Itchy feet, Morocco has me all excited…

Charlie brings home some kindling for the fire. Good pooch.

Tonight will be our 6th night in Eric and Anne’s villa. It’s an opulent palace, we keep finding more bathrooms. But I’m getting seriously itchy feet, especially since hearing we can get over to Morocco, I’m giddy as a schoolboy.

I’ve been doing a bit of research, with my main conclusions:

  • We should be fine getting in and out with Charlie. Our friends Chris and Tina are taking their dog Loli in tomorrow, probably one of the first UK residents to legally do so. Chris is keeping us updated on how he gets on, and has sent us a link to a tour the Camping and Caravanning Club run to give us inspiration for a route (the C&C club basically act as guides – but at a cost of £2500 for 24 days, we think we’ll guide ourselves).
  • Our insurance company (Chaucer) refuses to cover us outside Europe, so no Green Card (a document indicating your UK insurance provides the minimum legal cover in the relevant country) for us. Our broker (Insurance Choice) offered this less-than-helpful advice: “We do not offer cover for countries outside of the EU. A search using google should help you find the cover you need.” Legally and morally we need 3rd party insurance in Morocco. Of the three possible entry points (Tangier, Tangier Med and Ceuta) only the first two have an open insurance office at the border, so we’ll go to one of them rather than risking driving about without insurance. We expect a month’s insurance to be about £100, and we also expect it to be worthless, apart from keeping the police off our backs in the event of an accident. Fellow travellers The World is Our Lobster and Europe by Camper headed over to Morocco earlier in the week; their Safeguard insurance included Morocco.
  • By the way: Ceuta is a weird ‘Gibraltar’ type Spanish enclave in Morocco near the Straight. They have another Moroccan enclave in Melilla. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Morocco wants these bits of land and the associated ports back, but Spain isn’t budging.
  • For some reason, although Morocco still seems to merit the tag ‘3rd world country’ it appears you can get unlimited 3G internet access, with reasonable coverage, for about €20 for a month, no contract. I’ll be searching this out.
  • I’ve emailed ADAC to ask if we get breakdown cover in Morocco. No response yet, but various forums seem to indicate they do cover us. Incredible value if they do, we paid less than €100 for pan-European cover for 12 months, and North African may also be included! AA and RAC: watch and learn.
  • Our travel insurance policy (from Mapfre, through Insurance Choice) covers Morocco, Ju’s checked the paperwork.
  • We’ve coughed up £30-odd quid for TomTom maps of Morocco. I’ve tried asking for driving instructions from here to Fes, but it’s being boring and only allowing me to run one map at a time (Europe or Morocco). We’ll also buy the paper Michelin road map; we know SatNavs are good, but you can’t beat a good map for telling you you’ve put the wrong co-ordinates in, or this dodgy dusty road runs alongside a nice A road which would take 5 minutes longer etc etc.
  • We’ve checked the campingcar-infos.com site and it has 95 aires and campsites referenced, so we should be able to find somewhere to stay.

Back to the itchy feet, I’ve persuaded Ju that if we can get the last lot of washing dry by the morning we’ll clean the villa, load all our stuff back into Dave and head off to Silves tomorrow (a small inland town in the Algarve) then to Faro on Saturday to **hopefully** pick up some books we had posted to the Post Restante there. Shine on sun, get those jeans dry. Update: Ju’s feeling a bit rough, possible man flu attack, and the sun’s gone down with the Jeans still wet, so we may be here until Saturday.

Apart from the research, we’ve made good use of the WiFi here to update the photos and videos tabs. Ju’s also spent an age indexing all the hundreds of photos we’ve taken, and caught up with her ex workmates, who are all working hard, unlike us layabouts.

Cheers, Jay

Update: confirmation from ADAC that we have breakdown cover in Morocco (ignore the car reference, they cover motorhomes up to 3.5 tonnes):

Dear Jason,

The Plus Membership is valid with the car in all countries within geographical Europe.
Since Morocco is within geographical Europe you´ll have breakdown service there.
I attached the plus service booklet for you

Have a nice trip

Best regards

Teamleiter Telefonservice-Backoffice
ADAC Nordrhein – Bremsstr. 9 – 50969 Köln
Telefon (0221) 4727-444 – Telefax (0221) 4727-452
adac@nrh.adac.de

8 Comments

  1. You are correct with your ‘outside the EU’ insurance assumptions:

    Cost around £100 for a months cover and it covers you for zilch! It is fairly typical for most countries for the green card (apart from Ukraine where car insurance isn’t compulsory – useless fact). In my quick nip to Morocco; Tangier is the only real entrance point which is viable.

    Don’t go to Melilla, there is little there so I’m told. Ceuta is very interesting, very quaint, not masses to do, but is worth a day or so there prior to coming back to mainland Europe, also gives you an idea of how bad immigration is into the EU, Ceuta has a massive border fence to keep people out, can be quite disturbing to see depending on which road you take in. I work with a Spanish chap who lived in Ceuta for many years.

    Just a little more background for you!

  2. Don’t want to teach you to suck eggs (specially as I haven’t been to morrocco, but have driven italy, spain, lesotho, south africa, namibia, swaziland and botswana…) but maybe don’t plan too much.
    In all the able we didn’t have GPS and had a fab time. Keep it chilled and flexible. Paper map if you can find one is just fine, cos if you find something that looks interesting but can;t find it, so what, plenty of interesting things out the window and you can just head towards them (ended up in a field tryig to find a spanish parador, was down to last spare tyre in namib desert before hitting the coast road and had considered what to carry if we had to walk out)
    Expressing frustration in africa generally doesn’t work, so if it feels like it’s getting to you, walk away and handover to someone else.
    As you say, insurance and emergency cover not worth the paper they’re written on, so you are dependant on not f*”king the locals off

    • Hi Shiriin, we need teaching, all advice is gratefully devoured. You sound like you’ve lived a far more exciting life than us! The paper map is seriously growing on us, but we’re letting go of satnav dependency slowly. Bear in mind a few weeks ago we’d never wild camped, we’re changing our views and approach as we go, and I am LOVING it! Please keep the advice coming, cheers, Jay

      • Jay, don’t know if you remember Roz, gymnast at Lufbra. Well she and a mate drove from Aberdeen, NZ, to Aberdeen scotland back in 2002/3 (stopping for the w/e with me in Lesotho).
        They did a blog and I wanted to share it with you but it seems to have expired ;o(
        But I also did a ‘diary’ of a 6 week trip driving in Southern africa. Probably not very relevant to Morocco but it was a great trip. It’s in 10 pdf instalments (blog not possible since still using film camera and limited internet access).
        If you’re interested can mail it to you slowly for when it’s raining…lot’s of ‘lessons learnt’ in there!

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