December 24, 2009 Marrakech, MA, Morocco
Sick in Ijoukak
duration: 7h 59min
Riding with a grey sky is always a dull experience and the brown landscape didn't offer too many sights, beeing also pretty grumpy didn't help either. But after few kilometers my temper settled and i strived to be a bearable travel-companion for Daniela.
It had rained a lot in the days before and this had left stones and mud on the street, though not so much to cause any serious trouble. The expectation to finally see the goal after the next turn drove us forward. Many turns later there was still no sight of the village-lights. It was already pitch black night when we approached a fast flowing stream, running right across the street.
After a short examination it was clear that it would be rather difficult and possibly dangerous to cross it with the heavy bikes. We where standing there for a few minutes, elaborating how to cross, when a excavator that had been moving rubble a few hundred meters on the other side turned its glaring headlights towards us and approached us.
I had already been pretty weak in the afternoon and when i was trembling after the shower it was clear i had catched a cold. We went downstairs to have supper but i soon realized that it had hit me a lot harder than expected. I was freezing and just wanted to lay down, so after having just eaten a few bites of the glibbery egg omlette i went back upstears to slip into my sleeping bag, Daniela covered me with a thick layer of several wool blankets, my teeth where chattering and i was breaking out in cold sweat.
Amad, our hospitable host was concerned, asked how i felt and later brought us a clay jug filled with glowing and sizzling charcoal that offered at least a bit of warmth. That's the last picture i remember from the evening as i soon passed away into disturbing, feverish dreams.
Judging by Danielas travel journal, it must have been a pretty bad evening for her. Her boyfriend and travelparnter passed out in a unsettling rash of fever, spending the christmas eve lonely in a cold, spartan room in a little village in the midst of the Atlas Mountains, her thoughts on happier Christmas eves she had spend with her extended family in a warm room around a green tree and the smell of gingerbread and candles.