By the time my alarm went off at 6am, I had had hardly slept. At 6.20am, I got dressed and went to see Dan. He, unsurprisingly, had not slept well either, and felt hot and rough. I fetched his sheet sleeping bag so he could lie on something a bit more comfortable.
After seeing Dan, I cooked Hussein his first ever scrambled eggs for breakfast (which he seemed to enjoy) and then cycled into the town centre to look for a room in a hotel. I found the Hotel Royal for 47 dirhams a night (about £3.70 a night).
It was 10am by the time I had everything transferred into the hotel room. There were two other older Spanish mountain bikers leaving as I went in, at one point. They cycled wearing jeans! I was having a coffee when I saw Brian on the other side of the street with their bikes. I nipped over and said hello. They’d just got in after spending the night in Ait-Banhaddou, which they said was lovely. Sarah was shopping in the supermarket which stocked lots of decent tinned food, including Heinz tomato soup!). We spoke for a while before they headed off for Zagora.
I went back to the hotel room for a while before heading back up to see Dan at midday. He had another prescription for medicine to ease his throat. . Also, the doctor said she would give him a penicillin injection. I went off to get the medicine and hypodermic set for injection.
Dan had still not eaten. Poor sod. He upset me a bit when he said I should have not pushed him to cycle to Ouzazerte when all he had to say was “Stop!”. I didn’t say anything but I did feel a bit pissed off that an seemed to be blaming me for his condition. He had blamed me before for something of his own doing.
I left feeling a bit lonely and a little angry. Penny came streaming into my head and I imagined what she was doing. I bought some eggs and fruit for lunch. The rest of the afternoon I spent dozing, washing clothes, fiddling with the cooker, writing my diary and thinking about home.
I went onto the roof of the hotel to hang out my washing while admiring the magnificent views of the mountains and the dry surrounding countryside. It was warm and sunny. For supper, I had some Heinz Cream of Mushroom soup (which felt like a luxury and was very comforting.), bread and fruit. I lay about reading for a while before going up to the hospital.
Dan looked better and apologised for his outburst earlier. He asked me to get the penicillin from his bags so he could avoid having an injection. He had eaten a little couscous and was expecting to come out the next evening. We chatted for a while about how far we would get on our money and about food.
I left at about 8.15pm, dropping in to see the doctors. They asked me to cook them some more scrambled eggs in the morning. I walked back to my room where I sat about writing and listening to the BBC World Service.
I had a feeling going through my mind that the ‘travelling’ was only just beginning. It was probably because we had crossed the High Atlas and the terrain had changed so much. The dry land stretched for miles around and gave me the feeling of being just a dot on the horizon. The air is so dry that it makes my nose dry out enough to give me nose bleeds. Soon, we might have to start wearing our shemaghs around our faces to keep some moisture in our bodies and the sun off. I’m tired.
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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