12 hour bus ride

We got woken up at 0430 to be back in Merzouga in time for the bus. After a scumpy way back, we got to admire a nice sunrise with some distant rainclouds!

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After a breakfast at the hotel, we set off for the bus. The ride was pretty boring. I looped it by watching some series until I felt too sick, going to sleep, waking up and repeat. No toilet on the bus, so I didn’t want to eat/drink too much. Also, the bus ride went by really curved roads in the mountains, but at least I wasn’t one of those throwing up!
Andrew and Jake were going to Ouazazate, and my aim was Agadir, with a stop for the night in Marrakech. Soon, it is time for me to fly home!
I said good bye to Andrew and Jake in Ouazazate (where Jake lives), and continued to Marrakech.
Finally there, I met two Austrian backpackers/climbers, and followed them to the cheap part of town. At the second place I asked (as I need a single room) I could sleep on the terrace. Apparently, they had no roof, and as it was going to rain, I could sleep in a sofa in the corridor.
I went out to eat, and started with an ice cream, followed by a pizza. Walking among the streets, I met the Austrian guys again, and followed them to eat some french fries and meat. As their flight would leave at five in the morning they went back to their hotel, and I went back to mine, as my bus to Agadir would leave at eight!

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Into the desert

After breakfast we said goodbye to Alicia and Sam. We also met them 20 minutes later when we went to buy something to drink and they had to use a computer at the computer cafè. Last french people!
At four o’clock, we left the hotel on the back of a couple of camels. The ride was not pleasant, so I will probably not do it again. My rear really hurt more than after 100 kilometres in the saddle!

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I can ride backwards!

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After one stop to see the sunset, we arrived in a small village. We got served tea in one of the Berber tents, and also dinner, with some fruits as dessert!

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Then, he taught us to play on some sort of drums, which was really hard, but we got some sounds of it at least!
Finally, we also were far away from the city lights. My camera couldn’t capture the beauty, but beautiful it was!

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More soup!

Sam went and bought bread, and then we ate breakfast on the roof. I cooked more tea, and it seems like you really need a high amount of sugar for Moroccan tea. Andrew and I went with a grand taxi to Rissani (four people in the back seat, three in the front seat) as I needed to withdraw money. There were no ATMs in Merzouga…
We also went by the market, and we ate some sort of “Berber pizza” for lunch (which be haggled down from 49 to 25 per person).
I also bought some sort of dry perfume at the market, and Andrew bought soap.
On the way back, there were not that many people to fill the taxi. We met a Chinese Canadian who also were going back to Merzouga, and we decided to pay for the extra back seat space, which also gave us more space.
We invited him to follow us as we were going to climb the top of the sand dune in the evening, so our soup of people got bigger for a while!
It was a really nice view up there. Apparently, we were also very courageous, as some guy in a 4×4 went to the top and screamed “ONLY THE ONES WITH COURAGE MAKES IT TO THE TOO!”

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Afterwards, we went to eat dinner, and Jake, a friend of Andrew arrived. He would follow me and Andrew on a camel trek the next day!

Welcome to the desert!

In the morning, a family herding their sheep was looking at us while eating and packing. The children also asked for candy for about half an hour.

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There had been raining some during the night, but the tarp kept it out without a problem. The only problem was me, when I tried to strain the pole, and one of the sides jumped loose from the ground.

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It was really nice, apart from the barking, which at least didn’t come any closer!
We went back into the city to refill water and get food for the day. I managed to fall once, as the front wheel went right in the sand, and my foot couldn’t get any grip. At least it was soft, but I got sandy and my rear view mirror came loose.
We wanted to be sure to have extra energy, as there would be no real road at majority of the trip today. Sam discovered a problem with his chain, which he had to change, and I took the chance to re-attach my rear view mirror and put extra bar tape on.

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We started out with 15 easy kilometres, as it was still asphalt. We actually only had 50 kilometres to do the whole day, so even with off-road it shouldn’t be a problem!

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When the road went into gravel, it was easier to just go off-road in the side. We pushed on, with some small brakes, and a bigger brake for lunch under a single tree we found.
The roads we went on looked mainly like this:

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Soon, we had the mighty dunes in our view. It was a really cool view, and something to aim for!

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With 15 kilometres left, we decided to go by GPS direction instead of going by the road. We had some uphills and downhills in the middle of nowhere, but also found some things!

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We came to what we thought was Merzouga, and started looking for the cheapest hotel through the phone. My GPS said it was 4.5 kilometres more, but I just thought I had the wrong coordinate. We found a hotel that should be pretty cheap per person, and decided to take aim at that. Some guy who talked with us told us that this was actually a small village close to Merzouga, so the GPS coordinates I had were right!
We ride the last 5 kilometres on asphalt, which went pretty fast. Into Merzouga the touts started, offering cheap camel tours and hotels. We told them we already has everything we needed, but some guys trying to block the way followed us on a moped and continued talking with us. Really annoying.
We came to the hotel, and we let the French try to get the price down. The manager said he only gave people a discount if they were from a specific place in France, which happened to be Alicia’s village. He honoured what he said and gave us a discount!
I started with taking a shower and then washing my clothes, as both were some days ago.
In the evening, we went to eat dinner. Alicia stayed at the hotel room as she felt bad, but told us to get some coca cola.
While shopping for snickers and coca-cola, we met a nice store owner who loved to talk. I learnt about their currency real (which were not used anymore more than in talking) and some other stuff.
All three of us were tired so we took a relatively expensive restaurant, but with an included big salad as entrée, and some fruit for dessert, the price was fair.
I have now biked from my home in Västerås, Sweden to the desert by Merzouga, Morocco!