Loong bus trip to Rabat for Maritanian visa

Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
Trip End Oct 27, 2010

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Flag of Morocco  , Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaër,
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Got the late night bus to Rabat at 00:00 from Essaouira. It takes some 8hrs and costs 108Dh (9.67euros / 8.20quid) one way. This was some trip! stopped a few times, first time the engine was blasting smoke out so a 45min stop was necessary. Then the bus driver overtook some 3 cars in a row on a double yellow line on a country lane in the pitch darkness. Then he almost ran a big dog over.. Part of this sort of life i guess. I did find some Joy and watched "the men who stare at goats" on Jays Ipod he lent me. Very amusing film!

Arrived early at the Mauritanian embassy and looked around the busy and frantic city centre. This is a huge place and i looked around to get some photocopies of my passport. The 3 places i found were either closed or their photocopiers didnt work.. I sat around and had a muesli bar and noticed a photocopy place just across the road! superb! I caught a Taxi with more people in. There, taxis are shared. Finally got through the busy city and there were a few people already queueing. I grabbed the form to be filled in and got sent back 3 times for insufficient info. What I found peculiar was the fact that "single" as marital status did not exist on the form, it was "Celibataire" which translates to celibate..

Some more people turned up, this time a south Korean, a Japanese guy and a young German couple whom i helped fill out the forms. I got talking to everyone thanks to my Languages and soon there was a small group of people all talking to me. It was great, German, English, Spanish (some moroccan guy who lived in barcelona) French and my basic Arabic. A trully enriching experience!

I took the german couple for some lunch at a typical, cheap moroccan place and they were delighted! They offered to take me down to Safi, 2hrs away from Essaouira so i happily oblidged. Back at the consulate our visas were returned very early, 13:30pm as opposed to the average 16:00. We walked back to their car, more towards the city centre and into the old medina. I introduced them to some Avocado, nut and dates milkshake which was awesome! We got into their 1990 mercedes 308 van which was a dream car. it used to be an Ambulance but perfectly converted into a lovely and cosey home. It even had a solar panel on the top! I got my TomTom GPS out and safely navigated out of the crazy city
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