Our bodies have been wonderful to us, they really have. We on the other hand have not been so wonderful to them.
Things were going well, kilometers were being covered and our daily mini-yoga ritual appeared to be working. But the last few days we have pushed ourselves too hard and we are both feeling it. Covering up to 120 km per day has tested us and although we have no major injuries Imran is experiencing some knee grumbles.
So as we always agreed we would we are airing on the overly-cautious side and resting. We made this decision 50 km from Laayoune (El Aaiún) when we flagged down the first truck that passed us.
To our delight Ahmad pulled over and hopped out of his truck asking what the problem was.
Imran limply hopped at him and pointed at his knee, this was enough.
‘My truck is full, there is no space for your bicycles’.
Our faces dropped and we smiled to him accepting rejection, we had thought hitching might be tough.
‘But my friend Rachid is just a little behind and he has an empty truck’.
Sure enough Rachid hauled up, jumped out of the truck and rushed over. Bouncing over to us he shook our hands with a grin. In a moment he had seized the guitar and the scarf that cushioned it. Rachid began dancing and strumming the guitar, throwing the scarf around his head he imitated a woman and continued the performance.
Ahmad looked on and with a familiar sigh and announced Rachid as crazy.
We trucked along happily entertained by Rachid and his countless impressions of stubborn camels, until around 10 km before the city checkpoint where the military would not be happy to find the truck drivers helping us out. We threw ourselves out of the cab with little grace and about as much dignity as Rachids camel impression.
Thanking them for the ride we cycled towards the checkpoint into the biggest city of Moroccan occupied Western Sahara.
The checkpoint was busy with soldiers and though friendly we immediately felt a sense of the kind of city we were visiting. One of a controlling military presence.
We cycled away from the officials and towards the slightly clinical looking newly built city. For now we are resting but we might have to hitch a ride, knee dependant. Fingers crossed…