|Route||Ouarzazate – Skhirat, Morocco|
|Overnight stop||Car park, Skhirat|
(Parking only, no services)
|Diesel / litre||MAD9.99 (£0.80)|
Surprisingly enough, we were 10 minutes late in leaving this morning.
But it was our last goodbyes that took up the time. Finally we were on our way heading back north for a slow drive back. Our proposed route: north to Marrakesh, west to the coast at Essaourira and then up the coast to Tanger Med.
We wound our way slowly up the Tiz N’Tichka pass through loads of roadworks and narrow sections where roadworks would eventually take place and just as it widen to brand new tar and we thought the worst was over, traffic came grinding to a halt. But a short delay of 20 minutes and we were on our way again with not even enough time to make a cup of tea!
Our excitement was nowhere near finished! As we reached the beginning of the Toufliht Forest we started to see members of the Royal Guards posted every 50m along the fenceline. I kid you not, for at least 5km. As the gate into the forest approached, a crowd of white clad, armed royal guards stepped into the middle of the road, arms held up (as in arms and hands… not guns!!!) and stopped us. Yikes, fucking yikes!!!!! A line of fast moving, tinted-windowed 4×4 SUVs sped passed us in the direction of Ouarzazate carrying the Royal Family! We can tick another box….it’s our 3rd African Royal family in convoy hehehehehehe
Onward and upward towards Marrakesh.
But about 5 or 6kms from Marrakesh we saw something that disturbed us much, much more. Groups of riot police in full gear were appearing on the side of the road every 100m or so. A bit more than a quick Google on the internet and we could find nothing to explain this. The Royal family had gone in the opposite direction so it wasn’t for them, there was no football match taking place and nothing that we could find to explain their presence. We have spent more than enough time in South Africa watching riot police assemble to know that something was going to be happening – they weren’t there for nothing……and we were in the dark.
In light of the recent death of Sullamani in Iran by the Americans, we decided that we weren’t prepared to hang around in Morocco and our time had come to an end. We have been at the hands of secret and military police previously and we weren’t prepared for it to even be a remote possibility. So, we decided to continue to head north, make for Tanger Med and cross over to Spain as soon as we could.
We made it to Skhirat about 3 hours south of Tanger Med, stopping for a rest overnight as we knew that we wouldn’t be able to make the port for the last ferry.
We decided that it would have to be the next day and after a 10 hour day travelling fell into an immediate and deep sleep.