I recently spent two weeks exploring, mountain biking, and surfing my way through Morocco with Made By Adventure. While traveling, I wrote stories, experiences, and thoughts down each day in a tiny little journal. Here’s a bit from said journal. Hopefully it’s more coherent and legible than the original.
Our first day on singletrack. YAY! We loaded our bikes on the top of our support van and drove to the top of the pass that overlooked the village where we had spent the previous night. We all adjusted our seats, perfected (tried to perfect) our shocks, and peed behind 6 bushes just one last time before we were off. We were psyched to hop on the singletrack and ride back down to the village.
An off-camber and exposed trail with incredibly loose scree awaited us. Less than thirty seconds into the ride, I washed out and cut up my left arm and leg. It was TOUGH. And I was off to a great start. I’m used to a few loose spots back at home. Perhaps a sand pit or scree field here and there. But this was nearly non-stop. I struggled to get my footing when hike-a-biking and kept washing out while riding. It was still fun, of course, but it definitely wasn’t what we were expected since this was the trail that was “built for tourism” and not just a donkey path or goat social trail.
After arriving in the village, we rode (our bikes this time) back to the summit of the pass. It took nearly an hour of switchback after switchback up a steady incline. If you’ve ever ridden with me, or talked to me a day after a big ride, you know I really loathe climbing. I want to like it, I really do. But I just don’t. And I don’t know how to. Except this day. This day I was in a groove and I simply couldn’t stop and wasn’t ready to pass out with each pedal stroke. To make it even better, Lachen was waiting for me at the top and tossed a bag of truly glorious trail mix over to me. He created his own trail mix from goodies he bought at the souq in Asni the day before. It was way better and fresher than any trail mix bought or made at home. Once everyone refilled, we dropped into a bit more singletrack and headed toward the next village where we’d be spending the night.
Despite this part of the trail being a tiny bit tackier, I still managed to slip and slide out. Whoops. While my body was safely laying on the trail, my shoes were attached to the pedals with the bike dangling down the mountain. I patiently awaited my rescue because I knew if I tried to help myself, I’d un-clip and have a super nice bike to chase after. So I just laid there. It wasn’t bad.
While the bike portion of today’s adventure was sort meh, the village I’m currently staying in is quite unique.
The local kids know we’re in here because our support van is parked outside our gite. And let me tell you that this is no inconspicuous van. Our support van is unique. It’s got 10 bikes strapped to the top, curtains with tassels covering every window, and stickers of camels and men in turbans on the back door. It’s sketchy and perfect. Perfectly sketchy, really.
So, they keep walking by curiously. I must’ve waved to the kids outside at least twenty times now. Maybe I should stop.
As I write this, the call to prayer is sounding and echoing through the valley of this mountainous village. The amazing scents coming from the kitchen is wafting into my bedroom. Tagine, I think. Or anything really since the same spices are used across most dishes we’ve had thus far. Either way, it’s definitely calling my name. And so is the rest of my group. Someone is hangry.