A Travellerspoint blog

Tuesday 13th April to Thursday 15th April

From Alicante to France

Tuesday 13th April

Headed off to the nearest town, Mazarron, to find a library and use the internet. We required more funds putting across to the Nationwide account, we were using while abroad. This account allowed us to withdraw abroad without being charged fees, apart from the exchange rate. This also brought back to light, the fact that soon I would need a cash injection into my savings. The money I had managed to save before we went away was running low. We needed to get out of Spain and for me to look for work in the south of France. We had an address regarding a farm for fruit picking, also I would try looking for work at campsites, bars or other farms.

Before we started our journey out of Spain though we needed to find a motorhome shop and try and get our gas bottle refilled around Alicante. Also my Aunt Sue and her husband Dave live in the area, so we were planning on popping by to say hi. I had sent an email about a week ago informing them we would be in the area. Only problem was now as I logged into my email, the message had been returned unable to be delivered. The address I had was incorrect, so we would have to try and get their telephone number and make an unannounced visit. We couldn’t really just turn up, also the address we had for them our Tom Tom didn’t recognise, so we didn’t exactly know where it was.

We headed for Alicante to find motorhome shops and gas, while waiting for my Mum to contact me back with Sue and Dave’s number. On the way we stopped at a few scrap yards, to see if by any stroke of luck they had a Hymer or motorhome there. If we could get our indicator unit or any other parts from them, this would work out a lot cheaper than buying new. We didn’t have any luck though at the scrap yards or with anywhere to fill our gas bottles. Also all the motorhome shops didn’t have the indicator unit, they would have to order it and it would take a good few weeks. We would keep travelling with the broken one for the present time, we did however manage to get a new roof vent cover.

It was now getting late in the day, but we now had Sue’s telephone number so gave her a ring. We arranged to pop in tomorrow morning for a cup of tea, as they were off out shortly to meet friends. We headed off, after more supermarket shopping (this seems to be a constant process) to find a place for the night. We found an area that was being developed for a new housing estate, which at present had around 15 motorhomes parked up.

][b]Wednesday 14th April[/b

Sue_and_Da..n_Spain.jpg

We managed to find Sue’s house, with the help of the GPS co-ordinates. When we arrived we were told that we were the first ones who had found it, even parcel delivery services have trouble. It was a pleasant property surrounded by fencing in a country/suburb area. We had a tour around and Dave proudly informed us of the money and the work he had spent in improving their home, to get it how they liked. We had a good chat over a cuppa and got some lovely calls from my Grandma, Grandpa and Mum, it was good to speak them all. Before we left Sue gave us some of her lemons from one of her trees, they were very nice juicy tasty lemons. Showing home grown food is so much tastier than supermarket stuff. We said our goodbyes and let them get off, as they had some appointments to get to and we wanted to head north to get as far as we could.

It was a long drive of about 250 miles, we managed to get 80km below Barcelona to stop for the night. We found a spot by a harbour with a few other motorhomes, in a town called Sant Carles de la Rapita. We were glad to be leaving Spain, it was expensive and apart from the Granada region didn’t seem as pleasing on the eye as other countries.

Hymer_park..__Spain.jpg

[b]Thursday 15th April

Headed off with the aim to be in France by the end of the day. After a long drive, we came upon the last Spanish town on the French border and hit a traffic jam. We sat slowly crawling along, with the border posts in sight, assuming the jam was to do with border control checking vehicles. As we crawled up to the border posts, they were empty and the town in front of us seemed to be some sort of tax free area. The traffic jam was due to the huge amount of people shopping, trying to find parking spaces! After finally getting out the strange town and the traffic, we entered France and onto some Pyrenees mountain roads. After the problems with finding parking spots in Spain, we were looking forward to the French aires (motorhome stops) and the fact that parking was easy and mostly free. As we drove around though we found that the rest of France must of spoiled us. All the aires we had listed in our book, seemed to be no longer in use! After some driving around we found one in a small village below Perpignan and settled down for the night.

Posted by marklorna 16:06 Comments (0)

Saturday 10th April to Monday 12th April

Lorna’s Birthday Beach

Saturday 10th April

Ventured off along the coastal roads with the wind almost pushing us over sometimes, the kayaks on the roof never tend to help in wind! While driving along there was a ripping sound from the roof, we pulled over to investigate and found that one of the smaller roof ventilation covers had been practically ripped off. It had got damaged when the old roof box was smashed back in Portugal. Now it was very badly ripped and if we continued would come off. This was the cover stopping any rain coming in, I managed to fix it back down with some washing line for the moment and we continued our journey. We headed through the National park looking for a place to park up on a beach. All the spots we found though had big no camping/motorhome signs, so we continued on. We reached the holiday resort of Mojacar, which was not really our cup of tea. Still it was somewhere where we could do some food shopping and get some internet. We found a bar with wifi and ordered two glasses of wine, then spent the next few hours wishing we hadn’t. The signal kept coming and going, meaning we never really got anything done on the internet. By now it was really too late to move on and find somewhere to stay, so we slept by the road overlooking the sea. It turned out a noisy night as the street had many bars on it.

Sunday 11th April

Decided internet needs could wait and went off in search of a place to stay for Lorna’s birthday, tomorrow. There was a picture of some parking right on a beach, further up the coast in our motorhome book, so off we went. We ended up driving through windy hills, they turned out a lot nicer than the national park and much less inhabited. After going through a town we turned off the road on to a dirt track and drove down to a lovely cove. The weather looked a little ominous, but we parked up almost right on the beach and hoped tomorrow would be better.

Calnegre_Bay.jpg

Monday 12th April

Hymer___th..irthday.jpg

Woke up to a lovely sunny warm day and for part of the morning the beach to ourselves. Took a little walk along to the next few coves before heading back for some Frisbee on the beach. We then relaxed on the sand in the sun looking out to sea. Later on with the sun still out we had ourselves a beach BBQ to celebrate Lorna’s birthday. The chic pea veggie burgers, I had made the day before for Lorna, didn’t really have the best consistency for a BBQ. They ended up cooking ok, but I don’t think tasting that great! Veggie burgers abroad are very few and hard to come by. As I’m a meat eater, I do fine in all these countries. Being a veggie though is very hard abroad, as the menu choices are very limited. Still Lorna enjoyed her BBQ and her birthday, the weather was great and the location was perfect.

Lorna_on_h..gre_Bay.jpgLorna_gett..irthday.jpg

Posted by marklorna 16:02 Comments (0)

Thursday 8th April to Friday 9th April

On the Hippy trail

Thursday 8th April

With the skiing now done we left the ski resort and headed towards the village of Orgiva, in search of hippies. We had heard, that near the village there was a big hippy commune in the hills. I wanted to check this out, as apparently people were living in tepee’s, vans and make shift homes. As soon as we arrived in the town there was an abundance of hippies, so we knew we were in the right place. Before going we needed some basic supplies, but arrived in the village in time to wait three hours for the shops to open! After the wait about and a chat to find out how to get to the camp in the hills, we decided to find our own place to park for tonight. So headed off, on the way though we spotted a smaller commune in a valley down by a river. So instead we turned around to venture back and try and find it. We headed down a track we thought would take us there, but after the track we were on split for the second time, we decided to give up. Instead we went back to where a couple of vans were parked up in the town. There we met a German couple in a small bus they had converted.

Friday 9th April

Got up and decided to head into the hills to find the hippy commune of Benifecia. It wasn’t far out of the town, as there were some vans parked up around a small track and further up the hill you could make out the tepees amongst the trees. Lorna wasn’t in a hippy mood, so I took a stroll down the track to go and have a look around. There were various live-in vans parked down the track. A few vans down and I got chatting to some Dutch guys who had been there a few months. I then carried on down coming to a small clearing, where there were more vans and old motorhomes parked up. These were vehicles that looked like they no longer actually drove anywhere, they were just lived in. I then got chatting to a guy who lived further in, who was making the round selling some homemade bread. He explained that the further up you went it became more of a commune, with the people living at the top being the raw food group. The setting in the valley was beautiful and the vibe was very friendly. Although I would of liked to see more, I decided at that moment I would rather head off into the hills with Hymer and find a location of our own. So off I walked back to the motorhome.

We headed off up the mountain roads and realised the extent of the bad weather they had, when we were sunning it up in Morocco. The roads were badly damaged from landslides, in most places only part of the road was actually available to drive on. Still we continued forward for an hour. We then arrived at a part that was still being cleared and was blocked off. We were told if we wanted to continue we would have to take a small track off up the hill, for 7km before we could then rejoin the road later. After watching a few cars head up the steep dirt track, we decided against it and turned back around. There was no other way to go, so we had to drive an hour back and then head down to take the coastal road instead.

The coastal road was just mile after mile of industrial poly tunnels, in every direction away from the sea. It was a rather depressing sight after the lovely mountain region. Today we would not be finding any pretty little mountain spot for us to stay at. After a long drive we arrived in the town of Calahonda and found a spot on the beach with a couple of other motorhomes. The beachfront was lovely, apart from the very strong winds and the slightly violent looking sea. It looked more like we were on the Atlantic coast rather than the med.

Posted by marklorna 15:59 Comments (0)

Thursday 1st April to Wednesday 7th April

From Little Britain to Sierra Nevada

Thursday 1st April

Woke up with nothing for breakfast, still we were surrounded by supermarkets, so we could have a shop. Outside though, nothing was open! We had probably chosen the worst weekend to come back, Easter Bank Holiday weekend. The Spanish take their religion seriously, especially holidays, so everything was closed!

Driving on the roads last night and now this morning, it seemed very strange to be back in Europe, almost boring. We decided to head for Gibraltar to have a look around and hopefully as it was British, the supermarkets might be open. We parked up with other motorhomes, on some wasteland next to Gibraltar’s small airport and runway. With passports in hand we walked over the border and into Gibraltar, then hoped on a red double decker bus, paying with sterling! Very strange. We then headed off to the centre passing lots of high-rise flats and housing estate’s, it seemed a very British housing estate vibe. The town centre was full of British shops and British pubs, plus lots of Jewellery, electrical, cigarette and alcohol shops. We stopped for a cold pint in the sun and some overpriced pub grub, before continuing our look around. After the first impressions of the centre, as an English small town in the sun, we soon had had enough of Gibraltar. Everything we hadn’t really liked about Britain was here in abundance, on this small rock on the edge of Spain. Think British bulldog in the sun and you have Gibraltar really, some people’s cup of tea but not ours. Before leaving we headed into Morrissons supermarket, this again was a very strange experience. We could have been in a Morrissons anywhere in the UK! We loaded up on shopping and then got the bus back to the border.

Gibralter.jpg

Back at the motorhome, we tried again to fix the fridge ignition that still wasn’t working. With the help of a German motorhomer parked next to us, we were still not able to get completely to the ignition cup. So decided to head off to find a garage with pressurised air, to try and blow out the debris. After a few good blows and a lot of bits flying out, the ignition started to work again. While we were at the garage we decided that Hymer was long overdue a wash. So set about cleaning her of the Moroccan dust, sand and grease she had accumulated. Then headed back to the ground next to the airport to spend the night.

Friday 2nd April

Just as we were tucking into our tea and toast, the Spanish Police turned up to move all the motorhomes. Some motorhomes looked like they had been here a while, with awnings, chairs and other paraphernalia out. So no wonder the Police decided it was time to move everybody on. They came around knocking on people’s doors and asking us to leave, as we couldn’t park there. We didn’t mind, although it would have been nice to finish our breakfast, we’d had enough of Gibraltar anyway and were in no rush of experiencing again, the bizarre small sunny British piece of land. I think people still think we rule the world! We are really a small island and like most western countries we conquered nations through mass bloodshed and then took all the resources we needed to progress, suffering of others is never anything to be proud of. Still I suppose that is what our western society is built on and everyone seems to want to be part of it these days, I wont go on though.

We decided we wanted to get away into the countryside. After only just coming back from Morocco, it was slightly hard adjusting to the European world. Spain and then little Britain had been enough of a culture shock for the moment after Morocco. There were no donkeys on the road and people coming up to us, everyone just seemed miserable.

Spanish_Hi..m_Ronda.jpg

We headed up into the Spanish hills to Ronda, picking up two hitchhikers on the way. Well we picked them up on the outskirts of the town and sort of missed the road they wanted dropping at, so we probably gave them a bit further to walk! Still it was our first time picking anyone up. Ronda was a lovely old Spanish town sitting on top of a Gorge. We had a walk around the streets and the front of the town, to view the bridge they have over the gorge.

Ronda.jpg

LOrna_in_Ronda.jpg

Gorge_Ronda.jpg

Bridge_ove..e_Ronda.jpg

We then set off to find some parking for the night, this proved very difficult. We first headed up to a lake a few miles above Ronda and after a couple of drives around, had no luck. So we then set off through some small country roads, till we finally found a spot just above Grazalema overlooking the hills as the sun was setting.

Hymer_over..azalema.jpg

Saturday 3rd April

Decided to take a walk through the Andalucian countryside, from where we were parked. It was very beautiful in the hills with the sun out, I can see why people move to this area. There were plenty of walkers about, as it was a bank holiday weekend and near the start of the walk we passed a small farm in the hills with goats galore. We kept on walking through woods and over hills, believing we were doing a circular walk around a mountain. We ended up at a clearing with a few cows, sheep and a couple of pigs. It was here very hot and dehydrated, as we hadn’t brought any water, we realised we were not on a circular walk. We where now near a separate village and it didn’t look like a road would simply head back to where we had started. We only initially set out for a small walk, so didn’t bring anything with us. Including any money, so we wouldn’t be able to even get a bus back! We came almost face to face with a large bull wondering about, so we decided to take this opportunity to head back the way we had come. The bull though seemed to want to follow in our direction continuously staring at me! The rest of the journey back we were very weary, thirsty and hungry. When we arrived back it was 4pm and we had left for our short walk at 11am. Next time we will make sure we take water and maybe a snack!

a_little_B..ur_walk.jpg

We decided to head back to the coast and check out the Costa del Sol, mainly as Lorna hadn’t seen the British seaside resort abroad. We stopped in Fuengirola and had a walk around. We knew straight away the place wasn’t really our cup of tea, more like a sunny Blackpool, still I suppose that is what resorts are like everywhere. The place had many British bars serving British drinks and food. Sometimes it’s nice to go to Spanish bars and eat Spanish food, but saying that we went for a curry! I imagine though some of the people who come abroad and only go to British places, maybe the type who moan about people coming to Britain and bringing their own culture with them!

Hymer_at_Fuengirola.jpg

Sunday 4th April

Decided to head away from the Costa del Sol and into the mountains to see some of Spain. We were on route to Granada, but went off to find a hot spring, Stan and Barbara had told us about, in Albramha de Granada. It was a free spring coming out into the river by a hotel. The locals had built with stones some small pools in the river catching the hot water. It would have probably been a lovely spot had we come in the week. As it was Easter bank holiday weekend, the small road to it and the pools themselves were packed out with people. After putting our feet in the water, we decided it was too busy for us and headed off to find somewhere else to stay. After some driving around we managed to find a spot under some tree’s by a reservoir.

Hymer_at_L..Granada.jpg

Monday 5th April

Today we got up and headed straight for Granada to have a look around the city and to find some parking we had been told about. We travelled around trying to find the place called Hazza Grande, but with no luck. Our map didn’t show it and Tom Tom didn’t recognise the name either. I think it was more of an area name than a street name, where other travellers park up. We headed up towards the famous Alhambra, but all the parking there was very expensive. Up there we found a track heading up into the hill and thought we might be on to something. At this point we met someone else trying to find Hazza Grande and after a call to his friend, he headed off in his car down through the town, saying it was on the other side. We checked out our track first for anywhere to park up, but to no avail. We then headed back down into the city but couldn’t get down one of the roads, as it wasn’t open till after 10pm.

We headed back to the outskirts and found a spot with a couple of other motorhomes, by some new flats and offices. Deciding to wait until later, to try and find the park up again. In the meantime while sat in the motorhome we witnessed what seemed a strange occurrence. A police car kept coming down the road stopping and checking a few cars and bins. Then on one occasion they came and parked by us, having a look round a van parked opposite. They tried to get in the van, but had no luck and after a while gave up and drove off. As soon as they had gone a woman who had been waiting around near the van, while the police were there, came back to the van and quickly got in. Started the van and drove off, all the time though she appeared to be talking into her lapel! All very strange, a few minutes later the police car came back around realised the van had gone and sped off. We were left wondering what we had just witnessed.

We decided to make a final attempt at finding the travellers park up. After a few turns in the city we were suddenly faced with a road narrower than our motorhome! The traffic built up behind us and a Spanish guy came beside us telling us to continue. Lorna got out and told the traffic to stop while I reversed back a little and managed to turn around! We at that point decided to give up and head back to where we had been to park up for the night.

Tuesday 6th April

Knowing the roads in the city centre were very narrow, we got our bikes out and decided too have a look around on them instead. I also took my travel guitar, with the intention of hopefully selling it at a music shop. I wasn’t really getting on with the sound of it and thought it would be better to get some money for it and buy a cheap Spanish guitar instead. After getting a map from the tourist office and finally being able to see where the traveller’s park up was, we headed for the old city. The old part was lovely and there seemed a hippy vibe about the place and a link with Morocco. As there were plenty of shops selling all the items we had seen in stalls so many times in Morocco. We locked the bikes up and on foot wound our way up through the narrow streets. Eventually we came up onto a square overlooking Granada and the Alhambra. The square had a big group of gypsy musicians playing away their Spanish flamenco vibe. We stopped a while enjoying the sounds and sights, before moving on back through the old streets.

After no luck finding a music shop, we decided to head out of the city and up to the mountains of Sierra Nevada and the ski resort. Heading up the winding roads to the ski resort, we found that a full toilet and mountain roads don’t mix well!!
Arriving at the ski station we found the motorhome parking, but as this was about €15 per night we decided not to stay there. We parked up near the centre and went off to sort out the hire of the ski’s and boots. The skiing was some early fun for Lorna’s birthday, at least that’s what we told ourselves. We then found some free parking on the side of the road overlooking the ski slopes and station.

Hymer_Park.._Nevada.jpg

[b]Wednesday 7th April
[/b]

Skiing_at_.._Nevada.jpg

Got up early for the slopes, as we only could really afford one day skiing we were determined to get the most out of it. We walked up to the main car park carrying the equipment. Thirty minutes later we were knackered, but had eventually reached the slopes ready to start. With the gear on we then had to ski down an intermediate run to the main station, to be able to get onto the easy runs. Lorna picked it straight back up, me on the other hand was having some difficulty turning and stopping and well just skiing! I needed to get to the green runs to practise the skills I seemed to have forgotten, only problem was I still had to get there. Eventually we arrived at the main bustling ski station and after some food to top up my low energy levels, I remembered how to ski. We then enjoyed the rest of the day skiing the slopes in the sun, stopping every now and then for a rest. The ski station was very busy as it was still the Easter holidays, but the slopes away from the main station were ok. As the day was coming to an end we decided on tackling the higher slopes and making our way down across a series of long blue runs to the bottom. We thoroughly enjoyed the skiing, but by the time we were on the last run our muscles were struggling to cope with actually turning. Arriving at the bottom we managed to muster the energy to hand back our skis before collapsing for a beer in the nearest bar.

Ski_statio.._Nevada.jpg

Me_up_on_t.._Nevada.jpg

Me_and_Lor.._Nevada.jpg

Lorna_at_S.._Nevada.jpg

Lorna_Skii.._Nevada.jpg

Looking back up the hill to where Hymer was parked we didn’t think our legs would make the walk, so ended up taking a rather expense bus back up. Still it was a great day skiing and very hot in the sun, I also ended up with a slightly red face!

Posted by marklorna 15:48 Comments (0)

Monday 29th March to Wednesday 31st March

The sights of Marrakesh and the long drive back to Europe

Monday 29th March

Headed off to Marrakesh and after driving around the crazy roads and roundabouts, we managed somehow to find the motorhome parking. We had been told about this parking right in the centre of the city, just behind the Koutoubia Mosque. The sun was baking and as always with cities, the building’s and tarmac makes it hotter. Before we headed off around the city, we as usual put the gas on and went to light the fridge. Problem was the fridge didn’t light, the ignition didn’t work. This was not good as we needed the fridge, especially in this weather. We had a really good internet signal, so I had a search and found that sometimes people had a problem after driving that it wouldn’t light straight away on gas. We left it a bit but still no joy. Yesterday I had taken the vent of the flume to clean it as it was getting blackened. Having read up, our fridge probably needed a service and the flume cleaned. I could probably do it myself, but would need to take the fridge out, which would mean removing the whole sink and gas hobs. I could get to a bit of the fridge through the back vents but not enough to give it a clean. Anyway, that would take a lot of time. Decided some debris must have fallen into the lighter cup, stopping it spark. Couldn’t remove the cup, so tried blowing and also using a bike pump. To try and dislodge anything, but this was to no avail, there wasn’t enough strength of air. Still the day was getting on and we didn’t have much in the fridge anyway that could go off. So we would try and find a garage with pressurised air, when we left Marrakesh and hopefully that would work.

Latern_sho..rrakesh.jpg

We headed off into Marrakech not knowing what to expect, we decided to head first to look at the palaces. But by the time we got to them, they were closed. We then had a wonder around some of the souqs, before heading to the Djemaa el-Fna. This is the main square and as the sun comes down, the square comes to life. We wondered in to the square and there were lots of people around, with many food stalls set up. Also on the edges people gathered around snake charmers, musicians and storytellers, this was an amazing and intense sight. We decided to head up to one of the café’s overlooking the square, to sit above the mayhem and watch. The Square was the hub of the action, with people gathered around everywhere and the smoke from the food stalls rising into the air, carrying lovely aromas. After a while and some pictures we headed back down into the craziness, to be immediately sort out by the food stalls. Each one of them with sellers coming up, menus in hand, telling us how great the food was and that we really should sit down and eat here with them. We avoided most till we finally caved in to one young lad, who was cheeky and funny. We sat down outside next to some other tourists and within a short space of time were eating our lovely food. While eating we watched the guys jostling for more people to come, sit down and eat.

Souq in Marrakesh

Souq in Marrakesh

Djemaa_el-..rrakesh.jpg

Snake_Char..rrakesh.jpg

The snake charmers in the square disappointed us. The snakes were pretty much asleep till they got kicked, so it wasn’t a very impressive. After another walk around the square, we headed back to the motorhome for a glass or two of wine.

[b]Tuesday 30th March
[/b
]
Lorna_at_B..rrakesh.jpg

Rooftops_of_Marrakesh.jpg

Had a great day walking around Marrakesh, visiting the Badi palace, gardens, Ali Ben Yousseff Medersa and souqs. It is a wonderful vibrant city bursting with sights, smells and sounds. Also crossing the road is at your own peril! The souqs were busy and bustling, with colourful displays of products. Also they were quite relaxed, I had imagined we would be hassled at every shop. But it didn’t seem that way, maybe we were just used to Morocco now. The souqs just went on and on, everywhere we turned we entered another roofed side street, selling different types of items. When it all got a bit too much, we walked over to the new town and relaxed inside a small cool cafe for lunch. After, we headed back to the old town and around an amazing building, the Ali Ben Yousseff Medersa. The architecture and craftsman ship of this old learning centre was amazing, like a work of art. We wondered around its courtyard and through the halls, before sitting in the sun. Then headed over into the museum of Marrakech another stunning building inside, so delicate and intrinsically crafted.

Intricate_..rrakesh.jpg

Ali_Ben_Yo..rrakesh.jpg

How_studen.._looked.jpg

Lorna_Rela..rrakesh.jpg

Me_relaxin..rrakesh.jpg

Marrakesh_Musuem.jpg

We then took a stroll around one of the gardens of Marrakesh, before going into an artisan building. This was full of small craft shops, selling the work of local artisans. Rather than buying it from a stall, the money goes straight to the maker, as it were. Lorna also got to have a go weaving part of a rug, an intricate job and great seeing it done. At that point we realised how long all the rugs, we had seen along the way, must have took to make.

Lorna_weaving_a_rug.jpg

Lorna_and_the_rug.jpg

Before the end of the day we wandered into the spice souq, in search of some spices before we left Morocco. After getting a few bags full of different smells, we sat down overlooking the souq in a café and having what would be our last mint tea in Morocco. Seems strange and we are not really prepared to be leaving. Marrakesh though is an amazing city to wonder around and a good last destination for our first Moroccan adventure. As the sun came down we walked across the main square back to the motorhome, exhausted from the long day and our senses very full.

Wednesday 31st March

Got up very early to be out of the city around 8am, we hoped before the crazy traffic started. Also we had a very long drive of over 700km ahead of us, to get to Tangier and if we could the last ferry of the day. The drive was long and pretty dull along the toll roads up to Tangier, we were very tired and feeling sad to be leaving Morocco. It is an amazing country and at the same time an annoying one, but one we want to visit again and see more of.

Before Tangier we stopped at a place on the coast called Larache, where we had heard from Stan and Barbara, we could empty our tanks and stay for free. We were only
going to empty our tanks though, as we had made good time on the journey. We could probably make tangier with a couple of hours to spare. As if Customs coming in was anything to go by, we could be waiting a while to get to Ferry! As we pulled into a strange car park full of motorhomes, we spotted Stan and Barbara’s Converted mobile library, looks like they hadn’t quite made it to the ferry as yet! We said hello and got their email address, before we emptied our tanks said goodbye and set back off to the Ferry.

We came into the outskirts of Tangier and passed a small group of youngish kids on their way back from school. As we came to a stop at some lights, I saw in my mirror they were running up the road towards our motorhome. Next thing as the lights turned green they started jumping onto our back ladder, probably trying to gain a lift. We immediately stopped and shouted at them to get off, but they were in no rush. After a few times of us starting, stopping and shouting at them, they got off and we continued our journey to the port. Nearer the port we stopped to fill up on cheap fuel and I noticed that our Moroccan rug was now missing from the back of the motorhome! Those kids must have pulled it off! We were not amused at what had happened and wanted to drive back, but by now they would have been long gone. Also we wanted to get to the port in plenty of time to catch the ferry, fuming we carried on. This is the problem with Morocco one minute you love it, then the next you get very frustrated with the place!

We arrived at the port and joined the queue for customs, not as busy as when we got here, but still crazy. After the rug incident and the fact we had heard so much negative stuff about Tangier. We were very suspicious of people and just wanted to get to the safety of the ferry. We drove through pretty quickly, but then got ushered by police to one side and into a queue. This was behind a couple of other motorhomes and lots and lots and lots of lorries! Stan and Barbara had warned us about this, Tangier has a new metal detector/scanner for lorries, vans and motorhomes. As with everything in Morocco, no one is in a rush. So we had to sit there for three hours slowly moving forward, while they scanned individual lorries with one giant scanner! It was taking ages and for some reason they have this high security scanner but individuals just wondering around in the port. We just kept our eye on very dodgy looking people who kept wondering around. As well as seeing people crawl under lorries and occasionally get caught by police. It felt very unsafe and sitting waiting just seemed to make us sitting ducks. The time by now had passed for our ferry and I didn’t want to sleep on the port. Any other port fine, but with people wondering around, anything could put stuffed about the motorhome! With all this delay, the ferries would either be delayed or just be coming and going virtually empty!

After 9pm and a 4 or 5 hour wait, we finally got ushered towards the scanner. Then had our papers taken by an official, before he asked for money! But we said we had none. Our scan was clear and we were free to go, well as far as the customs officers. Who then, after a quick chat, only had a look in and around briefly before allowing us to continue. Problem was we didn’t know where we needed to go! After asking a few people we found our ferry terminal and to our relief a ferry just coming in! After a short wait we were parked up onboard and sat upstairs, as a very empty ferry left back to Europe. Within a couple of hours of drifting in and out of sleep and reading we were coming into the Spanish port of Algercras, already Morocco seeming like a long time ago.

We now had the Spanish customs to deal with, it was now past midnight, Spanish time. We were coming back from Morocco and were young. We imagined they would pull us over and have the motorhome apart, while we waited longer tired and hungry! We ended up though, pretty much driving straight through. They didn’t seem that interested, they too were probably tired and hungry! We headed back to the car park of Lidl, where our Moroccan journey had began, two months ago. Before leaving Morocco we hadn’t stocked up on food and didn’t really have anything to eat. Everywhere was closed though, so Lorna managed to make a pasta dish, before we collapsed in bed. What a day

Posted by marklorna 15:40 Comments (0)

(Entries 26 - 30 of 88) Previous « Page 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 .. » Next