Rashid took us on a day tour to Tangiers. You may well think that sailing around the world on a small yacht is one thing – it’s quite another driving or being driven on the roads around here! It seems that you can pass cars in their own lane and otherwise just drive on the centre line and make everyone else fit into the remaining road space. Pretty scary stuff. However we survived it as we did in the Caribbean – so really France and Italy will hold no worse driving fears I expect. Tangiers was interesting but with a far smaller and dirtier old town centre or Medina. We fooled around trying on kaftans and djellabas and ended up buying one each. Good luck getting out of any of these shops without a purchase! They might be quite good for lounging about in. The Grotto of Hercules is nearby, an ancient Roman shrine which we thought would make a great house. These days it is a major tourist attraction but Rashid remembers when it was just in some field down a goat track. Morocco certainly seems to be ramping up their tourism there is even a Hospitality College near where we are staying. Tangiers used to be a big international centre back until the 50’s with many countries embassies here, then the rules were pretty much no rules and commerce and enterprise (to give it a nicer name) was rather free with mafia like groups running wild. These days it is an organised clean looking city with ferries running all the time to and from Spain and big cruise ships in the wharves. I’m sure there is still a murky side if you knew where to look.
For Pete’s birthday Rashid took us back to Tetuoen to a restaurant that we had liked previously. Delicious tagines! Pete bought himself a birthday silk carpet to get shipped back to Australia – goodness knows when we’ll ever get to walk on it.
An Australian couple, Rob and Liz, on a brand new Lagoon 42 (called Bilby) arrived the other day so we have had dinner and a few drinks swapping notes and stories. They picked the boat up in France and intend to spend a few years in the Med then back to Australia via the Caribbean – the reverse of what we have just done.
We are here for a few more days then off to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave to the north just opposite Gibraltar.