Simon, Steve and Chris were up early because they had to return to the UK. We got up with them too. I had a screaming headache. We went down to the main square off the Kasbah for breakfast. We were offered freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and bread filled with cheese and marmalade, so we accepted it! It was delicious but expensive by Moroccan standards.
(While writing this diary, I could hear a donkey being urged up the narrow, cobbled street outside our pension by its owner who was rolling his Rs off his tongue).
We chatted to Dan’s friends over breakfast and said goodbye. They looked pretty fed up about having to leave. Dan and I stayed on and spent the rest of the day looking around the Kasbah, trying to mend the pension’s video player (Dan is the 'handyman' and helped a number of people mend machines of sorts along the way), talking to the men in the pension and wandering around the shops.
I was feeling pretty awful. My stomach felt swollen with wind and I still had a headache. I went to bed for a kip after having bought stamps from the Post Office at about 3pm. I also went for a haircut later in the day and had a good ‘short back and sides’ of which my platoon sergeant in the army would have approved.
It’s so much easier having short hair when you are travelling. With the amount of sweating and the amount of dust in the places we were cycling having longer hair would have been a pain. Well, maybe that’s just what I had got used to after spending time in the army.
In the evening, the two of us went for a walk in search of air mail. We soon found air mail envelopes but no paper to go into it. (Imagine worrying about that now when you can just send an email from an internet café?). We ventured on through the dim streets, going down alleys and roads no wider than a small cart which we had not been down before. Chefchaouen has such atmosphere. It’s an incredible place. We found some paper in the new town, eventually, and also found a pharmacy where we bought some drugs to relieve my guts.
Walking back up to the old town where we were staying, we returned to a shop we had been to earlier where I had bought some gloves (My cycling gloves from the UK had fallen apart because of the amount of sweat coming off me for the last six weeks had wrecked them) and asked them to sew some leather onto the palms to turn them into cycling gloves. I paid the man 50 dirhams (£3.50) and left. When I got back to our room, I realised the man had sewn leather onto the gloves in such a way that I now had two left gloves, which was quite a laugh.
We went to bed and listened to the BBC World Service on the Sony short wave radio I had brought with us. Listening to the BBC made us feel very far away from home.
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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