There’s no worse place than a bicycle to be when you’re sick, but that’s exactly where we were today – a day which started well but ended with Friedel doing a dive out of the tent, sick to her stomach. As we set out from Safi the sky was a clear blue and the wind wason our backs. We pedalled on a road which was so close to the edge of the cliffs, with waves crashing meters below our feet, that sometimes we thought we might cycle right into the ocean.
By lunchtime we’d covered our usual distance for the whole day, reaching the resort town of Oualidia, but soon afterwards the mood changed. We both got headaches and Friedel felt nauseous. We took regular breaks and searched for a wild camping spot, but the whole area was covered in agricultural fields in a density we haven’t seen elsewhere in Morocco. With the exception of the few kilometers leading out of Safi, fields of wheat and carrots, and greenhouses of tomatoes covered the land, right up to the ocean’s edge. Forced to carry on, we struggled to cope with the persistent demands of local children and shouts of “oooooooh, monsieur” from men sitting alongside the road, mostly looking for cigarettes. After two months in Morocco we are normally quite good at responding to the kids in a playful way and waving hello to everyone and their donkey, but feeling ill it was more than we could handle on this particular day.
Finally we found a campsite (actually more of a hotel with a back lawn) and negotiated a price to pitch our tent for the night. Not long afterwards Friedel threw up and Andrew collapsed with a pounding headache. Not the best day on our bikes, but we consolled ourselves with the thought that tomorrow could only be better.