We were up early on a rainy Tuesday morning to begin our Moroccan ride. Since it was raining and snowing on the High Atlas Mountains we elected to load the bikes on our guide Abraham’s van to search for better conditions. When we reached drier weather we started riding. A few miles later Jocelyn’s right pedal fell off. When the bike boxes arrived in Marrakech we had noticed a few box punctures. One of them was right where the right crank arm was and the inside where the pedal attaches to was galled. Jocelyn’s LHT had a new crank set installed before we left the states so we knew it wasn’t damaged then. When we attached the pedal it would only insert about 2/3 in and figured that would work fine so didn’t think any more about it. That was a very foolish move on our part. We were unable to reattach the pedal so we called Abraham to pick up Jocelyn. I continued riding while they went to the next town to find someone who could maybe fix this.
After a few miles I started climbing into a fierce wind and was knocked down twice. I plodded along and finally reached the next village of Telouet and found Jocelyn and Abraham waiting for me. Jocelyn’s pedal was on so we continued to 17th century Kasbah Telouet. I really like history and old architecture so this was a real treat. We continued along a beautiful rocky valley to our destination for the night at an old Berber Hotel in the town of Alt-Benhaddou.
Jocelyn’s pedal once again fell off near the town of Quarzazate so we found a machinist who inserted new threads into the crank arm and attached the pedal. This should permanently fix the problem. We continued on to the town of Skoura where we found a nice Kasbah for the night. I picked up a stomach virus and have been sick the last several days so travel has been slow with no camping. I received two medications from a pharmacy in Skoura. Besides it has been two cold and this coming from a guy who spent the last two winters in Antarctica! Yesterday we unpacked everything again, got rid of a lot of stuff and are now down to our rear panniers and two trunk bags carrying our camping gear. We continued along a river gorge and visited a nomad family living in a cave – a very interesting life. To them it is all about their animals. Biking through Morocco has been very fun and interesting but certainly not as easy as the U.S. and New Zealand.
Having Abraham as a guide to see the “real” Morocco has been great. Plus between Jocelyn’s bike problems and my stomach virus issue his help with driving us has been a bonus.