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D36 & 37 – 10 riders still on the way

19.05.2024 - The Sun Trip
The Sun Trip The Sun Trip

DAYS 38-40 <-> DAY 35

At the end of the day on 18 May, we have 10 participants en route, 7 in Spain and only 3 left in Morocco.

Vincent Gallego, Luciano and Bertrand are still together and are spending their very last night abroad, at the foot of the Pyrenean border. “What more could you ask for: “A great day, sunshine, good roads, great scenery and the wind pushing us towards the end of our Spanish ascent! Their grouped arrival is scheduled for 22 May. They should share 5th place.

About 250km behind Vivien Dettwiler continues his solo adventure, while taking some magnificent photos. “Today, I’m very happy to have reached the last checkpoint. This tree in Molina de Aragón is magical. There are clouds everywhere, but not where the tree is. I stayed there for about 2kWh or four hours and enjoyed my picnic. For tonight, I found another nice place to sleep, this time in the middle of a forest, still at about 1000m altitude, so it’ll still be cold in the morning. For the next few days, I still don’t know whether I should take the road via Andorra or Barcelona. I think I’ll let the weather decide“.

To the south of Spain, Herman and Jean-Louis left Morocco the day before. They are riding separately. This is an opportunity for Jean-Louis to take a look at his Moroccan loop: “I’m happy to have succeeded in my personal gamble for this Sun Trip, which is not yet over. I’m extremely happy (the word is weak) to have cycled through Morocco, which wasn’t even in my dreams? It’s been a completely extraordinary adventure, and I’m at a loss for words… I didn’t think I was capable of doing this…“. However, the results remain mixed: “I really enjoyed the southern part behind and in the mountains. The people I met, the scenery, the route and the general atmosphere. What I didn’t like so much between Tangier and Rabat was the road that goes past the market gardens. The traffic was heavy with lots of lorries, the road was broken up and narrow, and the kids were a bit too boisterous with us. Our little machines are very vulnerable in the middle of all that, and so are we. And the return journey after Khénifra. The traffic was heavy, but the road was even worse, with deep ruts in the tarmac and the edges of the road nibbled. More than once I thought I was going to spill. I admit I was scared. And there were always those even more boisterous kids on the way back. I had a stick thrown at me and it went over my sign. I held on to my handlebars. But I’m happy, I got through it“.

Having just arrived in Spain on the evening of stage 37, Frenchman Vincent Lauga also gives us his assessment of his Moroccan adventure. “There have been highs and lows for me! First of all, I’m just starting to recover from a food infection/virus? which left me quite exhausted for several days… I didn’t want to have to do what Richard did… I kept to the goal of getting back to Spain as best I could and then moving on… Well, I’m here now and I can feel that I’m gradually getting back into shape. To sum up, I’m really pleased to have managed to complete this Moroccan tour, despite the difficulties. I was lucky enough not to be penalised as much by the solar recharging as Jiri and Michael”.

From Morocco, I’ll remember above all the magnificent landscapes of the Atlas Mountains, well deserved after a few thousand kilometres of pedalling. The days in the desert before Zagora were quite trying, I’ll remember: sandy wind (head-on), lack of sun, exhausting pedalling with breaks sometimes every 5 kilometres (to get your strength back), now I can say: “I’ve done it! One rather negative point I’d like to mention though: the various insults and assaults from the children in response to my greetings… it reveals a worrying lack of education and quite taints the Moroccan hospitality I’d come to seek.

Behind him, three teams are still in Morocco: Michael Polak and his friend Jiri Strupl are still in the Atlas Mountains, and they sent us this fabulous photo before Todra Valley.

After a 24 hours break in Taroudant, Miguel Letor has reached the southernmost checkpoint on the route, at Sidi Ifni, on the Atlantic coast: “The last 40 kilometres were really magnificent, along the coast with a slightly undulating landscape. It was a long day, 210km and the battery was almost flat. At one point I thought I wasn’t going to make it to Sidi Ifni“. Now it’s off to the desert for the young Belgian!

DAYS 38-40 <-> DAY 35

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