I decided to take a break from my Morocco bicycle tour and run a marathon in the exotic city of Marrakech. To get to Marrakech from the coast, I had to cycle 190 miles from the small surf town of Taghazout, traversing the incredible Atlas Mountain range. Unfortunately, I drastically underestimated the amount of recovery time I would need after that ride.
When I reached the ridgeline, the wind was howling. In total, it took me over 14-hours of cycling to get there from the coast. I was in bad shape and completely underestimated how difficult the climb would be. Despite my condition, I had to push forward. I still had 90-miles to go, but luckily, it would be mostly downhill.
As I coasted down the mountain, the temperature steadily increased. After many hours, my body was finally warming up. The sky cleared; moreover, once again, I was enjoying my bicycle tour immensely.
The climb out of the small surf town was brutal. It took well over an hour and was easily the steepest of my life. Towing a trailer and surfboard didn’t help.
Words cannot describe the view at the top of the ridge. Seeing the peeling lines from that altitude is easily a top-five highlight of my bicycle touring career. A full-on, this is why I do this moment.
The next morning I left well before sunrise. With camping off the table, the plan was to ride 80 miles to the coastal town of Essaouira.
The day started on the wrong foot. In the dark, I somehow managed to make a wrong turn. I ended up cycling through an extremely rundown shantytown on the Southern edge of Safi. I stood out like a sore thumb. Admittedly, all the stares made me anxious. I was definitely off the beaten path.