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Nov 28 2012

Ordinary people, extraordinary exploits

Merzouga, Morocco

Today, again, we met an interesting person.  Our little stroll into the village finished 4 hours later after meeting Francois.

We saw Francois yesterday for the first time while we were playing ‘small world’ with Chris (see yesterday’s blog if you haven’t already).  He arrived in the village high street on his recumbent bicycle.

Today, we saw his bicycle in one of the auberges, and then bumped into Francois at a local café.  We invited ourselves to join him.  He and Viking Explorer talked for hours – Francois very patiently helping with Viking Explorers French when we stumbled.  African GirlChild listening as closely as possible (but deciding that French school is a must!)

We talked about everything – Morocco, our trip, his cycling.  He gave us some ideas for places to see in Morocco, and tips about Mauritania – ideas of places to go is the situation is stable, or just places to stay along the coast.  He is a remarkably relaxed, down-to-earth, humble man.

We had a chance to see his recumbent cycle up close – and even had a chance to ride it.  This is definitely the way to cycle!  The little bit of electricity certainly helps with the uphills, and the body position is a lot more accommodating than our mountain bikes.  Funny – he didn’t want to swap with me.

Then we learned his story.

Francois has been a guide in the Sahara for the last 20 years.  He has also untaken a number of other adventures around the world, including cycling his recumbent in Argentina and Bolivia.  On this occasion, Francois has already cycled 4,000km since he left France.  This is all in preparation for a ride called the Sun Trip, which takes place next year from June to August, from France to Kazakstan.  All the participants in the adventure are riding solar powered bicycles.  The ride is in conjunction with the Astana Expo2017 on sustainable energy.

(If you have a chance (and your French is better than mine) do check out the SunTrip website, and Francois’ blog.)

An inspirational man.

We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon with him, and wish him and his fellow adventurers a “bon voyage” and successful adventure.

Please click on the first picture to start the slideshow.  Captions will be shown with the photos.

4 comments

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  1. Ralph

    Am following your exploits via my good “friend” Doris Barbour back in Midrand. Simply fantastic. Simply wonderful.

    Ralph

    1. African GirlChild

      Ralph – glad DK has nudged in our direction! I hope you enjoy following our adventure.

  2. Anne (TrundlingJenny)

    Inspiring, we are looking forward to having similar experiences as you. Enjoyed our finge skype last night.

    Travel Safe

    Anne

  3. Ralph

    Looking forward to updates. Here’s hoping that my subscription works.

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