A small child screams, dogs bark, hens cluck, sheep bleat, and a cow jumps over the moon… just kidding, there were no dogs around. We’ve just entered the house of Mr Mohammed Zerouat and his granddaughter is bawling her little eyes out at the sight of the two lycra clad gringos that just walked through her front door. She’s currently hiding behind Nanna Zerouat, as we later come to know the old lady baking bread in an open fire hole in the ground. We’re invited to eat said fresh bread and drink mint tea immediately.
This evening will become the most amazing experience of the trip. Only minutes before meeting our new friends AJ and JT were at a loss as to where the heck they were gonna sleep and more than a bit lost, things had reached a new level of ‘what to do?’. The only thing to ‘do’ in a situation such as this is to take what you can get, especially if that is a friendly young chap speaking broken Berber French, while cycling down a ragged muddy track in the middle of Morocco.
Our evening with the Zerouat family although challenging in terms of communication, was the most enriching few hours we’ve ever spent on a trip. This kind family took us into their home, fed us, prepared hot water for us to shower, entertained us and gave us much need shelter for the evening, simply because we were in need of it. We were very lucky to have met Arhmed when we did and will be forever grateful for the generosity of his family.
After the most filling and tasty breakfast we’d had all week, a quick fix of Mr Zerouat’s bike and lots of hugs and thank you’s, we hit the road, with Arhmed – he’s only cycling to the main road with us – our own Berber guide to Agadir! The road to Agadir is interesting in the way that it just doesn’t exist even though it’s clearly marked on the map. We persevere, finally reaching a village where we scout some lunch. And bananas.
I for one was pretty excited about getting to Agadir, I love the sea and a swim, and figured I’d do both upon arrival. Upon arrival however, we had more difficult decisions to make. To camp or not to camp? Press on or enjoy an evening in this new city? No decision can be safely made on an empty stomach though, so we eat. A lot. (burger and chips, can of coke, thanks for asking). During our late lunch, we enquire with the Dutch proprietor of the availability of cheap digs, he knows loads and even draws us a cheeky little map on a scrap of paper, which turns out to be far more reliable than the map we are working from.