Day 8: Zafrana to Ain Suhkna
Start Time: 9am
Narrative: Things started to look up for us today. The road didn’t throw us any surprises, the weather was favorable and the going was good. As our route hugged the coast the midday temperature was kind enough to let us cycle on into the afternoon- its amazing how by comparison 34 degrees feels nice and balmy after the baking desert.With the day’s cycling over nice and early, we passed an inexpensive looking resort that we thought might make a good refuge for two weary travelers. Sure the walls could have done with a few licks of paint and the mustard yellow decor was reminiscent of Rodney and Delboy’s flat in “Only Fools and Horses” but it was right on the coast and our legs were pleading “no further”.
We should have known something wasn’t right when the guy at the desk wanted to keep our passports, even after we had paid upfront. Alarm bells should also have gone off when he suggested that we lock our bikes to the dilapidated fountain in the middle hotel lobby. The resort was a relic, evidently inspired by the “if you build it they will come” maxim- only, they didn’t come. It had an eerie feel to it, Simon whispered “here’s Johnny” on our way to the room which was oddly, though perfectly, appropriate. It also had a faint whiff of damp which is quite an achievement given the climate.The fawlty towers escapades of the staff made for an entertaining evening- from the chiseling and grouting D.I.Y antics of the mute bell boy who insisted on replacing the shower hook at half eleven, to the 6 course meal, each served when we were only half finished the last, eaten in the cavernous dining room still proudly displaying its tired Christmas decorations.