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Published: March 20th 2012
Industrial size ketchup, anyone?
Shopping for staples in duty free Ceuta
Alarms started buzzing and beeping around 6am and tent zippers followed soon after. I didn’t sleep as well as I would’ve liked but the warm shower soon sorted that. Breakfast was a variety of cereal, bread toasted over hot coals, fruit and tea and coffee. I sat on the curb opposite the truck to survey the scene as the sun rose higher, also bringing much welcomed warmth.
Dishes were washed and then dried in the traditional way known as ‘flapping’ which also doubles as a bit of early morning exercise, waving your arms back and forth until the dish is at least somewhat dry. Water was poured on the coals, firewood packed back under the truck, bags packed and then quickly unpacked as we remembered what we wanted in the truck cabin for the day and before long we were off to Ceuta to take the ferry to the African continent!
As Suse is separated from us in the cabin, people can take turns sitting up front both for a different perspective on the drive as well as to keep her company. I had the opportunity to do so today. We drove
Heading into Tetuoan in a taxi, Moroccan style
past several wind turbines and grassy hills en route to the ferry terminal which was a comfortable hour or so drive. Once there, we board as foot passengers while the truck is reversed onto the ferry. I was very wary about the ferry but had heard it was a smooth crossing which was just as well as I’d forgotten to have on hand the assortment of stuff I’d packed for motion sickness. It was a mistake I soon regretted. The ferry was warm and the excitement of the trip still fresh in my mind and I forgot to sit still and stay calm. A bit of a hurried dash to the bathroom was a certainty after the swells started and I began to feel rotten. Thankfully, after disposing of my breakfast, it wasn’t long until we reached the calmer waters of Ceuta port. I will be ready for the next ferry which thankfully isn’t until Zanzibar – and that’s still several months away!
Ceuta is a Spanish protectorate and a duty free one at that so we stopped to stock up on staples at the local Stop and Shop. I was now hungry and picked up corn tortillas, an
assortment of Spanish meats and the French Camembert cheese that I love and threw together a couple of quick snacks. Once everyone had their toiletries, alcohol and whatever favourite foods they could find, we made our way to the Moroccan border. The process was as quick as could be expected, with a brief glance from the policeman and after picking up a couple of local guides, we carried on to Tetouan, situated along the coast. With the truck parked at the campsite, we left on foot and went looking for the taxis the guides had organized for us to go into the medina. Fun, fun, fun! There are two different types of taxis: petit taxis which travel short distances and pick up people as they go along, and grande taxis which is what we took. They tend to do longer trips and take as many passengers as they can fit! So with two of us up the front as well as the driver and four squished in the back, we laughed our way into the centre of town where we changed money and wandered through the old streets and visited the first of what I assume to be many carpet
You see a lot of kids bundled up like this
shops! They really are amazing works of art but as I bought one last time I was here, I didn’t want to get a second one just yet when everything is already in storage! And it was while the cook group were buying food for dinner that I saw a man choose a chicken, heard it squawk its final squawk, lose its head and be put in the most bizarre contraption that resembled a washing machine on spin cycle. I may become a veggie after all…
Back at camp we put up our tents, plugged in our electrics to charge and broke into groups of three for our chores. Brittany, Jareb and I were to fill the jerry cans today with water which are used for when we bush camp and no water is available. We weren’t parked as close to the water source as we had been the previous night and man, those things are HEAVY. My arms got a decent workout from lugging one of those! Dinner was spaghetti Bolognese and well received before everyone drifted off to make use of the wi-fi or get some sleep.
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