We’re here: N35.79092 W5.83273
Weather – sunny and warm, but a good breeze on the road by the sea (water looked choppy too which doesn’t bode well for tomorrow!)
We’ve made it to Tanger (aka Tangier) at the end of our trip to Morocco. This is where lots of people first set foot in Morocco, but for us it’s at the end of our time here instead. Tomorrow we’re off along the coast about 30km to the new port of Tanger Med where we arrived just a month ago, but it feels so much longer – in a good way. On the plus side, only a few of the ferry companies have moved across to the new port, so it’s nice and quiet.
This morning we drove up to and through Tanger, so we got to see the ferry port we’d read so much about – and the touts trying to sell us ferry tickets – because to our amazement we had to drive into the port to get onto the road to the campsite! Once parked up, we made a quick call home as it seems the tax man is chasing J down for his tax return, despite us both being pretty sure he filled it in before we left! Then we set off for a walk along the new coast road to the town and the Medina (old town). Strangely some EU money was spent in 2011 on decent maps and signage for the medina – maybe too many EU nationals were getting lost in there. We just wandered around and agreed we’re both a bit Moroccoed out. There are so many nice things to buy here, but we just don’t have the space and can’t be bothered anymore. I guess we have pretty much everything we need and buying more stuff just seems like clutter in Dave – thank goodness we bought a small van!
We were looking at Cafe Colon when a man approached us and asked if we were looking to eat, yes we were, good because he has a restaurant around the corner we can go to, Cafe Colon was not only badly named, but only did drinks. We knew we were being touted, but we didn’t care – we just made sure we knew what it was going to cost us up front. So for 80dh each (about £6.80) we had bread and Moroccan soup, a Pastilla (a strangely good chicken pie with sweet pastry and icing sugar), J had chicken with cous-cous and I had a chicken tagine, both washed down with a mint tea. Not only was it fitting that our last meal out in Morocco was full on traditional food, but also it was done so well. We both left thoroughly stuff – actually it was all three of us as Charlie ‘acquired’ some bread and chicken too.
Our tout then took us into his “son’s” herbalist shop where he told us all about the herbs and spices used for cooking and in medicine. We thanked him but left empty handed as there was nothing we wanted, and now it’s not even a challenge getting out without buying something. So we set ourselves a challenge to find our way back to the campsite without using the road we came along and taking a different exit out of the medina. We ended up walking through a really posh neighbourhood, then a really run down one where one house had moved so much forwards down the steep hill it was on it had broken up and we could see all the decorated walls and tiles inside it.
So tomorrow we head back to Spain, first stop Lidl for an overnight free place to stay and to stock up on some food. It’s really cheap to eat out here, and food in the local markets is cheap (as long as you don’t mind live chickens!) but supermarket supplies as we know them are a bit steep – not to mention the cost of alcohol. Once stocked up we’re off to Gibraltar. Everyone we meet says don’t go, but we have to see for ourselves – even if it’s just for a couple of tins of real ale and some ribena in Morrisons.
It feels like the start of our journey home, but we’ve still got months to go before we need to head back for an MOT and so many more countries to visit. I suspect once we’re back in the swing of things we’ll be OK, but for now it’s with a heavy heart that we say farewell to Morocco and our little excursion to AFRICA!!!