Day 18 I’m a celebrity get me outta here

Trip Start Mar 19, 2012
Trip End Apr 10, 2012

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Thursday, April 5, 2012

Laranche – Ceuta, Algerciras – Malaga 185 miles

After the prang yesterday I woke up determined to wind up this Moroccan stage. The hotel staff were quite helpful this morning and as it was pouring with rain I tipped a reluctant porter to help carry my bags from the hotel to the dodgy lockup, where a new hooded  'gardien' sat in waiting rubbing his hands like some toothless and wizened  Dickensian villain. As all seemed intact I ‘tipped’ (seems  too innocent a term in this context) the porter and paid the ‘’gardien ‘to escape into the rainy streets. At this point the GPS threw a wobbly and refused to show a route to Ceuta, so I had to stop a number of times to ask for directions. It doesn’t help that Ceuta (Sebta) is not signposted anywhere – the Moroccans call it ‘Tangiers Port Med’ I later discovered. Plus in their wisdom the Moroccans have decided to revert to Arabic only signs for the off ramps of most northern motorways and the 2011 Garmin GPS card misses most of the new motorways up north.

Ceuta was reached via a surprisingly tough mountain road, and I braced myself for the anticipated onslaught of hassle. At the entrance there were about 20 or so touts jumping out insisting I had to enlist their services to fill in immigration, so this time I simply accelerated at them, rather than politely refusing like before. This worked a treat and gained the admiration of the older touts higher  up the evolutionary scale who have places near the actual booths. I happily paid one of these to fill in my forms and the actual customs officer was very polite and helpful, and did not simply throw my papers on the floor like the arrival at Nador.

Spanish customs were as efficient as ever, and after a 10 minute drive to the port the first ticket booth arranged a 48 motorcycle (not car rates this time) ticket for the FRS ferry leaving in 5 mins. The 40 min journey was absolute luxury – why on earth did I take notice of all that advice to go to Nador in the first place!

I am amazed how clean the world looks now –I don’t miss the dead dogs, donkeys and camels fragrantly laying by the roadside, the fields of plastic litter, the children throwing stones as I pass..

Glad I’ve been there, but wouldn’t go back alone. I can see why many guys just fly in as a group and rent bikes & support. Morocco just picks away at your confidence when you’re tired and travelling alone- it did for me anyway.

So, after losing 2 hours in the time difference I could only make it as far as just past Malaga today, and need to now carefully plan a route back via a Ural dealer to get some spares if I can.

I think I’m in Richon de Victoria, a friendly and spotless little resort town midway between Malaga and Almeria. More armchair than adventure, but my shoulders tell me I’ve ridden a long way in the last couple of days..
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Lisa on

So glad you are back in Europe safe and sound. Good luck with a Ural dealer ;-)

Paul on

The kids throwing stones as you drive by, and dead animals in the streets, toothless wonders and unsavoury touts. I see your in Tottenham already ;-) Hope your ok mate x

Maria Worth on

So pleased to read that you have safely landed on Spanish soil....time to top up the tan? x

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