10 September 2007

Summer in Review "Part 1 - Lyon to Morocco"

I last left the adventures in the southern region of France, just before I was heading off for continent #3, Africa. The 3 weeks, with the 2 guys
NederBoyz
I met back in Verona in October '06, were packed with a few interesting events.

* A 3 day journey into the desert was filled with synchronized diving lessons
Syncro Diving
, some fun spinning around on playgrounds
Fun getting dizzy
, visiting the local petting zoo
Moroccan Petting Zoo
(WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT), the customary ride on the camels
Camel Ride
, and a lot of driving. One of our camels, Gert, went a bit crazy at one point and got loose in the camel caravan
Camel Caravan
we were riding in. After an exciting few minutes, David almost jumping off and nearly in tears, and Booy just a few inches short of getting his leg bit, we were back on track. Arriving at our oasis
Saraha Oasis
, we were later welcomed by the Sahara with 8 hours of constant rain. In the morning, I carried up the snowboard to take a ride down the massive mound of sand
Sandboarding
. Had it not been for our quick thinking guide that threw a wet mattress I would have ended up running into a concrete hole with 2ft rebar protruding from itself.


* We just returned from our 3 day desert trip and the boys and I went to the local football match
Football African Style
between Kawkab Marrakech and Olympique Safi. After narrowly getting involved in a fight just 5 rows behind us
Rumble in the Stands
and a rather poor match, we figured we could head over to the Hostel International place they stayed at the other day...turns out they were booked. We went into the center of town and after finding out 10+ hotels were booked on a Saturday night around 12am we were a bit worried. We found someone on the street that was willing to take us back to his house for 100 dirham each, but after about 20min of consideration we declined the offer. We wandered around a bit more and stumbled upon Hotel Central Palace
Hotel Central Palace
which we thought was full before, and were able to get it for a bargain of 50 dirham each. It had a wonderful rooftop terrace with a view of the D'Jemaa el-Fna.

* One thing to be aware of is the low sign postings. I failed to see this one
Dangerous Moroccan Road Signs
when I was sending a sms to our host.


We continued on our way to enjoy the wind swept Essaouira coast, the coastal metropolis of Casablanca, and the developing coast or Rabat. Of the 3, I think we all would agree that Essaouira was the most relaxing. We hung around a few days longer than we first planned for, making sure to get in some games of sand football.
Football on the Beach


We made our way back to Chefchaouen where the boys visited before I met up with them in Marrakech. It was a nice little town known for it's blue-rinsed houses.
True Blue City


We then made our way to the Tangier port to head off to Spain. We had heard conflicting stories about Tangier, some loved it, some hated it. We didn't stick around too long to get a definitive self evaluation of the town, but.... When we exited the taxi at the port, we were greeted by a very helpful man that wanted to offer us assistance on finding out correct ferry to take across to Spain. As the boys had come from Spain to get to Morocco they were going to do quite well on their own they told him. He persisted of course, as did we that we wouldn't be in any need of his help, but he followed us around the entire port and handed us yellow customs forms to help us in our journey. These are available to anyone for free of course when entering/exiting the country, he however, felt that they commanded a fee because he was the one that gave them to us. Even after he had given up in trying to get money from us, a fellow friend of his tried one final time to try and persuade us into giving him something for them, we kindly declined...again.

This leads us back to Europe, and the town of Tarifa, Spain, where I'll pick my story in "Part 2 - Tarifa to London".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HI Steve.
I accidentally came across an inquiry you made in 2006 about taxes in the UK as you planned to move. It looks as though you've done LOTS of moving about!

I am from Evanston--moved to Sweden 8 years ago. The best people to talk to about taxes in the UK and Scandinavia are the government authorities themselves. Don't waste money on accountants or "specialists". But maybe you've already figured this out.

Hope you had fun in Morocco!