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  1. #11
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    Montreuil - Bonneval

    After a very cold night with not a lot of sleep it was up early and back on the road from Montreuil to our next night halt which is a town called Bonneval.

    Dawn approaches as we pull into a service area for some breakfast.
    The ‘Pyramids’ are the Ladies & Gents WC’s…



    Then ‘Here comes the Sun’….



    As we then drop down into the valley with the early mist settled in the bottom….





    While someone let the Cows out for an early morning munch on the traffic island!.....



    As the weather improves and the Sun comes out but the temperature still hovers just above freezing we get into Bonneval, park up and set off along one of the little canals into the town centre…..



    Turn right by the corner window and over the bridge to the centre….



    As we find that we have just missed out on a weekly market as the last of the stalls are packing up…..



    While this shop in the centre has a completely new window display for this year….













    Very glad we got the picture of the Fruit/Veg & Flowers Cart as the Council Van came along 10 minutes later and took all the items off bundling them into the van along with the cart, and that was the end of that!



    One of the walks outside the old town walls with the little canal on the other side of the small hedge on the left….


    As we spot this picture from long gone days of the local ladies doing their washing in the canal…..



    Nice traffic island….



    Sadly not a lot of water in some parts of the canal system……



    While the two stone faces watch the pedestrian walkway…



    The daily afternoon Boules Match in which we have only ever seen the men playing……



    It wasn’t long before it got dark, so after some dinner we wanted to go back into the town in the hope that the Christmas Lights which had been put up were also turned on.
    As we stepped out of the ‘TinTent’ and looked across the road and canal we saw this picture…..



    Followed by that window on the corner and bridge were we turned right to go into the centre…..



    While on the other side of the road is the Hospital entrance…..



    With the church lit up in the centre of the town…..



    No Christmas Lights had been turned on so we headed back for another cold night before we set off tomorrow on the next leg of the trip.

  2. #12
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    Bonneval - Roullet

    WOW! Was it cold last night!
    Even with half a tonne of blankets on the bed and our Thermal Hats on we were still not very warm, while this was the sight that greeted me when I went outside to get ready to set off….



    Not long after and rolling along the road as the sunrise started to appear but today was somewhat different due to the damp and mist that was hanging around….



    As the sky seemed to go on fire!....





    As it finally dies away to another cold miserable day.....



    Even the initial traffic was light considering it was the time of people making their way to work…..





    As we spot once again the large statue on the corner of the tower looking over the town of Veigne….



    Then back on the N10 and we run into the maintenance crew who were cutting back the weeds and plants that had grown under the crash barrier on the nearside of the road, causing the traffic lane to be closed off and a very long queue of traffic to build up….



    While a bit further this was the tail end of around 2 miles of traffic going the other way but through the same thing…..



    As we came off the N10 a little early which I thought strange, the TomTom (GPS) had planned to take us through the small town of Roullet which could have been a bit hairy as the main street is rather narrow!....



    While we made it through the town and down to our night halt, we decided to take a walk and stretch the legs with a stroll back into the town centre to see if there were any changes from our last visit, while this was the view from our place to the town……



    First thing we see is the General Grocer Store has closed down, which means that the town now does not have one…..



    While there are still 2 Boulanger & Pattisier in business along with 2 Boucher’s….



    On all our visits here the church has been closed and locked but today…..



    It was open and surprisingly quite plain inside…



    The other Boulanger on the left while the Pharmacy is on the right…..



    Main road surface looks like it has just been put down while there is a lot of property on both sides which is unoccupied, falling apart or up for sale ….



    Including this large house not far from the town centre……



    Time to get back to the ‘TinTent’ for a bowl of soup to try and warm up again, then some sleep before we hit the road again tomorrow for the next bit…

  3. #13
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    Roullet - Sauveterre

    Interesting to see the number of ‘Campers’ that arrived at the halt in Roullet last night in the dark after we had gone to sleep, but we saw as we set off this morning…..



    Back on the road towards Bordeaux and the weather was not good, while it seems to be affecting the camera as well as the pictures are not coming out at their best….



    Lots of spray being thrown up by both vehicles passing and those in front who seem to take no notice of speed requests while a fair number travel with broken or no lights turned on!....



    As we come off the main road we see what looks like a winter storage hut in the middle of the traffic island except it has no floor….



    While below Bordeaux we follow the Michelin ‘alternative route’ to avoid a high toll for a short section of Autoroute and go around the toll booth and through the countryside .....









    With a diversion also through Dax it isn’t long before we are getting close to Sauveterre as we see with the road sign at this traffic island fountain…..



    Get parked up and off for a stroll into the town…..





    Stepped into one café as we fancied a nice coffee, only to find that the machine had broken down.
    The owner advised us to go to the other café on the other side of the town square, which we did and ended up paying €6 for 2 Grand Café’s which was rather bitter in taste, so that café (picture below) has been stored in the memory banks to avoid for future visits….



    Next trip tomorrow sees us coming out of France and into Spain, while the rain continued to come down all night long!

  4. #14
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    Sauveterre - Navarette

    Once again up with the Larks and before the Alarm Clock caught me so as we left Sauveterre it was very dark and just getting light as we got to the French – Spanish Border where thanks to all the rain that has been falling the river was ‘fast & furious’!…..



    While the ‘Policia’ vehicle on the Spanish side of the border, near the centre of the next picture was all alone with no sign of any life around it….



    As we temporarily parked up in front of the closed souvenir shops....



    As we passed the Avia Garage on the Spanish side of the border I was surprised at how much cheaper Diesel was than in France as the Avia were asking €0.97/Litre while the best we saw in France was €1.05 at E’Leclerc in Chatelerault….

    As the Avia was a main garage, it will be interesting to see what the prices are in the Supermarket Garages in Spain…..

    Meanwhile once again it’s off we go hill climbing…..





    Passing a rather nice waterfall, that was more than bubbling along!



    As we reached the top of the hill and the small church we stopped at last time we came this way, it was rain and low cloud this time as opposed to the snow we saw last time….



    While going down the other side we come to a big monastery which travellers on the Santiago de Compostella Pilgrimage can stay at….



    While just around the corner is another small church and restaurant…



    Next we were passing through the narrow streets where speed is reduced to 40Kpmh and where as we did you pass by a Pilgrim on their way to Santiago de Compostela…..





    Finally pulled in to have breakfast and found this water outlet in a picnic and BBQ area which was nice but to wet to even consider cooking up a couple of slices of bacon with a fried egg, so we settled once again for our daily porridge!....



    While on the other side of the parking area was this map of the area, but we could not make out where we are!....



    Then it was back on the road towards Logrono and Navarette…..



    As we spotted this Rainbow!......



    While a bit further on was Navarette….



    Not long after we arrived at the campsite, then got set up with the TinTent, while the first job after that was a nice HOT Shower as 4 days of getting washed with a Flannel in Warm Water is no fun when it’s Brass Monkey Weather outside, and it was luvverly to feel nice and clean again!!

    Meanwhile a trip back into Logrono is called for tomorrow as a front side light bulb has failed on ‘Flamenco Red’ which needs to be replaced before some nice BIG Traffic Cop with Eagle Eyes spots us!....

  5. #15
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    A rest day in Navarette

    Oh how nice to have a lie in for a change!
    While after breakfast we made the quick trip into Logrono for the replacement lightbulb and also a fill up with Diesel in the Supermarket called ‘Al Campo’ which at €0.925/Litre (£0.66/Litre) was really not to be missed…..

    Having then got back to the campsite I tried to remove the defective bulb but the Owner’s Manual is not that helpful, so an email went off to the garage for some ‘Help!’ while now it’s wait for the response…

    So off we went for a walk into the town of Navarette….

    Out of the campsite and turn left and after about 200 yards you pass this quite large Bodega, which I believe you can buy wine from if you wish….



    Continuing along the road we spot this Orange Tree with no leaves but still has its Oranges in place which was rather strange!….



    Next on our right is what looks like a housing complex where each house has its own balcony....



    While behind the houses is a fenced off area with swimming pool and BBQ area…..



    Then as we get closer to the town centre……
    Well if you live on the top floor of a block of flats with no garden, where else can you dry your washing? I just hope none of it blows away on a windy day!!



    Turning left and then right we get into the narrow streets behind the main road….



    As we see another Pilgrim making his way to a Hostel a bit further along the road….



    We then saw that the church which is normally closed or has been every time we have been here was open, so off we went for a look inside and it was quite breath taking with what we saw….









    While back outside was this rather nice fountain and statue!....



    Then walking back to the campsite we had this nice view of the hills covered in the low clouds....



    While we finish the day off with a few pictures of the campsite which is one of the many ACSI Camping Card sites at €16/Night with good facilities…..













    Tonight sees us enjoying a nice Beef Stew, courtesy of the Moroccan ‘little’ pressure cooker we got last year….

    While tomorrow sees us back on the road on the next stage to Caceres, which will hopefully be a bit less that the 8+ hours TomTom is advising me for ‘Traveltime’ but from memory it is all the equivalent of Autoroute/Motorway, so set the 'Cruise Control' on 'Flamenco Red' and orf we jolly well go!
    Yahoo!!!…..

  6. #16
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    Navarette - Caceres

    On the road by just after 08:00 this morning as we have 350 miles to cover and a possible 8 hour run and that’s with no lunch!

    Met with grey skies and single digit temperature as we get onto the ‘Autovia’ (Motorway)….



    After some distance we come off the Autovia and onto the Major Road which meanders through a few villages and sections of narrow road and bridges….







    Then as we start ‘hill climbing’ there is this line of stationery traffic in front all with their hazard lamps going……



    As the Police try to get some of the traffic onto a side road we start to move forward, but then come to a full stop again as the drop onto the side road is rather steep.

    When I look out of the windscreen I can see plumes of thick black smoke which looks like something is on fire up ahead….



    This is then followed by plumes of grey and then white smoke or steam….



    After another 30 or 40 minutes we started moving again and as we passed the spot where the smoke was coming from we see a totally burnt out Opel Frontera that had been moved off the road into a gap by a breakdown truck while the car’s occupants were being taken off in a taxi as the Police continued to direct the traffic queues on both sides then it was a clear road again….



    Over the top of the hill and the sun starts to come out as we pass houses that have been partly built and left as Spain still has a housing glut.…



    While on the left are some high rise flats that are occupied and have a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside…..



    But we are still in Rioja Wine Country with brown fields and lots of Vineyards….



    While this ‘insect’ has been trying to take off for a number of years but never seems to make it for some reason....



    As it gets nice and sunny and the temperature rises so does the humidity and mist which is a shame as the scenery is quite nice even though we are back on the Autovia....



    As the road goes winding off into the distance the temperature reaches 18C and the leaves that are still on the trees make it feel like Autumn and not the end of November…..







    Then we spot the BIG Lake that was nearly full as we came back this way in February this year from our previous trip to Morocco.

    While on previous trips it has been nearly empty!....



    Even so the water is well down from the top of the dam wall which is the thick line running across the picture below…..





    After a quick stop for lunch of 30 minutes!
    Yes the hunger pangs did catch up with us, so we settled for a very nice ‘Bocadillo de Pechuga de Pollo’ and the Garlic was wonderful, with a nice Naranja!...
    We then pushed on for the next 125 miles and before we knew it we were on the outskirts of Caceres…..



    Just at the traffic island by that Garage in the last picture we turn left then right and into the service road that leads to the campsite….



    As we then turn left into the entrance, stop and go and sign in…..



    Making our way to our allocated pitch with its own ‘Cabin’ that has the WC/Shower/Hand basin and of course the key for your personal use….



    Tomorrow we are off on a ‘side trip’ but more about that after we have been and done it!

  7. #17
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    A side trip to Guadalupe

    Back on the road by just after 08:00 this morning but with a slight difference.
    Thanks to a good friend (Roy) back in the UK we are going to have a look around a UENESCO World Heritage Town called Guadalupe…

    As the sky was clear as we set off we could see the early mist lying in the valley….



    Then we ran into it!!.….





    Got through and out the other side to enter a small village with a 30Kmph speed restriction going through the centre and a lot of high speed bumps to enforce the limit…..



    Then into the next village and the same thing, 30Kmph and high speed bumps……





    Traffic island with some old mine machinery in the centre including the old Locomotive Train Water Filling Pipe as the town was an old mining town….



    Clear skies and rolling countryside what more could you ask for in November?….



    Next village with the same ‘restrictions’ as the others...…



    We were very glad those rocks on the left were leaning backwards!…..



    Traffic Island but not sure what the centre piece was although it looks a bit like a church..….



    As we finally arrive at Guadalupe......



    But as we get to the position on the left in the next picture we have gone the wrong way and should have turned right!......



    So we end up going through the centre of the town and being directed by a Local Policeman to go off down one of the side streets!…..



    And then another side street that was narrower than the first!



    Having made it through with some strange looks from the locals, and got back to near the town centre we found a place to park and set off to be met with this view in the centre of the town……



    That is the Basilica and these are the views from the steps as photgraphs are not allowed inside....









    With the history of how it started and developed….



    Finding the Tourist Office open we were given a ‘Self Walking Tour Map’ of the town with 23 places of interest identified on the map with an explanation in English, so off went and here are a few of those as a number were Town Gates or Water Fountains…..

    The first picture is the description of the place of interest while the following picture is the place of interest….





    I though the next picture was an old Jail House but it was just an old door…



    Another of the Town Gates was next….



    Casa de Gil Cordero…..





    The Three Fountains…..





    Old houses of importance….







    The houses of Los Capellanes….







    Now for some ‘Human Hill Climbing’……



    As we look back to yet another Town Gate…..



    We then come to…..





    While up around the corner is this large Vegetable patch that already has salad plants growing in it with other veg under the plastic covers…..



    The a bit further along we spot the ‘Gardener’ using his Rotavator to turn over more of the garden for planting, while we actually got a nice wave from the man before we moved on….



    Nice view of the top of the Basilica …..



    While the next place on the walking tour was the old prison from the Inquisition days during which time 52 Jews were burnt at the stake, and we could not find any doorway leading inside…..





    The next stop on the tour we nearly missed as the written instructions refer to Number 23 which was the old Guest Quarters of the Monastery, while it has the Sign for Number 22 outside, but after couple of questions and a bit of hand gesticulating we eventually found the correct place and it was amazing after we got through this doorway…



    The next pictures are of a Permanent Christmas Scene, handmade by the Barba Gonzalez’s Family with over 500 clay figures all handmade by members of the family, in natural representations and different Christmas scenes, covering an area of 65square meters…

    It was absolutely amazing to see…..

    Now see if you can spot the ‘Angel’?













    Tomorrow sees us back on the road for our final stage in Spain before we catch the ferry for Morocco, while I don’t expect to have Internet access for 3 or 4 days…

  8. #18
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    Caceres - Palmones

    Back on the road again by just after 08:00 this morning watching the Sunrise as we continue to head South with another 290 Miles to go today…..





    Anyone fancy a part built or ruined small Castle to restore?



    While a bit further along is this field of Solar Panels which brought to mind that song with the line “I’ll follow the sun” (The Beatles?)…..



    Then as we get part way through Seville we run into a superb traffic jam, caused by two men filling in a gap in the nearside lane of the bridge across the river.
    Their timing was superb for the ‘Busy Period’….



    While in the queue we spot this Pony & Trap out for a spin…..



    Then we spot this rider on his horse as we missed a couple of others who managed to disappear behind a couple of bushes at the side of a previous bridge….



    Following the ‘Cadiz’ road but NOT the toll section we see this nicely coloured tower on a church on the other side of the road….



    With 114Km to Cadiz, a bright blue sky and a temperature of 18C, what could be nicer? ...…



    Another Tower ripe for refurbishment!…..



    Before we know it lunch is past but we call into a Service Station at Villafranca which has undergone a significant refurbishment since last year and now includes all sorts of Spanish ‘Goodies’ for sale.
    The left hand side Jambon on the right of the next picture was priced at €27/Kg!



    Still off the ‘Autovia’ and in this case the ‘Toll Road’ we pass through a couple of small villages….



    Then back out into the countryside......



    Making our way to the dual carriageway road to Algeciras and Palmones…..





    With some nice scenery and significant ‘Hill Climbing’ as well as we think it must be one of the windiest places in Spain, especially with all the wind turbines in the area…..









    Nearly there as ‘The Rock of Gibraltar’ fills the gap across the road…



    While there it is again but bigger than before!….



    Nearly there now….



    Parked up OK with all the other outfits including several ‘Brits’ who are going over for their first visit, so it was good to be able to pass them some tips and advice to help them in getting along…..



    Off tomorrow for the ferry and trip across the Straits of Gibraltar to the port of Tanger Med which offers the easiest and possibly quickest entry into the country…..

  9. #19
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    Palmones – Kenitra

    Bit noisy this morning with the early departure of outfits for other ferries that were due to leave at 06:00 and 08:00 but didn’t quite make it.
    So as we left the parking area earlier than anticipated we then found some of the others had not boarded their ferries when we got to the terminal…..



    The Container section of the Port, lit up like Christmas lights……



    While we see our ferry at 08:00 is all ready for loading, but we cannot check in, while the container ship on the left is getting ready to depart from the terminal….



    And then it is off, being helped out by one of the powerful tugs in the port…..





    While next the ‘Check In’ light turns green and we are making our way to the dockside to line up for boarding, but as they were still doing some repairs and a bit of painting we didn’t start boarding for some time…..







    Once on board and having got our Passports stamped with the ‘Entry Permit’ for Morocco which is good for 90 days we went up to the front and into the café where we saw this very early scooter in a glass case….



    Cast off and away we go, making our way out of the port!…..



    To swing round past Gibraltar and into the open but quite calm sea….





    Didn’t have the camera turned on at the time but saw a small spout of water rise up which was followed by the back of what I think was a Minke Whale passing the ship on its way into the Mediterranean Sea, which was a first for me, while I think my good lady was a little disappointed that she had missed it completely…



    While the ship left Algeciras slightly late, it made up the time and we came into Tanger Med slightly ahead of schedule which for us was a first…..



    Got moored up and started the disembarkation which gets a bit fraught as there is one Policeman checking everyone’s Passport to ensure you have the required Entry Stamp inside…..



    As we then get into the area where the Temporary Import Permit is authorised for the car & caravan we spot these cars that have arrived with very large loads strapped to their roofs and have been literally taken apart by the Police to check for contraband, then the drivers have the job of putting them back together.

    How some of the suspension copes with the extra weight is puzzling as we saw one Mercedes with both rear wheels at an angle that made them look like each side of the walls of a Pyramid when you looked at the car from the rear, while 4 other part worn and illegal for tread depth tyres were strapped on to the roof!…..



    Finally cleared all the hurdles and got out of the Port and on our way to Kenitra, with some nice views as we rolled along….











    The very shiny middle area in the next picture is in fact one of hundreds of areas of fields that are covered in clear plastic cloches while the number of places with intensified growing ‘plastic’ has certainly increased since last year….





    As another example of overweight loading rolls past on the ‘Bump Stops’ of its suspension!…..



    As we then approach the Toll Road ‘Peage’ the vehicles parked on the far right are Police as we spotted a Mobile Radar Camera around 15Km back who then radios the details of speeding vehicles to the guys at the Toll Booths, so after going faster than 120Km and being caught, you get a double whammy of an instant fine and also still have to pay you toll ticket, and ‘Yes’ there were two cars pulled in and paying up as the Police wrote out their tickets!......



    On the other side of the Toll Booth we take the exit for Kenitra which in fact was the wrong one as we came off North and it should have been the South Exit as after a nice clear bit of road……





    We got caught up in this….
    All the Mini Buses taking the school kids back home and there were a lot of Buses….



    As we also ended up going once again through the town centre and then making a left turn, we end up going past the Market, which makes for interesting driving as you dodge pedestrians or they dodge you along with other vehicles!....





    As finally we reach the gates of the campsite….



    After getting set up and checked in with reception, it was interesting to find out that she spoke 4 Languages, Arabic, French, a little German & a little English, but enough to get by and be understood……

    As I needed a new ‘Top Up’ card for my Maroc Telecom Dongle we went off into the town to find a shop selling one.
    As we were about to go into a Cyber Café a little old lady outside said to us “Bonjour Monsieur, Madam” to which I replied “Salam Alikum” and her face broke into one big smile showing her one good tooth!
    She then replied “Alikum Salam” and then said “La Bess” which is basically “Are you well” and we replied “La Bess” which means we are and we hope you are to, that smile got even bigger and I am sure that had I approached her with my arms open for a hug it would have happened.

    Meanwhile I got the Top Up card after a young man in the Cyber Café gave us clear directions in English to find a shop selling them.
    I said “Shukran” we shook hands as I did and a nice smile appeared on his face, and we went and got the card, then on the way back we got 2 very nice freshly cooked Doughnuts (No Jam/Jelly/Custard inside) for less than £0.20.

    Tomorrow is sightseeing and some fresh vegetables from the town, especially the Peas which you have to take out of their shells but they are delicious!
    Last edited by XCovlov70; 12-02-2015 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Text & Picture alignment

  10. #20
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2015-2016


    A day in Kenitra

    While our last visit here was 2 years ago I have to say that there have been no changes to either the town or the campsite which cost £4/Night including Mains Hook Up and Wi-Fi…..



    As we wandered into town after carrying out some ‘duties’ like clothes washing we spotted the Stalks up on the Mobile Phone mast in their nest….



    While this next picture shows Moroccan Hand Demolition as they were knocking down this property using sledge hammers, no mechanical equipment was anywhere near….



    One of the squares in the town with the water fountain with no water…..



    While we went in search of fresh Peas we pass this fabric shop with all the different coloured bolts of cloth outside….



    While we spotted an old man running a very old rug weaving machine in a shop front room that was no bigger than a single garage.
    We stood there for a few minutes watching him as he used his hands and bare feet to produce the material as he then made adjustments on various parts to get the tension correct.
    I asked him if I could take a picture but sadly he said no which was a pity as it was fascinating to watch, but really it needed a short video when I thought about it as a picture would not have done it justice …..

    Never mind we might find another one in a different town.

    Back on the road tomorrow to El Jadida and Camping International.

    P.s. Diesel over here has come down in price to £0.53/Litre!

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