flat out in tarifa

Ferry crossings can be a mixed bag and we’ve had our fair share of white knuckle rides over the years. But when we awoke to a clear, calm day recently, we thought we might be in for a treat during the 35 minute quick cat crossing, from Tarifa (Spain) to Tangiers (Morocco).

With only 4 kilometres to cycle from the campsite to the port, our day’s ride began with a gentle tailwind and the excitement of not only a new country but new continent.

However, high hopes were soon deflated thanks to the hissing sound escaping from the back of Rachel and Lewis’ bike, which, with the clock ticking down, required a formula one style inner tube change to get things back on track. Of course, this wasn’t possible when the inside barrel of our pump snapped.

Fortunately, the bike shop at Tarifa sells an overpriced selection of cannondale equipment, including mini pumps; who was I to argue.

Arriving at the port just in time, we were ushered through to the front of the vehicle line, which happened to be around the same moment I noticed mine and Dylan’s back wheel feeling bumpy..DSC08060

At first I tried to dismiss it; thinking the extra food we’d purchased was weighing things down a bit too much. But sure enough, on closer inspection, the truth was revealed; the tyre was pinched between rim and road.

Any hopes of sitting tall, leading the cavalcade of vehicles onto the ferry were dashed as we struggled up the ramp, pushing with all our might.

But eventually we got there. We made the ferry!

Besides, the tyre could be sorted on arrival to Africa. For the next 35 minutes we could kick back and enjoy the crossing, because just like our wheels that day, it was a clear to see that the Strait of Gibraltar…… was flat.

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