96km Rich – Source Bleue de Meski
The wind at our backs and a downhill slant for much of the day helped us cover a good distance, going from the foothills of the High Atlas mountains to the palm tree filled vallies of the desert. The highlight without a doubt was the beautiful Gorges du Ziz, where the fast-flowing river carved out a canyon, lined with lush green banks, before opening out onto a large deep-blue lake. Plenty of cyclists kept us company throughout the route, mostly in the form of local kids trying to keep pace while asking for candy or a pen, but one man had a real passion for biking and talked to us for some time about his trips around Morocco and giving us tips for the road ahead. Late in the afternoon we stopped at the market in Er Rachidia, a bustling town with plenty of cafes and restaurants. While picking up food for the next day another man named Hassan stopped to chat and tell us about his brother, who was also a cycling fanatic and had travelled all over Europe on his bike. It seems Morocco is not short of enthusastic cyclists and in Er Rachidia we were surprised to see government signs advertising construction projects to build more bike lanes. Our day ended at a campsite in an oasis, beautiful surroundings and very peaceful.