Midelt to Goulmima yesterday was the most memorable ride of my biking life.
I kept wondering how I could describe the landscape and its effect on me without descending into hyperbole and cliché. I still don't know.
Valley after valley of red and orange rock walls, a huge variety of formations, always faced with ancient-looking sweeps of ridges and peaks, it went on and on. I thought that, from a riding and looking experience, this might be the highlight of the trip. (With apologies to the fjords.)
|Desert dawn in Midelt|
As we moved south we could sense in the colour, heat and air that the High Atlas mark the boundary of the desert. When we reached Errachidia - the garrison town which, but for a failed Airbnb booking would have been our stopover - our route turned sharply from southward to the west. We were now running along the valley on the Sahara side of the mountain range and the nature of the road changed. Undulating and almost completely straight for long sections, we were no longer in the hills but on the edge of the sands.
Our place of rest is Goulmima, an oasis. As we crested the rise that announced it, we saw green spreading before us for the first time that day.
Fifty ways to lose your luggage
After the incident of the dislodged dry bag, I demonstrated that one doesn't always learn from experience. I secured our temporary replacement bag with our cargo straps noting that one ran close to the exhaust outlet. Too close, it turned out. Luckily Angelika spotted it before it gave way. Hmm... Anyway, we still have the bag and its contents. Just!