Friday 4th ~ Spain into Maroc!
The child inside me is yelling; “Yippee! this is it! this is what i want, this is why i came along!”
We’re heading for the port. For the ferry. for Morocco! I am excited, No denying it. This is not your average Bike tour.I cant wait to get on them unfamiliar exotic weird and wonderful highways and byeways….
But before I can do that.
The port is huge, but then it’s a gateway to another continent, of course it’s big. You get an appreciation of this as you have the inevitable wait for the ferry. What struck me was taking a sly look at the overloaded cars and especially the vans around us. If I saw them at home, I’d assume they were on their way to the dump with a load for the landfill! There’s old tyres, the remains of fitted kitchen units, office chairs, old tellys and bicycles. Stacked way too high on the roofs and the inside of these vans look fit to explode if you opened the doors. Some do get opened as officials in civvies produce their I.D. and ask to view the contents. Of course they meet no resistance nor argument. From here on – one does not argue with officialdom. We’re about to say goodbye to the E.U. and hello to Africa where The Powers That Be may not always be right, but always have the might. Though not there yet, the Africans and Arabs waiting for the boat know full well cooperation means an easy passage.
I’m astonished at the sheer crap coming out of one van – stuff that at home you’ve have to pay someone to take away, is being exported to another world! That’s it, as I was constantly reminded later in the trip; it is another world. We have no appreciation of that here. You have to go there to see why. I think to myself “yeah yeah – alright, i know, we’re awful consumers at home.” On the one hand feeling a little guilty, on the other – “no, I’m a reasonable person and anyhow I’m too tight fisted to be a serious ‘consumer’!” . Well everything is relative. I dont consider myself well off, well educated or privileged. I’m wrong on all counts and my world is about to get a big shake up – I just dont know that yet. I’m about to enter a world where every resource is used, nothing goes to waste and everything has a secondary use – you just haven’t thought what that is yet.
ANYhow, our entourage gets on the boat. It’s a short crossing. A Moroccan Policeman rubber stamps our passports. The real journey is about to begin.
On the far side, we disembark and start the process of entering Morocco. I say start because unlike any border crossing I’ve been through before, but like every single one I’ll be doing from here on – it’s not straightforward and it’s not fast. We have customs, immigration, police, vehicle paperwork, insurance checks and we must change currency. I wont bore you with the details, but a team of policeman that I have to say reminded me of the Three Stooges, with an unintentional comedy act complete with much arm waving, gesticulating and arguing amongst themselves – kept me amused I would have been frustrated very quickly otherwise. No photos. From here on – at checkpoints, no police, no military likes cameras.
We finally hit the road. We promptly stop – just outside the port.
Ians (driving the car) concern was unwarranted – the lads although desperate, still managed to aim OUTside the car. Their relief and the puddle was plainly visible. My hands were not so steady as i took the next pic – I only include it to show you what awaits you five minutes into Morocco, a hint of the terrain to come.
To be continued.