To Chefchauen and Martil

Written by  Thursday, 12 June 2014 21:38
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We took the scenic road to Chefchauen, as recommended by Jackie and Danny, an English couple we have seen at several sites up the Atlantic coast and beyond. The first half was a great game of dodge the pothole. In fact Jackie said she was in trouble for choosing the road.

I can't imagine it was much fun in a camper van. The temperature hit 35* too! it was proper hot. I sweated buckets inside my bike kit. We were heading both north and up, but the heat was still stifling. At the top of the mountains where the slopes were rolling lazily you could have been forgiven for confusing it with Dartmoor.

Heathers, grass, rocks, trees and 'ponies'. As ever we stopped for lunch in the nicest shaded spot we could find. 1 mile further on there was far more stunning scenery, so we stopped again after another half hour or so to take on fluids and gather energy.

Suddenly as we crossed an invisible line the temperature plummeted 7 or 8 degrees, and the air felt cool and damp like it might rain. I sang a little song inside my helmet to encourage a short sharp shower, but to no avail.

We had to circle Chefchauen to approach it from the north to find out camp-site. The houses are mainly painted a traditional blue colour, and it was recognisable from quite a distance, perched on the side of a mountain. Our camp-site was above the town, simple but reasonable for Morocco.

We wandered down for dinner and found a lovely plate of fish and chips, and chicken and chips, Moroccan style. There is always a salad to start, tonight was no exception. Always plenty of raw onion in it too! To finish there was watermelon, which we braved. Goggling watermelon and food poisoning mostly showed a single event in England, and the bacteria is on the skin, rather than in the melon, so we don't think it was the culprit. We blame KFC!

Today we headed in to town in search of a second breakfast as we only had half rations of porridge left. We wandered through a veg market, and the medina briefly before we found omelettes almost opposite the bike.

It was a guessing game what we were ordering. Zane ordered eggs with 3 cheeses and mortadella, I ordered eggs with something that wasn't cheese. We were told it was meat, but beyond that it was pot luck. I got lucky, it was some kind of dried meat or sausage, tasted good.

Zane got fried egg with dairylea, philadelphia, something red that looked like processed sausage, and olives. Our banana and apple juice arrived as banana milkshake, but mine was promptly swapped for orange juice. The coffee was good and strong!

We headed off to the coast just after 12. The road was mostly easy, with few road signs so a little guess work at junctions. Stopping in Tetouan on the way we got abuse from a local because we weren't interested in seeing tourist sights, and didn't $#it money. (His words not mine mum!) We decided to head to the coast as we didn't know what we were looking for in Tetouan anyway. We clearly weren't in the UNESCO protected area of the city.

The camp-site is nice, the showers are hot. We will go for dinner shortly, and tomorrow hopefully we can get the ferry to Algeciras. Back in Spain we are thinking about a wander on 'British soil' in Gibraltar. Maybe visit the monkeys? Then heading towards Portugal.

We're thinking about ferries from Santander/Bilbao already, and it is sad to think that soon we will be heading home, our adventure over. So we've started talking about options for next time...