Category: Maroc Xmas 2017

Last stop Essoauira. then straight on the motorway all the way back to J17 :-(

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To make sure the trip ended well and just in case living in a small 4×4 for 4 weeks had proved hell.

I had quietly booked a 5 star spa hotel adjacent to the walled medina. However living in the Tardis works so well ,it gets better every time we use it and with the minor list of fixes/upgrades sorted when we get home it will be excellent for long periods or maybe indefinitely and we both felt guilty for abandoning our special truck to the hotel car park. They are strange things human emotions for inanimate objects.

I thought I would post some images of Essaouira for the family and friends, for the ones who have been here and the ones yet to visit. Easyjet fly twice a week from the UK for £35 one way ,that is cheaper than the taxi to the airport!!

The place has expanded its tourist flavour but at the moment not so much that it is destroyed the charm, The docks still sell every living(now dead) thing from the sea and the gulls and cats scrap over the entrails thrown on the floor, every alleyway now has a shop or restaurant with an impossible level of character and charm and unique style , a level that Disney could never achieve, couple this charm with a feeling of safety and a relaxed atmosphere makes Essaouira a destination that is a must for anyone wanting a genuine experience with the feel of the exoticswhile somehow feeling you are in a pirates of the Caribbean movie set. Even the touts selling ‘Space cakes ‘and a ‘good smoke’ appear to be from a Family movie, somehow being rebellious yet unthreatening and charming at the same time. I suppose it’s a sort of perfect puritanical middle class American image of the exotic , you know the boy/girl at school/college that is SO hot but is the local rebel yet  underneath they have a heart of gold type shit. I suppose this is the real metaphor for the current Essaouira experience..

 

It’s quiet here at this time the year (January) and rain is not unknown but the temperature is pleasant and sunny, even so in this quiet time we counted 4 bar/restaurants with live music ,we made our way down hauntingly amazing alleyways beside the fortified sea wall to have a pizza in the restaurant that we sat in 11 years ago while watching Ridley Scott film ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ with the girls, Casablanca beer on tap made for a great night out. Some live Moroccan/Berbere music in a bar overlooking the main square and harbour finished the trip off just great.

 

In any other place the alleys of a unknown town are not the most relaxed places to be, but this is not the case in Essaouira

 

A small glimpse of a treasure to behold.

So we both agree until we are 80 years old and in a large plastic motorhome, or maybe a training session in a race car then we are done with Morocco for the coming years, the Tardis has more exciting places to take us.

 

 

Also I may be onto a real treasure maybe even a novel …

look at this customs building on the gates of the harbour, half way up is a cryptic symbol

Looks like a secret symbol of the Da Vinci code type, don’t ya think???

 

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Agadir is like any Spanish holiday town ,Easyjet fly from Manchester three time a week all year round for £160 return.. Hmmm.

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We travelled north through Agadir for an alcohol restock ,this is a huge metropolitan town and greatly improved, in 2004 while doing the Plymouth-Dakar challenge with Chris and Sandra we camped just north of the city on the flat plateau that stretched for miles out towards the sea with hundreds of other motorhomes, now it’s all gone , vast new holiday resorts and a posh new roads are the signs of progress, all the plastic motorhomes are on huge campsites with water parks, quad bike hire and all the other normal holiday type stuff, the plastic motorhomes are driving down the road in two’s and three’s every few minutes there are thousands of them.

I suppose the new motorway that now reaches Agadir and the new dual carriageway that goes through Tisnit to Guelmin helps them all come and enjoy the winter sun.

Coast road to Essaouira.

We found a nook in the coast and camped with some surfer dudes for the night, then took the coast road to Essaouira, at the moment this road is track , some rough, some graded, so we saw no plastic motorhomes , we found an amazing fishing village down a really rough steep track.

It wasn’t me dad it was like that when I got here ….

 

 

And found skeletons hanging in trees !!!

Wrong turn!! maybe

 

then we got stopped by a tortoise crossing the road

why did the Tortoise cross the road?

Milly eligantly tries to save the tortoise from the wheels of doom.

 

On the Fort bou jerif road we got stopped by kissing rodents.

 

 

I suppose it better than when we had to wait for the duck getting raped when we were in Wales in 2016..

 

We arrived in Essaouira, the fact that Easyjet now fly direct to the new posh airport in town from the UK hasn’t changed it a bit….. OK, its heaving and every nook and cranny in the town is full of tourist tat there is lot’s of flat bloated tourist’s  munching through nasty Tajines and consuming Watney’s red barrel, cue Monty Python travel agents sketch. There are two huge 18 hole golf courses and we thought we had seen a lot of RR Evoques and new RR sport’s on our travels but it appears Essaouira residents have a liking for new Aston Martins we have seen three of them all on Moroccan plates!

off to the 5  star medina resort and Spa for a little late trip pampering for Milly and a steak and chips  in the souk.{when in Rome}

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Onto the Atlantic coast and a beach of our own.

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After supplies were gathered at a big supermarket on the new ring road in Guelmin we headed for Fort Bou Jerif.

I was sure this would be tarmac and it was for a while until the ravages of this years rainwater washed all memories of a manmade road away, again Result.

We headed out of the river bed onto the moorland tops heading for the sea to find the memorial to the war fought here in 1944 but darkness was better than our speed and we ended up slowly tracking through mud and soft sand to the waypoint, what a surprise it was when in the middle of nowhere next to the memorial was an amazing Fort type campsite , beautifully done as an old fort, we used the facilities and left the next day for the beech which was only 10km westward.

To our surprise over the next hill was the original legionnaire fort bou jerif and you could see all the old military buildings it was a great Urb-ex day.

The only picture you can see is the pit from the vehicle repair bay, the rest you have to come and see for yourself.

BeaDy in his pit.

TIP: unless you need a shower then stay at the fort by the wadi, a much more genuine camping location.

 

The piste on from here was bad and we had already seen a large 4×4 camper turn around and take the 150km of tarmac round trip to avoid it. Not us, this was fun time, the TARDIS took it in its stride and we where soon gliding along the coast road looking for a place to stay the night

The new Garmin 276Cx GPS really came in to its own and up popped a beach that looked promising.

Here it is.

HEALTH WARNING: Gratuitous , ‘look what we did that you didn’t do’ or  ‘look were we are and you weren’t’   photos that may cause severe depression from people sat in the cold cold dark UK.

Two days on our own with 5km of beach in each direction, just the fisherman out to sea for company. but we ran out of wine, not a problem for 50% of the community but for the other 50% it was a big problem!!

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Once I had an Icht but then I got a cream from the quack.

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So on one campsite it was mentioned that Icht was a cool place to visit.

Well we headed south for the sun and found Icht down on the boarder of Algeria, we also found a nice French run campsite full of overlanders and decided to use it for WiFi and showers and we also found…. Well not very much else, just a very quiet and serene location, however sometimes things do work out .in the end

On the wall of the campsite were some interesting places to visit locally, one was Amtoudi , a grain store set like a castle on a big hill, so off we went. On the way we passed a sign for rock carvings so in we popped ,it was a few KM off the tarmac down a piste to a very neat museum building and some nice locals living at the rear of the very modern toilet block, strange what there is in the desert down here

Do you like what I have done with my tool ?

Some ancient vandals mutilated the lovely rocks 10,000 years ago.

The rock carvings  were dated from 10,000 years ago and were interesting there were also ritual female burial mounds, but the best bit was the local guide told us of a nice track to Amtoudi, result!! It cut the corner and came out just before the campsite with all the plastics on it,

 

The canyon beside Amtoudi was cut in the rocks was impressive as was the climb up the mountain to see the grain store.

 

 

 

 

Did we or didn’t we go up there?

 

Thought for today !, when does graffiti turn into art?

how is it that a sprawled spray-tin paint job on a tram isn’t art but a Banksy is.?

a scratched horse on a rock in the desert is priceless ancient artefact and national treasure , the one did today is just vandalism.

 

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Tight villages in Morocco ?, you won’t get your truck 4×4 motorhomes here.

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small villages in morocco

This video is from the dashcam in the TARDIS, it has a near 130 degree viewing angle so makes this look wide but it wasn’t it was nearly touching the wing mirrors, we didn’t know if there was an exit we could fit through and there where no tyre marks to guide us, it did end in an amazing oasis/wadi with palm trees and flowing water.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Maroc Xmas 2017

De ja vu

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something strange this way comes…..

so yesterday a Dodge 50 RB44 and an Iveco roll up, how spooky

the owner of the Iveco is Kev moody long time no see from Dakar 2006.

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Categories: Maroc Xmas 2017

My office view for the day #1235

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Milly got out of bed to do something women really enjoy doing,  washing, cleaning etc 🙂  they must like it! They are at it all the time ( let the firestorm begin..comments below please) and so the TARDIS performs its trick of being all things to Milly and I, the wind was blowing, the drizzle was falling, the snow was teasing the mountain tops, but the sun was illuminating my bed and here I dreamily sat learning HTML5 data storage systems for my next new project, perfect, well until ‘little miss ants in her knickers got bored’ which was roughly 5 mins after she realised I was enjoying slobbing around reading my kindle, so up and at em as they say.

Ho hum of to the seaside we go. Except she knows the shopping is good in Tafroute…damm

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Categories: Maroc Xmas 2017

Don’t go to Morocco for sand and sun.

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Because Morocco is so much more, we awoke in the amazing valley of rounded rocks and high mountains that surround Tafroute to this…

  1. Hot Sunshine
  2. Palm trees
  3. Sand
  4. Empty peaceful campsite
  5. And it had snowed in the night and we were just below the snow line.
  6. And a rainbow on the campsite.

And here is the picture of it all in one frame if you don’t believe me.

When travelling around randomly the sights you see cannot be planned in a Travel agents office they are amazing because you don’t expect them.

This is not lense flair it was actually in the sky.

Look at this Moon halo 22 degree from a desert camp a week ago just to prove the point. This looked like a portal to the starts, fantastic, the picture does not do it justice in anyway.

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Categories: Maroc Xmas 2017