of him if we need a mechanic.
Interjection for clarity: Viking Explorer and African GirlChild are at opposite ends of the scale of suspiciousness. The healthy spot is somewhere in between us. African GirlChild has an overdose of African style suspiciousness of people and situations; Viking Explorer is the eternal optimist who believes only the best in people. It makes for interesting dynamics.
After filling with fuel, we return to the main road and find a pavement café. Finally, I feel like I can catch my breath and calm down after the whirlwind that was our arrival into Zagora. We take our time and eat our lunch slowly, watching the passing traffic of all kinds.
Next up, the car needs a wash. It is very dusty and dirty, and while it will no doubt reach this state again soon, we are still attempting to keep it under control. The lavage auto across the street is our next stop, but disappointingly is closed. Never fear, a different chap on a different motorbike ALSO has a garage, and he’ll wash the car for us. Price agreed (Viking Explorer getting into this). Off we go back into the side streets, and pull up outside a rather bigger garage (with another adjacent, for good measure and healthy competition). Washing is done half on the street, half on the pavement. High pressure hose, a few helpers and a bucket of suds appears, and we disappear into the garage.
It all went Twilight Zone!
This double bay – neat, tidy and orderly – is literally covered in stickers and photos from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, door to door. Aziz very proudly points to his favourite photos – one of which is Peter from Atlas Overland! Next, we find stickers for One Life Adventures, Trailmasters and Waypoint Tours! All UK tour outfits, who are clearly regulars to Chez Aziz. Viking Explorer and Aziz began chatting in a mixture of French and English: notes compared, updates on news on common acquaintances … and before long, they were lifelong friends!
After Brodie has been returned to his former glory – the colour of Tuareg we are informed – and the previous garage sticker has been replaced by a Chez Aziz sticker, I casually ask our new friend if he has a sticker of the flag of Morocco to add to our collection. Of course, he says … and the chaps jump back on their motorbike to source one for us! Oops … I thought he had one in his office …
We drink more tea (you didn’t think we’d escaped that did you?) and chat and wait … eventually after about half an hour the motorbike returns with our stickers! A gift from Aziz – no payment accepted.
Of course, we have to leave our piece of history to add to the wall. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any of our own stickers, but we left a business card and then took a few photos of everyone at the vehicle outside the workshop.
So, when you arrive in Zagora, do look out for Chez Aziz / Garage Iriki Zagora. And please check the walls to see if there is a photo of the Kapp2Cape crew …