PHOTOGRAPHER & FILMMAKER
PHOTOGRAPHER & FILMMAKER

Let’s get lost.

May my trails be crooked, winding and wild. May they lead to the most amazing view. May they rise into and above the clouds.

Over the horizon

I didn’t stay long in Germany. To be specific, 12 days. Now I’m in Boracay. This is in Southeast Asia in the Philippines. I feel as if I had entered another planet. I don’t mean it negative, it’s just so completely different. Indescribably attractive – I love it!


Homecoming

Back in Algeciras, Hias and I took seperated ways, because our wallets are filled differently. I didn’t take the highway to save the expensive tolls and had my breaks at couch surfers and friends. My stops were in Alicante, Barcelona, Montpellier, Lyon and Freiburg. My tactics to send a couch request in a McDonald Free Wifi somewhere, taking the rest of the day’s stage and then again use wifi to check for the answers and get luckily a place to sleep for the night were surprisingly good. Thanks to all the couch surfers, who offered me a warm place to sleep! The only problem was actually the cold. It was really so bitter, bitter cold on the bike. I invented all possible positions in order to not fall as icy block off the machine. The method that came out on top, was to leave the left hand between the lower and upper thigh and wrap the right hand in layers. At the bottom of the hierarchy was the plastic bag, then the 3.99,-  gas station „Flauschi“, surrounded by a thin one that I brought properly to tinker, followed by my motorcycle glove. Last but not least i pulled over all those my „grippy“ – a rubber glove – that i usually used for greasing the chain. But it turned out that it somehow triggered a reaction which made my hand freeze in even less time – or maybe it just strangled my blood. I can’t tell exactly, but my hands where purple blue in every case. This worked well, though I had to leave the road all 20 miles and lay my hands on the engine to get some feeling back in my fingers, but at least I made ​​progress. Matters where complicated further by the fact that snowy, drizzly adverse wind covered my visor and compelled me constantly to wipe away the ice. So that’s how I drove the last stages – one-handed, shivering and visorwiping – did i arrive after 8 147 miles in Munich.


Goodbye Morocco!

When we finally made ​​our way on this day it was almost dark. But we still wanted to arrive in Spain. We drove a few hours through the night to Tangier, purchased at one of the stations outside the harbor a ticket and finally reached the last ferry at midnight just before the ship left. Short and sweet I said goodbye and took leave of a country and people who grew during the trip very dear to my heart. I learned to understand their culture, to tolerate their beliefs, to respect their traditions and to appreciate their being. Shukran, guardian angels that you are always next to me, no matter where I go. Insanely happy I let myself sink into a chair while floating over the gurgling waves to Spain.


It’s better together

We wandered through Fes‘ old medina and almost got lost in the ornate, intricate way system, which was filled with traders and craftsmen and dye-works – just as in other moroccan towns as well. After we finally found a way out of the maze, we were invited by Nabil’s cousin and his family to have lunch with them. They served a banquet in several courses and on top they put us on the guest list for an arab wedding of one of the daughters, who is getting married in August.


Reunion tour

We passed by Essouira and El Jadida (really beautiful port cities), came to Casablanca, Rabat and Meknes and arrived finally in Fes. Here we met up again with Nabil, which we already knew from Rabat and his cousin plus a few friends of them. Trixe, one of their friends offered us a place for the night in a room on the roof above a grocery store which we gratefully accepted.


Perfect idyll

The village of Taghazout was really romantic with all its colorful fishing boats and sandy beaches, or the winding streets, the stylish surfers, the mighty waves, the pleasant summer weather, the fresh calamari and the salty smell of the sea, the disguised tourist camels, the idyllic palm-lined avenues, the enchanting sunsets and with its inviting restaurants. We got a nice and affordable apartment and met quickly a few locals here, smoked shisha, played chess, drank fruit shakes, were invited to tea and won a beach soccer match with them. In these wonderful five relax days, I got to know the dynamic actress Fiona who was traveling alone with her ​​surfboard and guitar in Morocco. Brave, right? Once again we had gathered our strength back for the journey, we saddled up and started towards El Jadida and Fez.

Just follow the sun!


Do you know where…?

After visiting in the morning the ruins of old Agadir on a nearby hill, we drove into the mountains to be able to view the famous waterfalls, the cascades of Imouzza. I guess the nice Senegalese next door has told us the wrong way, because we drove off endless roads that seemed as if here haven’t rolled along tires for years. Just before dusk, we finally made it to summit of the Cascades – but it was already night, and that’s really dangerous in the mountains. We arrived healthy at midnight the valley, drove further to Taghazout and are now in a cozy place to stay.


Along the coast

It was time for us to explore the still unknown coastal parts of Morocco. There’s still a lot to see. This time we didn’t allow us plenty of time to drive through the desert and mastered the route to Agadir in three days. What we’ve seen there? Fishing! Many fishermen spread along the coast, live and fish every day. They seemed quite happy to take contact to the outerworld through us. In any case, they enjoyed sitting on my horse and pose in front of the camera. I was surrounded by moments that fascinated me. Moments i’ve never seen that way in my life before. The fear was overcome, the curiosity satisfied. I got to know each Sahari as amiable people. Whether homeless or fisherman, strays or policeman, young and old – they all had one thing in common – admirable warmth. Happy new year to all!


Unexpected desert rallye

We left our dream camp and set out late at night towards Dakhla. When we came out of the desert sand and found a road again, suddenly a bunch of 4×4 drivers passed by, led by two flag-waving motorcyclists with enabled warning lights. „I WANT TOO!“ did i think to myself and were already at 100mph and put myself up to the forefront of the honking, flashing SUVs. The motorcyclists greeted me immediately, I got a „thumbs up“ and I was given one of their flags – of course I turned on also my signal and honked, stood up and went on with the flag in the air. All police stations let us pass with greeting and suddenly we got a police escort vehicle that went in front of us. The street was cleared, next to me on the sidewalks were jubilant Moroccans, I did not really know what actually was happening, but it was good. Bold and good. And i was right in the middle. When suddenly a camera crew drove next to me and filmed me swinging my flag, it was obvious that the crowds on the roadside not accidentally stood there and waved. We drove to the center of Dakhla and were finally briefed by the police here. The other riders and me were leading the way – the 4×4 followed us. They showed me my parking space and I just played along. The place was filled with camera crews and photographers. We dismounted, we laughed , they welcomed me, admired my machine, pulled me right in the crowd and in a positioned tent there, they gave me tea and fruits and i were fed with jars with peculiar substance (I guess it was camel milk) because I already had my hands full and enjoyed it. Back on my machine, i met the girls who arrived by the 4×4 and as it turned out they were member of a demonstration for peace through half of Africa „Manifestation pour la paix“. The Moroccans thought somehow I was a rallye driver for this peace project or something? Suddenly I was the star of the crowd and everyone wanted to be photographed together with me and the machine. I didn’t really get what’s happening. Then television crews appeared and the two motorcycle riders dragged me in front of the camera and gave off an interview about me and my journey – I just stood there waving my flag and grinning from ear to ear. Unfortunately, they couldn’t tell me exactly when it is broadcasted in the Tv. After all the excitement i was given the flag and a sponsor cap and invited to a dinner party on the next day at their hotel. Then I drove satisfied through the city and searched for Hias, which I had accidentally lost while doing the escort service.


JONAS MERLIN

PHOTOGRAPHER
AND
FILMMAKER.

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