We left Gibraltar in the morning just after our new friends Nadja and Manuel s/v Manado and as we were overtaking I snapped a photo. As we were passing Manuel jokingly said that passing is forbidden in the Straight of Gibraltar. LOL
|Nadja and Manuel on s/v Manado|
Finally free from the rocks we headed in to check out the "marina". It was small, very full and we were unable to get a hold of anyone. We turned around and went back out to another anchorage (sand bottom) so that we could figure out what to do. We decided to drop the dinghy and Shaun would go in and inquire if there was space.
Off he went to find out who to speak to and what the process was. Upon arrival back to the boat we stowed the dinghy and were off back into the marina. We ended up docking on a filthy dock covered in bird poop. This particular marina is a glorified fishing marina. It is a safe harbour for vessels but the facilities are lacking, are not clean and it is a walk into town for anything. If you are prepared for it then it works.
One of the nice features of checking into Morocco is that the port police and customs officer come to you. There is no need to run all over hells half acre. We were asked to pick up our passports at the immigration office along with our shore passes later that day. The second best thing is that most people speak french allowing our family to communicate fairly well.
We decided that we would take a walk into town and find a bank machine. We walked along and noticed a lot of urban decay and our noses were assaulted with a variety of smells. Not all good ones. Once we made it past the run down bit we came across a central park area that was very new. It was surrounded by cafés and restaurants. This area was much cleaner and free from the noxious smells. We found a bank machine and just as we were finished a fellow approached us explaining that if this machine was not functional there was another one around the corner. He proceeded to explain that times were hard and he needed to save money to repair his teeth. We donated a small amount and then we were off.
|one of my favourite birds the egret|
|the central garden in town|
|a round-a-bout on the way to the train station|
|date palm trees lining the street|
The next day our friends on s/v Manado arrived. They had mentioned in previous conversations how excited they were to visit Marrakech. We came up with a plan and decided that we would all travel together. We also managed to book a traditional hotel called a Riad that we all could stay in.
The following evening we decided to take the train to Casablanca. It was a short 23 minute trip. Upon arrival our senses were overwhelmed with the chaos (busy, loud and pretty dirty). We were glad to head back after our asian dinner.
|a clock tower near the medina in Casablanca|
|cactus fruit a local delicacy|
|the chaos of Casablanca|
|dress shirt anyone|
Follow our video adventures on our YouTube channel: Video adventures of s/v Element