Groundhog bushcamping

Trip Start Nov 10, 2012
Trip End Aug 08, 2013

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Flag of Morocco  , Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz,
Monday, December 3, 2012

22nd November We submitted our passports for visas at the Guinean embassy in Rabat, then returned to our bushcamp.
23rd November We got our passports back with our Guinean visas, then drove to the Ivory Coast embassy to submit our passports for visas. This involved us having our fingerprints and photos taken, and our application form data being transferred onto a computer & sent to Ivory Coast for approval. Not everyone was able to go through the process, so the embassy said they would open tomorrow especially to finish the group. We returned to our bushcamp!
24th November We returned to the embassy to complete the applications, then drove to El Mansouria, where we stayed at a campsite. Not only did we get showers, the water was hot!
25th November We took the train into Casablanca. I went around the medina with Alyson and Carr, then up to the Grand Mosque Hassan II with Carr. Unfortunately we couldn't do the tour around the inside of the mosque (open to non-muslims, which is rare) as we had arrived just before prayers. I then went to the Blarney Irish bar to meet up with Dan, Gillian, Daz and Mark to watch the Spurs vs West Ham game. The had beer on tap, and supplied us with free food throughout! We returned via crazy taxi-ride to the campsite, where I picked up my laundry, which hadn't been dried. Our tents had dried out, though!
26th November We drove to the Volubilis Roman ruins, then back to 'our' bushcamp outside Rabat, where we were again cookgroup, having to prep up lunch again!
27th November We returned to the Ivory Coast embassy, where we entertained ourselves by doing limbo by the truck. Our visas were ready (except for Alyson). Despite the visas being printed out on peelable adhesive paper the embassy staff glued them into our passports. Alyson left the truck for Casablanca again. She needed extra pages to be inserted into her passport, but the American embassy in Rabat does not do that - she had to apply to the American consulate in Casablanca. We drove all afternoon, and it started to rain heavily. We were on our way to Todra Gorge, but at Azrou had to stop as the road ahead was blocked by snow. We camped in sub-zero temperatures, and it rained heavily, with a strong, biting wind that night.
28th November We put the tents away dripping wet. It was bitterly cold again. We set off on a different road to the gorge, but soon had to turn around again when we hit snow at approx 1600m altitude. We set off for Marrakech, stopping for lunch at a supermarket. I got locked in the toilet, but managed to spring the lock with a credit card. We camped outside Marrakech.
29th November We went into Marrakech, taking in the medina and Djemaa el Fna square. Three of the girls got 'ambushed' by henna tattooists. As dusk fell the square became like 1001 Arabian Nights, with snake charmers, musicians, dancers, traditional water sellers and dervishes. Food stalls were set up, and we ate well, cheaply. Whilst watching the transformation from a roof terrace bar we spotted Alyson. She had got here pages and her I visa. Then back to camp.
30th November Back to the centre of Marrakech and the medina and square. Cheap food again, but this time in torrential rain. Back to our now drenched campsite, and wet tents.
1st December We drove and bushcamped.
2nd December We drove into a campsite at Essaouira, then went into town. We visited the fishing port and medina, then back to the camp, where our tents had dried out.
3rd December I walked into Essaouria and back along the beach, then hung out in a bar for a couple of hours, consuming one bottle of (25cl) beer! Camped.
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