I said goodbye and left the hostel today. Pleased to be back on the road after so long!
Guy in service station started chatting to me and said I am welcome in Morocco! Super friendly :)
I headed south towards Lake Aguelmam Azegza, near Khenifra, where I had planned to camp. The landscape was much the same as around Tangier, Rabat, and Casablanca, until I encountered the mid Atlas mountains. Lots of hills with farming scattered across and between the mountains.
The route to my camping spot was a single track consisting of mud, rubble, and bits of tarmac. Quite a challenge for me as I'm a novice and it required lots of standing up on the bike to lower centre of gravity by putting weight through the pegs and not the seat. I soon realised I was near the top of a hill, the track was getting steeper (see below), and my exhausted muscles were causing my legs to tremble. Pulled up for 10 minutes, had some biscuits and water, reduced tyre pressure to get more grip, and got going again.
After the track, I was on a road that was partly under construction.
I arrived at the lake to discover a settlement of 40-50 tents and shanty houses, a cafe, and two places advertising tajines. Was not expecting that! I also saw four monkeys. I didn't get a photo in time though.
Found a secluded, quiet part next to a group of 18-20 year olds with two tents and an old car that they were revving hard before driving off. I asked if I could camp close to them and they were happy. They seem OK, so this adds some security.
I setup camp and started cooking. This is when they cranked up the French and Arabic rap! Wasn't played late though.
Whilst unloading my bike, I found a small snake under my bike.. It was dead and I only just noticed because it must have been 12 cm long.