Time To Finish This - Sights Set On Morocco (Under A Hot Sun) - CycleBlaze

January 31, 2015

Time To Finish This

I meet people at home unknowing of this site who ask where I've been and, I reply variously, I've been cycling: to Morocco and back. Their eyes open wide as I begin explaining the ride from here (Ireland) through south west England, France, Spain etcetera. It is the same actually when explaining my journey to people on the road. I repeat myself near enough everyday. I mean to make a card to hand-out for such encounters. And thought the following picture printed up as a postcard with this website stroke doc, plus connections for my other journals would be a good idea.

Sights Set On Morocco (Under A Hot Sun)
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The photo I think works for the journal's title. The scene has nothing to do with cycling, but is a very pretty picture colour-wise: the sea and sand. And the people in it can see Morocco.

There are other photos I would like to add here for reflection, but I can't recover them from the computer's hard-drive. At the moment I have to buy an external hard-drive and with the help of someone who knows about computers, download my pictures, something I am clueless in doing.

My lack of technical knowledge when the computer's disc capacity was full in the middle of the tour was frustrating to say the least. There were lots of messages popping up on screen with instructions on how to create space, but unless you know your way around the computer screen, it's all for naught. So I waited for a tech-savvy person to have a look.

The other issue of this tour was personal security in Morocco. Not that I was afraid of coming to physical harm, but like every traveller I carry passport and bank cards which I feared would've been snatched off me by mobs of teenage boys that befell me in rural areas, shouting abuse as they come out in the road to block me. In every instance I instinctively rode hard and successfully swerved around them as one would grab at a pannier, and more often than not I would have to keep pedalling hard as I'd be chased down the road. On returning to Spain other travellers related similar experiences: a cyclist told me he had stones thrown at him and on another occasion his assailants tried putting a stick into his spokes, obviously an attempt to disable the bike and make off with valuables. It is a little amusing now (not so shortly after, having written to the best of my ability about the issues) that it was suggested through the guestbook at the time that people in campervans give children pens and so they come to expect gifts; the correspondent also wrote they didn't think I'd come to any harm. Well I don't understand Arabic, nor did I need to, to understand the aggressive tone. Its a strange way to greet a bearer of gifts. And although some of them were aged eight or nine, the majority were fifteen upwards, no longer children but young men, physically capable of overpowering me and making off with whatever they wished.

It all happened on the road from Tanger to Fes: the Riff mountains, and there were a few scary encounters on the road further south. In other words the rural interior. The cities and Atlantic coast were worry free. In fact I quite enjoyed the coast road and felt safe enough to adopt wild camping again.

The rest of the tour in the other countries, it would be hard to find anything negative to write about. There was fine weather throughout. I think there was one morning in France between ten and just after midday where it poured down; a wet day crossing the Atlas mountains; a heavy shower a Sunday afternoon in Portugal; and a sleety rain day in north west Spain; apart from these, it didn't rain.

I can't think of anything else at the moment except thanks for reading and for corresponding through the quest book. And thanks everyone for rating both the writing and pictures. It really is appreciated and a big psychological help to keep journaling.

At the moment I'm thinking of a new title for the next journal, as I hope to be back on the road soon.

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