All of my preconceived ideas of what to expect faded away
When I used to think about Morocco it would evoke images of medinas, minarets, kasbahs and seas of sand, of an exotic land laced with perfumed scents, enchanting music and a sense of intrigue. Not, I must admit, of vast vistas of snow-capped peaks or deep gorges carving their way through the earths floor.
Arriving in Marrakech, its intricate network of streets and narrow cobbled lanes with rivers of people flowing along them, there was little to suggest that once we started pedalling we would head into a world far removed from this one.
But as the roads lead us away from the chaos of the city and out towards a horizon full of white-fanged mountains, all my preconceived ideas of what to expect faded away. In their place a new picture was painted, one pedal stroke at a time, as we ventured further into the wilderness.
The dawn of every day brought with it another surprise, panoramas of imperious mountains, vast gorges that wouldn’t have looked out of place at the Grand Canyon, and remote mud-thatched Berber villages. If I didn’t know otherwise I’d have thought such landscapes belonged to countries far from here.
Conquistador Cycling Club’s expedition has forever changed my lasting impression of Morocco, it has expanded my horizons, but most importantly it has given me memories for a life-time, both on and off the bike.