Cycling away from Tan-Tan we pedalled towards the enormous hill that almost growled in our general direction. But somehow we were in high spirits, our time with Mustapha and his family had been a perfect start to our desert journey.
We had decided to cycle as far as possible and to set up camp just before sundown. But by lunchtime we were making great progress and having covered a solid 60 kilometers we spent the afternoon heading towards Akhfennir, according to signposts only 40 km away.
However, some 40 km later we were met with a rather bleak looking checkpoint.
‘How far to Akhfennir?’, we questioned with smiling faces.
‘Another 20-25 km’.
The smiles slipped from our faces. The thing is the idea of
wildcamping never really bothered us, but when you have been cycling along blissfully imagining the cold wash and hot fried fish at end of your day, suddenly the thought of a bread/cheese triangle supper seems less desirable.
We gave each other a glance. Did we really want to cycle another 20 km? Well, whens food is at stake the answer is always yes!
The fried fish was worth every sweaty moment, freshly caught and served steaming hot we took no time in demolishing a rather over sized salty monster.
We ate with Boujemaa, a friendly local park ranger who welcomed us to the town and offered us a place to sleep.
‘This is the best fried fish you will find here’, we we in full agreement with our generous host who had already insisted on buying us drinks and naturally pouring us a strong glass of sugary tea.
Fully fed we crashed soon after dinner, legs and bums aching after a long day in the sun. We were invited to join Boujemaa for some breakfast and set up so beautifully for our day of cycling we hit the road, with a small audience of supporters cheering us from the roadside.