I got up and went out to get some breakfast. It was sunny but chilly. A policeman was outside on the road stopping the occasional car. Something stirred in the back of my mind about the previous night.
I walked into the shabby, little town and bought eggs, bread and milk. Back in the room, we had cereal and coffee. The eggs, bar one, floated in the water we had boiled to cook them so I threw those ones away.
After eating and packing away most of our kit, there was a knock on the door. I opened it and there was standing a policeman who asked for our passports. He went away with them saying he would not be long.
Next, I went outside to get some fresh air and I saw the policeman from earlier who said we had go to the police station. What on earth was happening? We quickly finished off packing our kit and were led by a young boy to the station where we went through a small gate into yard in which some chickens were running around.
Inside the building, we were invited to sit down while they too down our details. One policeman interviewing us talked while he wrote. There were four or five other policemen in the room. They were all very friendly and relaxed despite the potentially disconcerting fact that they had our passports. We were soon allowed to go once they had asked us about our occupations. They wished us good luck with the journey.
As we were cycling out of town a little later on, we saw why there had been such a fuss about us. Up on the hill to the left and behind the town was what looked like a communications station including a tower covered in satellite and microwave dishes. On the edge of the town, we saw the same policemen from earlier who were dealing with an overturned lorry.
On we went through the now glorious morning sunshine. We had wonderful, clear views of open, lightly undulating ground, scattered with brown buildings. It was lovely sight. We sped along, although Dan was quite a way behind me.
The town of Ben Gerhir soon came up with a sign outside it saying ‘Town of the Future’, which seemed quite far off the reality of the place. We stopped to buy some supplies, before cycling on and past an army base.
The road stretched far into the distance. In the distance, we could see the High Atlas mountains, looming in cloud. We had lunch of rice, tuna, peas and tomatoes away from the road. On, on we went.
South of Sidi-Bou-Othmane, the local police stopped us and took down our details. They were friendly and shook our hands as we left. We climbed a small rise from where we could now see Marrakech in the distance.
We arrived in Marrakech at 4.30pm and found the ‘Hotel Atlal’, which was 70 dirhams a night. It was clean with hot showers. Dan was not feeling well. At 6pm, I went out into the famous market place of the Djmaa El Fna. The market was an amazing sight of small stalls cooking kefta and kebabs, fruit juice, books, shoes and trinkets; all of which were lit by kerosene lamps.
I sat at a small stall and ate some kefta, after which I bought some freshly squeezed from another stall. I then bought fruit and nuts from other stalls. It was good fun.
I returned to the hotel. Dan was feeling better, so we went out and walked around the Djmaa El Fna, stopping to buy cereal and fresh doughnuts. What a place. The medina off the marketplace was soon shutting down for the day as we walked into it, so we soon turned around and found a bar in which to have a drink before heading back to get some sleep.
Distance 104.9 kms Average speed 15.8 kmh Time 6 hours 34 mins
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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