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Rest Day - Fês

Another rest day, unusually close to the last one only a couple days ago, but strangely, I heard no complaints. A good sleep-in this morning, then knocked off yesterday’s post. Did my laundry in the tub, then down to breakfast. After a brief consultation, set off for a late morning walk-about down from the hotel into the Medina quarter with Brad and Mark.

A wonderful warren of narrow alley ways, with even the ‘major thoroughfares’ only able to take hand carts. Different from almost all the souks I’ve experienced, this one very laid back (at least today), and dominated by local food and crafts. Not so much obvious were the usual bin after bin of flip flops, distressed denim and must-have electronic gizmos. Of course we got lost.

I found myself a braided leather belt (badly needed to avoid camp embarrassment), with the seller happy enough to shorten to custom fit. Also picked up a chunk each of musk and amber for no particular reason other than it seemed unusual. Then a good relaxing coffee and people-watching. Thought about pressing on and trying to find the tannery section, but in the end, we bailed out and managed to find the appropriate exit. We all agreed that grabbing a taxi to ferry us back up that hill to the hotel was a great idea, as opposed to trudging up in the hottest hour of the day.

A bit of lunch, then inevitable afternoon nap. Cleaned and lubricated my drive train toward afternoon’s end; re-packed permanent bag and got it down to the lobby by the 6:00 p.m. deadline. Adjourned to the hotel patio overlooking Fês, quiet chats with some of my fellow riders, and that’s pretty much the second rest day done and dusted. Noted the cannon going off shortly after 7:00, marking end of today’s fast. Fês almost literally springs to life, and sounds of activity from the city surge up the hill. The town dogs get into the act as well.

I’m conscious all day of the need to keep hydrating. During all this, tried not to over-think the next 4 days; they’ll be hot and increasingly long. While not 100% sure of just where we’re headed in terms of landscapes, I think we’ll be going over the Middle Atlas before getting to Merzouga. I feel bad about knowing so little of this country.

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