Up at 5.15. Dan’s got the squits. We slowly packed up and left at 6.15 in the cool morning heading for Rabat. On the way out, I stopped to take off my waterproof as Dan went ahead. A short while later, I was stopped by the police which turned out to be more because of their interest in my bike than for security reasons. One of the policemen asked me if I was cold in just shorts and a t-shirt. He let me go soon after.
For the rest of the early morning, we cycled against a headwind and fairly heavy rain which made life pretty miserable and energy sapping. After 50 kms, we stopped by the side of the road in a sheltered, sunny spot and had breakfast. Dan was feeling knackered and I was quite cold. We had egg butties, jam and a couple of cups of tea.
On we went, against the headwind through the countryside and the odd rain shower. At Tiffilt, we stopped for a fizzy drink. Cycling out of town, a few kids were hanging around on the outskirts. As we passed them, one of the kids grabbed the elasticated cargo net on the back of my bike and tried to slow me down. I slammed on the brakes, swung round and shouted at him. He scuttled away, looking worried that he might have been about to get a beating from me. They were brats.
It rained again. We ate lunch on a track beside the main road. The sun was out now. It was warm and we dried off quickly from the soaking we had had in the morning. Dan and I were about to have a kip, having cycled 99 kms that day so far, when a Moroccan man turned up. He said hello in French and gave us the usual bullshit about himself that we were getting used to. We gave him some bread, a tomato and an apple, which he gratefully accepted, before he started on about having a sore throat and needing medicine. Uh-oh, he was building up to asking for money. He did. Ten dirhams, in fact. We said no, packed up our bags up and cycled off, feeling fed up with the nearly constant scrounging and also having missed an opportunity to rest! The rest of the ride was through a cork forest with lorries zooming past us throwing up muddy spray, and cars zipping past hooting. It was very irritating.
On entering Rabat, we picked up a couple of hustlers on bicycles, but we soon told them where to go. We were getting tired of the tedious process when we enter a city. It was quite fun at first. But, it was just tiresome now.
We found the Hotel de Voyaguers in the old medina and heaved all of our kit up the stairs to our room with the help of the staff. We were feeling very tired. Dan was particularly cold and he was shivering, and his diarrhoea was not helping. We were covered in dirt too. After a shower, we walked into the nearby streets, the rain now tipping down, and had some kofta at a small shop before heading back to the hotel. We were in bed by 8.30pm.
Distance 146 kms (This was a guess because both of our computers were turned off for part of the journey).
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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