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    Day 1.313 – Happiness Around the Belly Button (UK)

    Guelmime -> Sidi Ifni
    Distance (km) : 58
    Time on bike : 3h 11m
    Brutto time: 09.00 – 13.20
    Avg : 18.2 km/h
    Max.speed: 59.1
    Total (km) : 57.323
    Altitude: 25 m
    Difficulty: 2

    The Arabic spoken here in Morocco, can hardly be accused of being beautiful. In return, the country has one of the world’s most beautiful people in the world of hospitality.

    It’s beautiful, beautiful mountain cycling all day. My legs feel full of joy as I arrive in Sidi Ifni on the Atlantic coast. Hallelujah.

    It was not until 1969 that Sidi Ifni officially passed from Spanish to Moroccan control (see more here), and particularly the older folks still speak Spanish as their first language. Thus, I’m greeted by an old wrinkled jedi warrior (he wore the classic jellaba) sitting in the shade with a buenas tardes, señor.

    At a restaurant in Sidi Ifni I’m immediately joined by a large, gray-white cat, who confidently jumps up in my lap (I wish it was always that easy) and then goes into a cat trance as soon as he pokes his nose into my sweaty bike jersey. The cat just disappears from the world – with forepaws kneading in the classic cat way – He’s like a butter soft baby in my arms, and totally forgets that he’s normally a strong alpha male.

    Apart from the cat trance, I do have time to enjoy my tajine, which makes me drool as the cat did in my bike jersey, and I am quite happy around my belly button as I leave the restaurant and find a simple room at Hotel Liberte (4 USD). Life is so much better than its reputation.

    As a tourist it requires a sustained effort and blind denial not to like Morocco as a destination. For me the country contains everything (except maybe a flourishing beer and bar culture (I haven’t had a beer for way too long!) and girls with less robes) you could ask for.

    On this day..

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