60km El Mehattat to Oulad Salmane

Friedel eating oranges by the seashoreThe promenadeWith the wind blowing all night, we didn’t hear a thing and slept like babies in our tent. The skies seemed calmer as we poked our heads out and made our morning coffee. After a quick stop at the well for water, we were on our way. We followed the ocean most of the day, taking in gorgeous views over the Atlantic coast, many fields of wheat and a lot of cows grazing, more than we’ve seen anywhere else in Morocco.

Just before lunch we rolled into a small town on market day, which is always fun to experience. A town that would otherwise be deserted is suddenly heaving with people selling everything from bananas to used clothes and all the restaurants cook tempting tagines by the roadside for the punters. Around the same time we passed a man and woman on a tandem towing a rather large trailer. From a distance we thought it was a donkey pulling a cart, but it turned out to be a French couple from Nantes doing a round-the-world journey since 2002. They were older, maybe in their 50s, and it made us laugh to think of all the people we’ve talked to who have told us that our kind of trip is only for the young. This French husband and wife team are proof that you can carry out your dream at any age, if you have the desire to take on the challenge. If we have learned anything in the past six months, it is that bicycle touring is as much, if not more, about your mental state as your physical one.

Not long after leaving the market town our old friend the wind returned to slow our pace in the afternoon. We gave up and went to the beach in Souira for a while, before settling down in a field for the night a few kilometers down the road from the village.