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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Navarette to Cáceres

    Long day today as I think this is one of the longest legs of this trip at just under 350 Miles (580Km) so we started out at 08:00 this morning and finally arrived in Caceres at 16:15 this afternoon with a half hour stop for a bite to eat en-route

    Sunrise on its way.....



    While the ‘Autovia’ maintenance crews were already out working, in this case putting a stone section into the side of the road to stop it crumbling down…



    While during the first 40 or so miles we ran into some very dense mist which required a drop in speed along with both front and rear fog lights to be turned on, and every driver complied with the requirement….



    Off the section of ‘Autovia’ we come into one of the villages were although it was warm at 19C the Storks had departed their nest….



    Then once again outside we could see the top of the mist in the valley alongside…



    With all the new housing that has been built in Spain that is still unoccupied or incomplete it was nice to see some of the old buildings still in use…



    While a bit further along a factory next to the Fuel Station was making its own Clouds with offerings of Steam in great quantities…..



    A few miles further on in the middle of nowhere was this Concrete Production Factory….



    While a bit further on was Bridge Building….



    Then close by were the Grain Silos on a farm, so it’s all happening over here!



    Not sure if this was a part of a Church or Monastery or both…



    Surprisingly not a lot of traffic on the road….



    Sorry for the Blurry Picture! This is the recently nearly finished electrified railway but they have yet to ‘Electrify’ it while we think the money dried up!



    ‘Two Churches in a City’ well they are bigger than two coins and there was no fountain that we could see!



    Outskirts of….



    ‘False’ Cardboard Cutout ‘Storks’ to improve the scenery maybe?



    While just left of the middle of this picture I think the Council are trying to tell us just how big the Mosquitoes are in Summer in this area!



    Another town and a couple more Churches….



    Some fascinating Cloud formations started to appear…..







    Then we come back to the multi colours of Mother Nature which like France are very late in hanging around this year….











    We next pass by a very large lake which over the last 3 trips has never been full while has been considerably lower than we saw today….



    While we did see a small river (Obscured by some trees) that was flowing into it that we had not seen on previous trips….



    Finally!



    While a short time later it’s a Left Turn into the campsite entrance….



    Then after check in we get on pitch and get set up….



    Rest day tomorrow for some shopping, then on Saturday it’s off to Palmones to get the tickets for the Ferry to Morocco for hopefully the crossing on Sunday…

  2. #12
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    Nov 2009
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Cáceres, a day in camp!

    As we have a full day here before we head off again tomorrow, it meant we could sort out the small amount of washing as we didn’t want to waste the 20C of Sunshine with a warm breeze to dry things off.

    After that it was a bit of shopping and a Power Wash for ‘Flamenco Red’ which I had to do twice as the Power Wash in Carrfour was absolutely useless in removing the dirt from the bodywork let alone the wheels, so out came the good old bucket & sponge for a much better job!

    While back on the campsite, this ‘TinTent’ on the opposite side of the roadway to us had its Awning erected while also under the green Sun Canopy which we could not understand?
    The Awning is the Grey bit attached to the top of the ‘TinTent’



    As I have had a couple of requests via email asking what the facilities are like on this campsite I decided to take a couple of pictures of the ‘Parcela’ which you get as it includes your own Private Hygiene Cabin, which contains Shower, Washbasin & WC!





    Next up is the ‘Culprit’ that was causing the No Charging of the Battery as we were travelling which as you hopefully will see has parts on the pins where the chrome has worn off and the brass is clearly showing through….







    Taking a stroll after some lunch we saw this novel way of stopping your Satellite Dish from being blown over…..



    While up on the Pedestrian Bridge over the main road by the campsite are these pictures, the first is looking towards the town centre of Caceres….



    While the next is of the Football Stadium which is next door to the campsite…



    Then after a rather lazy remainder of an afternoon with a couple of minor repairs to the BBQ it was time for evening meal which was taken in the campsite restaurant having a ‘Special Menu’ 3 course meal including bread and a Beer or soft drink for €15/Each person…

    First course was a delicious Salad….



    Second course was either Chicken Breast pieces with Chips…



    Or Pork Tenderloin in a special sauce and Chips…



    While the Dessert was so good I forgot to take a picture! Sorry!

    But we thought the whole thing was very good value for money.

    That’s it for today, and if I don’t get any Internet access tomorrow night which is doubtful then the next update will be on Monday, so enjoy your Weekend Folks!

    Buenos Noches!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    Some interesting looking country side that you are passing through. Nice seeing the old buildings in the cities and towns as well. Nothing even close to that here.
    The idea of the individual bathrooms on site is great. I have never seen anything like that before.
    Great find on the trailer connector. Looking at the pins you wouldn't think that there would be an issue there.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Some interesting looking country side that you are passing through. Nice seeing the old buildings in the cities and towns as well. Nothing even close to that here.
    The idea of the individual bathrooms on site is great. I have never seen anything like that before.
    Great find on the trailer connector. Looking at the pins you wouldn't think that there would be an issue there.
    I have kept the 'Old Problem' Plug and will check the Pin Diameters when we get back home and let you know what I find as the holes in the Socket are parallel, but there is definite wear on the Pins as the chrome plating has been removed.

  5. #15
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015
    Cáceres to Palmones

    After a nice two day stop over at Caceres it’s time to get on the road again and continue South to Palmones where we hope to get our tickets for the crossing to Morocco!

    So it was up off and away at 08:00 as we wait for the Reception to Open to pay our bill and be on our way….



    Finally we get a rather dismal Sunrise as the temperature eventually climbs to 24C!



    As we get to the city of…..



    There was certainly someone else up possibly before us as we spot this Hot Air Balloon over the city…..



    As we then pass part of the city outskirts….



    While a bit further down the ‘Autovia’ we once again see the mist lying in the valley which is OK as we don’t have the mist on the road…..



    Couple of hours later we stopped for a coffee and comfort break and were joined by two guys from the UK driving these Trucks with Bentley Touring Car Racing Cars in.
    One Truck had both the cars inside and weighed between 35 & 36 Tonnes on the road while the other had all the spares as the cars were on their way to a Test Circuit in Portimao in Portugal, testing in the UK it seems is just too expensive!



    A field of Solar Panels which was interesting as all of them were pointing in the same and correct direction unlike some we have seen that have been pointing all over the place!



    The ‘Old Road’ on the left and the newer one (Autovia) on the right….



    Short tunnel up ahead as we get nearly to the top of the climb….



    As we then come to the outskirts of Sevilla….









    Nice weather for Palm Trees!



    Up over the river with the cargo cranes ready for work on the ships…..





    Olive tree plantations while the garages had so many litres on ‘Special Offer’ but we have no room to carry them!



    Off the Autovia which becomes an ‘Auto Piste’ which is basically a ‘Toll Road’ heading towards Cadiz so we get off and pass through a couple of villages….



    The get to……



    Passing this Church and Monastery as we go around a traffic island and down to the correct road….



    Getting to the top of the hills before the run down to Algeciras & Palmones we see literally hundreds of Wind Turbines which are all turning as the wind is quite strong, so strong in fact that I can feel ‘Flamenco Red’ & the ‘TinTent’ being buffeted quite hard, which makes me think that if maybe we were lighter and had wings we would not need to Ferry Ticket to Morocco!!!



    Still we would not get to see the last Spanish Bull on the hillside…..



    Or the ‘Bees Nest’ as we arrive in Palmones…..



    Get around to the ticket office and pick up our tickets for the ferry service tomorrow, but little did we realise what a very long day it was going to be to cover around 100 Miles and a short stretch of water!

    Buenos Noches!

  6. #16
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    May 2012
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    Sounds like a few problems for the crossing.

    The burning question though is was your offer to test drive the cars accepted?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Sounds like a few problems for the crossing.

    The burning question though is was your offer to test drive the cars accepted?
    In a word 'No'.
    The condition of the car close up looked 'questionable' so I thought twice about asking for the possibility to try!

  8. #18
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Palmones to Morocco and Moulay Bousselham

    After an overnight stop at Palmones we were up at 06:30 for breakfast and then after a couple of pictures (in the dark) of our ‘night halt’ to the port for what was supposed to be our 10:00 Ferry…...





    While this picture is especially for Giorgio of a Dakar Rally ‘Supporters’ car which seems to have got lost as the Rally is now in South America!



    Finally on our way to the port which never sleeps!







    Now make sure you get in the correct lane for the ferry!



    As the ‘Check In’ booths appear it looks like we have a bit of a wait, like 2 hours, before they open up, but as we roll up we find that another lane of vehicles already here have been waiting for a ‘Transmed’ Ferry since 05:30 which has yet to arrive!



    As our ticket reservation box opens 20 minutes later, the other lane opens up which means you then have 2 DIFERENT ferries whose vehicles are all moving into the same lane for embarkation at different times, but for now we all have to wait patiently for the Border Control Police to arrive for our Passports to be checked, except we are just waived straight through around 45 minutes later….



    As we can now see the dockside in action in the daylight …



    Our ferry (Balearia) arrives and the ramps start to unfold and lower down to the dockside, as the ‘Transmed’ ferry has started unloading….



    While we hope whoever ‘dented’ our ferry is not on-board and ‘driving’ today!



    Just on 2 hours after our departure time we set off, and it feels like we are not going any faster to make up for lost time, while the other ‘Transmed’ ferry has already departed and is also on its way to Tanger Med…..



    While ‘The Rock of Gibraltar’ looks like a person in slumber with the head on the left….





    While just to the left of ‘Gib’ is the large Oil Refinery….



    Our ships ‘Funnel’ with no smoke as it is environmentally ‘friendly’!



    Meanwhile, remember that the ‘Transmed’ ferry had set off before us, well our ferry caught up with it and passed it getting into Tanger Med before it…..



    As we finally reach the Port of Tanger Med….





    As we dock and the ramps are lowered we are called off the ferry only to find that for us our ‘Entry Paperwork’ is not correct so I have to park up and return to the ship with our passports and entry forms to resolve the ‘problem’ with the Moroccan Police Officer who is just leaving to pass the documents he has received over to allow the passengers to enter Morocco.

    I have to wait for him to return which is around 45 minutes, by which time new passengers are coming onboard for the return trip to Algeciras!

    Paperwork is finally sorted so it was a quick exit off the boat before they cast off!

    We then get to the next set of Border Control Police who need to ‘approve’ the Temporary Import Document for the car & caravan which for the last two trips has only required a Triplicate document for both. However the Officer who takes my papers requires a second set of papers for just the caravan, as it seems he has not been advised that UK vehicles when towing only use one registration number for both vehicles, unlike other countries in Europe who have a different registration numbers for a car and caravan or trailer when travelling ‘hooked up’ together.

    So after another 45 minutes, by which time virtually everyone from both ferries have gone, we are free to enter Morocco, and from the Police Officer we receive his ‘Welcome to Morocco’ while the steam comes out of your ears for all the bureaucracy involved in getting in!!!



    So then it was a quick trip to the local ZIZ Garage for a tankful of Diesel for ‘Flamenco Red’ as we were very close to running on fumes!
    While the Diesel worked out at around £0.70/Litre.

    Passing a few nice houses you realise that you are in Morocco as there are no places like these anywhere else!







    After then getting on the Toll Road as we pass 3 sets of Radar Traps with the operators hidden in the bushes on the central reservation while the tickets are being issued a few kilometres further along, we reach our exit gate for Moulay Bousselham and then the campsite which feels like a very long time since we left Palmones this morning!

    As I thought I could hear Thunder rolling around out to sea at Moulay Bousselham as we finally got to bed it became louder, and arrived around midnight!
    It turned out that ‘Donner und Blitzen’ must have been having one hell of a slanging match as the ‘Tin Tent’ with a couple of the claps of thunder felt like it was going to EXPLODE!

    While the lightning was all around and when it went off it made the sky lighter than daylight while you could not hold a conversation with the noise of the rain hammering on the roof!

    But the good news is that the temperature is still over 20C (68F).

    Welcome to Morocco!

  9. #19
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Moulay Bousselham a ‘Recovery Day’ with more Electrical ‘Problems’!

    After the trip getting here from Spain combined with the Thunder Storm from last night then waking up to a campsite that was more like a Swimming Pool this morning while not packing our Rubber Boots, it was time for a bit of a lull in our adventure so a day here spent sorting out was called for, while a short while later we find out our Mains Electric supply has gone ‘Phut’!…...

    The campsite this morning…..







    A small herd of Cows appeared on the campsite happily grazing the nice wet grass!



    The water around the driver’s door was more than ankle deep!



    Then we found the ‘Mains Electric’ problem, possibly caused by one of the Lightning flashes on the campsite as the whole town went offline around two hours later and did not come back on for a further 5 hours.



    While the rubberised type of plug proved very difficult to find to replace the burnt out one, I got a replacement by cutting one off an extension socket from a Marjane Supermarket as the initial replacement had no Earth connections fitted to the outside which you need for some places!

    This was the state of the road leading down to the campsite which had been covered by soil and rocks that had been washed over it, while in town they had a couple of groups of men with shovels and buckets clearing soil from the main road that had been washed down off the hillside….



    Multi coloured housing is still prevalent over here….



    Off again tomorrow to El Jadida, and hope the Sun comes out!

  10. #20
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Moulay Bousselham – El Jadida

    Having moved to a ‘drier’ place on the campsite we found that the Electricity Outlets there had no power so instead of moving again we stayed put and after a relatively quiet night set off at 08:30 this morning for our next stop which is El Jadida and the International Camping site there…...

    While we did not get a picture, as we got to the entrance to the Toll Road there was the aftermath of an accident where the complete offside front corner of a French Motorhome (Camper/RV) had been ripped off when in collision with a car travelling in the opposite direction, and clearly for the people in the Motorhome their vacation was now over.

    While on the Toll Road we actually found a new surface but it didn’t last long!



    Outside the school just before the first session starts at 9:00Hrs



    We found out what is grown under all the extremely large plastic Green Houses in the fields……It’s Bananas as we passed an open section and saw them all green hanging on the stems on the trees…





    While the deluge of rain on Sunday night/Monday morning had certainly turned the fields green while we also understand affecting roads around Marrakech, Guelmin & Agadir with swollen rivers as we also understand that currently 31 people have lost their lives here with flash flooding….





    A little bit further along the Toll Road we just catch this man who ran across the Toll Road where traffic travels at up to 120Kmph (Around 70Mph) pushing a Wheel Barrow which he then lifted over the Safety Barrier!
    Pedestrians walking alongside the road are quite common while also hitch-hikers will stand at the side of the Safety Barrier trying to get a lift, we even spotted a Police Officer looking for a lift today!



    Next up is Kenitra which we will call into the Marjane Supermarket for the replacement Rubberised Plug for the Mains Electric Hook Up cable….



    As we come off the Toll Road we spot this man on a Moped taking some nice fresh ‘greens’ home for his animals….



    More new houses/flats …



    With the after effects of the storm still evident alongside the road…



    Then through Kenitra Town Centre with the ‘Cut & Thrust’ driving of the drivers…



    As we manage to make a left turn at a set of traffic lights we find ourselves going through the market but we are ‘thankfully’ at the back…..



    Marjane visited now back on the Toll Road towards Rabat we pass this new Pedestrian Bridge under construction.….





    While on the outskirts of the BIG City of Rabat, we see more new homes that have recently been built….





    While on the map this road is shown as (Toll Road) ‘Motorway’ with all the junctions and speed restrictions with several Radar Guns strategically placed and all manned by Police Officers it is clearly a Dual Carriageway and very busy…..









    While further along this road we could not make out whether all the various groups of people alongside the road were 1) Collecting Herbs 2) Doing some ‘Weeding’ 3) Planting new Grass Seedlings, and we could not stop to ask!







    More new High Rise Flats on the outskirts of Casablanca as we skirt around that City….



    Followed by new flats on each side of the Toll Road….



    With a new Mosque being built in-between the blocks of flats….





    While further round Casablanca are these older flats with literally thousands of Satellite Dishes up on the roof for all the TV sets on the inhabitants….





    Eventually we reach the outskirts of El Jadida and the exit off the Toll Road, as we then pass by 3 more manned Radar Traps and a Police Check Point with ‘Stinger’ tyre puncture spikes on each side so you have no choice but to go through the middle were you are checked visually but quickly…..



    As we get into the campsite we are told to find a place and then go back with our documents to reception to ‘register’.
    As we find a pitch we see this nice display from one of the Peacocks that are also here.
    While I hope they are not programmed for any ‘Early Morning Alarm Calls’!



    Sightseeing in El Jadida tomorrow to see if anything else has changed since last year……

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