On December 21st. we took the ferry from Tarifa to Tanger Ville. The fast catamaran ferry only took 35 minutes to cross the street of Gibraltar. The staff on the ferry was in good mood and very friendly. Despite all the rumors on the Internet (horrible traffic, long waiting time at customs, etc.), Tanger greeted us with efficient de-boarding, fast and friendly customs and an easy way out of the city. Our first stop was Moulay Bousselham (which sounded Belgian to me), a small village above the Atlantic. The campground is huge and a small restaurant offered simple dishes. We fell asleep pretty fast, only wakened by barking dogs (which never seemed to sleep).
The next day we stopped in Rabat to have a mechanic check the oil leak of our transmission. Mohammed, the owner of the Monte Carlo Garage, was born and raised in Wuppertal and owns this Garage since 12 years. While they fixed the problem we had coffee at HIMMI, a great boulangerie/cafe and managed to buy a prepaid data SIM-card from Maroc Telecom.
From Rabat we drove just north of Cassablanca to a campground called “Blue Ocean”. They should have called it Plastic Ocean as the beach was filled with plastic debris and broken glass bottles. The campground was surrounded by newly constructed houses and looked like it had been overrun by city development. On the campground we met Beat from Switzerland and Harald from Hamburg two longtime campers and spent a great evening drinking wine, eating cheese and discussing politics and life in general. I’m sure that we’ll meet them again as our trip continues.
Heading further south we stopped just short of Essaouira, in Ounagha. The campground organized a taxi to take us to Essaouira on Christmas Eve. The only problem – no taxi arrived. The cab driver had forgotten to pick us up at 4:00 pm and never showed up afterwards. Therefore we decided to leave early on the next day and explore Essaouira the next morning. What a great city this is. Despite all the tourists we could still find quit alleys and squares and time just flew by.
Leaving Essouria in the early afternoon we drove towards Agadir on what was the most beautiful route that we’d taken in Morocco so far. From mountains to an impressive coastline this road was breathtaking. We found a really nice campground in Takat south of Agadir, which is run by a french couple. The campground offered everything we were looking for, hot showers, clean facilities and a restaurant that was serving just the two of us in the evening. Even though the temperature reached 20 degrees during the day it dropped to 5-7 degrees at night, delivering more than a good reason to move on after 2 nights.
We drove back to Agadir to meet with a women Camilla knew from Facebook and who is living just north of Agadir. We met for breakfast and exchanged a lot of information about Morocco, it’s culture and what living here is all about.
From Agadir it was straight Tiznit (well more or less, less depending on the routing of TomTom navigation system). Finding the Tazarite Campground was a real treasure hunt as the GPS coordinates in both the Camping Guide and the campgrounds website proved to be wrong. With a bit of luck and intuition we finally found it. From the outside it looked like an ancient fortress – from the inside more like a giant parking lot. But on this parking lot we met a couple from South Korea that had driven from Wladiwostok all the way through Europe to this southern corner of Morocco. Now they’ll have to stay 3 months in Morocco before they are allowed to re-enter the EU and continue their travel back home (stopping in Iceland on the way back).
Today, 28-December, we arrived just west of Guilmim and will spend the the next couple of days on this beautiful campground, celebrating New Years Eve on the edge of the Sahara.