A ten day bike trip cycling in Morocco
This blog post about cycling in Morocco shares the story of our ten day bike adventure from Marrakech, across the Atlas mountains to Agadir, along the coast to Essaouira then back to Marrakech.
We traveled in autumn 2012, as far as I can remember. It was the first time I’d cycled in Africa and was to become one of my favourite bike trips.
We enjoyed wonderful hospitality, overcame mechanical failures and airline delays and survived heat stroke in the desert. An action packed cycling adventure in Morocco.
‘I have the necessary papers right here’ drawled the cowboy in a thick Texan accent, his strange voice filling the tiny portacabin office of the border checkpoint. It was early in the morning, purposefully so, to avoid any potential queues; our forms were filled in quickly, photographs taken, occupations fictionalised, passports stamped; we didn’t get to speak to the man in the Ten Gallon hat but were certain we’d see him again. Continue reading
Zagreb was eerie and quiet, It’s Sunday morning. We park our bikes against a wall, take stock on our losses and figure out where to stay the night. We’re amazed by how thoroughly the thieves have gone through our stuff, right under our noses. They’d even taken care to remove cash from our wallets then carefully place them back in our bags. We’d been fleeced good and proper. We carry on looking. Phone, cammera, yep, gone. They’d even taken Jim’s jeans. We were livid, scratching our heads in bewilderment, how didn’t we wake up? Did they really gas our cabin? The truth is we’ll never know but we arrived in Zagreb feeling pretty down about it all. The weather had taken a sudden winter-ward snap. The cold fog was sucking the life out of us as we sat dejected on the pavement. Continue reading
Where have you been? What have you been doing? Why have you left us hanging for the last 77 days, 19 hours, 57 minutes and 21 seconds…
Well, it turns out that life on the road is WAY simpler than life in the ‘real’ world. We’re truly sorry for the delay in getting this final post together and published but I’m certain that if you read this post you will be satisfied that we completed the trip in proper Really Big Bike Ride fashion… Continue reading
How much fun was Albania? I’ve just reread AJ’s post and its taken me back there. Awesome! Like so much of our journey Albania for me most clearly demonstrates how we get along and as lucky as we do. The trick is to have a loose idea of where you want to go, what you’d like to see and then get on and see what happens. As you’ll have read Albania took us for the ride and not the other way around, sort of grabbed hold of us and swept us away of its own accord, much to our enjoyment and satisfaction. You really have to just roll with it, and because we did it’s easily the most exciting place that we’ve visited. Continue reading
Albania has a bit of a dodgy reputation for some reason. We approached the Balkan’s very own wild west with apprehension, I didn’t know what to expect. Peasants shitting in the streets, bent cops after our cash, gun toting drug barons lurking in the shadows and desperate thieves sniffing around our wheels! If rumour is to be believed then these are some of the sketchy folk we’re likely to come across in this part of the world… It’s a good job we don’t care about rumours, but is this really the most backward country in Europe? Is cycling here as dangerous as people say? What are we getting ourselves in to? There’s only one way to find out… Continue reading
Happily this last few weeks we’ve fallen into a pattern of crossing borders on a Sunday, we’re spending a week in each of these fabulous Balkan states and making the most of the rich culture, the glorious weather and the traveller-friendly prices. This week we have been mostly enjoying Macedonia; the food and people we have met along the way have been of high calibre. I’ve also after more than sixty days on the road begun to keep my journal up to date and in some meaningful order – this is of great use when now I am writing for you an account of what we have seen and done and experienced. Continue reading
A surreal feeling came upon us as we approached the Greek boarder, it could have been a small dose of culture shock or perhaps it was the drop in elevation going to our heads. It was certainly surreal. As we rolled through the baron scrub of no man’s land the customs and excise complex stood looming ahead, a structure of standards far excelling any buildings we had encountered on our passage through the Balkans. The significance of our arrival to Greece, the geographical pinnacle of our journey, added to our bewilderment. I presented my passport to the official, he looked at me and my vehicle. He actually laughed, an unexpected sign of emotion from a boarder rozzer, he waved me through then took a look at Jim “you bicycle from UK?…” Jim nodded. Yes we have! Continue reading
This post is dedicated to Mr Steven Patrick Morrissey for making it possible for Mr James Thomas get the sharpest haircut in Sofia without speaking a single word of Bulgarian. Happily James is a bit of a Smiths fan and so lacing this entry with lyrics, song titles and album titles should be a breeze. Continue reading