Monday, June 16, 2008

Trek Through Africa: SPAIN - MOROCCO (Day 6-10)

Day 6 : Saturday 28th November - Bordeaux to Burgos

Got up in the dark again, had a wash then headed for the Spanish boarder. Changed 200FF into pasetas, getting ripped off with the exchange rate at the boarder crossing. Had a pleasant lunch by the side of a river, then onwards up the foothills of the Pryeneese. We got stopped by the police sensing an easy bribe, they said our truck was only fit to carry pigs, Patric, speaking Spanish then suggested that we swap vehicles, at which point Ian drove off. We made camp ? way up a mountain, a thick fog descended and it soon became very cold.

Day 7 : Sunday 29th November - Burgos to Aranjuez

Almost too cold to eat in the morning, had eggy bread and felt sick on the way to Madrid. We arrived there quite quickly, driving through the suburbs to a large hypermarché and had lunch in the carpark. The police came along trying to move us on, told them to piss off again. Not much to see in the afternoon, drove well into the dark and off the road into some private grounds to make camp. Had a good meal of chicken late on.

Day 8 : Monday 30th November - Aranjuez to Malaga

I was last on the truck in the morning, so I sat at the back. Driving through the mountains was freezing cold and I started shaking with cold. When we stopped at Granada, it took a few minutes before I could get moving properly. Went a walk round the town with Charlie and found a McDonald?s, had a burger then we went to a bar in one of the back streets. It had mouldy sausages hanging from the bar and the landlord was cutting flakes of meat off them and offering them to the customers, I didn?t bother. The journey to Malaga was a hell of a lot better than this morning. We camped on a camp site almost on the beach. I am cooking tomorrow with Kirsten and Charlie, so we went and did the shopping in the camp shop. Had a shower then went to the bar, met some ex-pat Brits that were travelling round Europe in camper vans. Had a few games of pool with Marion, Metta and Rikke. Slept very well with the sound of the waves on the beach all night.

Day 9 : Tuesday 1st December - Malaga to Ceuta

Rode in the front of the truck with Ian and Patric, had a good view of the coast and Gibraltar. Made lunch of meat, bread and cheese on the quayside while we waited for the ferry. It was a calm crossing that took 1 ? hours in bright sunshine. On the Ferry Arrived in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on the coast of North Africa, the whole place looks rundown and dirty. Went shopping with Kirsten and Charlie for the meal tonight in a hypermarché. Helped Kenny and Lars buy a supply of beer for our time in Morocco. Getting the Beer In Waited on the docks before heading to a slum of a camp site. The cooks for the night always sleep on the truck so they don?t have to put a tent up. We had a bit of trouble cooking the meal with the camp fire a long way from the truck, but the meal turned out OK. The night was not so cold as the last few nights, but no one got any sleep due to loads of pissed-up Daygos arguing and fighting all night. One of them tried to get in the back of the truck and rob us. Paniking, I got the zip on my sleeping bag jammed, managed to sit up and deliver a headbutt to knock them off the truck. This will be my first and last visit to Spain.

Day 10 : Wednesday 2nd December - Ceuta to Rabat

Trouble with the locals again in the morning, so we cooked a very quick breakfast on the gas instead of messing about getting a real fire going. Got to the boarder and filled in the necessary forms to enter Morocco, changed some money into Moroccan Dirams at a bank. Ian opened the dog box for the first time, it seats five people above the cab and is the best place to see the countryside if its not raining. Sat up there for while with Charlie, Mike, Rekki and Metta. All the local kids were shouting at us asking for a cadeau ( present ). Arrived at an enclosed campsite that catered mainly for western overlanders. Met a few other groups, many had been here for a week or more trying to get their visas sorted out. This brought it home to us that we are now dealing with corrupt African bureaucracy, where speed is never a priority. Got a good fire going with plenty of dry wood, I used the axe for the first time and nearly chopped my leg off. Charlotte had a go and split her head open and had to go to hospital in a taxi. She came back with a big bandage on her head, but seems OK. Had a good meal and feel quite glad to be staying here for a few days. Feeling very tired, I still have not got used to the routine of things yet.

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