Tag Archives: Morocco

Week 25: Southern Morocco and Wesern Sahara

Week 25: Southern Morocco and Wesern Sahara

Happy New Year!

OK, so technically Western Sahara and Southern Morocco is the same place, but when I say Southern Morocco I mean the part before you reach Western Sahara. So, This week we I have travelled south with Tony. From Agadir we headed to Legzira and stayed in a very basic hostel. They only had electricity after dark when they turned on the generator. We were on a beautiful stretch of beach and it was nice and quiet.

Our next stop was Tan Tan, a small town on the road to Western Sahara. After looking at a couple of hotels we managed to find a nice place, cheap and clean. Plus the receptionist was friendly and spoke good English. Tan Tan is well known to travellers on this route as a trap for traffic fines. There is a roundabout on your way out of town which doesn’t work like a normal roundabout. It actually works like a T junction. If you don’t stop at the stop sign (written in Arabic) then you get a 70 Euro fine. Luckily we knew about this and made sure we stopped.

After Tan Tan our next stop was Tarfaya, we slept in a nice hotel across from the port before we headed off again. The next night we stayed in a camp site near coast and met a few other travellers in camper-vans. Some heading north after visiting Senegal, others heading south like us. The road south is long and the landscape is dry and empty, occasionally you see sand dunes and camels but most of the time it is dry rocky ground.

Africa Trip

On Thursday we arrived in Dakhla, a city on the end of a peninsular, the last city before the Mauritanian border, still 350 Km away. The city is the nicest city in Western Sahara, some great beaches and no hassle from people selling things in the street. We stayed there for two nights, on the second day Charlie arrived. He had managed to get his Mauritanian visa and caught us up ready for the border crossing.

Africa Trip

Tonight the three of us are heading out of town looking for a place to camp, then tomorrow we plan to cross the border into Mauritania.

Week 24: Christmas in Morocco

Week 24: Christmas in Morocco

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to those of you who celebrate.

This has been a very good week, it started with randomly meeting a guy who I had already met in Spain, Graham the guy on the Paris to Dakar hitch-hiking race, after spending some time catching up with him I went to collect my Mauritanian visa, then headed south towards Casablanca. I didn’t really enjoy the city much, it is very big and busy with nothing beautiful other than a large mosque on the sea front.

After spending a night in a cheap hotel I headed further south, to Marrakesh, to meet up with Tony at a camp site there. We stayed there for one night, it was a really nice camp site, with a swimming pool and a bar, although it was a little too cold for swimming. In the morning we headed west to the coast, near a town called Essaouira, to meet a Dutch couple who we originally met in Rabat. The camp site they were staying at was really cheap, it cost us 5 euro each for camping and breakfast. In the evening we had a BBQ with the Dutch couple and drank a few beers before heading back to the tents.

Africa Trip

The following morning, while we were packing our tents away, an English guy arrived on a motorbike to meet us, his name was Bilimanjaro. He is travelling through Morocco for Christmas and had heard we were staying nearby. He had already met Charlie, another adventure motorcyclist who we were planning to meet that day. The five of us (Me, Tony, Bili and the Dutch couple) drove into town to meet Charlie. Charlie has been travelling for a year around South America and is hoping to explore Africa through the winter so that he can head into Europe during next summer.

Africa Trip

We stayed in Essaouira for the next two nights, spending the days exploring the Medina and trying to sample the delights it had to offer at the lowest possible prices. After two great days in Essaouira we parted company. Bilimanjaro is heading back into Europe, Charlie is trying to get a visa for Mauritania and me and Tony are heading south towards the Western Sahara. Apparently American citizens are having problems getting Mauritanian visas, this is a problem as Mauritania is blocking the path to the rest of Africa.

Africa Trip

After leaving Essaouira we drove south along the coast and arrived in Agadir, we stayed in a hotel for 15 Euros and this morning we plan to head further south to Sidi Infi, where there are some natural rock arches on the sea front which we can go to visit.

Week 23: Northern Morocco

Week 23: Northern Morocco

Fes was nice, I stayed there for a couple of nights and went on a tour of the medina. Fes is an ancient city with loads of history and the medina is really interesting, there is still a tannery which treats the leather in the traditional way. First soaking it in lime and pigeon poo, then washing it with wheat and then soaking it in natural dyes.

Africa Trip

After spending a few days in Fes I headed west to Rabat to apply for my Mauritania visa and meet up with Tony (from Tony on the road). We stayed a night in a campsite just outside Rabat, opting for a hotel room because Morocco is too cold at night. Then on Friday we went to the Mauritanian embassy to apply for my visa. As they would not have the passport ready until Monday I decided to join Tony on his trip south to the Cascade d’Ouzoud for the weekend.

Africa Trip

Yesterday we walked to, and circled around, the waterfall before heading back to the hotel. Tony had highlighted how overloaded my bike was compared to his and so I decided to sort through my luggage again. I got rid of some clothes and decided to post my English Syllabus to Makunduchi. I am also getting rid of my dirt biking body armour and just keeping my armoured jacket. I am now back in Rabat ready to pick up my visa tomorrow before I head south.

Africa Trip

Week 22: Into Africa

Week 22: Into Africa

It has been an unplanned, but enjoyable, week. I spent a few days in Gibraltar with some awesome CouchSurfing hosts, Shawn and John, while I was there a lot of other Couch Surfers passed through. I spent two days exploring Gibraltar with three German Couch Surfers, Steph, Ronny and Fabian, we wandered around the city and went to see the monkeys.

Africa Trip

I had planned to get the ferry to Morocco on my Birthday, 6th December, but due to our excessive celebrations I was in no fit state to move off the sofa all day. I drank two bottles of red wine and a beer or two, then at 4am, when we were out of alcohol, we went to a 24 hour bar. I’m not sure what time we got back or when we went to sleep, but it was late.

Africa Trip

Steph, Ronny and Fabian left and I stayed on the sofa. Later that evening Steph contacted me to say I had left my scarf in their car, I decided to go and collect it the next day and so drove the four hours to Cordova. Steph and Ronny were kind enough to let me stay with them for a few days before I headed back down for the ferry. The ferry costs just under 45 euro and the morning ferry leaves at 10am. The journey took around an hour, with two hours going through customs on the other side.

Africa Trip

I drove around Tangier for a while before deciding I wanted to go into the mountains. I slept in a village called Ouezzane, where I’m sure I got ripped off with an expensive hotel (25 Euro). Then today I left and headed to Fes. I’m staying here for a couple of nights in a youth hostel, at the much better price of 5 Euro, taking a tour tomorrow, should be fun.

Africa Trip

Africa Route Problems

Africa Route Problems

As you probably know, I will be arriving in Africa in a month or two. With this in mind I decided that it was probably about time that I planned the route, but I am having some problems.

Firstly the border between Morocco and Algeria is closed.

Secondly Libya.

As I see it there are three possible solutions.

1 – Travel back to Italy, after visiting Morocco, to get the ferry from Venice to Alexandria. The problem with this is that the ferry is currently not running, although there have been stories that it will start running again next month.

2 – Travel back to Turkey, after visiting Morocco, to get a ferry to Israel then drive to Egypt over land. The problem with this is that I will be doubling back on myself through Europe again. But I did miss out on Turkey the first time round, maybe this would be a good opportunity to see it.

3 – Go to Egypt the long way around. Basically drive south from Morocco, possibly as far as South Africa, then head north again, to Tanzania, then go to Egypt after I have stayed in East Africa for a while. The problem with this is the time it will take and the amount of money I may have to spend.

At the moment I am hoping that the ferry starts running again.