Morocco travel.

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by scotjimland, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I've had a couple of PMs from people going to Morocco, so I thought I'd share my experiences traveling there..

    Pace of life..

    Morocco is a slow country, nothing happens fast, be prepared for a gentler way of life..
    On the streets, people wander across, sometimes stopping for a chat, bicycles, donkeys, hand carts take precidence over cars and RVs.. great care is needed and it can be a bit daunting at first but you soon get used to it..

    People like to talk and barter when you go shopping, it's great fun, shops are more often than not only someone's front room, you may be invited in for tea..
    Some sell everything, from coffee and tea to paraffin and gas.. often jumbled together.

    At fuel stations you will be served, they won't ask how much you want but assume you want filled up.. and expect cash in hand, cards are little used except in large cities.
    Fill up to the brim at every oppertunity, garages are few and far between when you leave the towns.. but don't worry, Ray carries a few jerry cans of diesel.. :Rofl1:

    Money

    Take plenty of Euros, Dirhams are not available until you get off the ferry at Cetu., this is still Spanish territory, .. there you will find money shops who advertise the rate of exchange in the window.. it pays to shop around, don't expect an official Bureau De Change :Laughing: .. these are small entrepreneurs who look really dodgy, with runners in the street changing big wedges of cash.. all very strange at first but nothing to worry about, once you agree on the rate, a runner sets off and gets the lolly..
    ATMs are available in the large cities but this is an area where Morocco is still catching up... you'll seldom see the familiar Visa sign in shop windows..

    Driving

    The roads are generally very good but the lanes are rather narrow, on seeing an approaching truck or bus slow down and be prepared to pull onto the hard shoulder, great care is needed, the 'hard' shoulder may be a few inches below the road surface and full of pot holes and ruts. Moroccan truck drivers are good but in common with most truck drivers don't give a s**t.. slowing down and moving over is better than losing a door mirror !

    Sites

    Don't expect Euro class facilities, you will always get fresh water and a place to dump, EHU if available is unreliable, :RollEyes: don't expect showers or washing machines :Laughing:, what you will get is a very friendly welcome, often a view to die for and a great experience .. :Wink:


    Food

    Fresh fruit and veg is cheap, oranges in particular are gorgeous.

    Bread is large pancake style rolls, some are made from semolina which looks yellow in colour but quite delicious.
    Western food stuffs are available but very expensive.. so if you can't go without Nescafe or Marmite take it with you .

    The national drink is green tea, flavoured with mint and very sweet, an aquired taste but we got to love it and bought a genuine Moroccan tea pot and set of small glasses ... Imported China green tea is subsidised and quite cheap.. coffee is expensive.

    Alcohol
    Not generally available, although a Muslim country it is not barred or illegal to carry for your own use so if you like a tot or three stock up in Spain.. bottled beer is a great for bartering with the locals .. nuff said :Laughing:

    Summary
    The people are warm and welcoming, always smiling, we never at any time felt insecure or in danger, the scenery is dramatic, from mountains to plains, deserts and forests it has to be the best travel experience you can have in a van.. truly motorhoming country .. where you really can 'wild' camp..


    Well, that's all I can think of at the moment, can't wait to go back next Sep.. :BigGrin:

    If you have any questions please ask .. I'll do my best to answer, there are a few pics in my Photo Albums, click below..
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2007
  2. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    Just one minor Question.

    I have a small (40Litre) installed LPG tank plus a line and regulator to allow hook up to a normal gas bottle. Using the gas heater occasionally, and the fridge and cooker, we get about 4 weeks out of the fixed tank - not enough for a 3 month tour. I carry the set of 4 adaptors that is supposed to fit many of the European bottles but in the just finished 5 1/2 month trip didn't have to buy or use any external bottles.

    As you said - autogas in Morocco is just not available so what sort of hookup will I need for Morocco - and can you "buy" a gas bottle when you arrive and get the money back when you leave.

    Thanks
     
  3. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    Actually there is another question regarding ferries. We will be driving from Stuttgart through France and Spain. With your experience, do you have a recommendation for the best ferry to use please
     
  4. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i love winter

    in maroc no autogas , buy a bottle on entry about 7quid exchange for about 3to 4 quid . take lots beer n wine . can be bought in big towns but expensive. dirhams can be got in gib or some ticket shops ,i get my ticket near carrifour at polomes.between gib n algecirus.will be crossing about 10december.get a green card here from your insurer.be ready for a culture experiance, be firm try not to get aggresive ,easier said than done . have fun . :thumb:
     
  5. Detourer

    Detourer Trader - Tour Operator

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    Most everything about Morocco has been posted somewhere on the net.....It is the updates you need to be aware of......Like.............

    Ferries are becoming an issue. i.e. cost. Quotes at Algeciras this week were 400+ euro return and you needed to give specific return date. On-line quotes [take a look]are from 600 euro now to over 1000 euro in the New Year [yes 1000 euro]. The new comp system is picking up on the cheap/scam tickets that have been available for some years i.e. Ceuta residents tickets and day-returns. If you are offered "Cheap" tickets you take your chance.....invalid if sussed on way out and HUGE cost if sussed on return!

    ..
     
  6. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    Yes, I guess lessons leaned due to my constant failings in that regard during two years living in China will come in handy - although now that I am older and grumpier, I guess I will just repeat the same mistakes.

    1000 Euro just to cross that bit of water!!!!!

    Maybe I'll go back to Iceland. The ferry WAS expensive, but on a pence per mile basis, very cheap in comparison.

    Yes, already asked my MH handler in Germany to get the green card validated for Morocco. Guess it will be expensive but it's a bit risky without it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  7. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    We are hoping to go to Morroco around the 10th December too, maybe a few days later, our Santander crossing is 8th December arriving 9th December, so will take approx 3 days getting to Algerciras.

    Then again if the crossing cost is 600-1000 euros we will have to pass on that, morocco will loose out, its only a short crossing sounds a bit of a rip of too me.

    Pat
     
  8. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    Pat what you doing on here? ain't you got no house work to do after your weekend away?:Rofl1:
     
  9. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

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    Hi ya Dane,
    I think you may find I made a posting at 2.00am this morning, couldnt sleep, my cold has finally come out.

    Not had much sleep, the only thing I have sorted out in my recycling from the show, washing done. I am still in my nightdress, ran bath ages ago.
    (too much information)

    Been trying to get ferry prices to Morocco, dont seem as bad as 600 euros, mostly coming out at 240-300euros.

    Neil is off today and is actually cleaning the motorhome as we speak, giving it a good wash.

    Anyhow I thought you were working!!!!!:Eeek:
    Kind regards Pat and Neil
     
  10. Detourer

    Detourer Trader - Tour Operator

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    I'm not saying that you will not be able to get "Cheaper" prices for the crossing local........just be aware what these tickets may be......you could get what seems a good deal only to come unstuck [as I have seen] when you do the return. Check online prices for real cost. Try aferry.co.uk or www.directferry.co.uk

    The hundreds of ticket shops in and around Algeciras have had it good for more than a few years and have been pulling some strokes.....:Eek!:......now the ferry owners have wised-up.

    We of course buy bulk/trade and used to offer these tickets to Mhome'ers who were going solo........ until a few took the p###.....

    In general Morocco is not the looser. Most [bar one I think] of the ferry companies are Spanish owned and the Winter "Snow-birds", who stay mostly on the coast, are not known for their spending habits.......Sun 'n Salad :Rofl1:

    ...
     
  11. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    I am, flat out, beads of sweat and everything:thumb:

    I wondered who nicked my cold, I hope you get over it soon:thumb:
     
  12. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

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    Hi Ray

    I didnt mean the spanish ferry high prices were going to lose out on my business, I meant the whole package, including spending money in Morocco.

    I know you are an expert in Morocco travels and I respect that, it just means for us as a couple looking to go for a reasonable priced holiday would not be able to go.

    Regards
    Pat
     
  13. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    From the other side of the world, the ferry service to Iceland was just about impossible to sort out on-line but I assumed the ferries from Spain to Morocco ( Cetu) would be simple . Seems to be not the case - broken web sites, incomplete sailing schedules, limitation on length and height, no English, etc.

    Any current info on best place to book - preferably on line, but phone if necessary, direct with the ferry line or agent - a Hobby 6.8 metre x 3m hight, two passengers going in mid December and returning mid March would be VERY much appreciated

    [OR is it feasible at that time of the year to just turn up at the terminal and hope there is a spot available]
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  14. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

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    Hi Tony,
    I know what you mean, I was trying to put in a return date mid January and the booking sites wouldnt take it, also the only one I got through seem to say upto 2.8m high, we are 3.0m

    I think it will be easier to get booking done whilst down there, I know lots of people have done this in the past, but I am a little worried in case it has got harder to book at a reasonable price.

    kind regards Pat
     
  15. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    have been traveling to maroc for 10yrs have never had a problem . height length or frequency. usually use a maroc ship , it used to be a scottish ferry . get tickets in spain just before crossing . take the slow ferry savour the moment get ready for the confusion at the port.last year 185 euro for car n caravan . look at the picks its only small 30ft. all together . when you get to spain you will soon find who,s going n where the best deal can be found 25.000 campers cant be wrong . you can get 4.000 just in the agadir area alone for xmas .keep your eyes open for me n a mate in a bright purple truck we can get you into loads of trouble!.only take the bumpy roads go up the gorges, down to daklar cross to zagorra . have fun you only live once.
     
  16. Tony Lee

    Tony Lee Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for that - since we are relatively free spirits (full-time motorhoming) and don't care too much if we have to hang around for a few days, I guess we will take the chance and just turn up at the terminal and shop around. Saves the hassle of getting from Stuttgart to southern Spain within a certain time.

    Had figured on spending about two months in Morocco but maybe it would be best to leave the return date open just in case we either enjoy the experience and want to stay longer, or have had enough and need to return home.

    [Yes, we too take the bumpy roads - just have to see all the holes punched in the rear fibreglass skirt of the Hobby by stones thrown up by the back wheels to see that (courtesy of interior road 35 in Iceland). Have fixed rubber guards right across to protect the body and the LPG tank so hopefully no more holes]
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
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