Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The sea! The sea!* (8312)

A left turn
Our journey had been westward for some time. As we came to the end of the Suss Valley, in between the High and Anti Atlas mountains, we took a very marked turn left at a roundabout close to Agadir Airport, and started to track the coast south. It immediately felt different. We were now on the main route from the north; the road more travelled. Its surface was noticably superior to those we'de been used to latterly and the petrol-station cafe we had breakfast in was European quality. It was a marked contrast to where we had been.

The Atlantic (#2)
A couple of hours later we experienced a delightful emotional lift when we saw the sea. Stunning though they may be, mountains can also be claustrophobic.

The Moroccan Atlantic
(*For years I've had a book of quotations that contains these words from the ancient Greek general Xenophon. I've never known their significance.)

Sidi Ifni
We've been staying by the seaside for the last few nights in a beautiful Spanish Sahara-era town house. It has three stories, verandas on two and trees in the courtyard. The town, like the whole of the coastal region, it seems, is significantly more prosperous than the towns in the mountains. Prosperity in Morocco is relative, however.

From the house
From the evening beach
Missing you
Who knows why these things happen when they do, but I have recently felt an upsurge in feelings of separation from those I care for; my (now very grown-up) kids, their partners and offspring and my coterie of close friends from various areas of my life, ex-work colleagues and so on.

Our journey so far is now approximately one third the length of the equator. And roughly one third of a year long. Angelika and I agreed the other day that we're looking forward to going home. (An interesting concept since we don't actually know where home will be.)

It's Angelika's birthday at the end of November. She's hoping she may see her children then. Senegal is the likeliest venue. The problem is that, having had to force the pace of travel previously on the journey and knowing the price that exacts in energy, morale and trip enjoyment, there's a reluctance on both our parts to have to rush to make a specific date. That's difficult, of course, for those at the other end wishing to plan flights, time off work, etc. Solutions are being sought.

Cape To Cape
It's pretty clear now that we won't make the effort to reach Cape Town. We increasingly talk of Nigeria as our turning point.

Since Nerja, and with no place to be on any specific date, we've slowed down considerably. It's been better. We have, with absolutely no regrets, spent much longer in Morocco than we expected. It's been very worthwhile.

As for what remains, I particularly have a hankering to visit Lagos, the island city, and the slave forts on the coast in Benin and Ghana. I'm also hoping we'll get to meet Chloe Grant in Côte d'Ivoire. She is, amongst other things, the curator of the very helpful West Africa Travellers Facebook group. She's been a significant source of information and encouragement on our journey.

And then there was one
I terminally cracked one of our trip mugs. I was washing it, it slipped.

I suppose it's quite something that we brought two intact as far as we did. By motorbike. And Angelika has done a remarkable job carrying them this far in her pannier.

A fatal flaw
I was upset, though. Our early morning tea has been an enjoyable ritual.

The second package is still in customs in Casablanca. And we're heading away from it. I'm buying local from now on.

A new country
We expect to be in Laâyoune, Western Sahara by the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Having a destination is essential, but commitment to a specific destination is not! Maximise the joy, people! X


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