Chefchaouen


18 October 2008 - Chefchaouen - added by Roxy

On the 15th of October we finally caught the ferry from Spain to Morocco. As we drove off the ferry we found ourselves very suddenly in Africa, in that everything is ten times slower than Europe but somehow ten times more chaotic. This is what we've been waiting for!



Songololo's first foray into Africa!

Leaving the port was somewhat confusing, because the border police checked everyone's papers, rechecked them, then once more for luck it seemed, and then finally allowed the vehicles to leave one by one. After a good long wait we realised that we were the last vehicle left in the port and that the gates had just been locked in front of us! When Steve got out of the truck to ask if we could leave, the police seemed to show genuine surprise that we were still there, even though we were the only vehicle left (a bloody big blue truck at that), and were parked directly in front of them! We rumbled out and soon found ourselves amidst the dust, noise and smells of Africa... at last!

We made our way to the beautiful town of Chefchaouen high up in the Rif Mountains. Chefchaouen is a remarkable place, a very bohemian town with a maze-like medina precariously perched on the side of the mountain and all the houses painted with a beautiful blue tint. The locals are extremely friendly too, although old habits die hard and we were soon the subject of many a hard sell... not carpets this time though, but rather large blocks of hash, thrust into our faces at every turn!

On the way up to the campsite we took a wrong turn and found that the road in front of us was being demolished. As we were trying to turn around we were suddenly ambushed by a gang of little boys demanding sweets and money whilst jumping onto the truck from all sides in an attempt (we believe) to help themselves to whatever they could grab on to. We somehow managed to flee with all of our belongings intact and without driving over any of the children, so all was good. We suspect that we will find ourselves in many a similar situation on this trip.

We calmed down as soon as we arrived at our stunning campsite, up on the mountain-side above the town with incredible views over the valley below. Moments after our arrival, Nick, who we met in London and will be joining us as far as Gambia, arrived at the campsite too. That evening after setting up camp we made our first potjie (cheers for the pot Ashes and Dave), watched the sun go down and felt incredibly excited about what Africa held in store for us.



 

True to form, our campsite was soon a hive of activity as people dropped in an out, some to gape at Songololo, others simply thrilled to have met fellow travellers who speak English. We met some great people at the campsite, including Chris, a British biker who has been travelling solo around Morocco for about a month or so and Toby, the most eccentric Englishman ever and who is a full-on vagabond hippie with no tent or such trappings of a normal camper, but merely puts down the back seat of his tiny hatchback and sleeps there. It really begs the question "What on earth do we need all the things in Songololo for?"

During our last night at Chefchaouen Toby managed to lock himself out of his car during a pee break, and we woke to much consternation as he and Mohammed, the caretaker, tried to find a way back in. We came out to help and before we knew it, half the guys in the campsite were around offering their 2 cents. It became evident that we would have to break the window... so ensued the discussion of which was the cheapest window to replace. The group closer resembled a bunch of old ladies at a tea party than a group of men solving the problem at hand! A Moroccan man appeared and said that he would move the rear side window without breaking it. Steve was skeptical but off he went, and next thing we knew the window was in a million pieces.



 

Our next stop is Rabat where we need to arrange visas for Mauritania.



Comments:

1 .
Oooo!! You look so cool in your cool hats mai chinas!!
Trish! - 24 Oct 2008, 22:59
2 .
And forgot!! Happy birthday Rox
Trish again - 24 Oct 2008, 23:00
3 .
Wonderrful to hear things are off to a good start and we are pleased it wasn't your back window that ended in a million pieces! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROXY! Wish we were somewhere close to hand to celebrate it with you! lots of love - Fossils
digby - 25 Oct 2008, 8:44
4 .
Wonderrful to hear things are off to a good start and we are pleased it wasn't your back window that ended in a million pieces! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROXY! Wish we were somewhere close to hand to celebrate it with you! lots of love - Fossils
digby - 25 Oct 2008, 8:45
5 .
Wow, it all sounds so exciting. I hope that you have a very happy birthday, Roxanne. Love from Gran & all at Swan Close
angela vousden - 25 Oct 2008, 12:52
6 .
Hi guys Great to keep updated on the news & thanks for the mail. We need a pic of your pale blue houses with your bright blue truck... So far so good by the looks of things. Didn't know it was your birthday - hope you had a good one Roxy. Lots of love
Elin, Doug & family - 25 Oct 2008, 12:58
7 .
Rox happy bday from Gareth and I! Glad you guys are well, v envious and can't wait for our return to that beautiful continent. Keep safe and keep writing. x B
Belinda - 25 Oct 2008, 17:34
8 .
Woohoo! it gives us goose bumps to see the pics and read the blog, guys! that pic of you guys in the campsite with Songo' on the background is AWSEOME! Very happy its all working out so far. looking forward to more news. And happy B'day rox. And, uh, no Im not a robot.
Dust and Nix - 26 Oct 2008, 20:43
9 .
Am grreeenn. Also other teachers at my school. Your website will be the abiding interest of my day. Look after yourselves.
Bev Goosen - 27 Oct 2008, 12:10
10 .
Am grreeenn. Also other teachers at my school. Your website will be the abiding interest of my day. Look after yourselves.
Bev Goosen - 27 Oct 2008, 12:10
11 .
Am grreeenn. Also other teachers at my school. Your website will be the abiding interest of my day. Look after yourselves.
Bev Goosen - 27 Oct 2008, 12:10
12 .
I'd just like to point out how much I hate you right now...whilst stuck here in cold and dark Oldbury! Good Luck guys...and well done!!
Jono - 29 Oct 2008, 21:22
13 .
Damn, looks like I missed your birfday - hope you had a good one!! Loving your blog, so jealous of you guys, keep up the commentary so we can all live vicariously through you... Cheers, Rono
Roniet Ovadia - 31 Oct 2008, 13:24

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