…and the tour goes on!
Only 10 days in Morocco and it feels like home! All the scenery around us, rubbish, old car wrecks, people dressed in traditional clothes, all that chaotic situation do not bother us anymore. We feel more comfortable than the first days in Tangiers. Apart from driving like madmen, Moroccans are open, with smiling faces and always eager to help! Of course, being eager to help usually comes with a price as we learned later…but, don’t worry, finally we managed not to pay! This is one of the advantages of traveling with company: you feel more secure and people hesitate to harass you.
On Saturday (09/11/13), after staying there for 4 nights, we left Chefchaouen to get to Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. There we would get our visas for Mauritania and we would continue to the Atlas mountains and the Sahara. The weather was ideal during the day (not that ideal during the night when around Chefchaouen it was really cold!), with not much traffic on the road providing us with all that we needed to enjoy our ride (yes, even with a small vespa, riding can be a real pleasure!).
Also listening to some music while riding, can add to that pleasure! I was enjoying my ride so much that I realized that I couldn’t see Thanos from the mirror…ok, I wasn’t speeding that much…some 90km/h maybe…a bit more than my average speed of 45km/h according to the GPS. Leaving behind your riding mate is not the best thing to do, so I waited for him to come. After 1-2 minutes I saw him coming and he explained me that he had stopped to take some pictures…I’m not that fast as I thought!
With a small lunch-break at the side of the road (the Greek way: tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers and some bread) and after 3.5 hours of riding, we had almost reached Rabat. We had already contacted some couchsurfers and we had already saved their numbers in our cellphones…the other thing “saved” in our minds was our doubt! -”Don’t trust anyone in Rabat”, we had been told!
With our PlanetSIM which allows us to make cheap calls anywhere in the world we started calling each of those numbers but with no luck! (later we saw that finally they couldn’t host us). So, we thought that we had to follow the signs sent to us and avoid the big city, going to a campsite. And that’s how we got to Kenitra to stay for the weekend. As we found out later, staying at Kenitra was not our best option. Only 10kms from the city there is Medhia, a small fishing village with a beautiful and big campsite. The one we stayed was more of a parking space, but 3 euros per person-tent-motorbike was a bargain!
Monday morning, Rabat and visas day! Our wish was to finish with the paperwork the same day. We were at the embassy at around 10.00 with all our documents, papers, photos etc…we filled some more papers, payed 32 euros each to have a visa for 30 days and the only thing left to do was to wait 3-4 hours to have them ready! One thing we didn’t know anything about yet, was Senegal and its legislation! Last night we had met a French guy at the campsite who had come here by an old (what else?) Mercedes and his intention was s to sell it in Mauritania (it’s a real bargain he says! Everyone wants to drive a Mercedes there, too!).
The information he gave us is that the law in Senegal has changed and now they ask for a visa from every traveler. Of course, he also didn’t have the best impression from Rabat and he used to wake up as early as he could to catch the train and stand at the queue at the embassy. Not good news at all! So, we got on Thanos’ small and quiet vespa and got to the embassy of Senegal to see if our information was true. Not good news here, either!
At the entrance we were given a note with a phone number and an address to go and get our visas for Senegal…in Casablanca! The first thing we thought was to consult our wise guides: the story of the Pin Project team, and the story of Akis and Voula and their Land Rover, written on the internet and their experience from the Greek embassy in Rabat a year ago. We were there in 2 minutes time! Mr Pistikos who had been working at the Greek embassy for the last (many) years made some phone-calls and reassured us that for Greek citizens it’s not required to have a visa to enter Senegal. At least, some good news!
Rabat, the capital of Morocco left us with a generally good impression – far from the opinions we had heard from other travelers until now. Maybe every traveler has his own opinion according to his own experience from one place and his own view on life. Until now, everything has worked for us and it was a mistake trying to solve the problems we thought we would face even if we hadn’t faced them yet – or at all! Our wish is to continue having this good luck!
On the road to Kenitra.
Herds and carriages towed by animals…the scenery in Morocco.
Smoke and fumes while passing through some village somewhere.
Is this the right way to Rabat?
Cooking and eating your own meal…pleasure!
In the background the capital of Morocco.
Sometimes we felt a bit jealous!
Kitsos is ready!
Safe parking spot, just outside my “house”!
There’s a store in every corner.
At the royal palace in Fes.
At the royal palace in Fes.
Tower made out of sweets!
Best view EVER!