Sunday, 16 July 2017

MA90 - Day Trip to Morocco

Is it that long ago? Another tale from the photobox archive.

A year before I was made redundant for the second time and things were good. I had a job I liked and we set off for Spain.

This was a two bike job. My Suzuki Cavalcade LX  and my partner at the time, Audrey,  on her own Yamaha  XJ900F.  We rode down through Spain after a trip on the Motorail. We had a large tent with us and camped in Cordoba and as it was way too hot in Sevilla we chose a hotel.

Our next camping was at Tarifa. It was here that we thought about a quick trip to Tangier.  Although the ferry goes from Tarifa we bought a ticket from Algeciras to Ceuta. The cost for the bike was pence.  We booked one - the Yamaha!

The Cavalcade stayed tucked away and locked up in the tent. Out of sight.

Algeciras is a much bigger port and the ferry was packed. Mostly with Moroccan's in large vans also packed to the gunwales and on the rooves.

Ceuta is still a Spanish enclave on the African mainland. Buy whatever you do, never tell a Spaniard "it's their Gibraltar".

Exiting the Spanish border was easy. A wave of the hand. Getting into Morocco took a lot longer. Our passports disappearing into windows and out of others. Then they wrote the bike details in a book. We were then off.

My first trip to Africa.  Audrey had been before as a solo traveller on the coast near Casablanca during the long school holidays.

Immediately it seemed "different". The road signs in French and Arabic.

Our first stop was Fnideq for a drink and to buy some water. We had cashed about £20 into dirhams.  This was going to go a long way.

The next stop was Tetouan.  We were looking for somewhere to stop when Ahmed on a moped caught us. Mr Gift of the Gab.

He became our guide. He arranged for a guy at the car park to look after our gear. He then led us through the medina to the main square and then into the tiny alleys to a carpet shop. This is his money earner. If the tourist buys a carpet. We didn't despite some very good prices.

In the end he took us back to the bike and we gave him some money. Not much as it happens but he was okay. The old man looking after the bike got about 25p. Both seemed happy.

From there we headed back towards Tangier and the coast. Most of the two films of pictures we expended are ruined.  Audrey being unused to an SLR kept clicking away without focusing the lens once. With the law of averages,  at least some images should have been in focus. A couple on the edge of blurred. Bugger.

After a snack meal in Tangier we headed along the coast road to Ceuta. Getting out was easy. A bit of money to some young uniforms at the border and we were through in five minutes.
By 9pm we were back in Spain and Tarifa for dinner.

We did say we preferred blue....

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