Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Day 21 and 22, Leaving of North Africa! Or trying too!!!

We must apologise about 2 days in one, but this is purely due to Moroccan time as all will be revealed!

As a leisurely breakfast and a walk by the sea (Ian's idea) we head north to find the Peage and avoid Rabat, as I'm sure your already guessing, we went straight through the heart of Rabat, with all its traffic, scooters and lorries as well as the obligatory donkeys. The city from what we saw is very different to everywhere else we have passed through, with traffic lights, and we just about remembered how they worked, road signs, and 4 lane road with curbs but no pot holes. Despite what we had been told we can say that the Rabat we saw was really nice.

We made it out of Rabat in the end and found the Peage ,just like in Europe, but with people standing by the side of the road hitching lifts, goats and sheep grazing on the side verge and people using it to cross to there properties, but I suppose they were there 1st. After a few km we stopped on the hard shoulder to check something with the radios, now think about this, your on a motorway in the middle of nowhere and you think you would be safe from children asking for money, nope, not anywhere!! As we were chatting away 2 children came running over the hill with a glint in their eyes and all the expectance of a pregnant women. They did not want much, our helmets, or the sat nav or anything of great value!!! Unfortunately we needed these bits and had to head off on our way.

After about 300km we stopped for our last petrol before the boat, and at £1 a litre so would you, it had been a chilly ride up through north morocco as it was a cloudy day but no rain. We filled up with petrol and ate some food while we prepared ourselves for the experience ahead, the port!!.

Thinking we were now ready and prepared we headed out to the bikes to head of, when the heavens opened, but not with just rain we had hail stones bouncing off the cars!! So we waited and watched the pump attendants deciding who they were going to let fill up with fuel and who they weren't!! Which we could not work out why? When the rains really fell they also provided us with a rain dance!

And so the final 30km to Tangier Med port and thankfully Mohamed was there to guide us through the process, he had a boat that was leaving in a hour and the current time was 3 o'clock. Justin decided to carry out the final negotiations in morocco as he now had it sussed!

Negotiations went well and Justin only paid a little more, until he later looked at the ticket and discovered he had paid a lot more than he should off. Mohamed had a friend with him that apparently would guide us through the port process, so we saddled up and waited for little Mohammed to take us through, and we waited a bit longer and so did little Mohamed until Justin nudged little Mohamed with a ready, at which point little Mohamed held out his hand for a tip. There was then some confusion as to what would happen next, until big Mohamed explained that little Mohamed has now done his job for us and we should give him £20, for what we are still not sure, but Justin did not give him £20!! And we headed off to passport control.

The next little bit all went smoothly with a passports stamped, and waved passed customs we were in our lane at port ready for the boat.

3 hours later we were still in our lane but still no boat, so Justin decided to entertain the 300 followers who were also waiting for the boat ,patiently, by becoming the fool ! He performed many a trick including wall walking ,balancing on 1 leg , wearing his neck scarf in a variety of ways ,surfing on the bike and then the piece de resistance ...........starting his bike in gear , revving it hard and propelling himself forward ..........and subsequently falling off!

All of this was to the amusement of port officials ( who had asked him politely to switch off his engine), and many many patient Moroccans, Spanish , French and our new best friend Mia aged 4 and her parents who are away for 18 months from Belgium in a camper van . MIa found this so funny she has declared never ever to ride a motorbike as they are like bucking broncos. Ian has tried to explain to Mia that actually they are safe in the right hands , but she could see the problem with this!!,,,,
So now Justin was laying on the floor whilst Ian was desperately trying to find the camera . Justin did not see the funny side in this and politely asked Ian to get the bike off him !!!!!!revenge is sweet!!!!
However being the good guy that Ian is , I'm afraid to say there is no photographic evidence so Justin will deny all knowledge of this experience.

Another 1.5 hours later our boat arrived to much excitement and we put on our helmets ready for the off, after another hour we were then loaded on bored a ferry from Glasgow, for the 1 hour sailing which got us in to Spain nearly 2 hours later. Luckily we were entertained by Mia and her parents and we shared a beer and some more laughter directed at eddie the Knievel Justin, as well as the local Moroccans stopping and starting at this new sensation and his of tricks!

Ian took the lead off the boat and we weaves through the traffic missing the long que as well as passport control stop and nearly customs!

We returned to the same hotel we had stayed at before we left and hit the sack with a thud.

Day 22 was due to be an easy day just a few hours up the coast away from the sight of any tagine and a stop to get some bits for the bike.

And so it began again, a helpful Harley custom bike builder but no bits, a very friendly Honda dealership with the wrong bits and the customary arrogant BMW dealer with no help after half an hour waiting, just like BMW back home!

So it was off to Malaga for a Yamaha dealership searched on the web, along the coast road of millions of time shares and apartments and then a coffee stop in Fuengiriola but to be fair we could have had any Spanish food we wanted, fish and chips, a full fry up or even a Sunday roast on a Tuesday. We made a hasty retreat and made it to Malaga by 2pm and found the Yamaha dealership, at which point everyone in Spain was asleep and they would not be awake till 4pm.

So we relaxed over a tapas 4 course lunch including drink for 5 euros each while we waited for Spain to wake. But once they had woken they were fantastic in there service and the help we needed, so we were on the road again heading to Nerja as Ian had some recollection of this being a Spanish type seafront town.

And it is, after 220 km from Algerciras this is the 1st Spanish type town we have found, we are held up in a nice waterfront hotel and a day off to maintain the bikes tomorrow.

We enjoyed a lovely meal and a couple of beers to celebrate being back in Europe, tomorrow we are heading for the Sierra Nevada.

The card has been relaxing on the balcony watching out to sea and keeping her eyes out for any rally drivers!!

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