Saturday, 20 April 2013

Day 12, The Sahara Desert!!

Well we have made it, to the most south easterly part of morocco and the start of the Sahara Desert. But that's not the end of the story, so I will start at the beginning.

As you will remember from last nights blog, ian was not to well and went to bed early and without beer. Things did not improve this morning at 7am he was still spending to much time in the little room, although he was determined to carry on today as well as complete the 60 km off road section that was planned. I on the other hand had other ideas!!!

So we filled him with pills and set off, after I had packed his bags and loaded his bike we made the 40 steep decent to the bikes, by the time we got there Ian was already exhausted!, at a steady to,slow pace we made it for 40 km for fuel and a well earned rest under the shade of a tree with a dry biscuit and bottle of coke (Ian had not eaten for 24 hours)' he also agreed at this point that the off road section was not a good idea and we should get to mazouga as soon as possible on road.

So off we went and descended from the relative cool of the mountain 1600 meters down the desert highway towards Anlif and another stop about 20 km out, Ian needed a rest and I spotted an empty cafe with no one around and some shade, he needed to shut his eyes for 10 min's, alas after we arrived with our nice quite bikes so did the rest of the village to greet us. Including Mohamed who had a brother who not only has a cafe in Anlif who could provide us with a nice tagine (Ian went even whiter at this point) but a hotel and camel rides in mazouga!!!! Who'ed of though it, must have been our lucky day. Unfortunately Ian did not get any sleep as Mohamed was a very chatty man and 40 minutes later we were on our way, without shut eye.

After passing through Anlif and on to the desert highway proper the mountains disappeared and we were left with the most baron landscape I have ever seen, and the heat was starting to hit us! About 38 degrees with no air, it was like ridding in a tumble dryer. After covering 270 km today Ian was ready for bed so we stopped at the first hotel with pool, but no beer! And checked in, I made Ian drink some re-hydration and the nice hotel owner gave me some more poison to help his stomach which I administered after I had unloaded the bikes.

Ian has now slept for a few hours and is feeling a lot better, but I have left him in bed to sleep, I have spent some time by the pool and catching up with my family, who I miss dearly and the further south I go the harder it gets.

I am now sitting on the roof terrace typing this update on my own waiting for dinner, i have declined the tagine and salad and aked for just soup and bread and of course a nice cold b.........ottle of water. There are only a few pic's today as we stopped very little as we needed to get Ian in to bed, but I hope you agree the ones there are, are fantastic.

So here we are in the Sahara Desert in the scorching heat with one man down, but only for today hopefully.

I suppose this is the 1st leg complete.

Now for those of you that know me, know I have traveled the world and seen many places, but words to describe this part of the world fail me, but I will try in the best way I can to share the experience.

It is baron beyond belief, it is harsh and hard and without features except sand and rock there is no separation between sky and land and the mirages are there in plane sight, buildings blend into the landscape and even the vegetation looks brown and dusty. The heat is oppressive it drains you like it is taken every breath back from you while cooking your lungs and coating them in sand.

But don't get me wrong I do not hate it, I, from sunny and wet green England, or even Europe, cannot understand it, or comprehend it or even in my wildest imagination see how anyone can live in it, and we are not even at the hottest part of the year, but people do and they are lovely, they welcome you, help you and respect you and that is the Berber way of life. Everyone is there brother which is why Morocco is still a very safe place to travel.

Tomorrow will be a forced day off to ensure Ian is back to full fitness before we take on the desert on our bikes and start heading to the west and hopefully the coolness of the coast.

The card has taken a day off as was getting quite big headed with all this publicity, it also has a upset stomach and is in bed refusing to be photographed without makeup on!

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