The African Adventure Endeth

Charlie and J just 9 miles across the sea from Spain

We’re here – N36.18081 W5.43943

Weather – big grey cloud, permanently hovering over us. We’re back in Spain. Unsmiley face.

We’re sat in Dave in among the small motorhome village in Algeciras Lidl car park. Just as we were a month ago. The difference is 4 of the most engaging, challenging and fascinating weeks of our lives. It’s quite a relief being back, but a big old fat downer too. As fellow traveller Adam says, at least there’s the beer. Oh, and our ADAC breakdown cover becomes valid again!

This morning life was so different! I took Charlie for a walk around the suburb of Tangier we were in. A friendly but persistent stray dog decided to accompany us. As it occasionally legged it off into the road I changed my mind about Moroccan drivers. Yes, they are suicidal at times, but I’ve not witnessed a single accident. The dog lives due to their constant awareness of animals, people, bikes, mopeds, cars, lorries, rocks, potholes, you name it. Hats off to the Moroccan driver.

Walking past two schools at emptying or filling time, or maybe both, Mr Stray causes mayhem. Kids are often scared of dogs here, with good reason. One child flings themselves to the floor at an errant sniff and screaming ensues. As the thing wouldn’t leave me alone, and I had Charlie, the locals seemed to think it was my dog. I tried to shoo it away but didn’t want it to get killed by a car so ended up just walking along trying to pretend nothing was happening as mothers and kids parted before us like the Red Sea.

We set off for 5pm ferry at 11am with a 1hr coastal drive. Yep, 5 hours leeway may seem like a lot but we had no idea what customs would be like. Turned out nice again.

Cruised past the official looking ticket touts outside the port, all aggressively waving us in. Into the port to find ourselves surrounded by officials. Official touts that is. As I fended off a couple of blokes at the drivers door, the actual ferry bloke, identified only by a logo on his fluorescent top, grabs our passports and tickets from Ju. Slight panic and Ju legs it off after him. All turns out well, a final 10Dh ‘tip’ is paid, a pack of pencils handed over and we’re on our way into the port.

Cutting the story, we’re back in Spain, having spotted a few dolphins on the way. No one was the least bit interested in Charlie. No dog import papers, no pet passport, no stickers on the window saying we had a dog in here. Nowt. Phew.

So, a beer calls. At 22c a can it is about a fifth the price of Morocco. A huge Carrefour shop is complete and we’re ready for our trip to Gibraltar tomorrow. Everyone tells us it is grim, but the vote we held said go see the monkeys, so we will!

Waiting for the ferry at Tanger Med:

Cheers, Jay

6 Comments

  1. Hi you guys, been following your trip for the last few weeks, seems like you’re having a great time out there.
    As someone once said to me years ago, just remember life is a journey, do your best to enjoy the trip!! because you never know when it might end.
    Just in case you’re interested, back home in dare I say it sunny UK, weather very warm and sunny today thursday, over in Nelsons’ County Norfolk it was just like a summers day Great Yarmouth was almost touching 20c, lots of people in shorts and T-shirt gear.
    It can’t last, winter will be back for the weekend no doubt!
    Keep doin it guys, happy travelling and take care.
    atb Mike.

    • Hi Mike. Great timing! I just read your comment as I gave up trying to get a bluetooth keyboard working with the phone. I’m fed up as it would have made blog writing so much easier. Ah well, as I tap this out the rock of Gibraltar is reaching up into the sky right in front of us. Life’s good. Cheers, Jay

  2. Hi Ju and Jay, Sorry if im being familiar, but it seems as if i know you, i have soooo enjoyed your blogs, it has wetted our appetite to go, cant wait, and we look forward to more of your adventures.

    • Hi Bob and Val. Great to hear from you. We love writing about our experiences and if we inspired anyone else to chase their dream then it makes it all the more enjoyable. Please keep commenting and if you fancy getting out there, go for it! Jay

  3. We were first timers in Morocco Feb/March 2012 for a month as well. No motorhome though we were using local buses and taxis. Haha, that was so scary sometimes, but you knew you were alive. I’ve never been so sad to leave anywhere. Thought from this blog post you might like this that I wrote about how it felt to be back.

    Mindful or Mindfull

    Morocco slips away
    in ordered traffic moving too fast
    mindless trance
    as blinkered as dusty donkeys
    fast asleep with their heads to the wall
    but lacking, their patience

    Morocco slips away
    in conversation
    Trying to explain, the inexplicable
    trying not to
    To hold to a space beyond words
    where life stirs and teems
    welcoming home
    the Prodigal Daughter

    Morocco slips away
    under the toes of Tuareg boys
    following trails of blue turban
    through windowless medina maze
    back – to the desert
    It draws the veil, and sighs
    Inshallah.

    • Fabulous, and we know exactly what you mean by it. Morocco certainly makes you feel alive! Thanks very much for sharing Fiona, Jay

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