Ho we so miss Morocco. We almost stocked up, turn-tailed, bought a ferry ticket & went back, just managing to stop ourselves, it was difficult. For some reason I still had 400Dh in notes in my pocket so, as we were going back to Lidl & Carrefour to top up, just opposite is Carlos the ticket agent, I could pop in & change it. It was so tempting to ask for another ticket to go back over, but we resisted, it was close, it was VERY close. Carlos personally exchanged my 400Dh for €40 and handed me another carrier bag containing the world-famous sponge cake and another a bottle of red wine, the second one we had been given! I thanked him & was about to turn & go, when he gestured to “wait a minuet, I’ve something else for you” then he produced a 2016 calendar and popped it into the bag. Nice one Carlos, maybe one day we will be back, excited, right here, buying another open-ended ticket to Morocco.
After being back for a few days, you realise how ‘normal’ Spain is. There’s a supermarket in every town, beer & wine sold everywhere, a decent road layed before you, allowing you to drive wherever you want to go, all these ‘normal’ things not taken for granted in Morocco.
Once we’d stocked the cupboards to the gunnels, it was time to go over to the football club car park in Le Linea de la conception (n36.158691 w-5.339773) just around the corner from Gibraltar, back to where we were 6 weeks ago, just before we went over to Morocco.
It was raining as we left Lidl, we zoomed to the bus with the shopping trolley and the heavens opened, we chucked the stuff into the door, sharpish. Lights on, wipers on full-chat, half an hour later we pulled into the all-to familiar car park. Then the lightning started, chrash-flash-boom for a full hour, Charlie-bus rocked and the roof was pounded with rain.
Wait a minute…there’s a face at the window?…”knock-knock”. I open the door to a lady standing in the pounding rain, drenched., it was like a scene out of a Hammer house of horror movie. I held out my hand and pulled her into the bus, as we hadn’t even got the step out yet it was a bit of a lift.
She said, “so glad to see another Brit….just wanted to know, are we OK to sleep here tonight?”
She was dripping from head-to-foot, glasses all steamed up and all she wanted to know was, is OK to sleep here tonight?
So I explained the deal, a chap comes round around 6pm (it was already 7pm) an collects your €3 for the site, so we both get a free night tonight. The damp lady departs, into the horrendous rain, thunder and lightning, back to her van, I hope to a towel and dry clothing, all the wiser. An hour later, the site monitor had still not ventured out into the puddle-ridden car park, the storm slowly slinking off into the med, lightning crackling far off into the distance.
The rain stopped, the wind didn’t. All night the Charlie bus rocked and the wind gusted. You don’t tend to get a lot of sleep in a fragile van when the weather is bad, whether it’s a bus tent or a caravan, the weather is only a few inches away, you tend to notice its existence more. In a house, you can put the telly on, turn the heating up & not even notice what the weather does outside. In a bus, you always know what it’s doing, it’s just so close.
Next morning the weather was fine and we were so low on “English” provisions, it was worth a trip into Gib in Charlie, parking is allowed for up to 3 hours in Morrison’s car park, so it was time for a full (vegi) breakfast & shopping-fest. We only just made it out of the car park within the 3 hour limit, cupboards and freezer heaving with British goodies, not sure when we will see the likes of ‘Utterly Butterly’, ‘Champion real ale’ and ‘Quorn’ products again, so every inch of space was filled.
There always seems to be a breeze around this corner Europe, we’ve never had a day without a stiff breeze blowing, at least for most of the day, you get the odd lull, but most of the time there’s a breeze coming off the sea. One afternoon, we were doing a circuit of ‘the rock’ on Frankie, as we rounded a corner, the cross-wind blew us so hard, I’m sure we were at 45* leaning into it. I don’t suppose many tourists see the far end of Gibraltar, the southern bit, there’s a Mosque and a university down there and some very tight tunnels through the rock, I’m not sure Charlie would fit through some of them. After a few days of ‘being a tourist’, doing ‘the walk’ a tourist does in ‘Gib’, fish ‘n chips and a pint or two of real ale, it was time to move on.
Terifa, the southern most tip of main-land Europe, Cyprus just pips in at less than 36 degrees latitude, and Morocco still looks very close, like the tip of an iceberg.
Terifa ia a nice enough little town, bit hippy, bit windy, great beaches for kite-surfing and sail-boarding and a big lump of land next to the beach half filled with MoHo’s, the police clear it every few days when it becomes difficult for the locals to park. Something else we’ve noticed about the Spanish, they will get the car as close as they possibly can to their destination, no matter if it’s so tight you have trouble getting in and out of the doors. No matter if you’re parking in the football stadium car park before your training session, or outside the leisure centre before going for a work-out, they’ve got to get that car as close to the door as possible.
Just to the north of Terifa, whilst we were out ‘finding a good wild spot’ we came across a road that had been swallowed by a dune, obviously the authorities had some kind of snow-blower to keep the road clear of too much sand, it did look a bit weird as we were on the edge of a pine forest.
Just around the corner, Trafalgar. Back in 1805, Horatio Nelson and friends popped down here to give the old Spanish/French naval fleet a bit of a whooping. The Spanish blame the French captain for the ‘especially brutal & bloody battle’, where the outnumbered British fleet managed to sink all 33 of the coalition’s battleships. We (the English) devote an expensive part of real estate in London to it and stick up a ruddy great column to celebrate Nelson’s achievment, the Spanish hide a little wall plaque around the back of a lighthouse. Lest we forget.
You can still see Morocco from here…on a clear day. We so miss Morocco.
Just a few pictures I liked….