Africa Day One Tangiers to Fes

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Oil seal trouble again, nipped up the axle end plate with silicon sealant, morning checks ok

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Two miles in traffic in Tangiers and the fan system crapped out again, left Jonathan by the roadside (really knowing that he would have us going again) to find the Axa assurance office and buy our local insurance.

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On the walk back I happened on Halfords Tangiers, or at least Mohammed’s back Street shop.  Felt very pleased to buy two metres of wire and some ring connectors, weirdly he only had female ones, is that an Islamic thing?

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Got going again and put Jonathan to work again (reminder to self must stop making his life so easy) having found some shade from the heat.

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Jonathan made a new friend in Mohammed “not American car, English car”

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We drove over these mountains

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Through this town

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Took this photo

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And this one of Jonathan taking a photo

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The charming kids in this photo really harrassed us as we got ready to leave, banging on the wings and windows.  I gave them some sweets and went to leave but they were still banging on the car.  I was furious and went to put the car in reverse and attack them. Jonathan was the voice of reason and very calmly insisted we drive of.  Couldn’t resist his argument so we left them in dust rather than hospital, which was a better outcome. A shame as up until then we have had a good reception everywhere we’ve been.

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Mercedes vans are typical of the traffic on the remote single track mountain roads that make up most of our route.  They are very good at moving over when you come up behind them but don’t slow up at all when you meet them head on. Which, as many of the corners are  blind, is a bit scarey.  You can travel for half an hour without meeting anything and pow there they are, sometimes wholely on your side of the road.

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More valleys, actually you don’t tire of the scenery, and the size of the Atlas Mountains is only ever impressive

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Tajim d’agneau with sesame and prunes for dinner.  The chef may have cured the energy crisis, only a fusion reactor could get a plate that hot

Africa at last

Arrived in the dark at a cold windy and fairly intimidating new port Tangiers Med. Stressful time trying to find offices, port locations, form filling and inspections. As border crossings go really not that bad.  I knew we had swung it when one of the inspectors colleagues got behind the wheel and started asking all sorts of questions – Geen provides a great introduction and backdrop to any encounter.

Skirted all sorts of near do wells in the port, got some cash and slummed it in a posh hotel in Tangiers.

Hadn’t really thought about it but wind, cold and driving rain wasn’t the weather I expected to accompany setting foot in Africa for the first time.
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Breakfast brought fresh omelettes and cheese delicately spiced with Cumin. Last night’s dinner was tadjim and couscous, all over Morrocan flavours and with Tangiers answer to Silver Dollar playing the Hammond organ in the corner. Fortunately no photos were taken with the belly dancer…

Meeting Jonathan at Madrid Airport

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Just made Madrid Airport with enough time to repack the car to make room to stow Jonathan’s bags

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First stop Cordoba

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Jonathan put straight to work in the heat when the fan crapped out again

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A stop in the hills

imageHeroes selfie, phone propped up on a rock

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Oh dear if you’re a deer. We missed three deer on two separate occasions, but on the third Bambi got hit. He, or is it she?, was under the car as soon as I saw it/him/her. I think they survived, our high ground clearance probably helped.  Little bastard bent up the number plate and you can see the fur on the car if you look closely. No blood thankfully.

Car Picnic

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Crashed out across the seats at 4.30 very tired from last night’s endeavours. Up at 6.30 but slept heavily so not feeling too shoddy
Covered about 500km yesterday, will try and get most of the way to Madrid and find a hotel or somewhere to camp. Must get torch battery on charge, wouldn’t have been easy last night without it or the cheap jump leads  I threw in as an afterthought.  Thanks go to a nice couple who gave me a jump only to prove the second fitted condenser wasn’t working either.  First time that great battery has cried enough.  A new day today.