It was late into the night… Or it may well have been very early in the morning, I didn’t know! No matter, time wasnt important it was dark and the starts were out. I tried to take a photo of the night sky unfortunately the alcohol had the better of me at this late hour so I gave up and went to bed instead. Dave on the other hand had a better stab at it and got the best shots. Looking up one could see much than back home. The sky looked like it had been sprinkled in star-dust, some seemed so distant it looked like the night sky was wearing thin as a pair of old black tights seeing daylight through the other side. Though I like the programmes Prof Brian Cox presents from time to time on TV I find It doesn’t do any good to think too much about it because for me there’s no answer that’s capable of being absorbed easily and one’s head just bursts! Best to just accept and marvel at the wonderful spectacle.
Dave’s best efforts without tripod.
Dawn came with the sound of a vehicle coming quite close to me and the sound of women’s voices. “What the fu…”? I began to utter as the engine noise drew really close to my tent I reached out to the tent zip and pulled it enough to glimpse an old transit van full of people. I rolled off my bed and wriggled out my sleeping bag, I unzipped the tent a bit more and took a photo with the phone’s camera. I stumbled outside to see what was going off.
In front of me was an old Ford transit van a dozen girls were climbing out of it carrying bags and stuff, From the roof another half-dozen women passed down bags of stuff then climbed down. Another van waited to unload at the wall. What the fook? Had we camped in a fooking bus terminus? AND whats the fooking time, it’s still fooking dark for fooks sake! God I still feel pissed….The driver and his mate were putting all the stuff in a pile including a couple of calor gas bottles and a portable stove. The air was noisy with excited voices and some of the other tents began to flap as everybody else woke and came out to see what all the noise was about. I stood there in shorts and flip-flops trying to wake up quickly and take in, eventually I shouted hello and waved at them but for the most part they didn’t take much notice of me..well would you wave back at a half-dressed drunk? Some of the younger ones inside the van looked and giggled. “God I feel pissed” I said again
The eternal Ford Transit van lives on in Morocco. The last Ford Transit Van came off the production line back on in the UK……in 1978…34 yrs ago!
The women wouldn’t tolerate me with the camera except for one who had a lot to say and kept commenting loudly in my direction pointing and laughing . She was the only one who agreed to a photo. Even the children amongst them didn’t want their photo taking. Eventually as I became more awake and took coffee (thanks Rob) I realised what they were doing, they were going up the mountain for a picnic, a couple of donkeys arrived and all the bags were loaded, bags of food, rugs to sit on and their cooking stuff was all piled onto the two donkeys. My photo girl was heaved onto one too because she had difficultly walking and could do only with the aid of crutches, it didn’t stop her being the happiest and noisiest of the bunch!
My photo girl.
The ladies don’t like the camera.
I was never to get my head around the fact that some men and most females were generally unwilling to have their photo taken especially in the rural regions. I resorted to sneak shots like the one above.
We sat having breakfast whilst watching them fuss around packing stuff onto donkeys and get themselves sorted before eventually setting off, the girls trecked up the trail chatting loudly, I waved at my photo girl, she waved back. Other vans began to arrive full to the gills with people and families everyone was having a picnic today, It was Saturday today and must be what they do at weekends. I wondered how far they had been driven, the “road” here wasnt fit for fully loaded mini coaches, they must have had a very bumpy and slow ride. The village was coming to life and donkeys and mules were brought out to be be loaded up with all kinds of things, everybody seemed to be on the move today. I didn’t know it until later but today was market day, we would pass through a few markets over the next few hours on our way back down the trail.
We packed up the tents and stowed everything, Dave and Helen had come down the trail as planned after spending a night under the stars alone, its something Dave was determined to do on this trip after visiting here a couple of summers ago.They had now joined us and were packing away their stuff as Mohammad arrived to see how we were and to say goodbye to us, he must have told one of the van drivers about the whiskey. Both old boys were stood there supping half a cup of whiskey from one of Chris’s tea mugs….it was only about 08.00hrs. Well ‘ard these mountain folk!!
Our host Mohammad and one of the van drivers. Dave looks highly amused. Can you spot Rob doing a spot of “photo-bombing”?
Mohammad offered us a second breakfast but we had to get the show on the road. He shook hands and hugged me through the door window. He did the same with us all. Yes he was OK was old Mohammad, a very genuine and giving chap who did a lot in my mind to re-dress the money grabbing antics Id witnessed along the trip so far. Shame about my U/S door lock….Slowly we moved off through the people by the cafe and the donkeys and mules tethered to the trees further along
Mind the other vehicles Dave!
The lads were getting their trucks ready for the days hauling jobs
Heading back the way we had come we drove around the rusting crumpled wreck on the first corner out of the village. A lot more folk were on the track today as they made their way to the local markets. We gave way every time we came across a fully laden donkey or mule, at one village a vehicle blocked the way as the guy chatted with some guy in a doorway of the opposite house, he saw us and moved over bit but not very much, in fact as I drew alongside him I flipped his peaked baseball cap down over his eyes, grinning I shouted “Your still too close cocker”! He laughed shouting something back at me. The next village was in market day full swing people ambled along the rows of sellers and we had to progress very slowly, I smiled nodded and shook hands with a couple of old guys as we passed through them.
Entering a village on market day. I managed to take a few photos upon entering the village, up ahead it was packed so needed both hands on the wheel so put the camera down.
Dave wanted to stop and buy some pottery stuff for home, the rest of us decided to go on ahead up the track and pull over to wait. I took the lead for a few minutes as we climbed up and around the mountain side, the track became tarmac again as we came to the spot where the road gang were working yesterday but today was Saturday so there was nobody. Up and around the next bend though we saw activity, a huge red truck was parked across the road with its winch leading down the steep slope and a dozen or more young boys, were stood about with the men. We slowed to pass them, the kids saw us and turned to run with us I passed sweets to the kids who ran along shouting and laughing, once passed we got our foot down and left the kids behind, a few miles further on I found a wide bit and pulled over. The big red recovery truck had been trying to winch another truck back up, it had gone over the edge and was pretty smashed up. I had no idea of this because I was busy tossing sweets to the shouting kids and was being mindful not to run them over in return!
Dave took this photo as we drove past the recovery vehicle
The view across the valley was of contrast here the valley slopes looked harsh dry and rocky, yet down there on the valley floor it was lush green with trees bushes and small areas of plowed fields. What a great view it was, so we did what men do and took a pee in the breeze!
We pushed on further for a while until we came across another village this one didn’t have a market in progress but it did have a large cafe and it was open, it was empty but it was open. We pulled over and bought cold drinks, Dave and Helen had caught us up again. We sat on the veranda and idly watched a couple of workmen hack away at the hillside in flip-flops, I don’t think they’d heard of Health and Safety, two guys stood at the bottom and poked and prodded away at large slices of rock ten feet above them with iron bars, jumping away as chunks fell away, meanwhile matey boy stood 20 feet above them at the edge and was hacking away with a spade, we never saw the inevitable result but it surely must have by the day’s end? I stood with Chris silently watching slowly shaking our heads. Having drunk the drinks we mounted up and pressed on leaving the accident to manifest itself.
We soon found ourselves on wide tarmac heading west towards the coastal town of Agadir, we even took a journey on a short motorway, it was a toll motorway and cost the princely sum of 50p! On the way we met the usual sights of goats and children on the roof of vehicles, overloaded trucks and pickups had to be negotiated coming towards us over full with bursting loads, we had to leave the road nearly every time. On the motorway section we passed a very slow-moving pickup with a fully grown horse and two women in the back, it never ceased to amaze me what the carried.
4X4’s were expected to vacate the road when ordinary vehicles approached.
No, I didn’t believe it either….Ordinary vehicle my arse!
The Moroccan Lone Ranger with Truck, Trigger and Tonto sisters.
Dave passes another fully laden truck
We had reached the coast and could see the Atlantic Ocean. It was still hot though not as hot as the desert thankfully, we had a breeze but it was still hot, unlike home where we would now be taking in a cool breeze. We were now entered the very busy road network that led us around Agadir and had to remember quickly our close quarter skills as the huge roundabout proved to be a test skill of how one could slip into a space without pausing and place the nose of our trucks in front of traffic encouraging them to let us in! This reminded me of London city driving, if you wait for a gap or for someone to let you in, you’d be sat there until midnight! Lane switching was rife here too, the main route north was four sometimes six lanes wide the trick was to get in the middle lanes and stay there, some bullying and jousting was to be had. The cars and vans gave way quickly but the truckers where a different proposition, One big truck was trying his best to stop me passing on the inside lane inside, so I braked and swung around his other-side to slip in front to keep the lead Land Rover in sight. Technically he would have been correct in England, but hey this was Morocco and city driving AND it was the rush hour. This too was Morocco where NOBODY seemed to know about roundabout etiquette! ( Whilst waiting for the ferry home the lads asked some English-speaking drivers in the parking lanes what the score was regarding roundabouts but nobody could say, they just shrugged their shoulders ) Anyway I thought driving through Agadir was fun and very different from driving the mountain tracks, it was just a bloody dangerous though!
Some turns and lane splits came quickly and was the reason why we tried our best to keep close or at least keep the guy in front in sight. The port was away to our left, I could see plenty of ships in port, more were sat outside. But a campsite was what we were looking for and the route took us north of the city into the suburbs, an indicator blinked from the lead truck and we left the highway to track back through some ultra wide back streets to steer us out of the town to the campsite, the last mile was on new and sticky black tarmac the oncoming vehicles had to drive on the dirt throwing dust everywhere fortunate for us it wasnt blowing across us. The campsite came into view, we turned into it parking up outside the reception block and turned off the engines. That was a long day of driving and I felt pretty bushed. We had driven everyday bar one for the past two weeks and I was loving it even though it was hard work and very tiring at times, I never wanted it to stop I was seeing so much and learning loads too.
At reception Chris was trying to remember his long forgotten French to the guy on the desk. Chris comes across slightly as a slightly excentric bloke and never quite comes straight to the point. He can tell story or two, sometimes though your left wondering if he’s talking bollix! All in all though he’s a quite humorous guy. But right now at the desk his “Aaaaaah’s” and “eeeeeeerm’s” and the looking towards the ceiling between each word of French got the better of my patience and I snapped at him, he snarled back at me then fell silent, refusing to utter another word neither in French or English! He wondered off to the back wall. The guy behind the counter just stood there looking at us. I grabbed a pen and drew a cartoon of four trucks, three with X2 stick men and one with X3 stickmen then stuck one finger up and said “One night please” OK he said and did the figures! I looked at Chris who was still “reading” something on the far wall. I walked back to my truck and waited.
This campsite was very barren but it had a shop and a good brick-built shower block or two. Hardly anyone was here so we picked a pitch next to each other in the middle and after kicking the larger stones away we set about setting up camp. I set up and slunk down in the chair knackered it was a quieter night tonight. I went to the spot by reception where a signal could be found for the mobile and phoned home. The man said don’t move from said spot or the signal would go, he was right too, move more than six-foot and it went! I called Julie first for ten minutes then decided to call Deane and Steve to see what was happening. We would see them no more on this trip, They had left Deane’s Range Rover in Agadir at a Land Rover dealership and would be heading straight home in the Discovery. That was disappointing to hear because I was getting on really well with them, especially on the evenings with “tinni” in hand and not feeling quite so left out as the three families lived out their holiday….You should have got a fookin Defender Deane! I cooked dinner had small talk with Dave and Helen then turned in, no banter tonight.
Morning was hot as usual, I had breakfast and began to strike camp, the others were doing the same, we were getting good at this now..after 14 nights we should be! We drove back to Agadir on the sticky road and joined the main route north along the coast, it was busy but not as bad as yesterday. We stopped a few miles further on at a village market for more supplies. Walking along the stalls buying bread veg and fruit was interesting and I was glad Id brought my own meat because the flies were everywhere!
I took the small camera on our walk along the market, people were busy buying and selling so didnt really notice the camera, all the same the same time I was quick with the shots and didn’t walk around pointing at everybody.
Goats head anybody?
We bought sufficient supplies for the next few day and hit the road again, we were looking for a spot to park on the coast for our “second breakfast”. Dave led us off-road amongst the dunes and long grass to the cliff edge at Tillelt, just a few metres down from us lay the rocky coastline, Both Dave and Matt pulled fishing rods from the trucks and went sea fishing for an hour. Young Dave explored the rock pools for sea life with Dad, I sat on the edge with Rob drinking coffee and eating lunch. Fishing boats crossed our front, I got my bino’s and watched them for a while. Our two fishermen came back empty-handed after an hour or so and settled for something out of the bag instead.
Dave unsheathed his mighty rod!
It was a pleasant hour or two doing pretty much nothing, Im not interested in fishing but was quite happy to watch the children enjoy themselves! We didn’t have that far to go today to the next campsite so it was a very relaxing morning. I reflected on yesterdays events glad that my “spat” in reception seems to have been put away, Im sorry it happened but I was dog tired and my tolerance level short. I reflected too on the mad driving through Agadir, the jousting with the big truck, and seeing that guy on the wheelchair sat in the road shouting at the oncoming traffic, everyone had to drive around him. fooking madness! Rob reflected on that bloke he saw prone in the middle of the opposite carriageway, he was not moving at all apparently. I never even saw that one! There was plenty to smile about on this trip. We began to pack away then turned the trucks around and drove up and down the soft dunes to find our way back to the tarmac and on towards Essaouira and the campsite.
The tarmac was brilliant and there seemed to be hardly any traffic, maybe it was all gridlocked in Agadir? The road turned inland and took us up into the hills, it was very wide, very smooth and had long smooth corners to die for, no sharp bends or switch back but long shallow curves which meant we could keep our foot to the floor all the way round the bends as we climbed left and right all the way up to the ridge line dropping over the other side to start the long run down the reverse slopes, it was great fun, tempered only by moments when the truck started to lurch a bit too much and the brakes were applied. We arrived on the straight and level eventually and overtook one or two cars with no problem until we came up behind a right arse! If I didn’t know any better Id say he thought we were racing and he was in the lead, not only was he in the lead but he wouldn’t let any of us pass. On every corner he applied the brakes and moved to the middle of the road as though he was protecting his racing line. This slowed our momentum to get a 2’5 ton truck up to speed takes a good few yards! I was at the back and was cursing loudly. “GETOUTOFTHEFUKKINWAYTWAT” I was shouting at the top of my voice. I can only imagine what the guys in front must have been doing. Eventually and after many miles one by one we managed to get past, but it was hard work and the stress levels were climbing! When it was my turn I was so intent on getting past that I actually included a bend on the latter part of my overtake, but it was flat and one could see for miles up the road, even so my truck began to leeeean right over as I surged past the twat! I looked across at him I saw a middle-aged bloke who was driving in apparent calmness, not at all agitated at us getting past or foaming at the mouth…No, that was me who was foaming at the mouth practically! Maybe it was just his style of driving? Whatever it was he caused us plenty of grief I know that! It was at some point during the Death Race 2000 episode that I saw the naked man…Yes folk I saw a naked black man walking on the road! I had to turn a bit to avoid him Im guessing it was an old guy because his ass cheeks were saggy.
We pulled off the main road onto a smaller road that took us into the town of Essaouira, we would soon to find the campsite and crack open a few cold beers! it was a very busy place indeed, we followed the traffic nose to tail around the sea front twice looking for the campsite but failed, personally I had both eyes glued to the road as the crowds of people spilledonto the road. It was as busy as Scarborough at Bank Holiday time. This was a “buzzing” seaside town, the promenade was full of people enjoying themselves, suddenly we were seeing city people and the dress code was very mixed indeed Many dressed in traditional and quite a few with western style clothes and lots of sunglasses. The vibrance in colours was exciting and loud, if not a bit distracting too. I followed the truck in front as we went round a couple of times, the cop on traffic duty gave us a look or two. Eventually we turned away fromthe front and went around the edge of town but saw no sign of a campsite at all so we had to turn around and make our way back to the main road. I said to myself “After all that I hope the twat hasnt got in front of us again!” A few miles further on we pulled over to look at another town, we drove onto the track that took us the mile to the large village on the beach going passed a crashed car on route it had gone into a ditch the man and woman were sat by the road side as a couple of guys actually pushed their car back onto the road, their mules stood watching. You know when you’re in a surreal moment when the most specific thing I noted was the woman was cradling a roll of pink toilet roll, three or four sheets hanging down from it!
Getting a helping hand! It looks like they are terrified, but when we pulled level they smiled and shouted. I imagine matey boy had run out of petrol and was getting a push from his mates
The village was basic and grubby, to be honest it had a lawless look about it, everyone was staring at us as we did acircle. We paused a few minutes to gauge it, it was very busy with locals and several desperate looking types, not a clean chap amongst them. lots of fishing boats and stalls sat on the beach and not a patch of tarmac anywhere. I dont think any of us were keen to stay here overnight. we left the village to a couple of stares going back up to the main road passing the spot were the car had gone off the road. We would try our luck at the next town. It was late afternoon by now but we still had about five hours of daylight left.
We pulled into the next small town, again it was full of people but not because of a market but because they had a fun fair in full swing and the people were much happier looking and were spilling out onto the road again, we drove slowly round the town twice but couldn’t find any camp or see any sevluded place to pitch in private so it was off to the next town, we still had lots of time left.
Safi was the next place we came upon, this looked more promising it was a much larger place, in fact it looked a more substantial town, large too. I noted lots of modern looking buildings, it overflowed with students and mopeds, a student facility was off to the right, the traffic increased and we slowed down even more looking for any camp signs whilst trying to keep each other in sight. Many mopeds were zipping in and out of the lanes, one or two shouted “English?” at me as we drew level ( I have a GB sticker on the side door) I had a couple of short conversations with one. To another couple on a moped I asked if he liked football, he shouted back “I love Manchester United!” That got me laughing, everyone knows Manchester United! I got the little camera up, his passenger laughed but she turned her head away..naturally! The guy was fine about it so I took the shot from my shoulder, hopefully it will turn out OK.
I could see up ahead that the the lead truck was indicating right I came over to the right and there I saw the sign pointing to a campsite. We wanted to book in but the office was shut so the old guy took us to where we should stop and pitch our tents. It was early evening now the reception guy must have gone home. The old boy was the night watchman, I saw him a couple of times again before bedtime. The place was OK it was nice and flat and not a blade of grass in site! At least we had no rocks to clear away this time, the ground was so hard we had to use hammers to knock in the tent pegs. Dave and Chris put their tent up then started to change a wheel because they had a puncture! I checked round mine but found nothing amiss. At the same time I flipped up the bonnet too to check the engine levels but everything was fine and still at their full levels. My TD5 engine was performing great, the only thing I was using a lot of was fuel! With that checked it was time to have a beer and get dinner started.
A Manchester United supporter
It was always good to have a beer at the end of a long day. Thankfully I brought four large cases with me from England. Id had a couple of tins practically every evening and handed out a fair few too. It was dinner for one again so I grabbed a couple of cans from one of the boxes and put them in the fridge in exchange for a cold one and had a meal done in about 30 minutes. Id bought tins of veg..beef..chicken..lamb..various curries..spices..packet sauces back home and packed them into one of the large “really useful” boxes, I had six of these of various sizes stashed in the wooden compartments Id built in the back. ever day or so I supplemented this with local their variations of small cakes…sweets..fruit and biscuits to eat whist on the road, I put in an easy reach box between the seats along with a water bottle or two. I bought fresh bread almost daily too and put this in the back. My fridge had chicken sausage and pork from the UK, though by now this was all gone and the fridge was used to stash the “tinnies” managing to leave enough room for the superb Spanish cheese, jam and the daily bread.
After dinner I went for a stroll around the campsite, I was looking at the few white European motor-homes parked up beyond the shower block, I got involved in conversation with a German couple, this was their first night and had just started their holiday, their kids played with the two dogs as we chatted, it turns out that came from a place in Germany Id visited once on the motorbike so that made the conversation longer. He mentioned that they had forgotten to buy beer at the border and asked if they could buy any in Morocco did I know? Erm (your fooked) The short answer was no! I might be wrong but I never saw any.I drifted back to our tents and told the guys, perhaps we could give them some of ours ….blank looks from everybody! Ok perhaps we could sell them some?…..No answer! I took two tins from my fridge and walked back to the family and gave them over, you’d have thought Id given them two bars of gold and not a couple of cans of Fosters, cold they were too! The Mrs took a long drink..then told her hubby off (probably not for the first time today) for forgetting to buy the beer. It was getting dark now and thinking Id perhaps stoked up the argument I bid them goodnight.
Dawn saw me rise to see the birds singing in the bare trees and Rob making coffee, I joined him again I think the time was about 06.30, Im a slow riser at home especially now I have retired but when Im camping Im usually up early, I don’t know why but there is something really good about getting up early. I got myself ready for the morning gym activity and started packing up, I needed the hammer to loosen the tent-pegs, the noise we were making soon roused the others, Matt did his usual stomp to the shower block before becoming alive. I was now climbing up and down the truck and wiping the sweat from my eyes. The sun wasnt hot at this early hour but it still poured out of me, or was I getting used to the heat by now? Driving by the German motor home I shouted, they came out and said goodbye and thanked me again for the beer. we pulled up at reception, someone had gone to rouse the guy from house nearby. We didn’t have to wait long for him we stood in line to book in and book out as was required by the rules. Handing over our passports he entered the details in his ledger then we gave money in exchange for a receipt and bid the guy goodbye, this was probably his busiest morning in a long time!
We turned down the hill re-joining the coastal road heading north again we would have two nights camping somewhere north of Casablanca ready for an easy hop to the ferry and back to Spain. The road today was an old one and very dusty, it was to be quite busy too with many old trucks making the journey upto El-Jadida, we passed through the busy town of Oualidia, it looked to be another market day, on reflection I think the towns are probably like this every day except at the weekends. lots of people and many donkeys and carts flowed to and fro making progress through the towns slow and careful, we followed a huge truck that was overflowing with rubbish its load was strapped down badly and some bits kept falling off. Some blue bags came tumbling towards us, I got to hate those blue carrier bags on this tour, zillions of plain blue ones striped ones and sometimes red ones I saw them everywhere, they had been discarded like sweet wrappers and blew everywhere I remembered last week in the Cedar Forest they clung to trees and lay trapped at the base of red boulders even in remote areas I saw bags ripped to shreds and clinging to the occasional shrub or small tree. Why don’t they put them all in just one big bag keep to use again and again like we do? It really bugged me to see them. Anyway here we were following this huge overloaded stinking refuse truck, it was going like the clappers and blowing up huge clouds of dust and grit for us to drive through. I kept my eye on the flapping mattress, we kept up close behind ready to snatch at the first opportunity to get past. But it never came mile after stinking dusty mile. It was so bad I wound up my window for the first time in weeks and closed the front vents, the smell was awful and the dust and grit blew into the trucks, after many miles it pulled over at a small village and we roared past determined to put some miles between us and it. I wound the window back down and opened the front vent again it had been a bloody awful smelly ten miles or so! We had to do the same thing practically all day with every lorry but that was for sure the worst vehicle to deal with. It had been too dusty and too busy to even think about the camera so for this day I kept both in their bags behind me.
Casablanca loomed in the distant, the huge industrial complex on the edge of town with its dozens of tall slim chimneys and huge buildings, some of the conveyors ran above the dual carriageway, the conveyors ran on platforms and steel rigging high above us and carried on down to the ships moored at the terminals about a mile away. I for one was quite happy to be driving around the city and not actually driving through it. We passed another large city pretty soon as well called Rabat. This was very similar. Morocco seems to be more populated the further north we came and was quite a transformation in every way. The road had turned into a duel-carriage way a while back and now had lots of junctions connecting other roads that led into the two cities.I concentrated more making sure I followed the leader, be it Rob or Dave. In fact at one point Dave suddenly pulled off, I was behind him so promptly followed. He had actually pulled off for a pee stop and not to take a different route! It was a bit difficult not knowing exactly where I was heading and keeping the lead truck in site was I though my best plan of action and in spite of a glitch or two it worked. I wouldnt say it was a bad Its just how it worked and after all I only got lost once and that was a combination of heavy traffic, traffic lights being in the wrong lane and lack of communications.
I forget which town it was on our way north today but as we crawled forward Dave sudenly swung righ Rob had gone straight ahead because he was caught in the wrong lane Chris and I were behind and saw so switched lane in time for the turn, but Dave hadnt waited he’d carried on and now we’d lost sight of him so stopped thinking Rob would re-trace his steps to us. but he’d pulled over to wait for us! We tried to ring Dave but his phne was off for some reason. We
rang Rob on the mobile to find he had pulled over two hundred yards down the main road we turned around rejoined the main road and joined up with Rob just down the road. The alternative if we’d lost Rob would have been to ring Rob get the name of the town they were making for then ring again when we got there to find the campsite, failing that idea Chris and me would carry on together heading north to find a campsite near the port. Whatever happened we would’nt die!
Dave and Helen rejoined the main road with me behind them and e caught up with the other two after a few miles until the sign for Larache showed itself and the indicators came on. We left the busy road to drop onto a nice little coast road to follow the coastal inlet to Larache, to our left I could see salt flats and lots of grey Heron standing in the shallows, the water here was very flat and calm and shimmered in the late afternoon sun. At Larache we slowed as we found the traffic and drove towards the centre of the town which happened to be on the sea front, the huge car park doubled as a promenade and market place. We followed the policeman’s arm pointing along the one way system until it brought us out on the promenade itself. We were shown car parking spaces by young guys whose job it was to do so, they blew whistles and pointed and waved at us. We parked up and switched off, ahead of us stood a huge stage that was crawling with chaps trailing wires and lights, a couple of guys on the stage were setting up musical instruments it looks like they were getting ready for a pop concert.