We were up early, packed and away by 9am. I popped into the post office to send off a few letters and post cards while Dan waited outside with the bikes, only to attract of people who wanted to chat or pester him.
It was a fairly uneventful ride to Meknes with only one memorable event. About 30kms out of Fes, a young lad was cycling ahead of us. Dan whizzed past him. I passed him soon after, giving him a bit of surprise. He speeded up on his old bike and cycled along beside me, asking “Comment t’appeles tu?” a simple enough question. But, after the amount of hassle we had experienced in Fes, we were not in the mood to chat. I shrugged my shoulders and he pulled away.
However, he turned in too soon and his rear wheel hit my front left pannier. I became unstable on my bike and unable to get away from him. All I could was turn into him to push him away. I was still wobbling a lot but it worked. I swore at him loudly as he shot across the other side of the road, swinging my arm at him at the same time. “Im-shee!” (Go away!) I screamed. He stopped on the verge, looking very worried. I cycled on, feeling shaken and angry, a serious accident having been avoided.
It took us 3.5 hours to reach Meknes. We arrived without being hassled and without much effort at Hotel Maroc just as it started to rain. We put our kit and bikes into the room before walking into town.
It was still raining. We had a quick look into the Imperial City and mausoleum of Moulay Ismail. The mausoleum was intricately painted and carved. Quite interesting. Dan and I then went into the market to buy some supplies. The rain seemed to have made the locals look forlorn and miserable. Fortunately, there were no touts hassling us.
After Fes, our interest in Moroccan buildings had diminished. Our enthusiasm for the town was minimal and it seemed quite dull after the intensity of the last few days. We had been looking forward to getting into the countryside or desert.
That night we cooked ourselves a vegetable curry and had bananas in evaporated milk for supper. It was a relief to be on the move again and anonymous.
Distance 63.29 kms Average speed 17.3 kmh Time 3 hours 37 minutes
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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