Africa is calling
That's right! It goes to Africa. To be exact, to Morocco. Probably the most distant country of our journey so far, not only geographically, but also culturally. But once from the beginning.
We took the ferry from Algeciras to Ceuta. Ceuta is already on the African continent, but still belongs to Spain. The ferry takes about 1 hr and is manageable in price. From Ceuta we went to the Moroccan border. The notorious border crossing went in our case without problems, although we felt that the border was much more strictly monitored than most European.Immediately after the border you literally enter another world. Everything is different. From the style of the buildings, the streets, the means of transportation (donkeys, horses, camels) to the style of dress of the people. Our first items on the to-do list were to get money, organize a SIM card for the Internet and fill up with diesel, which is much cheaper in Morocco :)
Rain over rain
Actually our plan was to escape the rain in southern Spain. Unfortunately this did not work out. The rain front accompanied us the first days in Morocco. Everyone who has ever been on the road with a camper knows how exhausting rain can be in the long run. The first few days still go, but from the 3rd day of rain in a row, more and more things are wet, which simply do not dry. The nerves are strained after several days in the small space and the dirt can not be avoided completely. Despite the unfortunate start in Morocco, we were able to directly soak up the vibe of the country.
From the mountains towards the coast
Our first stop was the blue city called Chefchaouen. The city is located in the Reef Mountains and gets its name from its blue color. The whole city is like once dipped in a blue paint bucket. Unfortunately, we could not visit the city in peace due to the rain and decided to drive with 2 stops inland towards the coast. The campsites in the country have become very rare since last year by Corona.
Nevertheless we can recommend a special one. Here you can stand directly next to the big pool, so that you can practically jump out of the camper into the pool. There is something like this probably only in Morocco.
Coordinates of the campsite at the pool: 34.7726251, -5.5450953
Our first stop on the coast was Casablanca. For us, Casablanca was actually a bit too western and touristy. However, we spent only one afternoon there. Very famous is the Hassan-II mosque, which was built in 1993 and is very elaborately designed.
The coastal region near Casablanca is known for many surf schools and the great conditions. We spent the night in a supervised parking lot, about 1 hr walk from the city and the mosque.
Coordinates of the campsite near Casablanca : 33.5809284, -7.7019464 Wild stand or campsite in Morocco.
Wild stand or campsite in Morocco
We would definitely recommend going to the cheap campsites or officially supervised sites. Standing wild in the country is usually not recommended and can also be exciting, as many people in Morocco own very little and have a different sense of distance and closeness than in Europe, for example.
Oualidia, the most beautiful lagoon of our trip so far
When we spotted the lagoon of Oualidia from the mountain road, we could hardly believe our eyes. This view was simply magical. We came to Oualidia without any expectations to spend 1 to 2 days on a cheap pitch. The pitch costs 40 DH (about 4 Euro) and has everything you need with a camper with solar on the roof. From the pitch you can get to the lagoon and the beach in about 5 minutes.
Also shopping facilities are within walking distance. Oh, and not to forget the local vendors who bring practically everything from fruit, vegetables, freshly caught fish to hot prepared tajine to the van. For us, a pitch that definitely deserves a recommendation.
Coordinates of the campground: 32.7317129, -9.0430047
We continued south along the coast to the well-known surfing town of Essaouira, which is worth mentioning not only because of its incredibly good surfing conditions. We were also taken with the old town. For us it was the first visit to a Moroccan old town, which is why we could not get out of our amazement. From fresh spices, handmade clothes, cats on every corner, very skillful sellers, delicious food to live music on the streets, you are just overwhelmed here.
The only drawback is the campground is closed due to the Corona crisis, so the only option is to stay at an outside campground or free site. We spent the nights near Essaouira on the following pitches and campsites.
Coordinates of the campsite: 31.6430111, -9.6764613 (Free of charge, gendarmerie controls passports and monitors the site)
Coordinates of the campsite: 31.5308080, -9.6892796
A thousand and one nights in Marrakech
This is a city you must have visited if you travel to Morocco. Loud, dirty, crowded - and yet beautiful! Marrakech has it all. A visit to the old town is like a visit to a stadium in terms of the crowds. In the small alleys, one small store follows the next. A thousand colors, a thousand smells, a thousand impressions. You can't get out of your amazement.
We can definitely recommend a visit to one of the numerous cafés and restaurants with a roof terrace and the unique view over the roofs of the old town. If you want to escape the stress of the old town for a moment, you should definitely visit the Secret Garden in the middle of the old town. In Marrakech there is a camper site close to the center for about 9 euros and several campsites a few minutes outside.
Coordinates of the campsite: 31.6240602, -7.9962816 Coordinates of the campsite: 31.5264838, -7.9596172
Tip: Remember the phrase "la shukran" which means "no thanks" This is worth its weight in gold in Morocco and especially in Marrakech.. :)
To be continued... new year, new adventures ...