On the day riding out of Chefchaouen, I first passed along a fertile, wide-bottomed gorge, through Ouazzane and continued on the road south towards Fes. Throughout the morning I’d barely eaten or drunk anything since leaving the hotel first thing. So around midday, having passed numerous stalls selling melons on the roadside, I eventually caved in to my craving for thirst-quenching, juicy fruits and stopped at one.

Melons are not exactly the best touring cyclists snack food – being neither compact or lightweight to be hauling on the back of a bike. Definitely down on the energy to weight ratio.

After what seemed like an awfully long time just to buy a melon – it mustn’t be too big or too small, too ripe or not ripe enough apparently – I’m clearly not an experienced melon chooser as they all looked yellow and rugby-ball shaped to me. Anyway, having finally been given the perfect melon by the young boy and while sorting through my dirhams to find the right amount, the grandfather joins in the exchange, starts sorting through the melons again and promptly plunges another perfectly sized melon into my hands, saying this one is free.

Great. How kind. But what am I supposed to do with two melons, even if they are perfectly sized?

Can’t I just have the free one?!

I squeeze the melons into the top of the panniers of my now fully-loaded, bulging and somewhat top-heavy bike until I can get out of sight (it being Ramadan and plain rude to eat in front of those who are fasting) and attempt to eat at least one of them… 

A whole perfectly sized melon, two bananas, two yoghurts, some nuts and biscuits later, my stomach is finally satiated and I have plenty of energy to cycle up the hill with the free (but still weighs a significant amount) melon still crammed into my nearside pannier.

No guesses for what was on the dinner menu.

I can safely say that I ate the recommended 5 portions of fruit or veg that day… what I lacked in variety, I more than made up for in quantity.