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Published: March 19th 2013
We hope you are all well and surviving the snow that seems to affecting the UK and the continent. We are meeting loads of Europeans on our travels at the moment who are marvelling at the transformation in temperatures as they travel from -5 to +25 and arid desert conditions!
Well, we are now truly in the holiday part of the trip so please excuse the following words if you were hoping to hear of car troubles and stomach troubles. Both have also been also experienced but more about that later. We are currently at Ocean Vagabond, Dhakla, southern Morocco trying to kitesurf. I seem to be always 'trying' to kitesurf....but it is particularly more difficult when there is no wind! The wind is supposed to pick up tomorrow so fingers crossed as our SUP (stand up paddle boarding) is getting so advanced that David was attempting yoga on it yesterday...(he has started it in an attempt to touch his toes by the end of the year, currently at upper shins…) However it is a beautiful spot and the kitesurfing world champs start on Tuesday so it would be a great pity if there was no
wind for them.
Prior to coming so far south, we had a great 5 days surfing in a place called Taghazoute with Surf Maroc. Great company, great people and some lovely surf. Despite this we managed to injure Rhubs for the first time taking her on what we thought was a paved road up to some waterfalls, but in actual fact was some of the worst offroad we had attempted. Apart from the normal sheer drop off on one side, a storm had come through and pulled most of the road surfacing into the ravine so it was a unstable mass of rock. Poor old Rhubs did so well until we heard a low growling noise that turned out to be her exhaust falling off! She managed to keep hold of her bottom until we got back to civilisation and found a car bottom doctor who welded her back together again (all for €20) and she's as good as new with a shiny exhaust.
David's birthday was spent in a gorgeous place called Sidi Ifni surfing in the biggest waves I have seen. I managed to get out eventually but only after been saved
by the only lifeguard I have seen in Morocco so far. Lucky he was on duty that day. To be clear, he actually saved my surf board which had made a break for it but the entire episode meant that the beach/hotel/town thought that I had drowned..... David however had an amazing surf and came out looking like a real pro...unlike his wife! Somehow i found candles and the closest thing I could find to apple crumble (apple thingy) and we had a proper birthday meal together with huge amounts of steaky fish straight from the market. It was all delicious.....until 3am
that night when it decided to reappear. Difficult day the next day as we had a 7 hour drive down to Laayonne but Harry Potter came to the rescue and entertained David whilst I dozed and felt thoroughly sorry for myself next to him in the passenger seat.
I did however manage to celebrate the fact that we are now in the Sahara. Incredible landscape, dunes, camels, mirages, ever changing vistas and we even found some flowers! We still have many miles of it to go but it with the ocean on our right, it
will be pretty difficult to get lost. As we are now in Western Sahara (still slightly disputed who would like to own it) there are numerous check points and we get stopped before every town and asked for all our details. Having taken the books advice we have plenty of 'fiches' (personal info details) which we hand over and the whole process is normally fairly straight forward. The Police are friendly and courteous and so far have not asked for any 'cadeau's'! This might change in Mauritania! We have however being pulled over twice for 1. Speeding (89 in an 80....about 2 m past the sign) and 2. not stopping at a stop sign....on a round about. They wanted to charge us 300 and 700 dirham respectively (€30 and €70) but both cases we apologised profusely and with lots of "we are doctors/physios going to Sierra Leone", we have been let off which is amazing and saved us a lot of money. We are now stocking up on chocolate as this seems to placate the policeman's desire for money!
So with stomachs on the mend, we are making the most of the amazing food that Ocean Vagabond
is offering before we head south into Mauritania. From all accounts, it all sounds fine to cross the country and we won't hang around too long to see the sights. It's a real pity as I am sure it is a beautiful country and completely untouched. Maybe another day....when we are 60! Once again, we hope you are all well and life is good. Thanks for all of you who have left replies, we love reading them and sorry we can't reply to each of them. Take care and finally we leave you with more words of morocco medical wisdom. 'Food is music inside the body, music is food inside the heart!' Love David and Jo xx
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