Closest ever to the Canary Islands -100km

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

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Thursday, September 30, 2010

We finally left Tan-Tan plage in the afternoon and headed for the beaten highway to Tarfaya. The weather was really dull and awkward. This combined with the deserted flat landscape and my first impressions certainly gave a very strange feel about the place.

We hadnt eaten lunch since Tan-Tan and it was going to get dark soon so we stopped off by some cliffs as the sea was some 50m from the road at most times. It was pot noodles time! We got some damaged pots out and heated some water. I hastily got my good camera and tripod out and started popping off some shots from the dodgy cliffs. Since we usually have very little time for things i snapped away as much as i could. In the meantime the gas had run out so we had to change the camping gaz cartridge. Dinner was served and the taste of home mixed with the surreal atmosphere certainly was interesting.

It had become dark and soon i found the drive worse than the previous day.. There were more lorries on the road but this time there were sand dunes that had made it into the road. This was extremely dangerous as some blocked an entire lane. If you saw one late and a lorry came the other way the consequences would be horrific. On many occasions some dunes caused some tight squeezes between lorries and the dunes. I could have taken some good shots but needed both hands on the steering wheel!

It must have been 9pm when we arrived at Tarfaya, pretty knackered as always and my fuel gauge was on red. Hope the local petrol station has some "Gazoile" left for the next day.
We parked up at the main street near the sea and sat down for something to eat. The streets were as always packed with men, all the women at home tucked away.

We were half-way through our local soup when a familiar face appeared! It was the guy we had bumped into in Essaouira, an old friend of Jays. We ordered some more food and of course, mint-tea. The Tagine we had was tiny but this time more delicious than ever as they had cooked the onions first, thus caramelizing them and adding some good flavour. Then followed some deep-fried fish. It all tasted so good. Life can be very mundane in these parts of the world but the food is always fresh, free from any preservatives or whatever and of course, delicious.

We were joined by a big and heavy man in a equally big 1990 Mercedes car. This all gave some sort of authoritarian presence. He sat down and certainly behaved as such, i think he was some head of police but friendly nonetheless. He explained that his Mercedes was the only one powered by petrol in the whole of the south. This is quite odd since all vehicles here are diesel.

 Our friend from Essaouira, simo who has a pretty lazy eye insisted on paying for the whole food. We tried to stop but he insisted, a very noble thing to do and quite unexpected! He also took us to a good hotel just around the corner that looked surprisingly expensive. He explained he knew the owner and that we could get a great deal. The place certainly was impressive. Clean, tidy and the most modern place i'd stepped into so far. It even had the latest model D-link wireless router in reception. Top class stuff really. We went upstairs and as usual there is always a bit of a mission to find which rooms are available as there never is a booking system. It turns out all rooms are full but upstairs an apartment is free. Certainly was great, even hot water and a clean towel. Couldn't believe it really. It was supposedly 300Dh/night (26.70euro / 23quid) but being friends of friends we managed 100Dh (8.90euro /7.70quid). There was even hot water. Again, couldn't believe it. Outside we got our stuff out and left the cars with our "guardien du nuit" a self appointed security guard for cars available in every single town in Morocco. It was an old guy with a beard and he checked every car door. He found my passenger door had a broken lock and demanded an extra 10Dh for the already 20Dh we had paid for both cars. It may sound like nothing to give an extra 9cts / 7pence but this would be a rip-off to locals and they will try anything since we are "Nazarani" (outsiders). This term comes from the fact that anyone who is from Europe to them is christian and since Christians are followers of Jesus Christ who came from Nazareth, we are dubbed accordingly.
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