Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Road to Morocco

I have been wayward in not recording 6 weeks in Conil but it passed in a blur and ended with some very nasty weather that was just passing on its way to the UK. We managed to do lots and nothing at the same time. On the quiz front we had 1 win, 2 seconds ( one after a first place tie break which we naturally lost) and 2 thirds so a reasonable  result and the top 3 teams were the same each time.
The Lucky Charm ceremony was a great success and a very jolly afternoon saw copious bottles of rioja disappear, as was Paul's 70th birthday party which became very raucous and involved northerners trying to prove that they could sing more songs than the southerners.
We hired the new camp car twice with P&M and had 2 nice days out, first visiting the white towns in the mountains and then a day to Jerez to buy (proper) brandy at Terry's.
Ken & Jackie arrived on Feb 3 followed by Malc & Christine on the 5th in the rain and wind. We managed to show them around a bit but not as much as we would have liked....and I had 2 days in bed with a bad throat/chest  that affected most of the camp.
And then we left on the 13th., but not before reversing into a wall and putting another hole in the rear bodywork.
Horrible journey to Algeciras to first refill the LPG  tanks and then visit the port to get tickets for ferry. We had booked through an agency in Conil but only had a voucher so had to find the FRS desk and get actual tickets. Good job we did it on Wednesday rather than waiting till Friday morning as the port is chaos and full of touts shouting and yelling and trying to con money.
Stayed the night at aire near Lidls with 50 other vans and ate at local venta which was awful but we had a good time.
Arrived at terminus at 10.30 along with a Dutch tour of 20 vans and at least 30 others to find a 2 hour delay for no explained reason. Eventually boarded at 14.15, having had to reverse up the ramps amongst all the freight lorries in absolute mayhem......I thought Ancona was bad going to Greece.
Having got on the boat, we spent 45 mins of the hour queuing for customs control to get our passports inspected and a CIN number issued which is required for almost everything we do in Morocco.
Once we disembarked, we then had to obtain a Temporary Vehicle Import document which is exceedingly important as we won't get the van out of the country without it. This was an even bigger performance than the rest as hundreds of vehicles had to be processed and finally a visit to the one police counter for it all to be registered. And the vehicle form is in Arabic and French so difficult to completely understand. So this took an hour before we 3 were all cleared and then a line of bureau de change to get money as you cannot get can outside the country...250€ got 2700 M dirhums....that's a lot of 100Md notes.
Campsite at Cap Spartet outside Tangier was as grim as expected.....the Gf and I paid extra for a hot shower in a  nearby chalet and wished we hadn't bothered but at least it was hot.

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