70km Asti to Sale
When we started out this morning, cycling from the wine city of Asti into the surrounding fields of wheat and corn, the last thing we expected to be doing was sharing a tagine with a Moroccan family. We thought the hospitality of that wonderful country was far behind us but we were wrong. Today, we found it again at a fruit stand in northern Italy. It was late in the afternoon and we’d stopped to buy a melon and oranges to help us cope with the humid weather. As we muddled our way through in Italian with the shopkeeper we noticed that our request for two oranges was translated as “juge” for his young helper, the Moroccan word for the number two. “Are you Moroccan,” we asked? Of course he was, from Casablanca. Thus began a long conversation, the kind of which we hadn’t experienced since leaving Morocco in March. Over melons, cherries, oranges and coffees we talked about Morocco with Yassine and his sister Nadia and within half an hour they’d asked us back to their home for the night. We had to wait a few hours for them to finish work but a wonderful evening followed with Yassine, Nadja, Yussef, Kahlid, Adri (a worker from Romania) and Guiseppe, the owner of the fruit stand and a garden centre where everyone works. We were especially touched because they had all put in a very long day, yet still found time to cook us a fantastic meal and Nadia gave us her bed for the night. What a rare treat for us.