Sugar makes you drunk, drunkenness helps you live.

The road slips away, devouring the itinerary in a whirl, sinking further and further into the unknown. Maxence Gallot loves this type of adventure, this physical commitment to coming across places and peoples emerging from an uncertain horizon.

When I think about going to a new country, one of the first things I’m interested in is whether there is the possibility of exploring any peaks. I study with great enthusiasm in the hope of finding a steep slope to scramble over, even when in a scorching heat. I guess I’m just too eager to reach the high points, in order to survey the world and to see what is happening from the top.  I think it’s addictive. That’s why Audrey and I decided to set off on the road once again. Road trips have no price. Old mountains awaited us, as did endless waves.

Maxence Gallot

As far as I remember, it was very hot, probably too hot for me, but not for my old legs who were thirsty for adventures. Suffocating desert, red stones, not a flower. Searching for shade becomes instinctive. Yet our solitude is only an abstraction. There’s always a well-hidden shepherd that appears out of nowhere when you thought that your screams were hollow echoes in that immensity. That dry, stifling air made the engine purr, overwhelming your thoughts and invading your lucidity. What could possibly have crossed our minds to get to this point? Surely the thought of fleeing from bills, from a well-regulated life, from a well drenched autumn in the French southwest and the desire to go and get lost where we no longer in control of anything. The only certainty, as in any exile to the unknown, is that the unexpected would come along sooner or later.

Maxence Gallot

A few days before I found myself in front of this rough, isolated beauty, my van let us down. An oil leak, a spinning gearbox, was that a sign of fate? A change of car the previous day, a panicky departure, we reached the dock in the port was reached at 3:17 in the morning. Twenty-four hours on a boat awaited us. Surrounded by huge trucks loaded like mules and rusted to the bone bound for deep Africa, it was this old blue-roofed ex-plumber’s Kangoo that led us here. “We were the last lodgers to board”. Longboards lashed to the roof-rack and breaks screeching as we approached each pothole, we were embarking on the first step of our journey. Every day that went by reinforced our decision to give it a go.  So yes, we had worked hard to get there, because those thousands of miles are sometimes hard to swallow, but wasn’t that what we were looking for? The freedom of a road trip is unparalleled. Difficult moments make us as people and generate the best memories.

Maxence Gallot

Reaching the Moroccan mountains is like being in a time capsule. There, nomadic peoples adapt to this harsh and mysterious land. Those we met living in the middle of nowhere with three times nothing were, seemingly, not very envious of our watches, shoes or sunglasses. Observing the wild life, contemplating the space offered to us, climbing to the highest point, sitting in silence and admiring the vast arid expanses. Walking through this glittering paradise, for hours, wondering what the hell you’re going do with your life when you’re old, realising that thinking about tomorrow makes you old, refocusing on that environment, making a bit of a fuss about those 45 degrees on a gleaming neck.

Maxence Gallot

Each drop of sweat makes one want to down a litre bottle of fluids. But there one doesn’t drink water. Tea is the apparently the most thirst-quenching drink when it is hot. That is without doubt why one becomes hooked. The custom is to disguise it with kilos of sugar lumps to strip out your teeth. It is there that I learnt that sugar can make you drunk. I wouldn’t have believed it but our friend Afid convinced us as he reeled about and seemed to be listing after having downed his tenth cup of the day in his little restaurant of magical tajines. It was at his house that we drank the best mint tea in Morocco. Drunkenness eventually won us over while listening to his hilarious stories minced up in a haphazard French. Afid, it is also thanks to you that we will return.

Maxence Gallot

4,900 kilometres later, the brakes and calves like chewing gum, Morocco left us with a lasting memory. It was time to retrace our tracks. The notion of distance disappeared and the memory took its place. There were moments that one would be eternalised. The authenticity of life drives me to appreciate it a little more every day and to be grateful for it. In our society where everything moves at two hundred an hour, it seems obvious to me to remember one thing: the greatest luxury we can afford is taking time for ourselves, put two or three sugars in one’s tea and shoot film to freeze these memories for life.

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