View Full Version : The Snowbird Run II (Overland via France and Spain to Morocco)

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11-12-2012, 08:51 AM
Overland via France & Spain to Morocco 2012/13

http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/Morocco%202012/Camels.jpg http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/Morocco%202012/Badge.jpg http://i1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg497/eurorider2/Morocco%202012/Morocco.jpg

Well Folks, it’s that time of year again when to stay warm if you can, you head closer to the Equator, at least if you are on this side of ‘The Pond’ while I think its Florida on the other side of the ‘Pond’!

This time however we are going a bit further south, just for a change, and a tour of Morocco is planned for our next adventure!
If you are reading this, and joining us then, “Welcome” to a place in the ‘Third Seat’.
So let’s buckle up and get on the road while ‘Flamenco Red’ is ‘growling sweetly’ and raring to go!

First: A few details about this ‘Adventure’

Expected (calculated) distance to be travelled: 7300 Miles (11600Km)
Duration: 99 Nights, of which 71 Nights are planned to be in Morocco

Second: The Route Map through Europe to get us there and back!


Third: The Route Map for our anti-clockwise trip in Morocco with ‘black lines’ for the route as there are no roads in AutoRoute for Morocco.
I know not why, I only use the program!.



Fourth: The places/campsites we are heading for on the Map above with the details in the picture below.


Fifth: The expanded details for the lower part in Morocco, again you can match the numbers with the details in the picture above.


Departure date is quite close now, but I just wanted to give Giorgio a 'Heads Up' [thumbup][thumbup]

11-12-2012, 09:50 PM

Looking forward to following your trip. I am currently on a run from western Canada to Los Angeles and back via Las Vegas. Not quite as long as your trip.

11-13-2012, 12:05 AM

Looking forward to following your trip. I am currently on a run from western Canada to Los Angeles and back via Las Vegas. Not quite as long as your trip.

Good to hear there is someone else who is actually using the XC for nice long rides!

I hope you will be sharing your trip 'experiences' with us along with some great pictures?

Meanwhile drive safe, take care and enjoy the road! [thumbup]

11-19-2012, 12:26 PM
Stage 1 UK – Montreuil sur Mer (255.44Miles) 2012/13

Firstly before we go anywhere!

Our ‘Snowbird Run II’ commenced today at exactly 7 Days & 2 Minutes from the Remembrance Service held in Whitehall (London) on 11th November 2012 when at 11:00hrs the UK & other countries stopped for 2 minutes to remember and pay homage to those Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen who gave the ultimate sacrifice, namely their lives, so that we could enjoy something called ‘Freedom’.

For every trip that my good lady and I make we never forget, and if we were heading for Flanders on our way home would stop off to say a small ‘Thank you’ at the Last Post Ceremony that takes place in a beautiful city called Ypres.

As this trip heads South we cannot go, while in 2013 we intend to go twice, but as we travel along we will remember and a ‘Thank You’ will be made, as well as the 2 Minutes of respect and homage spent before we set off.

Our first stage will be through the UK, heading across country to hop on the Eurotunnel Train, then as we exit ‘Le Manche’ 40 minutes later we are in France!

Over we go on the Second Severn Crossing


A short ‘Pit Stop’ for a sandwich and then to check Dinner in the Slow Cooker which is a Beef Curry!


After a few more miles and hours we arrive at ‘Le Manche’ and check in then wait for our slightly earlier train as the one previous to the one we will get on was going to cost us an extra £40 ($60) so I thought we would go and enjoy a nice coffee instead!

Checked in now Flamenco Red is patiently waiting for the train!


A quick check on the 2 websites below give me supposedly up-todate prices of the cost per litre for the Gazole fill up, but between the two websites I get rather angry as one website shows Spain CHEAPER than France, while the other website shows this to be the other way around!
Maybe the guys who put the webpage together cannot type correctly, or need to visit an optician real soon!


Meanwhile the inside of the terminal has been spruced up for Christmas!


Just about to go over the Border and we haven’t got on the train yet!


When we get on the train you have to drive carefully down the middle and then they close the smoke doors making them into little sealed compartments.



Which makes it about this wide on each side of you!


After filling up we are then on a short drive to our first overnight halt, at an Aires that allows ‘Tin Tents’ to stay overnight in a nice town called Montreuil sur Mer (GPS: N 50.45928 E 1.75953).

The Aires has ‘Pay As You Use’ Electric Hookup as well as Fresh Water and Grey/Chemical Waste disposal which if you use you also pay for.
There is also a fully automatic toilet that is electronically controlled and is open between 07:00 & 23:00hrs.

Sorry it was rather dark to be able to get any pictures of the Aires.

Bonne nuit! (Good night!)

11-19-2012, 01:31 PM
Stage 2 Montreuil sur Mer - Villefagnan (371 Miles)

After a reasonable night, then when we open the door of the ‘Tin Tent’ we can just about see to the end of the Aires as the mist/fog is quite bad, although the weather was not unexpected after the lovely sunny day yesterday!

So after hoping for an early start, we get on the road at 07:30hrs it’s not long before the miles are slipping by but slower than expected as visibility is somewhat restricted and it is still quite dark.

But having said that we did enjoy dinner when we arrived last night, & have set up the ‘Flamenco Red Cook as You Drive’ again for this next stage, albeit with a different menu consisting of a Turkey Casserole!

Our only ‘problem’ is that when we stop to turn the ingredients over in the slow cooker the smell of the cooking makes you wish it was dinner time very soon!


Not long after we start off and daylight arrives and the mist/fog is quite patchy.



While we pass through some nice little villages and make it around our dreaded city of Rouen!
I say that because a few years ago we went through Rouen and went ‘Right’ and not ‘Left’ On that occasion we went under a bridge that was 3 Meters high which was OK but right after with NO warning was another bridge only this one was 2.6 Meters and we were expecting to hear the bikes scraping the underside of the bridge, but we must just have made it!



Bit further along we see this small plane that looks for all the world like it was landed on a traffic island!


While on another one we see this horse tethered waiting for its rider!


It makes the driving a bit more pleasant as you drive through France and see the things on traffic islands that take some of the boredom out of driving, especially after the rather long day that we have had today!

After finally arriving at our next nights halt: Camping a la Ferme de Chassagne N 46.007233 E 0.096716, I’m quite looking forward to a good night’s sleep tonight.

Ps. The Turkey Casserole was Luvverly!

Bonne nuit!

11-19-2012, 04:52 PM
Wow ! A new trip ! We wait your photo from Ouarzazate , very nice place.I went there many years ago in August with a Renault 4 !

11-20-2012, 02:36 PM
Hi! Both, So what's in the pot for tomorrow? Like the on the road photos but could not be on the road by 7.30am, might just make it for the guvnor's morning cuppa.
Keep safe and see you in Castro Verde for the 7th. J&C

11-21-2012, 04:21 AM
Hi! Both, So what's in the pot for tomorrow? Like the on the road photos but could not be on the road by 7.30am, might just make it for the guvnor's morning cuppa.
Keep safe and see you in Castro Verde for the 7th. J&C

Looking forward to meeting up!
Nice surprise on the N10 for both North & South traffic, see below!

11-21-2012, 04:22 AM
Wow ! A new trip ! We wait your photo from Ouarzazate , very nice place.I went there many years ago in August with a Renault 4 !

Hello Giorgio!
We will get there eventually!

11-21-2012, 04:24 AM
Stage 3 Châtellerault - Sauveterre de Bearn (219.7 Miles)

After a nice quite night we are back on the road at 08:00 Hrs.’ today heading to our next overnight halt at a place called Sauveterre de Bearn and not such a long trip!

Sunrise this morning as we left Villefagnan:


Keep coming UP ‘Mr Sun’!


Now we start getting the mist again.


Construction started for the Paris – Barcelona TGV (High Speed Train Service)


Passing through Bordeaux and although it doesn’t look bad traffic was heavy.


After a few miles on the road around Bordeaux we come off and make our way across part of the city where Tom Tom calls for a left turn except they have been stopped so we have to carry on and take a left turn 4 roads later which causes all sorts of confusion both for us and the French drivers coming the other way, but with a couple of nice things as we pass by!



After getting through Bordeaux we finally get onto the Great Road South the N10.


Where a lot of the traffic are Trucks some of whom we pull up near on a short comfort break.


Surprise surprise! A new set of Toll Gates being installed north of Junction 17 on the N10 which up to now has been a toll free road, but the 4 lane (2 South & 2 North is being widened to 6 lanes.


We then reach a point where a hard left then a hard right is called for!



While further down we see that they are still in the process of clearing up after the very bad storm that came through I think it was 4 years ago!



Get off the N10 and start to head across country and in the distance we can see the Pyrenees which is the mountain range we have to cross to get into Spain but that is for tomorrow.


Then finally we reach the Aires at Sauveterre de Bearn (GPS N 43.40118 W 0.93891) which comes complete with fresh water and a waste disposal point.


After a quick lunch it’s time for a stroll around the village which has some interesting places, and an outside temperature of 15C!










So far in France we have paid between €1.32 & €1.36 a Litre for Diesel but have seen it at €1.52 as we went through a large town, as the next stop tomorrow will be in Spain it will be interesting to see the difference there.

Bonne nuit.

11-21-2012, 09:30 AM
Stage 4 Sauveterre de Bearn - Navarrete (136.81 Miles)

It was an early start today as we left the Aires at 06:40 to make our way from France into Spain primarily along a road in France that a number of people suggested giving it a miss and go for a different route, but as I like a challenge as well as ‘Flamenco Red’ then off we set!
The road in question has quite a number of tight & hairpin bends on it and is quite narrow but only as it goes through a couple of the villages notably on the Spanish side.
As we set off in the dark then traffic was very light and we were soon rolling along the French road quite nicely then around 18 miles later we came to the France/Spain Border only recognisable by the Repsol Garage and my attempt at a night picture with a shaky hand!



As you drive along the road when the ‘30’ Kmph sign pops up in the headlights then you know you are about to go around a Hairpin Bend, so for god’s sake slow down or else your trip will be even quicker!



When I used Google Earth in my research to have a look at the road I ended up following a ‘Log Truck’ having zoomed down to road level so it was interesting to end up following one again, just as we got to the top of a 3,000ft climb with the Church on the left!




As we start to make our way down the other side of this range of mountains we pass what looks like a very large convent as this is part of the route for Pilgrims making their way to or from Santiago de Compostelo.





Then we come to one of the narrow roads passing through a village, so we let a decent distance appear between us and the Log Lorry just in case something came the other way!


Road started to widen out again as we caught the Log Lorry up again, then a short while later we were climbing again and the Log Lorry gave us a signal and with ‘Flamenco Red’ growling nicely we slid past and up the hill.


Only to find yet more hairpin bends as we came down the other side!




With all this ‘up & down’ I thought it best to pull over just before the next hairpin bend and just make sure that the brakes on the ‘Tin Tent’ were not possibly overheating after our experience in Portugal earlier this year, but I have to say the the Technical Support provided by Mr Fischer of Knott who manufacture the axle has been fabulous and after over 1500 miles since being sorted out the brakes are performing excellently!



So as we come to the bottom of the Pyrennes and roll along the rain eventually stops and the clouds start to break up a bit as we get nearer to our next halt which is a campsite just outside a small town called Navarrete







After a bit further we are at the entrance to Camping Navarrete, GPS= N 42.41610 W 2.55165.




This is an ‘ACSI’ listed campsite with excellent facilities which we found to be spotlessly clean.

While outside just up the road is one of the local Bodega’s, well we are in Rioja Wine country!



Tomorrow is a day’s rest from the ‘long haul’ so we are off ‘Exploring’ around the town of Navarrete, but now its shower time, and then feet up for a bit before we get the BBQ going for dinner. [thumbup]

Buenos Nochas!

11-22-2012, 06:25 AM
Stage 4A “A Day Exploring Navarrete”

Well it had to happen after a few days on the road, so today was a bit of a ‘lie in’ which meant that breakfast was after 08:00 as Spain does not really wake up till around 10:00, but what a cold night it was, as you can see ‘Flamenco Red’ was not impressed having been taken out of its cosy garage back in the UK while now having to stand in a field all night!


Short walk down to the entrance to the campsite and there is a car at the front with a couple of men in wearing hi-viz jackets. [sly]
It turns out to be an unmarked police car with the radar camera mounted on the dashboard! You can hopefully just see the side of the camera glinting in the early morning sunshine.

The road outside the campsite is perfectly straight with a 90Kmph limit, but as we set off to go into town a shortly while later we could see the hi-viz jackets on the road side about 700 yards away, but no sign of the car!


The town of Navarrete is quite near to the campsite and is also on one of the routes for Pilgrims making their way to or from Santiago de Compostela which is nearly 500 Miles from here, and quite a few still walk the route, while others cycle or drive today.
Heading into the town while the Church looms large over everything


Just along the walkway in front of the church you see this nice little plaque


While in front of it is this pair of statues


Then just to the left of the statues is this house in need of some TLC, but note the height of the front door!


Then the view across the main road through the town.


While off one of the walkways between the buildings we see:


Then just inside at the end, this looks like the old town jail!


Walking up towards the church on the left is a statue of a Potter spinning a small jug while on the right is the Tourist Office which was closed.


To the left of the church are these steps appear to be not very old when compared to the church.


Then when you get to the top and look around you see an old grape press


While as you go further up the hill behind the church you see….










Then having been around 360 degrees we start to make our way back down and spot this rather strange roof which we think might be the kitchen of the house


Then see this reclaimed strange front gate to the property. No prizes for guessing what it was in a previous life!


We continue on down back to the centre of town with some interesting street scenes on the way…





With one final large crest on the wall of a nice building.


As we make our way back to the campsite we see that all the trees surrounding the site are being given a ‘Marines Haircut’ which is everything off the top and nothing left on the sides!


Well that took care of the morning which gave us ‘Lunch Time’ and that consisted for me of the last of the Beef Curry with the end of a French Baguette that was less than 36 hours old but had the consistency of the Rock of Gibraltar, with the emphasis on ‘Rock’ but I was very happy that the curry sauce soon softened up that ‘problem’! :D:D


After lunch we then set off for a very large Eroski Supermarket and some shopping for bits and pieces. Google Earth for the location and GPS and then Tom Tom for the navigation otherwise we would still have been driving around looking for it!

Upon arrival we could see that the place was massive, and to be honest looked bigger than the Hypermarkets back in the UK, however the layout, presentation of the items and cleanliness was a credit to the staff.

Fish Counter


Fresh Bread & Cakes


Then the vegetables


Then as you would expect in Spain the large selection of ‘Jamon Curado’


It’s making my mouth water again, just looking at the pictures!
Never mind we are having a bit of Fish for dinner tonight, then it will be time to get prepared for the next stage to Cáceres.

Buenos Noches.

11-23-2012, 11:08 AM
Stage 5 Navarrete - Cáceres (369.8 Miles)

Buenos Dias!
WOW! You don’t get many mornings like this and it was only 07:30!


Then 30 minutes later with breakfast finished, dishes washed and put away, hitched up and out of the campsite and back on the road to our next halt which is to be another ACSI campsite at the city of Cáceres.


As we started along the ‘Autovia’ (Motorway/Freeway) having travelled a few miles to join it we then run into road works but it is in part caused by the building we think of another high speed rail link between Spain & Portugal with roads having to be moved and bridges built for the train.


Then back off the ‘Autovia’ and onto the National Road passing through a tight bit
(Will all those in the Third Seat ‘Breath In’ please as I don’t want to scrape the sides of the buildings! Thanks!! :D:D


While a bit further along we pass this cyclist who is making his way along the Pilgrims Route to Santiago de Compostela. We also passed a couple of groups of people who were walking the Pilgrims Route, which would take them over 500 miles to do.



While we had the right of way across this little narrow bridge, I did not fancy pushing my luck, and the Truck Driver at least said ‘Gracias’ as he passed us with a nice wave!


Coming up to this little village we were in for a nice surprise!


We spotted this in the face of the hill as we passed by.


Then after getting back on the ‘Autovia’ we spot this ahead.



The ‘Rig’ from front to back must be around 30 Meters (90 Feet) long and I would love to have seen it come off the ‘Autovia’ and negotiate some of the small roads and Traffic Islands! [cool2]


Then we pass around the outskirts of Valladolid



With yet another new bridge in the distance as we drive away from the city.


While like France some bridges have decorations planted alongside them.


Over in the distance again as we skirt around is the city of Salamanca that we have visited before and was a very interesting place.


While a bit further down the road is the first sign of Snow on the Sierra Mountains.



Then a little bit further down the road is this lake at the side of the road that is looking a bit low in water.


While a few miles further on is yet another new and very long bridge with an interesting method of construction that I believe was also used on the Second Severn Crossing in South Wales that allows the concrete sections to be slid out and into place as they travel along the ones already fitted!


Considering we are nearly at the end of November the colours of the trees as we travel along is something special with all the different browns and golds and it makes it feel a bit like being in the Wye Valley back home in Autumn or The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in the Fall.[thumbup]




We finally arrived at Camping Cáceres just on 8 hours after setting off this morning, a little bit knackered but ‘Flamenco Red’ came up trumps again with a very nice Beef & Onion Casserole from the ‘Cook as you Travel Kitchen’!

So with a nice bottle of fizzy pop I bid you good evening as we have another longish haul tomorrow!

Buenos Nochas!

11-26-2012, 09:54 AM
Stage 6 Cáceres - Algeciras (287 Miles)

Another early start as looking at our itinerary after the distances we have been travelling each day we decided to ‘Go For It’ and do the run direct from Cáceras to Algeciras in one go which means we will hopefully be on the Fast Ferry to Tanger Med on Sunday which is a day early!

As we start along the ‘Autovia’ once more we pass this old Castle in need of a bit of TLC!


The looking off to the left we pass the southern part of Cáceras


While not much further are more new homes being built.


Then as it is Saturday morning the roads are relatively quiet with little traffic about.


Bodega and Restaurant waiting for Lunchtime Customers!


While we wondered if the field next door that was covered in Solar Panels provided the electricity for the kitchen!


No it’s not a ‘mirage’ the old road runs parallel to the ‘Autovia’!


The dark building looked like a ‘Hostal’ but sadly was in the process of falling apart!


Now passing through Seville.






Then after we get well past Seville we see this aqueduct running alongside the road which went for a very long way!


While heading towards Cadiz



Then as we pull in for a comfort and lunch break we find the garage is very quiet, reason being there is no electricity so it is closed!


Nice Spanish Guitarist to greet you as you get to the top of the hill!


While not much further is another field full of Solar Panels!


Passing another run down ‘Hostal’


We then get back on the ‘Autovia’ towards Algeciras.





Then we saw the ‘thing’ in front not far from Algeciras and wondered if it was the top of something but we are still wondering!


Finally into the car park at Lidl where the Fast Ferry Ticket Office is around the back.


Tickets sorted out for 11:00 sailing on Sunday with an Open Return, our only glitch was that the link with the computer in Morocco was not working so we only got 50% of the entry paperwork completed, the rest will have to be done as we arrive and go through the entry into the country.

Buenos Nochas!

WOW! Just before the Ticket Office closed for the night we got a knock on the ‘Tin Tent’ door as Katy had managed to get the rest of the paperwork off the Moroccan website to make our entry into the country that much easier, little did we realise that it had a slight adverse effect, but more of that later!

11-27-2012, 05:17 AM
Stage 7 Palmones/Algeciras – Tanger Med/Asilah (60.88 Miles)

As our ‘Fast Ferry’ was at 11:00 and we needed to be checked in 1 hour before we left the Lidl carpark at 09:30 and 15 minutes later we were at the Algeciras Port in the Acciona Line waiting for the check in to open.

Lidl carpark


On the way to the port


In the check in queue


While just waiting as the driver went for his tickets from another office was this


Get through Customs & Passport Control (No photos allowed!) and then after spotting the camper that was in front of us as there are no signs telling you which way to go, we find the ‘Fast Ferry’ we are going on




The loading commences about 1 hour after we should have sailed, and first they get the trucks on by reversing them into place


Next on was us as we got called out in front of the campers, then when we got on board we had to do a 180 degree turn to face the way we could come to get back off, as did all the campers!


We then made our way up to the passenger area as the car deck would be closed off during the crossing to find that the queue had already started to form when you present your entry paper for Morocco along with your passport to the police officer who then issues you with your special number which will remain with you for as long as you use that passport!


Passenger lounges on board



Finally over 1.5 hours late we start to leave the dockside.


Passing as we go…

A large container loading crane from China


Another ‘Fast Ferry’ swinging around to come into the dock to offload


Then we swing right and pass by Gibraltar partly shrouded in cloud


Having swung round and past the Rock of Gibraltar we expected the ‘Fast Ferry’ to start picking up a bit of speed bit it still trundled through the sea at the same leisurely pace while giving no impression of being a ‘Fast Ferry’ so a stroll on the top deck was quite nice and ‘breezy’


Interestingly the ‘Fast Ferry’ in the following picture left Algeciras after we did as it hadn’t started loading when we left, but caught and passed us!



As the trip went well past the 40 minutes crossing time we eventually saw the landfall of Morocco coming up out of the mist with a rather strange shape in the middle


The strange shape turned out to be a Maersk Line Container Ship absolutely loaded with containers that had just left the port of Tanger Med as we headed to the other side of the port to dock


Exit ramp onto the dockside with the return vehicles waiting for us to arrive around 2 hours late!


Finally get off the ship and make our way up to the ‘Douane’ and Police Control points and then form a line while we all wait for one of the officials to carry out the required paperwork checks against passports and even though we had received our unique numbers from the police on board the ferry, I still had to take both passports and have it entered into the computer system on dry land so that it matched the rest of the paperwork for the vehicles!


When the official came over to ‘check us over’ it turned out that he was not familiar with the new paperwork that you can obtain from the Moroccan Government website for the temporary import of a vehicle, and was still expecting us to get out our pens and fill in the triplicate form that was presented but after some ‘clarification’ he then collected everyone’s and took them off for verification returning around 20 minutes later when it was all smiles and we were off!

As we climbed the road out of the port our first view was of this rather nicely decorated property


We also decided to check out a little garage on the side road for fuel before we got onto the Toll Road to head over to Asilah, and after driving over numerous ‘road humps’ and at least 2 policemen on every traffic island as we traverse a second new Tanger Med Port that is being constructed we found the garage and much to the surprise of the man on the diesel pump fill up Flamenco Red for the princely sum of 8.34 MAD/Litre (MAD = Moroccan Dirhams) which is around £0.60/Litre!
WOW! Pity the ‘Tin Tent’ isn’t watertight for the return?

Left turn off the old road to the Toll Road and Asilah



The new Renault – Nissan manufacturing plant just off the Toll Road.


Around 2 hours after leaving Tanger Med we arrive on the outskirts of Asilah for our first night in Morocco planning to stay on the Quayside while a ‘Guardienne’ provides the security for our outfit.


Then passing through the town to get to the Quayside



With finally the view from our rear window while parked on the Quayside




Quick snack & drink having got set up and we set off for a look around the town as our arrival day coincided with a special Children’s Day in the Moroccan calendar















Next stop tomorrow is Moulay Bousselham which we are going to use the ‘normal roads’ to get to and give the Toll Road a miss.

It turned out to be a ‘challenge & an experience’ but thankfully Flamenco Red has got BIG WHEELS, but that is for the next stage!

Leila Saeeda (Good night)

11-27-2012, 09:01 AM
Stage 8 Asilah - Moulay Bousselham (54 Miles)

Sbah l’kheer (Good Morning!)

Oh what a morning it was being woken at 05:30 by the ‘Call to Prayer’ from the Minaret that is quite close to the quayside in Asilah.
If you then listened closely you could hear the other minarets in the town issuing the same call as the dawn approached.

After breakfast we then set off to make our way from Asilah to Moulay Bousselham without using the Toll Road and boy were we in for a challenge & an experience as the road was not what we thought it was going to be like!

Just coming out of Asilah we passed this structure on the road, not sure what it’s purpose is but there were quite a number of them along the road as we passed by


While a bit further we see the goats and their herdsman looking after them as they forage for the day


While further along the road was this sad enterprise suffering from the economic recession while the one a bit further on was still operating. Anyone want a Tajine?



It was not long before we approached the town of Larache with quite a few people looking to see both what we were and where we had come from with a few people waving and smiling as we passed them by


Plenty of these types of transport being used around the town and even some taking passengers!



A few miles further along and the GPS (TomTom) shows a right hand turn, so following the request from ‘Jane’ the TomTom Voice we make the turn into


While the ‘road’ had reasonable sections, the majority of it was potholed and rutted with all sorts of large vehicles using it and you really had to keep the speed down and drive if you could around the potholes or very slowly into them and then climb back out!






After that 10 miles or so of and ‘experience’ we then came to a decent bit of tarmac road


This led us to our next stop for a couple of days which is Moulay Bousselham Camping


The Campsite Restaurant


Our neighbours (The BIG Blue one is an American RV with an English couple in who like us are visiting Morocco for the first time. The RV weighs in at 17 Tonnes!)


One of the Electric Hook Up Points! (Health & Safety eat your heart out!)


Then there is us, with a view over the lagoon!


The lagoon


Then along the front of the campsite to the town and fishing harbour


Tomorrow will be spent catching up on the obligatory washing, cleaning and a trip off around the town ‘exploring’!

Till then….Leila Saeeda! (Good Night)

11-28-2012, 02:22 AM
Stage 8A “A day in Moulay Bousselham”

Sbah l’kheer (Good Morning!)

After a nice quiet night it was time for breakfast, then make a start on the clothes washing which would not take long to dry as it was quite a windy day, but also warm at 21C!

With that out of the way it was also time to move over to a Maroc Telecom Dongle connection at around 3.86Mbps as opposed to the Campsite Wi-Fi which was proving very unreliable at an upload speed of 0.01Mbps!
With 5 attempts to update the Blog over a period of 3 hours just for the input from 1 day, the steam was flying out of my ears with all the frustration! :mad:

Quick sandwich for lunch and then having dried all the washing we were off on an exploration trip around the town.

First stop was just along from the campsite where the fishermen land their catches and there were a few fish being landed but I think due to the wind being up not many boats had been out to sea



After leaving there and climbing what seemed like 1000 steps we had a good view of the lagoon and surrounding area




While walking on into the town centre we see the local buses that are used for the transporting the schoolchildren, while on the left of the buses there were 3 ladies trying to sell clothes


The main street leading down to the sea with all the small shops and restaurants/cafes



While after a short walk down again we get to the back of a building with a view out to the ocean over the sand bar of the lagoon


Then coming back into another side of town we see the fruit vendors all lined up under a couple of trees


Not many places you can see a couple of cows outside the local bank!


While just across the road was another cow with a rather nicely tiled house to its left


Different contrasts & shaped houses along the main road



With the local ‘Gendarmerie Royale’ office not far away.


Then making our way back to the campsite over some rough ground we see the different layers in the soil which has taken no doubt a very long time to evolve


When we got back to the campsite this new arrival had rolled in from Italy so we thought that he got the short straw for carrying the PIZZA Dish on the back of his Camper as he met up with some Spanish friends on the way here, or they cannot go on holiday without seeing their ‘Soap Operas’ on the goggle box!!! :rolleyes:


So as we come to the end of a rather windy but very nice day we can leave you with these two views over the lagoon as we get ready to make a visit to the campsite restaurant for a Mutton Tajine and a bowl of Moroccan Soup, how it tasted etc, will be revealed tomorrow….promise!



Till then….Leila Saeeda! (Good Night) [thumbup]

11-28-2012, 10:17 AM
Stage 8B “A second day in Moulay Bousselham”

Sbah l’kheer (Good Morning!)

Well it’s not everywhere you see a Cow strolling along the beach first thing in the morning,
So here is a picture of ‘Daisy’ going for her early morning beach stroll!


OK, so how was Dinner last night?

I think ‘excellent’ would be a suitable word to use. [thumbup]
We were offered the chance to bring in our own wine but declined and asked for “jooj atay bi nana” which was ‘2 Mint Teas’



This was followed by what looked like the best part of a full loaf of Moroccan bread which was delicious and some Olives which each colour had its own flavour


Then came the ‘Moroccan soup’ which was a tomato base with different vegetables & noodles in into which you squeezed the portion of lemon which gave it a nice taste


Then after this was consumed along with the best part of the bread, then came the Mutton Tajine in which I think the potatoes took on the colour of the spice that I think might have been turmeric.


Needless to say the dish was wiped clean with what remained of the bread

The cost was an earth shattering 128 MAD (GB £9.43 or USD $14.14)

As we really enjoyed the meal and found out that the lady chef who cooked the meal along with the owner had children we returned a few minutes later with some writing paper and pencils for the children and received sincere thanks for the gifts. [thumbup]

While today has been a relaxing one we were not surprised to see once again the ‘Non Mechanical Grass Cutting’ going on in the campsite when a local shepherd brings his flock in to keep the grass down, and it works very well with the odd bleat instead of the rattle and smoke of the sit on mowers favoured by campsite owners who must trim the grass every darn day!

It was even nicer when you saw the little lambs that could not be very old in with the flock.




As we were running low on Bananas and saw some in town yesterday we decided to go back in and get a new supply, but after walking all around the town we could not find a single Banana, we could not believe it, but hey this is not Supermarket country around here so as we are moving on tomorrow we will have to look again.

We did however see a small part of the fresh fish sales which one man who is sat down near the wall was not very happy about me taking the picture below!

The fish are in the boxes to the right of the man in the light coloured coat and white skull cap.


Then while making our way back to the campsite we see the "Before" & "After" of two houses on the road.



Our next stop was going to be a campsite near Rabat, but today we learned that it has closed or has ‘problems’ and we were advised not to bother, so after some hunting around we have decided to try a place called Kenitra which is North of Rabat and if that does not work out then it will be the alternative of Skhirat which is South of Rabat, but as half of the itinerary in the TomTom for some reason showed up as 'corrupt' it was a good time to re-input the 'faulty' locations along with the 2 new ones.

We will see what happens tomorrow!

Till then we wish you all….Leila Saeeda! (Good Night)

11-29-2012, 08:43 AM
Stage 9 Moulay Bousselham - Kenitra (55.1 Miles)

We set off at around 08:30 this morning for the short trip further South to Kenitra and just before we left the Breadman rolled up.


Decided to use the Toll Road as opposed to the normal road today, which while it might not have been as interesting as the normal road was at least in much better condition.

After collecting the Auto Route ticket we were soon rolling along with some interesting sights as we travelled



While next we see extremely large plastic ‘greehouses’ that have Palm Trees growing inside, for part of the way they were both sides of the road and it was like driving through a plastic wall



From the next sign at least we could see that we were going in the right direction!


While a bit further it felt like we were on the edge of the Desert!


Next stop was the Auto Route Toll Booth where we parted with 40 MAD (£2.90) which was around 1 MAD for each kilometre.


800 yards later and we are turning right towards Kenitra which was going to be interesting getting through as TomTom had brought us in from the Northern point when Central would have been much easier and we would not have to have crossed the town!



At the traffic lights we had to make a left hand turn between the building under construction and the completed one but the traffic coming at us would not let us through until the traffic lights changed to red.


This is the road we turned into!


At the end of that road we made another right turn went about 200 yards and nearly missed the campsite entrance which was on our left! Good job there was nothing coming as we did a 360 turn across the main road and into the entrance to the campsite!



After getting set up and completing the required registration forms we had a quick lunch and then set off ‘exploring’ a bit of nearby Kenitra as we also needed some items, and it wasn’t long before we reached one of the interesting parts of the city.

Some beautiful floral displays


Into the Market





Very tempting display of different Olives of which we got a portion that also came with a ¼ of a Lemon that you squeeze over before eating!


Live chickens for sale, all tethered by one foot to stop them making a break for freedom


While across the road were the Turkeys that must have escaped ‘Thanksgiving’


Interesting little traffic island









I wondered what this fruit was as the lady was quite enjoying the centre of each one that was removed from the outer skin for her. It is I believe a type of Fig and while not sweet it is quite enjoyable



We were not sure if the man in the next picture was some sort of ‘performer’


While it looked like the ‘Legs’ below were either having or had had a ‘good time’


Then it was back to the main road and back to the campsite, to start writing this up and making preparations for dinner



Looking back on our experience of going through the market, it was sad to see so many old people begging while younger people openly asked you for either money or cigarettes, then other people would come up to you and want to shake your hand, while shop owners thanked you profusely for making a purchase, and in one case it was a loaf of bread that cost 1.25MAD.
I will leave you to do the currency conversion, my brain is having a ‘craft’ moment!

We are hoping to go a bit further afield tomorrow so let’s see what happens!

Bonne Nuit!

11-30-2012, 10:53 AM
Stage 9A “A very wet day in Kenitra”

Woken this morning by two loud claps of Thunder followed by a real downpour of rain that turned the campsite into a low level swimming pool, making me wish that we had packed our Rubber Boots!


Then I opened the window to get a better view!


The rain started to ease off as it was coming up to lunchtime so we decided to go and pay a visit to the Marjane (Supermarket) to see what it was like and get a couple of items that we forgot to get yesterday.

Inside the store




The aroma from the spices was fabulous, but an employee who could speak English told me that taking the pictures was not allowed due to ‘competition’! [sly]



So we then paid for our items and went over to the ‘Gasoil’ garage to top up the tank on Flamenco Red before making our way back to the campsite.

Lunch was followed by sitting back and listening to the hammering of the rain on the roof of the ‘Tin Tent’ but around 15:00hrs the rain eased off into showers so off we went for a stroll around into a different area and found the following sights….

One of the two railway stations in the town


The East/West Main road through town


Luv the spelling!


Pretty flowers in the fence along the front of the French Embassy


Bank Al Mahgrib


Town Hall


Interesting attire on this Moroccan gentleman


Tomorrow we are back on the road but if the next campsite is not looking good then we will continue South.

Bonne Nuit!

11-30-2012, 03:06 PM
Hello ! Everything ok ? What about temperature ? In Italy rains a lot too in these days !

12-01-2012, 08:55 AM
Hello ! Everything ok ? What about temperature ? In Italy rains a lot too in these days !

Hi Giorgio!
Nice to hear from you.

Yes everything is fine, graci. [thumbup]

Today we have have nice sunshine and temperature between 18 & 23C so after last night that was a nice change.

I will start the next update after sending this so you can see how today went!


12-01-2012, 10:14 AM
Stage 10 Kenitra - Mohammedia (73.8 Miles)

Well what a night! The Thunder started around 21:00hrs and as we had the blinds drawn we did not know if there was any Lightning with it however within seconds of the Thunder the rain started that hammered down with short breaks between the hammering & that is how it continued ‘all night long’ (Sounds like the name of a good song!)

Nearly forgot! On our way back to the campsite yesterday afternoon we found a man selling what I thought was Nougat but it turned out to be different Moroccan sweets which after we tried a sample we bought the pieces in the picture below.
I think they are a mixture of Honey, Nuts, Sugar and other nice things as they have all tasted very nice!


As we pulled out of the campsite in Kenitra we had to give the guys a few minutes to measure up for the position of the new gates which were made on the campsite and spray painted yesterday between the rain showers!


Making our way to the Toll Road we made a quick stop at the Marjane again for some bread and yogurts passing the impressive Police Headquarters on the way.


Then found this little 3 wheeler in the Marjane car park


Finally back out and onto the Toll Road




Toll Road finishes just outside Rabat and then it’s everyman and vehicle for themselves, but every so far there are numerous Police some with Radar Cameras constantly checking traffic!





Passing the Rabat Marjane & McDonalds as we skirt around the city


It was our intention to go just South of Rabat as the Capital City still has no campsite making our way to a place called Skhirat to stay at a campsite called Les Gambusias, but when we arrived there, the campsite looked somewhat less than appealing so we did a 180 turn and headed back to the Toll Road.



Watch out for the Shepherd and the Sheep as you roll along they are all over the place and even on the side of the Toll Roads!


Making our way to the ‘Back Up’ destination we continued further South to the exit for Mohammedia and a little campsite called Camping Said which is run by a family.



As we turn into the road to the campsite we pass more sheep in the field opposite


Made it, and what a welcome when we arrived!




Got on the pitch and got set up and grabbed a bucket of water to give ‘Flamenco Red’ a bit of a wash and I could hear one of the chickens really going at it with the clucking, when I then spotted it, I had to get the camera, as it was inside the blue plastic bucket….. :D:D


The result was a rather LARGE EGG that I found a few minutes later and gave to the nice man on security who was grateful. [thumbup]

Now it’s time to put the feet up and enjoy the Sunshine with a temperature of around 22C!

We are going off ‘Exploring’ Mohammedia & some of the surrounding area tomorrow if the weather is kind to us, till then

Bonne Nuit!

12-01-2012, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the continuing updates. Absolutely enjoying them.

12-01-2012, 11:40 PM
Thanks for the continuing updates. Absolutely enjoying them.

My pleasure. With the Maroc Telecom 'Dongle' as opposed to the Wi-Fi on the campsites we are staying on the update process is so much faster, so we get more time to go off 'Exploring'

12-02-2012, 09:09 AM
Stage 10A “First Day at Mohammedia”

Oh bliss! After a really peaceful night with no dogs kicking up a fuss with their incessant barking and no Thunder or hammering down of rain, the ‘human alarm clock’ went off this morning at just after 05:30 with the ‘Call to Prayer’ from the Mosque, but that is life over here and you have to respect it.

After the episode with the Chicken yesterday I did think about getting up and seeing if I could find a couple of nice fresh eggs for breakfast, but then again as we haven’t got any bacon to go with it, I guess the best would be an Egg Sandwich, hmmm maybe tomorrow! :D

After breakfast we took a short walk around the area which is quite nice with some Holiday Flats (Condos) if anyone is interested?







Rather interesting ‘offering’ on the sign over this Café!


Now off into Mohammedia to see what the town is like….

Down at the Port, this was as far as we got unless you are ‘Invited’


While on the other side of the beach it looked like a Sunday Party was in full swing!


With some of the holiday flats for the people of Casablanca


Coming back towards the city centre we find this rather nice garden which was very clean with no litter visible anywhere!




While at the top of the park were the offices of Mohammedia Prefecture


Then as we made our way back to the car for a minute we thought we were in the Bahamas on a beach with these ‘Sun Umbrellas’!


While after a further short drive and walk we came to the Medina





While after that bit of exercise it was time to try my first Arabica Coffee ‘Noir’ with 2 LARGE lumps of Sugar! Delicious.


Bonne Nuit!

12-02-2012, 09:21 AM
Sounds like that beats the heck out of sitting outside of a library trying to get a connection.

On my vacatin trip I was in a hotel with free wifi that had such a bad connection web pages some times took minutes to load. I would have been better off with a dial up connection.

12-02-2012, 11:40 AM
Sounds like that beats the heck out of sitting outside of a library trying to get a connection.

On my vacatin trip I was in a hotel with free wifi that had such a bad connection web pages some times took minutes to load. I would have been better off with a dial up connection.

I think the first 'problem' was that you were 'Outside' the Library! That Concrete is awful thick in Canada to keep the cold at bay! :D
On this side of the 'Pond' we have to join the library we are sat outside before they will let us use the Internet! [sly][sly]
We also found the same in Portugal last year, but then when they all went home they turned the Router OFF! :mad::mad:

Security is becoming tighter all around!

I even have Google Mail asking me if it really was me logging in in Morocco! :o:o

Sheesh! It beats me when they ask that sort of question!

Oh I'm sorry it was only a Robot asking the question, a 'Human Being' has a bit more logic & sense between their ears! [thumbup][thumbup]

The second 'problem' was that you didn't tip your waitress a big enough tip so you got 'reported' to Management in the Hotel so they screwed down your Wi-Fi connection so you could have 3 Showers and make a pot of coffee while waiting for the next webpage to load up! :D:D:D

However I must admit that it feels a bit like that tonight over here, but it could be due to having such a nice bright blue sky day over here with the temperature at 20C (68F) and it felt HOT, so the radio waves on the 3G connection suddenly go partially 'down the tubes'!

Hey Ho the end of another day in Paradise! [thumbup]

12-03-2012, 12:36 PM
Stage 10B “Second Day at Mohammedia”

After another very peaceful night we decided to go back North for a few miles to a place called Bouznicka but before we went I decided to include a few pictures of the murals that are on the walls of the campsite, and I found the head and shoulders quite fascinating





We had the option of using the coast road or Toll Road but thought the coast road would be more interesting and we were not to be disappointed

As we got near to Bouznicka we could see that there was not going to be a lot there




So decided after a quick reprogram of TomTom to head for Rabat and make up for the day we lost when we wanted to visit it!
Very soon we were on a road that ran along past a very large army barracks which had street lights which was a surprise!


As we then got closer to the city….





The small truck in the next picture totally overloaded with fruit trays appeared to be being driven by a person who did not know how to use the brakes as they did not stop for anything and nearly collided with a fuel truck as they forced their way along the road, rather glad we hung back!


Now approaching the main part of Rabat





Into a car park right on the sea front, and give the Guardienne a 20Dh note for which we received many blessings and thanks, and off we set to find the Medina which was not far away, while just outside one of the entrance gates …


Then the entrance gate…


Café spotted on the right hand side, so quick stop for coffee.


Then as we come out and look back…


While after a bit more walking we see this….



Very old Medina wall with ultramodern Tram alongside that has just been installed



One of the ‘colourful people’ again


With another gateway that was the one we needed to get to the ‘Palais Royal’


The gateway from the other side…


Then we follow the wall…




Where we find one of several entrances…


Once inside we make our way towards the Grande Mosque


Then the Palace Entrance, but that is as far as we got. Security and a Policeman in a white hat waved us away!


While a bit further down the main road we see this rather nice closed gateway, and it taking the picture, I get told ‘Monsieur No’ by another Policemen, but it was a bit late…


One of the main roads inside the Palace grounds.


Get back outside the Palace walls and we head into the city centre passing



Then onto one of the main roads ‘Avenue Mohammed V’ where the placards presented a history of Rabat, with one showing a very futuristic Theatre which has been built!






Next it was over to the shopping area of the Medina…




Sheep's wool which is used as the filling for cushions and chairs





As we made our way to the top of the Medina we spoke about going to the Souk and a young man overheard us and started a conversation offering us a place to have a nice view over the city and sea which turned out to be from the cemetery, little did we realise that we had just been ‘caught’ by a small ‘con’ in the form of an unofficial ‘guide’!


From the cemetery we made our way over to the Souk which is now rather expensive housing but still has a Portuguese influence, and the ‘guide’ claimed that the blue colour of the brickwork actually killed the Mosquitos?







While on the far side of the Souk was this view across to Sale, which according to the young man is full of ‘pickpockets and robbers’!


While waiting for the ‘guide’ while he went off to get himself a cigarette we could not help but see the ‘Sea Spray’ coming in from an ‘angry’ but slowly ‘calming’ sea…




As we reached the Lighthouse our ‘guide’ wanted us to cross over the road and continue to follow him but as ‘Flamenco Red’ was just up the road, it was time to let him get back on his ‘spaceship’ and say ‘Goodbye’, and then he came out with the ‘Guide’ and how he had done a good job and wanted paying for his ‘services’.

Well, I advised him that as he did not make his intentions clear in offering himself as a ‘guide’ when he came into the conversation between my wife and myself.
While I was also disappointed in having paid more for lunch than we had intended, it left me with 6Dh in change as we came to Rabat with a limited amount of money for the day.

I was also made aware that he was a teacher at the local Surf School as we passed his office as we came along the beach road.

In the end he took 4Dh for his time from my hand with the coins in and left.

While it makes me sad to reflect on that ‘encounter’ and I feel, sorry for him, I am not sorry I stood my ground in view of the ‘con’ we were subject to, but it tends to make you very suspicious of anyone who in future genuinely wants to help!

So we then made our way back to ‘Tranquillity’ and Camping Said, but on the way….

The ‘cliff top’ fishing reminded us of Portugal, but also of the fisherman who have lost their lives when the cliff face crumbled!



So what would you do if this came towards you???


More fishermen with the ‘Salt Sea Spray’!


Tomorrow we are ‘On the road again’ to Sidi Ali-Ben Hamdouche.

Wish us luck?

Leila Saeeda! Bonne Nuit! (Good Night)

12-03-2012, 08:35 PM
I think the first 'problem' was that you were 'Outside' the Library!

I was referring to one your adventures where I thought you had an adventure outside a library trying to update. Might have been a post office???? I could be wrong, it has happened a time ot two.:D

The worst that I have done is sucking back to much coffee in Barnes and Noble book store Star Bucks trying to connect to the internet.[cussing]

12-04-2012, 12:08 PM
I was referring to one your adventures where I thought you had an adventure outside a library trying to update. Might have been a post office???? I could be wrong, it has happened a time ot two.:D

The worst that I have done is sucking back to much coffee in Barnes and Noble book store Star Bucks trying to connect to the internet.[cussing]

You are correct & I am wrong!
One million apologies!

The place was Serpa in Portugal where I was around the back of the Library 'after hours' or the day it was not open trying to get my email and do a Blog update!

We did however have to 'register' and we still have our 'Gold Cards' from the library. They even brought out multi socket extension cables when a few of us rolled up and there was not enough mains sockets to hook up to!
Now that is what I call 'Service' as our local library back home has just I believe made 2 mains hook ups available for laptop users!

I don't think our local Council like the idea of their Tax Payers burning to much power, even with a laptop! :mad:

12-04-2012, 12:15 PM
Stage 11 Mohammedia – El Jadida (82.7 Miles)

Before we start about today, I completely forgot to mention a nice event in Rabat yesterday.
While strolling around the Palais Royal grounds a Moroccan man came up to us and having shook me by the hand and said ‘Welcome’ he then took my good lady’s hand, shook that also and then planted a small kiss on the back, which we thought it was a really nice gesture.

The next stage for today was going to be from Mohammedia to Sidi Ali - Ben Hamdouche, however as they say ‘The best laid plans of mice and men’ and today it fell apart as there is no campsite at that destination, so it was over to ‘Plan B’ and continue to El Jadida and Camping International, so hang on tight as the road gets a bit bumpy in parts!

Not long after leaving Camping Said and after fond farewells are made with our friend who is the Day Time Guardienne, and a really nice man…


We are back on the Toll Road as that is by far the best way to get around Casablanca, providing you take the Left ‘leg’ of the road when it splits, as there are no road numbers visible, and we didn’t but TomTom got us corrected with a 5 mile detour!



Now after getting on the wrong ‘leg’ we are corrected and follow the normal road for the detour to get back to the Toll Road and the right direction!



Finally back on the Toll Road and Casablanca is on our right hand side with a pollution haze hanging over it as well as a smell that the cabin filter did not keep out, and was a mixture of propane gas and rotten fish!



Then surprisingly we see Che Guevara on the back of this truck!


Not long after we are off the Toll Road and making our way towards Sidi Ali – Ben Hamdouche, with quite a bit of activity along the road…





What does ‘bug me’ are the Taxis that stop to pick up possibly their 6th or 7th Passenger, and then with no signal or other warning pull straight out in front of you, which happened a couple of times on this road!




When we arrive at Sidi Ali – Ben Hamdouche we cannot find the campsite, and the coordinates result in a School being at the position, so moving to Plan B, off we go again making our way through the village and the market place with chickens and people going in all directions as we crawl through!


Then we are now on our way to El Jadida which is only a further 11 miles away but as we go along with a bit of hill climbing we find another type of Taxi which is ‘1 Donkey Power’ on our side…



While a bit further along we see this man selling fresh fish, and you have to buy the whole thing!



Finally arrive at the Plan B location which is….



Got registered & set up only to find that there are no Hot Showers here, it is all Cold Water!

I guess the Electric Water Heater will be in use tomorrow for both of us, as mornings are still cold over here even though we are getting to 20C+ during the daytime!

The Toilet/Shower block is the building in the middle of the next picture, Brrrr!


We have also seen more Campers/RV’s arriving here as people make their way South, and alongside of us are 2 Ladies each in their own Camper/RV who are travelling on their own (That's SOLO) and are having a great time!

That’s it for today, I am now off to get the BBQ going for dinner!

Bonne Nuit!

12-05-2012, 09:53 AM
Stage 11A “A day in El Jadida

Good morning! Bonjoir!


While there was 2 Campers & 1 Tin Tent at Mohammedia down here there are around 15 Campers and 2 Tin Tents at the moment, of which around 50% arrived yesterday, and I guess as we go further South the numbers certainly of Campers/RV’s will increase as more people head South for the Sun!

Never mind, we always have ‘Plan B’ to fall back on if our next ‘Stage Destination’ is full, the concern is that if ‘Plan B’ fails then the ‘Third Seat’ is sent off to find another alternative, so I hope you are Ready Willing & Able?

Meanwhile we are off after breakfast for an Exploratory Trip around El Jaddida.

The main road along the promenade with the water fountains in the middle of the road!



While further along the fountains play but not to music!



While further on again this flock of small white birds are in the grounds of a disused building/complex


The its back to the sea front with a view across to the ‘Cite Portugaise’


With more of the sea front


Followed by this rather ornately decorated Mosque


As we get closer to the ‘Cite Portugaise’ and the huge external walls of that part of the city




While inside we find…











Closer inspection of one of the Canons gives us the following…



Sadly no searching on the Internet with the information from the 2 pictures has provided any information about the Canons.

While moving over to the ‘Souk’ we see….




Then after taking in a show at the Theatre….


We find not far away….


So you can hop on a Bus and make your way back, but we carried on by foot and passed this man on his way to sell his fruit


While in a shopping centre we find no one home but they left the lights on!


Anyone want any parts for their Bike?


While if you breakdown then you can expect to see these guys coming to your rescue


We now know where to find the Plumber!


Then our last view of the ‘Cite Portuguese’ of El Jadida as we are moving to a place called Safi tomorrow as an added Stage


Bonne Nuit!

12-06-2012, 10:49 AM
Stage 12 El Jadida – Safi (92.3 Miles)

Being our first time over here we had no visibility of what the roads were going to be like and as we are now off the Toll Roads and travelling by either National Routes or ‘other’ roads then getting from one place to another can take considerably longer than you thought, so our plans to cover around 170 Miles today got shelved and we broke it up into 2 sections with this part today, and the next in maybe a couple of days’ time.

As we exit from El Jadida International Camping just outside the gate is this Donkey & Cart from which the man is selling Sardines, possibly for breakfast as it is only 08:30!


It seems that Morocco is the world’s biggest exporter of Sardines with over 360,000Tonnes going overseas each year!

Very shortly we are on the road once again but initially going towards Marrakech before taking the right hand fork towards Safi.


Then not far outside El Jadida we run into the morning mist



Thankfully it doesn’t last for long before we are in nice blue skies and clear road, but it was surprising just how many drivers either have no lights on or just use side lights and still overtake on blind bends or when oncoming traffic is quite close, forcing you to move over till you are nearly off the road!



As we pass through the small villages it seems strange to see so many people taking a keen interest in us passing through while a number of children are waving and have wonderful smiles!



Then we spot these houses that seem totally out of place on the roadside while being built ‘on legs’ are they expecting very heavy rain of maybe floods quite soon?




While there are only three Donkeys & Carts in the next picture we saw them at another village where nearly everyone was being transported by this method, and as we got a bit further they all went off to the left as we could just make out the canvas/plastic tops of what we think was a very large market.


More roads, some of which were in rough condition and needed care going along them although the old Mercedes Taxis didn’t slow down or which part of the road they used so long as you were not on it and in their way!





Passing through another small village with more interest, smiles and waving from the children and also a couple of older men this time!


As we were now getting close to the town of Safi which is renowned for the manufacture of the green roof tiles for Mosques and red roof tiles for houses, we think the house in the picture below was owned by one of the manufacturing people in Safi as it looked very impressive when compared to other houses around


Some of the red roof tiles with the Black Firing Kilns just to the right of the tree in the next picture


Then we can see the outskirts of the town of Safi which to be honest looks a bit like a concrete jungle.




Then we start to weave our way through the outer roads towards the campsite




Arriving in a short while at the campsite entrance


Then as we get into place and are winding down the legs I spot this little fella in the long grass just behind the back of the ‘Tin Tent’


While walking around the campsite are these beautiful looking birds that are not in the least bothered by human activity!






While just outside the campsite looking back down the hill we see the town Safi which is down for exploring tomorrow!


Till then…

Bon Nuit

12-07-2012, 09:05 AM
Stage 12A “A day in Safi”

Last night was bliss! No dogs barking all night long and no other external noises to interrupt a good night’s sleep, but we still got the 06:30 ‘Call’ from the minaret near the campsite.

After breakfast it was off into the town of Safi for a look around and a bit of a surprise awaited us!

As we set off down the hill from the campsite this rather strange chimney caught our eye but considering that we were in the town that specialises in tiles I guess it was not that unique.


While a bit further sees us getting closer to the Port of Safi



Then after asking the Police on the gate and then a request to the Commisariat’s Office we were allowed to go into the port and look at the fishing vessels that were being re-furbished


As the boats are hauled up from the water using long cables while the boat sits on a cradle, the cradle is then put on a bogey which moves the boat sideways along a trough before it is once again hauled off the bogey and into the right place.


The boat in the next picture was having extensive work carried out on it but we were not allowed to get close so I had to get the picture after we left the Port.


As we then made our way to the Medina we passed this rather nice set of tiles on the outside of this restaurant


Before we then see the walled Medina, and the surprise came when we got inside the wall with the curved sections as we went along!








We then made a stop, partly due to the nice aroma being produced from the cooking that was being done by this lady


And this is where we had a really nice Mint Tea and the special pastry which was nice but the Mint Tea was really very refreshing


Moving through the Bab Chaaba gate then looking back we see….


While in the opposite direction is the start of the Souk de Poterie



While turning through 90 Degrees we see the start of the pottery making area up on the hill.


Then after going up a number of steps we are in the area.


The process of manufacture has not changed in thousands of years and there is still no gas or electricity in the area or being used by any of the kilns.


After a short distance we come into the area of the raw materials, namely the clay with an assortment of ‘thrown’ pots.



Then spot in a small room 2 men who are ‘throwing’ pots who invite us to go and see what they are doing.

The wheel that the pot is ‘thrown’ on is turned by foot which is covered by a cloth, and the guy in the red T shirt is making the flower vases while the other man is making the smaller pots.


Making our way a bit further we then see this sign for the Womens Co-operative but could not find any manufacture going on.



While further along the main road we come to the other Souk that is for clothes and other household items.


Then making our way back to the sea front we see this house but not sure what happened


Then a bit further was this Charcoal shop


With finally a Moroccan form of Road Works Barrier as the manhole cover had just been re-fitted in the road!


Getting to the seawall and looking out we see a number of the Fishing boats that were in the Port but this time they are at sea and if you look closely you can just see the fisherman hauling in his net, as I held the camera at maximum zoom to stop it wobbling!!


Then we see these two fishing boats crossing over looking for fresh shoals!


Our next place was the Portuguese Castle but we were informed that it was closed as the sea water is now coming in! After a closer look at the front it was easy to see that erosion of the cliff face had made this possible!




While the view along the coast was very nice


We took a last look towards the Medina and started to make our way back to the campsite as tomorrow finds us heading yet again further South to Essouaria and our next stop for hopefully a couple of days.


Till then…

Bon Nuit

12-08-2012, 12:29 PM
Stage 13 Safi – Essaouira (82.1 Miles)

Good Morning, Bonjour !

Before we move on to our journey today I must correct a nice event that occurred a few days ago in Kenrita.

We had a Dutch Lady in a camper travelling alone with whom we made friends alongside us as a ‘neighbour’ and on this particular day she meets us and tells us that it is a special day in Holland when St Nicklaus visits everyone and last night he came to visit her and left this gift from him to us, and she gave us a bag of miniature Ginger Biscuits which we thought was really nice!


While we thought of ourselves as being quite ‘adventurous’ we had to respect the adventures of the couple driving this vehicle in the picture below who have virtually travelled overland from Australia to Morocco, but in talking to them last night they are now planning to return overland but are also going by a different route, and allowing around 18 MONTHS for the trip!

Now that is what I call a Cross Country Drive! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]



Then while going to empty the grey water we spot this on the campsite at Safi. If you look closely you might just make out a white ‘line’ going from the centre of each wheel to the body of the truck?

This is an ‘airline’ that allows the tyre pressure to be adjusted in the driving cab when going over different types of ground, like tarmacadam and sand!


OK now having paid the bill for our stay at the Safi campsite, and been given by the campsite manager as a ‘Thank You’ for a memory stick I gave him with a number of English, Rock n Roll, Classical Music and Country & Western tunes on, enough Moroccan Soup for quite a few people, we are ready for the road and it is not long before we are passing through the industrial part of Safi with all the large buildings some of which look like warehouses


Having got past that, we then see plumes of smoke in the distance!


While this gets bigger it makes us more curios….




It turns out to be…


Then we are back in the clean air and the Coast Road South!



In the next picture you might just be able to make out the mist rolling across the land and down to the Sea!


Well this is what it looked like as we ran into it!


Thankfully it didn’t last long but drivers were still coming along with no lights so you did not see them until the last minute!
Then we were back in the clear!



Oops! Had to move over onto the ‘hard shoulder’ and get off the tarmac pretty dam quick as this driver approached as he was not moving over for anyone, and his load was well into our narrow part of the road!


While more mist waits for us down in the valley below!


Then we start climbing and passing through one of the villages that are along the coast road


Then in the next picture you see the ‘Shiny’ bit of the road? Well the contours of that were like the Moon only worse! Looking left on the picture you can see the tracks left by Trucks that drove through and that was the way we went, it was still ‘bumpty bump’ as we crawled across it, and I think it was the place were a couple of things jumped out of their holders in the ‘Tin Tent’ but then we got back on the half decent road where the tarmac in some places is narrower than you, so you go along with your wheels over the other side of the line and hope nothing comes the other way!!



Yes this is ‘Narrow’ and it is not an optical illusion, trust me!









Now we know we are getting close!


Then there it is, and if you look close enough you can see the Camel and ‘owner’ behind the wall, which was a nice little ‘Tourist Trap’ in the parking area as we got ‘invited’ to go and take our pictures with the camel!


Then we arrive really on the outskirts and into the town road system


Where after going around the traffic island we overshoot the camping entrance, while in front of us is a Policeman!
As I have a single white line I did not know if I could do a 360 turn to get back to the campsite, so we wind down the window after pulling off the road and the Policeman says ‘Good Morning how are you’ with a fabulous smile on his face!
He then invites us to make the turn while holding up the traffic!



Finally we are there at Camping Le Seul (Sidi Magdoul) Essouaria
GPS = 31.491519 N 9.763427 W

Even though we are only doing ‘short hops’ each day I must say that it is quite tiring as you are not only concentrating on the road, you are also watching out for ‘hair brained drivers’ coming towards you on your side of the road, as well as Sheep, Goats, Cows & Pedestrians moving on or along the road, and some of them especially the Pedestrians will move to go across in front of you when you are quite close! Arrrgh!!! [nonono][nonono]

That’s it for today, I’m putting my feet up for a bit of R&R till tomorrow! [thumbup]

Good night, Leila Saeeda!

12-08-2012, 05:00 PM
Knowing nothing about Morroco I find myself surprised that it is so green there. Especially the hills along the coast in the last batch of pictures. I had always imagined it as a more desert like country. Perhaps that will show later in the adventure.

12-09-2012, 01:22 AM
Knowing nothing about Morroco I find myself surprised that it is so green there. Especially the hills along the coast in the last batch of pictures. I had always imagined it as a more desert like country. Perhaps that will show later in the adventure.

As this is our first time over here, we did not really know what to find, but alongside the road there are quite large concrete slabs with a blue capped metal pipe sticking out.

We think this might be some form of irrigation system for the land, but then again there is quite a bit of rain that drops here. Yesterday morning in Safi there were a number of rain showers that fell before we got up, and you could still see some of the puddles as we drove along having left the campsite.

As we get further South as we ain't finished yet, I know from looking at good old Google Earth we will reach the Sahara, with all the sand & the arid bits!.

12-09-2012, 11:03 AM
Stage 13A “A Day in Essaouira”

Good Morning, Bonjour !

What a wonderfully quiet night! Bit of breakfast then turn right out of the campsite and we are passing the lighthouse, which is still working, and on our way to the town.


Walking along the road and looking out across the beach we see an island that reminds us a bit of the prison of Alcatraz that is on an island off San Francisco but a bit more of that later


While a bit further along we spot some Camels but these are for Tourist Rides on the beach!


Then on the right we have a very large square with the administration buildings at the far end


Still on the main road with the promenade on our right…



It’s not long before we can see the Port and the Fishing Boats in for repair


While the Medina which is HUGE looms in front of us



While walking around to the Port we see the two Towers of the old Portuguese Castle that also forms part of the Medina


The Port is one hive of activity with fishing boats of all sizes, some on the water others being repaired and some just coming into the Port with their catches of fish while seagulls wait for easy pickings and eager hands wait to unload the catch onto the dockside



This rather nice fishing boat immediately caught my eye, possibly because of the colours it had been painted while being I think re-built!



While looking back towards the Portuguese Castle it looked even bigger!


As we then moved around to the other side of the docking area we see these boxes of Sardines from one of the bigger fishing boats that have just been landed


Then as we make our way to the other side we spot this in front of the Portuguese Castle



Making our way further down the other side of the dock this is where the activity is at it’s fastest with all sorts of fish, crabs and other shellfish being offered for sale.




With a final view back across to the other side of the dock before we make our way into the Medina


As we walk along the road from the Port to the Medina we spot this rather small 3 wheeled motorcycle piled high with plastic trays and we were not sure if it was part of the “Home & Restaurant Delivery Service” for getting the seafood out to the different places!


The Seagull was a bit like some of the drivers over here and refused to move as I was taking the picture!


Then inside the Medina we come into a very large square with a number of small Gazebo’s that operate as restaurants and guess which type of food they specialise in? OK you got it ‘Seafood’ and the prices weren’t bad either!


The other side of the square


Then we get into the alleyways of the Medina








I did wonder if the restaurant in the next picture was offering food or another maybe different ‘service’!






Back to the ‘Tin Tent’ and after a bit of lunch we set off turning left this time from the campsite with a copy of the picture below in the grey matter between the ears called ‘Memory’ to see if we could find some of the things mentioned…


Well this is how it went! On the picture is a place called ‘Diabat’ while there is a broken line above it that is ‘Good Piste’ and walking along that to begin with we found how they are improving the water for irrigation or maybe houses in the area with large ‘ponds’ that are ‘made’ in the 3 pictures below:

Dig BIG hole and line with plastic sheet


Cover plastic sheet with small stones


Allow to fill with water from either river or rainwater


Then when we see the river bed alongside we see how they can ‘divert’ this into the ponds


Next stop from the ‘Picture Map’ was the ‘Ruined Pavilion’ which we could just see from the new bridge across the river bed, and which when we got there was slowly being consumed by Mother Nature and the sand!





While moving down further to the shoreline we could now clearly see the Ilse de Mogador with what is left of Borj El Berod in the foreground..


While zooming in to the island we can see from right to left, the Fort, then the Mosque


Then in the picture below part of the very large Prison that was used up to the 19th Century to house political prisoners


While earlier today the ‘Fisherman’ visited the campsite which he does everyday and today we managed to get 2 very nice and very fresh plaice which he cleaned and prepared for me to BBQ!
We know that his fish is fresh as he also has a bag of Prawns that are still alive and kicking!

So I’ll leave you with the final few pictures for today and wish you Bonne Appetite!




Yes the fish was delicious, but it was a good job it was cooked on the BBQ as we are getting 195V on a supposed 230V supply! [nonono]

Good night, Leila Saeeda!

12-10-2012, 08:36 AM
Stage 13B “A Second Day in Essaouira”

Good Morning, Bonjour, Salam Alaikum !

Well today is going to be real lazy, trust me! :D

After a lie in till 07:30, then a cup of coffee, followed by a shower during which I think I got the last of the hot water! Then breakfast and off into town to find the post office for a couple of stamps for the obligatory postcards, yes there are still folks out there that do not use or have a computer!

We approach town via a different direction and see a different view of the Medina



We find the post office but there is one heck of a queue so we decide not to wait and go into the Medina as we need another postcard which we find and the shop owner sells us 2 stamps so we need not go to the post office, just find a post box!

After walking around for a bit inside the Medina with no luck on the postbox we stop for a Moroccan Coffee and a Moroccan Tea (Mint flavour) and sit and watch the world go by for 20 minutes while also watching the drinking water delivery across the alley…


Then before I can get the camera into position this person passes and turns right and we think he was a Berber as his clothing looked fabulous, especially the white headdress


As we then make our way to the rear of the Medina and out the end we see just outside the gate on the left


While on the right is the local Bus Depot..


Turn around and make our way back while on the way…
Getting myself a new pair of ‘Crocs’ (Slip on plastic shoes) for 20Dh (About £1.50/$2.25) 1Kg (2.2lb) of Figs for 35Dh (£2.80/$4.20)
1lb (500grams) of Dried Apricots for 35Dh (£2.80/$4.20)




We then decide to get some FRESH Sardines for lunch so off we go to the Port and as we go into the part where all the different fish etc are being sold we see this old man with a small board plastic covered on the ground with sardines in circles on the board and a lady with her daughter buying some.
The circle of sardines was 10Dh (£0.75/$1.25) in which there must have been over 50 fishes, so we asked if we could have half a circle (5Dh) and the old man duly obliged. But it cost us another 1Dh for a plastic bag from another lady alongside to put them in as we had nothing suitable!

As we then made our way back along the seafront we saw this rather strange happening with the sea as the tide was coming in.

Due to the curve of the sea wall it causes an additional wave to form that is at 90 Degrees to the normal sea wave, so I hope you can see the effect in the pictures below…




First thing as we arrive back at the campsite was to get a sharp knife and get the Sardines ready for the BBQ as it was getting past lunch time, then all was ready!


After a short while they were ready and served for lunch, and with the fresh bread from the campsite and a bit of salad it was a delicious meal!


Tomorrow we are back on the road again heading towards Agadir, stopping a bit short of that city which should give us an excuse for a bit of exploring either there or around the area.

But for now I am going to enjoy the rest of today’s sunshine and 22C [thumbup]

Good night, Leila Saeeda!

12-11-2012, 03:01 PM
Stage 14 Essouaria – Taghazoute (91.5 Miles)

Good Morning, Bonjour, Salam Alaikum !

Yesterday I mentioned that we had bought 0.5Kg of Dried Apricots and 1 Kg of Figs, well here they are in all their glory and they are delicious!


Well we have had one hell of a day!

After leaving the campsite this morning which was a little bit difficult to get out of as they “packed em in around us”! When we got to the road for Agadir we thought we were in Lima (Peru)! See the back of the Bus that we started following below….


We then get out to the N1 main road which is not in bad condition and see the following as we pass along the road….

Every so often we see these on each side of the road which we think are area boundary markers as we have only seen a plaque on one as we passed naming the area to which it relates, it looks like the rest have been stolen!







Not sure what the white ‘lumps’ were, possibly construction workers accommodation!



Starting to get near the Anti Atlas Mountains but thankfully no snow gets here!





Started seeing a lot more goats as we got closer to our next halt…


Anyone for a Moroccan/Arabic Coffee or a Mint Tea, as this place just popped up on the roadside?




Then we spot ‘them’ so pull into a large area and in doing so we put a real fright into this ‘hobbled’ Camel who tries to take off across the area, and it was funny but a bit sad watching it trying to run with it’s front legs hobbled, but it soon calmed down.


Then as we got out of the car and turned to our right, there they were all in the Tree ‘The Goats’!



We then set off again and ended up going along a bit of the road that had been ‘refurbished’ with a bad job of cleaning it after the work had been done, so that when we passed through a Police Check Point we were again bid ‘Good Morning’ in English by the Officer & welcomed to Morocco, I then asked if they had some water that I could wash both Flamenco Red & the Tin Tent with….The brown inverted V was the dirt from the re-constructed road!


As we pulled into look at a Feminine Co-operative that makes Argan Oil which is delicious on Salad or just with a piece of the bread that is made here, that is when I got to see how bad the outfit was!

The little co-operative was fascinating as it seems to be run by 6 or seven ladies and 1 man who looks after the sales of the oil


The two ladies in the next picture are crushing the shells out of which come the nuts for crushing to extract the Argan Oil and it takes roughly the nuts of 30 Argan trees to produce just 1 Litre of oil!


The crushing of the shells is carried out using 2 stones!


This is what the Argan Oil consists of in its natural makeup and as the man also told us it contains No Cholesterol!


Then it was back on the road to continue the journey towards the next halt…







New Mosque construction…


Another lighthouse looking after the shipping who travel along the coast…


Then we see some rather strange shaped caves…



While a bit further we thought initially it was a mirage, but no we got that wrong!


Then we turn left and onto the ‘Piste’ following the Water Cart up to the campsite…





After registering and getting set up it was time for a bit of lunch before we got the shopping list written and off to the Marjane in Agadir as it will be (We think) the last one we see for maybe a couple of weeks!



Just as we enter Taghazout yet another Camel Rider passes us and provides a really nice scowl as he gets his picture taken!


Good name for a shop maybe?


Then just outside is the very much reduced area for ‘Wild Camping’ which we believe stretched along the beach and had literally thousands of Campers on it, but the access points have all now been blocked off.




Then a few miles further on we enter the outskirts of Agadir…




Marjane visited, along with a fuel fill up and tyre pressures checked on Flamenco Red and we start to make our way back to the campsite…

The Arabic writing on the hillside in the following picture looked very similar to that that we saw as we came into Tanger – Med and I understand that it means “Allah – King – Nation”



While just a bit further up the road we see a lot of people standing in the road on both sides and then as we pass by we see….


We then pass by the Port and fuel tanks including the Gas Tanks…



Then back along the coast road….


Double Decker Sheep/Goat Transport sadly broken down!


Then finally back on the Piste and up to the campsite!


After unloading and rearranging some of the items we bought I asked if I could use just a bucket of water to get the thick dirt off the ‘Tin Tent’ and it was OK as the campsite has a ‘Vehicle Lavage’ (Washing place) but it costs 70Dh (£5/$7.50) to use which I thought rather expensive, so I got to do the ‘Tin Tent’ but Flamenco Red will have to wait a little while longer!


While looking at the sky I had a funny feeling that we were going to be in for one of those spectacular sunset evenings, see what you think? :cool:





















Cheers, its been a hell uv a day! [thumbup][thumbup]


Good night, Bonne Nuit, Leila Saeeda.

12-11-2012, 04:19 PM
UPDATE on Stage 11A A Day in El Jadida

I have just been advised in another forum that the Canons that we saw in the Portuguese Cite in El Jadida were manufactured by Walker Canon of Rotherham, England who also made the canons for Lord Nelsons Flagship, HMS Victory, and Rotherham Council have one outside their offices!

So that is one puzzle solved! :D

My thanks to Cap'n Cymru for his research! [thumbup]

12-12-2012, 11:35 AM
Stage 14A “A Day near Taghazoute”

Good Morning, Bonjour, Salam Alaikum !

This was the scene that greeted us at 08:30 this morning through the rear window of the ‘Tin Tent’ which was rather nice when I think that people build houses on the seafront costing millions of pounds or dollars just for a view like this!


To make up for yesterday it was going to be a really lazy day today, so after the rather late start and breakfast, it was some clothes and bedding washing followed by a trip along the coast to see some friends at another campsite which produced the next picture from a mural on the campsite wall


Getting back for lunch we got a visit from a young man whose family bake Moroccan Cakes with the offer of 15 cakes for 50Dh so we took him up on the offer after he tempted us with a sample and they are very nice! (No we haven’t eaten them all yet!)



By this time it was getting a bit cooler as we think the temperature was up in the 23C+ today so we went down to the campsite restaurant for a Moroccan Mint Tea and Coffee but also to admire the view from the terrace….



Then a short walk up around the back of the campsite to look down on it



One thing we did learn today was this…

If the campsite has Solar Water Heating, then do not have your shower first thing in the morning as the water is never HOT, wait till the afternoon and then you get to mix some cold water with it, otherwise you could end up looking like a ‘Cooked Lobster’! [thumbup]

Next stage is tomorrow when we set off for Tafraoute and Camping Tazka.
Till then…..

Good night, Bonne Nuit, Leila Saeeda.

12-13-2012, 10:06 AM
Stage 15 Taghazoute – Tafraoute/Tazka (116.63 Miles)

Good Morning, Bonjour, Salam Alaikum !

While a bit sorry & sad to be leaving this very tranquil campsite its once again time to get back on the road again, but going in a South Easterly direction today as we make the first part of a clockwise trip going inland for a few days before we come back out to the coast!

On the road by 09:15 and the journey to Camping Tazka has been filled with local peoples smiles, waves and also Policemen with nice smiles or even saluting as we pass them by!

We initially met the ‘Mist’ as we set off but this soon cleared up


Then it was a Traffic Island every couple of hundred yards as we skirted Agadir having called into an LPG outlet hoping to get one of our re-fillable tanks topped up but they no longer provide the facility as the place is now just a distribution centre!

With this little Bowser in one of the roads as we passed by


Then it wasn’t long before we saw the Mountains in front and Flamenco Red went into ‘GROWLER’ mode as we started the ascent on the R104 road


Passing a quarry as we went along


We then get stuck for a couple of miles behind this truck that cannot seem to go quickly


Then after he goes even slower Flamenco Red gives a nice deep growl and slides passed nicely and onwards up the hill





The road conditions varied considerably as we travelled along. Passing through a village you had good wide tarmac while just outside the wide bit stopped and you came back to the narrow section which you had 2 wheels on and 2 wheels ‘in the rough’ when another vehicle passed by on the other side




Came round the corner and this appeared straight in front of us!



Then back on the ‘narrow bit’!







Then we see this in front and that is the road we have to take











‘Comfort & Snack break’





Mountain Goats and then their ‘keepers’



Then back on the road and the scenery







Follow the road for Tafraout but see what is appearing over the sign?





Eyes front and back on the road please?





Another comfort break as I am personally taking on a lot of water!




Right Turn ahead please?









Finally arrive at Camping Tazka!



Get set up as no one is in reception and there is loads of room, then it’s time for a bit of lunch and except for the tea & coffee it’s all Moroccan: Bread, Cheese, Tomato & our Argan Oil!

Now we wait for tonight’s Sunset which with all the mountains around should be something else, however the temperature here goes very low producing FROST overnight!

Will tell you how the Sunset went tomorrow!

Good night, Bonne Nuit, Leila Saeeda.

12-13-2012, 07:21 PM
Looks like you are hitting some interesting country. The first shots reminded me of parts of California and the further you go starting reminding me of different parts of the US southwest.

12-14-2012, 12:40 AM
Looks like you are hitting some interesting country. The first shots reminded me of parts of California and the further you go starting reminding me of different parts of the US southwest.

You are absolutely right!
Our copy of the Rough Guide to Morocco quotes it as "like the bad lands of South Dakota" but have to admit that the scenery is stunning!

12-14-2012, 12:28 PM
Stage 15A “A Day in Tafraoute/Tazka”

Good Morning, Bonjour, Salam Alaikum !

Well the Sunset last night was a bit of a disappointment as the expected colours on the mountains at the back of us did not really materialise, but there is always tonight!



After the sun went down it was quite ‘eerie’ outside the camp last night looking up and down the road with the street lights on.




Meanwhile Sunrise this morning was not much better really but to be fair I have to say that the pictures do not do justice to seeing this country and all it has to offer through the human eye.

Sunrise 07:30


While this was the condition of the roof and windscreen of Flamenco Red!


Inside the ‘Tin Tent’ the temperature has dropped from 20C to 5C, and I am frantically looking for my Thermal Socks as my toes are just about hanging on at the moment while I write this! YEOW!!!

After the ice had melted off Flamenco Red and we had enjoyed breakfast, we decided to try “A Southern Circuit from Tafraoute” as described in the Rough Guide to Morocco which advises you to “Head off towards Souk el Hadd Issi (Which we didn’t see or find!) taking in some of the most beautiful country of the Anti-Atlas, including some fabulous gorges and palmeries. If you have a sturdy vehicle and a taste for bone-shaking pistes you can make a loop of it by travelling down via Tizerkine, and returning via Ait Mansour".

Well we went the other way round but it was still as good as I hope you will see in the following pictures!

So ‘ALL ABOARD, Belt Up in the Back, and we are off!’ ;)

First stop is ‘Le Chapeau de Napoleon’ (Napoleons Hat)



While coming up the road we spot this lady carrying what looked like herbs in a basket on her back, and it was piled high!


Back on the road and soon we are climbing with beautiful scenery and twisty windy roads that are not quite wide enough for two cars to pass easily while staying on the tarmac!



Side road (Piste) to one of the many little villages we passed



After around 15 miles we come to the start of where you can see water in the valley along with Palm Trees!


With more twists & turns ahead!





Then we arrive at the Valley Ait Mansour which was like entering a different world with all the Palm Trees on both sides of the road, running fresh water down the side and a very narrow road to go along!











When we finally come out of the Palm Trees we find ourselves in a small village with a Café, so it’s a good time to have a break for Coffee & Mint Tea while being advised that the next part is the Piste with BIG smiles and laughter from the men in the Café!


Just up the tarmac road we spot this sign and take the direction for Tafraoute, little did we know what we were in for!


The ‘Old Road’ (Piste) is on the right, we were on the new tarmac bit, and it was a bit!


This fellow had left his owner behind who was talking to another person, but he asked us not to ‘scare’ him as we went past, so we went slowly!


OK, so now we know why the men were smiling, the Tarmac ran out, and we have about 17 Miles of this in front of us!






River Bed ‘Wall Repairs’ before the water comes back!


While on the other side of the river bed



Coming around the next bend we see this field with upright stones in, and as we spotted another one but also with graves in, we think it is a cemetery but because people in this area do not have much money then there are no headstones or grave surrounds laid down, hence the upright stone that marks the grave.


Coming up off the river bed we run across the sandy part of the river wall


Then through more Palms which actually grow Dates along here, and we see this 40 Kmph sign, brilliant as we could not even manage 10 Kmph!


Passing another little village on the other side of the river bed we see the Communal Water Well (little concrete structure just to the right of centre)



Then a couple of miles further on after getting ‘jiggled about’ a bit more, out of the blue is this Water Well which I ‘tested’ by lowering the black water container down that brought the other one at the other end of the rope over the car wheel up absolutely full of water, but leaking like a sieve!


Another River crossing to negotiate which is full of small rocks, presumably washed down by the force of the river in flow


Then back on the twisty windy piste bits around the mountains


A little way further we pass this rather fine house in a very large enclosed garden


Finally reaching the road where the decent tarmac was to be found!


As we return on part of the road we came out on we spot


So off we go on a newly made road with the construction vehicles still ‘building’ some of it!


We come to see….








While on the final stretch back to Tafraoute we pass this which turns out to be an Artists Studio!


Finally back on the campsite so you can all fall out now and go and wash the dust off and I will see about getting a Bath for Flamenco Red, but the end of a great day! [thumbup]

Good night, Bonne Nuit, Leila Saeeda.

12-15-2012, 11:12 AM
Stage 15B “A Day in Tafraout”

Good Morning, Bonjour, Salam Alaikum !

While I can only apologise for the ‘bumpy’ ride yesterday, would the person who left the bottom set of their TEETH in the foot-well by the ‘Third Seat’ please get back to me. :D
You will be pleased to know that they survived the ride! [thumbup]

WOW we only did 61.5 Miles on that trip yesterday but it felt at the end like we had covered a few hundred, so today is a ‘Rest Day’ for Flamenco Red, while we use ‘Shanks’s Pony’ (Our feet/legs) to go and have a look around Tafraout.

Entering the town we get this rather nice name plate


While on the other side of the road


Then a few feet further along is this


Only if you know and look towards the mountains over the statue do you see in the side of the mountain “The Face of the Lion” and it is reported to be natural.


While moving along and further in









As we enter one of the passage ways to the Souk/Market




One of the main roads through the town


Then this is the other one, as it is on a 'T' Junction


Walking back into the centre we pass this very small cabinet makers workshop that has about 5 people working in it and it looks no bigger than the single garage on a UK house!


The place makes this sort of furniture all in solid wood, no chipboard here!


As it was then past lunchtime we headed for a restaurant with some friends who are also on the same campsite enjoying a 3 course lunch with Beef or Chicken Tajine for the princely sum of 66Dh/Person (£4.88/$7.33)



Wandered back to the campsite feeling rather full but very content for a short siesta and then it was time to start preparations for our move tomorrow to Tiznit but not forgetting Sunset and the reflections off the mountains, then swinging through 180 degrees looking across the campsite



I expect as today we will get the ‘Call to Prayer’ from the Minaret which commences at 05:30 and seems to continue with short breaks of a few minutes each time till 06:00 but the campsite gates are closed and locked till about 08:45, so as it is a relatively short run that that will be OK and of course we will be back on the tarmac, so a bit of a rest for Flamenco Red's Rubber Feet!

Interestingly in the Souk today we saw a pair of Slippers the soles of which were Re-cycled Car Tyres! They even had the warning label about 'Over Inflation' on the left foot! :cool:

Good night, Bonne Nuit, Leila Saeeda.

12-16-2012, 12:53 PM
Stage 16 Tafraout – Tiznit (65 Miles)

Good Morning, Bonjour, Salam Alaikum !

Awake before the crack of dawn but at least we got an extra half hour in bed this morning! :D

Breakfast, with these Bananas that look from the colour of the skin as though they are not far off being rotten, but when you peel them they are still white and quite sweet compared to the ones back home, that do go rotten inside to match the skin?


‘Tin Tent’ sorted out, up to the office and paid up then it was hitch up and off through the gates with the next stop being the ‘Col de Kredous’ which is 1100 meters high with panoramic views, but to get there we had 30 miles to go with these results and scenes along the way…





We pass through our first Road Archway which I think was the entrance to the village




In the next picture I hope you can see the line of White Painted Stones going across the field?
This marks the boundary between one commune and the next, no fencing over here!


You might also see the white ‘border’ stones behind the Commune sign in the next picture


Then we get into the ‘Road Works’ section which we think they are trying to make wider due to the amount of traffic that it carries including large Buses and Articulated (BIG) Trucks! :(
But as you go along it you really kick up the dust!






This ‘Digger’ was cutting out the side of the road and moving each bucket across to the other side, so you had to wait for him to basically line up with the road otherwise you got half the ‘Tin Tent’ ripped off the side as you scraped past! OUCH!




Now passing a gaily painted School!





Eventually we came to the start of the road widening as we entered this village called “Jemaa Ida Oussemlal” which we had to look up on the map as the roadworks had taken out the sign for the place!


As we got to the top of the road the carriageway greatly improved in quality & width and even had a white line down the middle! WOW!





Then as we come around the next bend we spot the Hotel de Kredous



We pull into the car park in front of the hotel as suggested by ‘The Rough Guide to Morocco’ to enjoy a Tea or Coffee and to take in the panoramic views from the rear of the hotel which you have to ask permission of reception to go through to the back.

As we get out of the car these rather forlorn looking dogs great us but stay well away, afraid to come any nearer and it is something we have found with all the loose dogs we have seen while here!


Two coffees enjoyed in the café at the front of the hotel and off we go up to see the views







This was the only indication of how high we were at the top of the pass


As we set off down the other side I did think and also hope that we were not going to have a repeat of the ‘Tin Tent Smoking Brakes’ that we encountered in Portugal on the previous Snowbird Run.


Finally getting to the bottom of a very long run down we were able to pull over on a flat section as we entered Tighni and check the brakes.
They were HOT but NOT ‘SMOKIN’ so as the next stage was relatively flat it gavce them chance to cool down! PHEW!





Looks a bit overloaded to me?


While a short distance later this Football Pitch is seen along the roadside in the middle of nowhere!


While this lady and her donkey struggle along the road with the baskets full of her pickings from the fields


The we come around the next bend and WHOAAAA!



While a bit further we see this unfinished house that is built into the small hillock


Then we are very close to Tiznit



The double archway in front was the entrance/exit to Tiznit Medina, and there are 8 of them!


While 50 yards before the archway on the right was the entrance to the campsite


Having got through the barrier we then set about looking for a pitch as the campsite is full of RV’s/Campers/’Trucks with Beds’ and I think we are the only ‘Tin Tent’ on the site!


After 3 attempts we finally found an electric supply that didn’t trip out if you just looked at it funny and it is actually supplying 231Volts but it will be interesting to see what happens when everyone starts Dinner, as you are restricted to 6Amps!

Tomorrow is a look around Tiznit Medina and possibly a trip to Aglou Plage as we have found out that a lot of the people that come here move on to Aglou Plage for Christmas as its by the sea, so depending what we find we may have to consider an alternative plan, and arrange to meet Santa Claus somewhere else! [thumbup]

Good night, Bonne Nuit, Leila Saeeda.

12-16-2012, 05:24 PM
Thanks for the continuing updates. Like your other trips they completely entrance me. The country side is certainly looking like what I though Morocco is supposed to look like. I loved the shots from the other day through all of the greenery.