Welcome to Morocco
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017
By sharon oliver photography
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Welcome to Morocco where you will be well and truly shafted” said the tout at Tangiers med. Well, he didn’t really but he might as well have done. I blame myself. I am supposed to be the well travelled one whose rode her way around half of India so I should have seen it coming really.

Getting through Customs was a piece of cake. D16, temporary vehicle import - check, stamp in passport - check. No, wait, numbers don’t match, see man at booth over there. Take passport back to first man down there. Go back to second man in booth and pay 5 euros, hang on, that bit wasn’t in the book. “It’s for the government not for me” says man at booth. Numbers don’t match. Sniffer dog has a sniff round. Ok you can go now, Bon Chance.

 

The thing about the Mitchelin Morocco map is it’s bloody useless unless you run out of stuff to wipe your arse on. It’s like the old Izal paper from the 1970’s, slip and slide. It  you there eventually as long as you don’t mind getting lost and by being lost I mean think of a number and double it. Four hours after leaving Tangiers destination Chefchaeun loomed over the horizon. Campsite Asil came in at a hefty £1 a night for two, a good half hour walk to the town and ground that hard you can barely get the pegs in but you can’t complain really. Although he did when he saw the toilets. “Where’s the toilet paper, why’s the floor wet and what’s that basket for and I’m not going in there” then he spat his dummy out. Well, you’ll have to get used to it. Too used to his capitalist luxuries if you ask me. After a day hanging around the very touristy medina, he’d had enough and she’d bought a carpet and wondered how or if she was going to get it strapped onto the bike.

Next stop Fes and back to the Map. Ride for three hours, complete full circular route into the mountains and end up back where you started. Nine hours later, you miss the turn off, thanks to the Mitchelin map and end up the city centre at night time. Stuck for somewhere to sleep you happen upon a friendly tout who takes you to a four star hotel which amazingly is only £10 a night including breakfast. So, you shower, put your bikes in the secure garage and go to pay. Ah well, I guess you know what’s coming next. The room is actually £100 and you have been ripped off and it’s too late to pack up and go and besides all that you are completely knackered. After 10 minutes arguing in basic French you give up and cough up £70. You then realise you have no money left to eat but luckily there is a corner shop over the road and you buy a piece of bread, some cheese and a bag of crisps and go to bed. Tomorrow is another day.

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4 Comments
Mick Wakefield - Loving it ! X
Snasty - 1 - Screw camping

2- back-handers is how most non European, north American countries work. Don't fight it, it is what it is. Try buying a coke in Covent Garden and not feel like you have been Shafted

3 - my map is to mark where I have been, buggered if I'm going to try and navigate with it, my phone and sat-nav will do that.

4- Pre book accommodation where possible, if there are a couple of "surcharges" here and there, well expect it, see line 2.

...and in advance of tomorow's post - - If you are the only fuel station for 60 miles and you see white men approaching on bikes costing more than you make in 5 years and you *don't* hike your prices, well there is something wrong with you.
Russ - Luxury
Snasty -
I liked the photo's though.