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Archive for March, 2008

Touts: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

March 31st, 2008

I’ve become more adept in dealing with the touts and shopkeepers. Rather than meet their anger and force with straight-forward firm responses (my original method, which served only to incite further anger and force), I now find myself deaf to most solicitations and any responses I make are convoluted, nonsensical and deliberately confusing. It works […]

Rissani: My first death-threat

March 31st, 2008

It has been a long day. It started with watching the sunrise in the desert thirty kilometres away and ended with a through-the-night bus from Rissani to Fes. Joyfully our new friends John and Wendy gave us a lift from the desert auberge to Rissani in their hire-car. Thanks very much to them for this […]

Merzouga, Moroccan Sahara: One hump or two?

March 29th, 2008

Before I tell you all about our experience in the Moroccan Sahara desert, I need to clarify some animal facts. I’m sure you’re all aware that there’s no such thing as a camel in Africa. Camels, for the record, have two humps and are only found in Asia. The desert ships that we rode were […]

Er-Rachidia: Trust no-one

March 26th, 2008

“Trust no-one” (Our hotelier at Er-Rachidia.) We’re on our way to the desert. To ride a camel. We caught a coach to take us as far as we could go: Er-Rachidia, a cross-roads town where travellers change transport as quickly as they can. From Er-Rachidia we need to go south to Rissani, after which the […]

Ouarzazate and Ait Benhaddou: A Hollywood favourite

March 23rd, 2008

Following a five hour bus journey from Marrakesh we found ourselves in Ouarzazate, a refreshingly laid back town when compared with our former location. I had caught a fairly strong headcold in the mountains and so this place served as a useful rest-stop for a few days. Squiffy lead me straight to a Lonely Planet-listed […]

Imlil: Trekking the High Atlas mountains

March 20th, 2008

It was my stellar idea to undertake a two day trek in the High Atlas mountains in Morocco. Originally I had wanted to go the whole hog and climb Jebel Toubkal, northern Africa’s highest mountain, but our Berber guide said that the recent snowfall had made it too dangerous for us to attempt now. Squiffy’s […]

Marrakesh: An assault on the senses

March 18th, 2008

“Good morning. Just looking.” We must have heard this phrase a hundred times during our two day stay in Marrakesh, it’s the favourite saying of all the souq traders trying to tempt you into their shops. But be warned: there is no such thing as ‘just looking’. Once you show any glimmer of interest in […]

Yoko gets new owners

March 12th, 2008

Before setting-off towards Morocco, we wanted to sell Yoko, our VW camper van, to help us fund the next leg and because, frankly, we had nowhere to keep her! Far better that an old car like her goes on to do another roadtrip than sit to rot on a driveway anyway. For our prospective buyers, […]

The last Yoko drive

March 10th, 2008

The time had come to leave the happy confines of our apartment in Los Alcazares and drive north to pick-up the thirty-hour Bilbao-to-Portsmouth ferry. We needed to get Yoko back into Britain to sell her before embarking on the next leg of our travels. The drive didn’t take anywhere near as long as we had […]