Day 11 : Thursday 3rd December - Rabat
We are not allowed in Mauritania without a "Letter of recommendation" from our Government. Went to the British Consul to try and get one sorted out. Managed to get in within an hour and apply for one. Went round the Medina with Mark, Lars, Metta, Metta and Rekki. A guide attached himself to us and began to show us round the place. It?s like walking round a town from the middle ages with dirt and filth everywhere. Much dirtier than Egypt or Turkey. Ended up going for a meal, costing ?6 which I reckon should be nearer ?2. Was looking for some boots but did not see any. Got back to the campsite for a shower and the evening meal. We then had a group meeting about Morocco, it seems that the visas are being processed as good as can be expected. Stayed up quite late drinking with the guys from the other trucks.
Day 12 : Friday 4th December - Rabat
Got up late as we weren?t travelling anywhere. Did my first batch of washing in the sinks with cold water and travel wash. Had trouble getting it to dry because the sun went in at dinnertime. Had to do a stint of truck guard from 12 till 2 which was not too bad because locals are not allowed on the campsite. Spent the time calculating my spending money, it only works out at ?4.43 per day, but there will be weeks on end where there is nothing to buy and all our food has already been paid for. In the afternoon I got a driving instructors car into town with Charlie and Lars. Lars paid an extra 6dr to drive the car, what a nightmare, glad to get out of it. Found a supermarché selling kickers. Bought a pair of desert/jungle boots for ?30, about half UK price. Went to a pizza hut and had a deep pan pizza, icecream and a beer. Walked round the local part of town away from the tourist areas. Got back to the camp and gave the meal a miss as Tim was cooking his veggie rubbish.
Day 13 : Saturday 5th December - Rabat to Meknes - Fez
Got up early, packed up my damp washing then drove to Meknes. Had lunch by the roadside, I just had dry bread, not feeling too good. Spent 3 ? hours walking round the old city with Charlie, Kenny and Marion. Not a great deal to see or do, did not find anything interesting to buy. Drove on to Fez in the afternoon. Found a proper campsite with a couple of other overland trucks present. Got the tent up OK, then filled the 500 ltr water tank. Managed to find a tap and hose, flushed the tank out and de-contaminated it before filling up. After the evening meal sat round the camp fire talking, began to feel ill, which got worse through the night, had no sleep at all.
Day 14 : Sunday 6th December - Fez
Forced myself to get up with the others. Charlie talked me out of staying at the campsite on my own and coming on the excursion to Fez. Drove to a place above the river looking out over the city, met a guide that joined us on the truck. Feeling like death and Fez looks and smells like hell. Wandered round the streets for ages visiting silk weavers, metal workers, tanneries, bakers and a carpet shop. Fez I slept on the truck while everyone else went in a Turkish bath. Got back to the camp site still feeling terrible, and found that one of the trucks had left and they had reversed all the fly sheets on our tents so that we could not get in them. I failed to see the funny side. Charlie sorted out the tent then I slept all night missing the evening meal.
Day 15 : Monday 7th December - Fez
Had the day to ourselves, Kristen and Charlie went shopping for tomorrow. In the morning I wrote a letter home then sewed the African badge on my jacket. Went gathering fire wood with Lars in the afternoon. Made a small fire, but then it started to rain, so we put the cook tent up. Managed a bit of dry bread and a few crackers in the evening. Started to feel a bit better. Ian and Patrick went back to Rabat to collect our visas. They weren?t successful, so Patrick stayed there to try again tomorrow while Ian returned on the truck.