Who says no to an invitation for a road trip to Morocco? Curious and hungry for adventure Joe took his seat in our friend’s Land Rover.
Joe loves road trips, but this time he also joined for another reason. Our friend and Joe had installed a bio diesel system from Bio8, and they were both eager to test it. Joe, because he plans to use the same type of system for our car. As they went along, different vegetable oils were tested on the engine and the system worked absolutely fine with all of them.
They did some intense driving the first few days to get away from the winter storms in Scandinavia, to the more comfortable temperatures of the Mediterranean. From Algericas in Spain they took the ferry to Ceuta, Spanish territory on the African side. After a night in Ceuta they headed off to the border where the crossing went smoothly, except that the guys had to cover up the name “Western Sahara” on the map that covered one of the rear windows.
– It belongs to Morocco, the border guard said.
They drove past Tangier this time and headed straight towards Rabat. Along the way they got familiar with the overloaders – more than over-loaded vehicles you would rather avoid in case something were to fall off.
There is also considerable presence of police in Morocco, Joe says. And the meeting with them was more than positive.
– Cops who excuse themselves when they give you a fine for not using seat belts – wow! he laughs.
A traffic police stopped the traffic and took five minutes to explain the direction they should take.
And – Where are you from? Do you like my country? Only smiles everywhere.
Right from the start, when our friend brought up the opportunity to travel to Morocco, it was clear that the journey would go to Casablanca and Rick’s Café. You know, the famous bar from the movie Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
According to Joe one should maybe dress up a little when one enters. Yet, no one wrinkled their noses when the guys came in as sweaty Indiana Jones figures.
The food was very good – and of course a man sat down at the piano and played … yes … You must remember this, a kiss just a kiss…. The lovely and famous tune As time goes by from the film.
The interior was great – a really stylish place. But only the name of the café corresponds with the movie. They never filmed here, everything took place in Hollywood.
The boys set up camp outside the city. Around them were several French people. It is certainly popular to see many of them travelling around Morocco. As French is spoken here, they have no challenge with the language. Still with Rick’s Café in mind a laptop came out of a bag and the movie Casablanca (of course) was watched again, over a few cold beers.
On the way further south to Agadir, they decided to stop at something that looked like an old fort or castle. A welcoming break in the sun and an opportunity to take a look at life here.
Further south, they bought argan oil from a very amusing guy at the road side. The argan tree is rare and exists only in an area from Essaouria to south of Agadir. The tree grows extremely slowly, but can live to be up to 200 years. The fruit of this tree produces oil for food as well as for skin and health products.
In Agadir, they had camel for dinner and cold drinks. There were more tourists here and the city is said to be the most modern in Morocco. Where there are tourists there is also an Irish Pub, which Joe of course could sniff his way to. It turned out that the only thing Irish here was the name.
After a short time in Agadir Joe left the guys and took a bus to Marrakesh. From there he would fly to England. He booked in at a hostel in the old medina. Typical and beautiful mosaic was everywhere, which I got to see for myself on webcam, when he chatted with me on Msn.
He looked around in the old town, admired the Djemaa El Fna Square, drank tea with mint and had a great dinner at Jnane Mogador, a place that will make a separate post later.
When he boarded the plane the conclusion was clear – he will return to Morocco again, definitely! The people here are incredibly friendly and helpful, and it felt safe to travel around the country. Needless to say I will also join him then!