To Africa: Madrid – Ouezzane

Continuing on from Madrid, our plan was to take the ferry to Morocco the next day.

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A Spanish trucker told us there was a good truckstop at mile marker 288. We’d started driving very late, so by midnight we were all really looking forward to this mythical truckstop. It turned out alright, but the night was cold.

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When we headed for the ferry the next day, we did some shopping before for things not available, or banned even in Morocco. Alcohol is officially not allowed in, so the guys stowed a bunch of beer and wine in our “smuggling stash” in the car. The Nutella and pork sausage didn’t have to be hidden.

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We left Spain behind just at sunset. I never realized how small the crossing at Gibraltar is, you can clearly see both shores at all times when crossing from Algeciras to Tangier Med. I’d expected it to be more like the Channel Crossing which I’d done so many times before.

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We spent a long time waiting to get through Moroccon customs, partly because they had a hard time believing our truck is a “camper”. They didn’t search it very much so all the smuggling goods were safe.

After that we went to a Moroccon Sandwich snackbar the guys had been to before. Carlo was looking forward to the once again mythical sandwhiches; he had an apparently amazing chicken-liver one, I stuck with egg for now.

In the dark we drove up a really small road towards Chefchauen, and decided to just pull off the road and camp there. That night I wasn’t really feeling too great going down this super bumpy mountain road, which I’d normally enjoy a lot, my cold and the heavy sandwhich were playing up. The next day I felt much better and was appreciating it a lot more.

On the way down from this tiny road we ran in to some interesting obstacles: low hanging power and water lines. Carlo and Anton were riding on the roof (it’s Africa from now on so the rules matter a bit less) so they got to work with planks from the bed to keep the lines out of the way. Meanwhile Brad was a bit worried we might die so he put on his rubber gloves in the cabin.

The sights, the environment really changed a lot overnight, and it was just very cool to realize we’d made it across and this far already.

That day we only drove 70km to Chefchaouen, known as “the blue city” for obvious reasons. We agreed to spend a few hours there and do some shopping and sightseeing.

I really liked this city. I’d only ever been to Marrakech before and this was just smaller, more charming, and less busy. I felt less hassled also. Though this is a region where they grow marihuana, so lots of guys try to sell you hashish.

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Anton purchased an authentic djellabaa robe in the markets. He took it from 400 to 220 dirham (about 20 euro), but had to walk out of the store twice to get to that price.

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That night we camped just outside the city, making good use of the truck’s 4-wheel drive by going through the riverbed. Despite making a fire and all, we had a really cold night. Anton even said there was frost even in our cups we left out. Everybody, including me slept pretty bad, so when 3 others wanted to cycle a bit, I opted to stay behind and help Max and Lukas a bit with an oil change. We also hooked up the siren and uncovered the flashing blue light, making our truck a firetruck again in sight and sound!

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Now we’ve arrived near the small town of Ouezzane, where we negotiated an apartment in a hotel for about 7.5 euros each. It only took us walking away twice, and starting the truck before we got the price we wanted. The plan is now to continue to Rabat, the Moroccan capital, to get our visa for Mauretania.

2 replies
  1. P. Etmans
    P. Etmans says:

    Hele mooie foto’s pet, ziet er leuk uit! Zorg toch maar dat je een dikke trui aandoet enzo, dat je niet verder ziek wordt. Voorzichtig zijn he! <3

    Reply
  2. Filip
    Filip says:

    Even aan het bijlezen, deze blog al een tijdje uit het oog verloren. Geweldige foto’s, zeker die ‘blauwe stad’!

    Reply

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