Success. We made it. Ross and agreed that this is never a given. Everyone arriving, bikes and luggage in tow, this is a
victory in itself. I had nightmares about getting on another train in the opposite direction (ya, this happened), missing
my flight and rushing to the race seconds before the gun goes off… But we made it. The drive from the airport to the
hotel confirmed the craziness I imagined into which we would be immersed. Organized chaos of people driving,
honking, shouting and waving in a friendly smorgasbord of communication. Strangely functional, but you had better jump
right into the madness or you’ll be flanked by the masses and stuck going nowhere. Kind of like bike racing. At least we
have this on our side.
I’ve finally managed to find a place windier than Belgium or Sarnia, Ontario. The wind has been howling off the water
and pissing down rain sideways at least half the time. On our first ride around Casablanca we were:
-Blasted by the wind, rain and sand
-Chased by a pack of wild dogs (who fortunately seemed more interested in barking than biting)
-Sliced up a few tires and blew a few tubes
-Cheered on by people waving and yelling and totally disregarded by others
Yielding to oncoming traffic isn’t really a “thing” here, so, we ride with our heads up and hands on the brakes. You
think traffic is bad in Toronto..
Our hotel located just outside the heart of the city and looks like it would be frequented by one of James Bond’s
villains. White stucco, colorful tiled floors and tropical plants accompanied by people smoking in the elevator. An
indoor mezzanine with a view makes me want to put on a suit and run around with a loaded magnum, jumping from
balcony to balcony in pursuit of villains, but I’ll save that for next time.
Things kick off tomorrow with Stage One from El Jaida to Safi, 154km along the Atlantic.
Updates may be sparse, internet is never a sure thing here. Appreciate your little luxuries of home, Matteo is using the
hair dryer on our shorts.