I was up at 6.15am to find that a rodent had chewed several holes in one of my socks. Or, perhaps it was moths. Anyway, they must have liked dirty socks sitting outside our tent. Little buggers. I got breakfast going. It was quite cold before the sun came up.
We cycled into Bouanane to resupply ourselves. A few annoying kids constantly asked us for lighters, key rings and dirhams. We bought hot, fresh bread from a baker and ate half a loaf of the piping hot stuff before escaping the group of snotty kids.
We were late in getting going for the day because of this stop and the first 15 kms were no help to our target for the day. It was hard British Land Rovers passed us, probably on their way to Figuig. Just past Ain-Chair, we stopped for a roadside lunch. It was cloudy and cool with a few drops of rain coming down.
Coming the opposite way, three Italian motorcyclists came hammering up the road. We waved and they stopped. We chatted with them in broken English. They were very friendly and one had been to Tamanrasset in Algeria before and told us the road down to it was good. Good news! However, he went on to say that from there to Agadez in Niger it was bad. They screamed off and left us to our dull food.
The next stage too us into the Plaine de Tamfelt, an enormous area of sand, scrub and masses of camels. The road was flat and good going. We had 65 kms of that lonely road with very little passing traffic. Soon, we could see Bouarfa in the distance below a small mountain.
We were tiring and our speed dropped away gradually until, 4 kms from the town, we were stopped at a police checkpoint. The friendly police man checked our passports and let us move on.
We found a hotel for 60 dirhams (£4.67) with no showers. Dan and I moved the bags in and then went out to buy some supper which, as usual, was rice with soup poured onto it, with pudding of vanilla flan and a cake (both of which Dan made from a packet).
It had been a long hard day during which I had spent some of the time thinking about home and how stiff my legs were getting. We took an antibacterial tablet each to sort out our guts. The following day we were aiming to get to Figuig which is the border town for Algeria.
Distance 134.23 kms Average speed 14.3 kmh Time 9 hours 21 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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