DAY 293 !

Red Landy is in Jo-burg


Elises are in Cape Town


Last update 25 July 2011

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Nador– Sunday 24 October

Nador doesn’t get much good press in the LP but we found it a great entry into Morocco.  First night in Morocco in Hotel Mediterranee looking out at the Corniche.  We make a wonderful Sunday evening walk with hundreds of locals over the boulevard before hitting the sack…or actually a great double bed with satellite tv! We are up early thanks to the 2 hour time difference (GMT) and Senna (now up at 5!).  We have read about Moroccan breakfast and are eager to try..  Apparently breakfast doesn’t really kick in until 9.  We find some chapatti and strong coffee and continue on in search of something.  Things are slowly opening and while we are waiting we find a barber shop for Stanley to get a trim.  45 minutes later the Berber version of the Godfather and the NLL women continue on.  It is a really nice cut but styled like he should be wearing a suit and packing heat.  When he puts on his sunglasses he looks positively dangerous.  We dive into the market in search of the Moroccan breakfast and make our way down the aisles sampling and buying olives, dates, almonds, fruit and veg.  We see ‘waiters’ darting in and out of the shops and alleyways carrying trays full of delicious looking drinks and things to eat.  In vain we try to follow one – any one!- to the source but can never get to it!!.  We leave the market resigned that we won’t have our Moroccan breakfast after all today.  One last stop at a café to ask.  Communication is not happening and we decide just to sit down and have a drink and eat whatever he brings.  It starts with a small bowl of lentil/chickpea broth with fresh lemon served with fresh bread then he brings poached eggs with olives and an amazing olive oil and more bread.  Then he brings a bean soup, Bisara.  This is what we’ve been after all morning!!  We eat it all and roll out of there happy and well fed for 3 Euro.

Monday 25 October - Al Hoceima

We decide to go in search of the National Park in Al Hoceima as it is supposed to be beautiful and have camping available.  We finally stop to ask and some locals tell us the park was closed last year.  Hmmm.  We drive on and ask again along the way.  The guy confirms that the park was closed about a year ago.  We do find the entry sign but he suggests that we try the Kings Beach (in July and August it is closed to everyone but the King and company.  There is a Marine Guard house there but if we ask they may let us stay the night camping).  Off we go.  Indeed it is beautiful, although they are not quite as diligent with the trash collection as they probably are in July-August.  The Marine Guard is very friendly but alas, won’t allow us to stay the night.  We spend some time at the beach playing with the kids and then decide to go back to the now defunct Al Hoceima NP to look for a camping spot.  After a precarious drive in low gear into the hills overlooking the sea and a valley we pitch the tent overlooking a Berber village. A great NP after all.

26 till 27 October - Rabat

The next day we decide that we should go to Rabat for our Mauritania and Mali visas.  It is Tuesday morning.  If we make it to Rabat today then we may be lucky and apply for the Mauritania and Mali visas on Weds – Thurs.  The Embassies are closed for visas Fri-Sun so it is our only chance until next week.  Al Hoceima to Rabat is about 325Km which we will find out (again and again) can easily take the day in Morocco!  The drive on the N2 (highway) from Al Hoceima towards Chefchaouen takes us through the Rif Mountains.  As per the LP the Rif is home to the largest acerage of cannabis cultivation in the world - a whopping 42% of global production.  The mountains all along the N2 are covered with marijuana plants and there are plenty of fast cars, temporary harvest camps and young men with bags all along the way.  While Morocco doesn’t suffer from drug related violence and cartels as in some other places it was recommended  not to stop in any of the towns along the way.  It was either the Rif or Disneyland for the kids – we just couldn’t decide!

The drive is actually beautiful and slow going as the road winds through the mountains.  Just before  Chefchaouen we stop for lunch at Auberge Dardara Restaurant.  We order goat and fig and rabbit with garden vegetable tagines both of which are AMAZING.  The ambiance is spectacular – a garden patio next to the vegetable and herb garden looking up at the Rif mountains and the food is extrodinary.  Eowyn says she like rabbits and isn’t so keen to eat one – until she tries a bite.  Then she was sucking the bones…

We spend less than 24 hours in Rabat: driving in circles in the evening peak traffic, staying at an overpriced hotel, finding Niels and getting the Mauritania and Mali visas in one day (miraculous!).  Visa details for other travelers here:

Mauritania Embassy.  At 8:30 they begin handing out the visa application forms.  They are in French and Arabic only and have plenty of questions – one to be filled out for each passport. We abbreviate some of the answers (list all countries you have been in the last 10 years) and make up others (where are you going in Mauritania) and left others blank (address in Mauritania).  None of this was a problem.  With each application form you need 2 passport photos a copy of your passport,  your passport and 340Dh.  Submitted by 9:30 we were told we could come back at 2 the same day for collection.  While we are waiting we went to Mali embassy and got the application form (very simple, in English and French).  They only gave us one copy so we had to go down the main road to make copies.  We were loitering around the Mauritania Embassy as we had no place else to go and they ended up giving us our passports back with visas by 1pm.  We took our passports and already filled in forms together with 2 passport photos and 250Dh per passport to the Mali embassy and were told we could come back and collect them by 3 the same day.  Sure enough – we had them by 3.  Easiest visas we’ve ever gotten!  Both Mauritania and Mali will post date so you say what dates you want the visa valid to and they issue (up to 1 month in duration).

We drive out of Rabat to see how far we can get before sundown in pursuit of Niels who left Rabat at around noon.  As the sun is setting we are in the middle of the winding hills somewhere.  We stop and ask at a small farm if we can pitch our tent on their land.  It is a beautiful hill top, small farm plot. We don’t speak any language in common but it seems we are most welcome:  the woman, with dark tattoos covering the entire palm of her hand, dark eye makeup and henna on her feet kisses Julia, Eowyn and Senna immediately on arrival and takes turns with holding the girls who are happy to be held by her.  We set up camp and she goes off to the house getting a homebaked bread for the visitors.  We are left to ourselves with the occasional person passing to the house with a  greeting.  We turn into bed early and are just to sleep when we hear “Misour! Misour!, Misour!”  I kick Stanley who was fast asleep and not sure how to respond to the urgent calls since he is in his underware.  He unzips the tent and the man gives us a platter with a second fresh bread and a tangine filled with goat and prunes and then heads back to the house.  We are a bit stunned but sit in the tent and devour the absolutely delicious late night meal. At the now usual 5 o’clock we feed Senna and get up with a full orchestra of roosters crowing . The woman was already awake feeding the donkeys and dogs that are all present at the farm. Before we actually leave she gave us 4 fresh eggs for the road. In return, Julia looks into her bag and sees what could be given for the good care: Kenyan slippers, almonds, pinenuts and dried apricots. Everybody was happy.

28-30 October - High atlas and central Morocco

We drive on and see if we can get Niels and his friend Martin at the only marked campsite on the GPS near Kasba Tadla.  Having reached there at 10am we see the campsite is closed. We give it up and decide to take it slowly again and enjoy the beautiful high atlas. We rapidly start ascending into the mountains into the direction of Imilchil. We follow the MH2 route as marked in the Morocco Overland route guide by Chris Scott: a recommendation. Apparently a dirtroad a year ago, the road has now turned into a wonderful tarmac road up the mountains. After every bend a new scenery comes in view. At about 2pm an oncoming car waves us to stop and a Dutch woman jumps out of the car. She just met Niels and Martin in a blue Landrover and he left half an hour earlier from Imilchil just ahead. We drive on past imilchil in gorgeous surroundings in orange afternoon light, but call it a day in Agoudal at Ibrahim’s Auberge. We take a room for 10 Euro’s and put the kids in the hot showers. Julia, Eowyn and Senna take a walk in the village meeting the local kids while Stanley cooks a pasta for the kids. After sunset the temperature drops rapidly and in the early morning a layer of ice was on the car. Julia was in great need of a hot shower, but unfortunately it broke down overnight which was hugely disappointed (to say the least).  We decide to leave immediately!

At 9:30 am Julia told me to stop as the Blue landrover was hidden behind a restaurant: we found them again. Together we drive on to Ait Hani, Tinerhir and towards Iknioun through the amazing Todra gorge. At around 16:30 it was time to find a good place to pitch the tents and somewhere in the oued (riverbed) we find a good and quiet place. Even though we are remote and far away from any housing, not long after arrival the children arrive from over the different mountain ridges. We had a quiet night under the stars and at around 6 am while everybody was still in the tents, we heard:”Bonjour, bonjour!” The kids had returned. It was again very cold and we make the shivering kids a hot chocolate. One boy couldn’t wait and drank the chocolate instantly while the other boy waited to see what would happen to the first boy…..He lived, so after the hot chocolate had turned into a cold chocolate the second boy had enough courage to drink his. A long breakfast with plenty of company made us hit the road at 9:30 am and we wound our way through the beautiful Todra Gorge.  This part of the route is filled with tourists – lots of hotels and tourist busses.  The scenery is spectacular but we are eager to get back on our own.  We literally take a left off the road and head out into the hills and are again alone save for the occasional village and some goats.  Continuing on to  Iknioun and Alnif over dirt roads was fantastic and marked the end of the high atlas. I had never known that Morocco was sooo beautiful and within reasonable distance to Europe. I would definitely recommend a visit, particularly if you have the opportunity to drive some offroad.

We find a great place off the dirt track and near some sand dunes. This is definitely the start of the Sahara and the perfect place for the kids to play. Eowyn loves running through the dunes and rolling down the hills. Senna is fascinated by the sand – trying to walk and sitting and letting it sift through her hands (before putting it in her mouth).  When it was time to go to bed Stanley found a sizeable nasty-looking spider inside the tent, but got lost again….. Being unfamiliar with which spiders are safe and which ones dangerous Julia and I decide to search for it. After a close inspection we closed of the separate tent of Senna. THERE it is. Stanley hit the spider with Julia’s shoe but we only find two legs and cannot find the rest…we continue the search and after a few minutes find the living remaining spider inside the shoe. Julia has no mercy and finishes the job. We have a fairly good night hoping there are no others.

31st October

Congratulations to Theo Lint! Eowyn starts the day with watching the K3 dvd and a hot chocolate, while Senna dances for the first time to the music, but then continues to further explore the Sahara desert.

We continue our off road adventure.  We are skirting the Algeria border through a moon-like landscape and see only 4 cars the entire day.  We drive for miles over flat black stone desert.  We come to a military checkpoint  (The Algeria-Morocco border is not friendly).  We stop in one ‘town’ that is marked on the map and so we anticipate being able to get some provisions there (bread and water) but even that we don’t find.  It is hard to imagine how they exist out in the middle of the desert.  We are driving through ‘town’ (Oum Jrane), looking for a shop and the kids are running around the car, hanging on to the windows, hanging on to us.  We are driving slowly because we are looking for a shop and also because we are afraid to run over one of them.  We speed up slightly just to lose the crowd.  As we round a corner we hear a loud CRASH – looking in the rear view mirror one of our crates has been thrown off the roof!  One of the kids has climbed on the roof.  We see him jump down and run off as Stanley leaps out of the car in pursuit.  The crate is smashed.  We pick up the pieces and reconnect with Niels who had gone the other direction in search of a shop.  He found one where we can get a Coke and that is about it.  We leave the ‘town’ and drive again out in to the desert.  We have not been driving on any road into town and we just drive on the desert out. After a hour of driving, we find a well and get some water and then continue on.  We connect with a track that takes us up through some low mountains – only black stone, no vegetation.  We descend into a beautiful valley with a small settlement and some remnants of a river (and thus some green) before we are back off the road and only driving through the flat, hot, black rock desert.  We meet and oncoming vehicle – actually 2 motorcycles and a Land Rover – it is some Frenchmen with their 3 kids travelling the other way!  They tell us the direction we are heading in is more of the same for miles.  It is near to 4pm and we are looking for a place to camp but they say there is nothing promising for hours!  We move on and find a space behind a small hill which cuts the wind a bit and one tree (!). There is a small patch of sand for us to pitch the tent.  Another beautiful night under the sky.

November 1

Niels and Martin need to make it to Ouarzazate so they can continue on to Agadir for Martin to catch his flight.  We read up on Ouarzazate – nothing special but has a supermarket and laundry mat.  We’re in!!  We start early in hopes of passing by Erg Chagaga – one of the biggest sand dunes in Morocco.  We have connected with a track and then a road  that takes us to M’Hamid.  From there it is another 2 hours in good conditions to get to Erg Chagaga.  But the conditions are not good at all!!  We have read about the Harmattan winds but had yet to experience them.  The air is thick with sand and strong winds – you can’t see anything!  We have a sandy and fly infested lunch just outside M’Hamid before deciding to drive to Ouarzazate directly – which is a shame as both kids have been practicing saying Chagaga for the last hour.  The drive from M’Hamid to Ouarzazate Through Zagora and the Draa Valley is great.  The road is decent although seems to be ½ meter too small to accommodate oncoming traffic(!) but the scenery is spectacular. 


Apparently Ouarzazate’s claim to fame is it has been used a backdrop for many movies – including Star Wars, Jewel of the Nile, Kundun and has been a ‘body double; for Rome, Tibet, Somalia and Egypt. As with Nador, this town gets some poor press as a place to visit.  We love it!  Most places off the tourist grid that we have been have been delightful.  We wander through town without any hassle whatsoever,  shopping at the market, looking in shops, sampling the local dishes (and bunch of fried stuff from market stalls and then brunch of Berber eggs – a tangine with fried, spiced eggs – delicious!).  We visit the local supermarket which is expensive but does have some non-perishables that we want to take with us for the drive through Western Sahara and Mauritania.  There are a lot of local men in the grocery – which seems strange at first.  While waiting to check out you see they are all buying beer!  You can’t get beer anywhere in town except at this grocery.  The men buy one or two and take them out of the shop in their jacket pockets (no bags please!).

In the afternoon Eowyn and Stanley start working on the car a bit. First they fix the door which was stuck and couldn’t open (again!). Subsequently, both of them put on their overalls and went underneath the car. Eowyn was very interested to learn about the car and clean the oil drops. After a small repair of the diff guard which was making a noice when driving off-road the job was done.

In the afternoon we went back to the souq (market) to do some shopping in anticipation of driving through Mauritania. Dates taste excellent and are easy to preserve in the heat, so after sampling a few different kinds we wanted to buy a half kilo. (Un)fortunately this was not possible as dates are sold only by FIVE kilos crates and so we purchase 5 kg. Following the blood drops on the ground we easily found the butchery/poultry department at the souq. Animals were hanging from the stall ceilings and we settled from some kofte meat (spiced mince). Back at the campsite, we cook some dinner with plenty of fresh veg and drink some Moroccan wine (which was actually pretty good).

We take for granted how the kids are changing as we are with them every day but for those of you who haven’t seen them in a while I am sure there are big differences.  Eowyn is so astute and verbal– which is great in the new and ever changing environments.  When we landed in Nador she said “ All the big girls have a scarf but not the little ones”.  She is an easy traveler and willing to try all the food and drinks.  In each country she has learned to say hello and has been greeting people with Bonjour, Buonjornio, Buenos Dias and Salam Aleikem along the way.  Since we are spending all our time together almost all Stanley and Julia’s conversations take place in front of the kids.  So Eowyn is also picking up other language.  She leaned forward in her car seat and asked innocently “Hey, Basterds, are we there yet?”

Senna can now say “Hello”, “Bye”, “Mama”, “Papa” and “Nee!” (All the words she hears the most!!).  She is FAST on her feet and has mastered all terrains (sand, rocks,  dirt!).   And thankfully, she has gotten better about napping in the car seat.  The first two weeks we thought we had the ONLY child who didn’t like sleeping in the car!  Now she is able to sleep even off road.

November 3-7 - Marrakesh

We want to see at least one big Moroccan city and we decide to check out Marrakesh.  We drive through Tizi n’Tichka – the highest road pass through the Atlas.  As usual, the 250km of tarmac between Ouarzazate and Marrakesh takes us twice as long as we think it will.  The road winds slowly through the mountains and we arrive in busy, dusty, loud and vibrant Marrakesh as the sun is setting.  We have a campsite set in the GPS and the route winds us through the center of town.  This is very different than what we have seen so far – many of the women and young girls are wearing Western (and stylish) clothes, heads uncovered.  Young couples whiz by on scooters.  There are big shops, restaurants and a lot of action.  We drive to the campsite about 8km out of town for our first night.

The next day we drive to the Marjane supermarket parking lot in town and leave the car and hop in a taxi to take us to the Bahia Palace in the old town.  The Bahia (the beautiful) palace was built in the 1860s and has nice decorated mosaic floors and painted, gilded, inlaid woodwork ceilings, though could use a bit of maintenance.  From the palace we wander through the streets in the Medina.  We often veer off the busy streets but just as often find ourselves at a dead end (somebody’s front door) and have to retrace our steps back to the main way.  We stop at a plastic table next to a grill with people coming and going picking square or round pancakes from the grill, having tea or eating a bowl of some sort of brown porridge.  Looks good so we have a seat.  We take one square, one round and a bowl of what turns out to be bissara (bean puree with spices and olive oil on top) and some sweet mint tea.  From there we continue our way through the main souq – seemingly endless miles of shops – belts, shoes, jewelry, shirts, dresses, dishes, cushions, bags, boxes, on and on and on.  Vendors pop out of their shops or get up from where they are sitting to try to entice us in.  It is getting towards mid day and their efforts are a bit half hearted as it is hot and probably time for lunch and rest.  We come to Djemaa el Fna, Marrakesh’s main square,  but as it is the middle of the day there isn’t much action.  We move on and find a fish stall.  They are frying fish and serving with chilli, tomato salsa and bread.  We have a seat and order two.  We return to the car and the Marjane.  Marjane is like Target or Carrefour – we go a bit overboard.  Wine, Pampers,  canned goods, chocolate milk, charcoal, car oil, they have it all!!  The next day we return to the Marjane parking lot and get a taxi into the old city in search of the historic Hammam Dar el Bacha.  As during the morning hours the hammam is open only to men, Stanley will go in first. As we get out of the taxi in front of the hammam, a man in his leather motor jacket approaches us and shows me the way inside. We step through a large gateway and directly access a large dome shaped hall and he tells me to undress. I could still hear the people talking outside who would be able to see me if they looked around the corner. They guy in his leather jacket and me in my underwear walk into the next room (a dark dungeon like room) and into the last warm and steamy dark room. The ceiling was high and again dome shaped with three small round windows of each 20 cm which let some little light in. A large man sat on the stone ground and was washing himself. The helping guy, still in his leather jacket, filled three buckets of water from the tap and threw them over the ground. He told me to sit on the cleaned ground and threw some more buckets of warm water over me. He told me to wait and came back a few minutes later in his underwear while I had some time to admire the surroundings. It was time for the “massage”. I had expected some sort of nice relaxing rubbing massage, but instead he made me do the most incredible painful stands, that I had seen in yoga books and always thought were impossible. Most were indeed impossible, but the guy was making it happen, with force!. Luckily the exercises were done after about 15-20 minutes and we would start a different session: the scrub. Equally painful, he used a rough sponge (I would have sworn it was a metal sponge) to take the top 3mm of skin from my body. He was very pleased to see the large rolls of skin that came off and made me touch them while he smiled. He must have thought he was doing me a favor. The last part of the washing ritual became a bit more gentle with soaping up and a near drowning experience with the 20 buckets of water (alternating warm and cold buckets) he threw over me.  Julia and Eowyn go next.  It is a very local affair.  The women’s side opens and we walk into the hallway.  There are 3 old women lying on mats and one tells us to take off our clothes there in the hall way.  The other two women will watch our bag.  We are led into the main bath area and then another bath chamber and an attendant motions for us to follow her through another and then another chamber.  Eowyn starts to really cry.  She hates it – it is too dark and she thinks it is raining and she is begging to leave.  The attendant is cooing at her and I am trying to sooth her.  We sit on the ground in the last chamber as the attendant fills up buckets of warm water and starts sloshing them at me.  Eowyn is still sitting on my lap clinging on to my neck.  She starts to relax and sits next to me on the floor as the attendant starts to soap me up.  Eowyn helps her rub soap all over my body and we soap her up as well.  Then more buckets of water and then comes the scrub.  This attendant is determined to get me clean and is scrubbing away while rolls of dirt are coming off.  Then a soapy massage, shampoo and conditioner and more buckets of water.  Eowyn has been enjoying herself playing with her own bucket of water and some soap and then the attendant turns on her.  She is staring at me with wide eyes and the attendant starts scrubbing her down and soaping her up.  She took it like a champ and said “Papa won’t believe how clean we are!”.  As we were getting the last buckets of water poured over us she was asking to return to the Hammam again tomorrow.  After the Hammam we are hungry.  We find a small restaurant which has big pots of bubbling stuff and lots of people.  We select a vegetarian dish and two fish ball dishes which are delicious!!

November 7 - Agadir

The next day we drive to Agadir and meet up with Niels again.  Agadir is pretty much the same as the South of Spain.  We stay at a weird camper site with lots of old European pensioners and their campers.  The only highlight is Eowyn has her first swim in the Atlantic – COLD!  But fun.  We take a walk on the promenade, get a Shoarma and turn in early.

November 8-10 - Southern Morocco and Western Sahara

We are now on our quest South.  We aim to spend a few days in Dakhla before heading on to Mauritania.  Our first stop is the Souss Massa National Park.  We turn off the main road at Massa but are somewhat confused as according to the map and the GPS we should be in the park but all we see is residential area…  We continue on but there doesn’t seem to be much of a park remaining.  We finally come to a sign that says “Park” and meet a guide who agrees to take us to where the birds are for 150Dh (14Euro).  This park is supposed to be one of the most important breeding grounds for migrating birds but we see almost no birds.  We follow the guide along the wetlands where you can see water being pumped out for use in the homes or the fields.  We have seen very little natural water in Morocco so it is understandable that people are drawn to this area but the wetlands don’t have long and it seems the birds have already moved on….    The campsite we stay at is new and beautiful – just on the beach and with hot showers, signposted from the main road and 8kms beyond the park “entrance”.

The next day we continue South stopping for a lunch break at Legzira Beach – beautiful!  We have a long walk on the beach before heading on to Goulmime where we camp just out of town.

We wake up the next morning to RAIN!  Well, heavy mist.  Actually, everyone in The Netherlands would still be heading to the beach but in an area of the world where the annual rainfall is  just over 1cm this constitutes rain.  Our first day of ‘rain’ on the trip.  We even got to use the windscreen wipers (for a few minutes). Driving South we are entering the Sahara.  Slowly we see the landscape changing from brown scrub hills to flat rock desert with a small dune here or there.  As we continue past Tan Tan the dunes are increasing in size and the sand covering more and more of the landscape.  We stop for a coffee along the main road near Tan Tan Plage and are enticed by the smells.  We order up two mixed fish platters and fries.  We are served huge plates with sardines, calamari, shrimp and two other kinds of fish – a GREAT place to stop for lunch!  We have also crossed into the disputed region of Western Sahara.  Police checkpoints are increasing.  Nothing too time consuming – just review of the passports, where are you going and the favorite question – what is your profession.  Not sure what they are after with this question but they ALWAYS ask.  Stanley is fine with ‘Doctor’.  Julia tried ‘Public Health’ but it doesn’t fit nicely on the little form that the police need to fill out so it always leads to follow up questions in order to come up with something that fits.  Most recently they have been satisfied with ‘manager’.

We spend the night at Le Roi Bedouin a beautiful location 4.5 km off the main road out in the desert.  Not sure how the owners found this place but it is a full house and an absolutely beautiful spot!! We hear that there have been riots in Laayoune the day before.    We are told that if we are driving through Laayoune we should have no problems.  We are up very early as we are trying to make it to Dakhla today.  We pass through Laayoune – everything is closed and there are military everywhere.  But they are military barracks EVERYWHERE, plus UN and police.  Doesn’t seem like the best place to stage a riot if you are expecting to get very far…Follow up news once we’ve been able to access the internet in Dakhla is that the Moroccan police raided a Saharawi refugee camp there is a huge variation on what the casualties are.  150ks South of Laayoune we pass through the very strange city of Boujdour.  There are sections with roads, electricity cables, street lights but no houses.  There are other areas with homes being built but it just seems there are not enough people.  We will see the same thing in Dakhla.  It seems the Moroccan Government has a ‘build it and they will come’ plan to try and populate W.S. with Moroccans or maybe just trying to entice the Saharawis into more defined (and controllable areas).  Very strange vibe in the town anyway.  After Boujdour. there is nothing much for hundreds of kilometers.  The road runs along the coast and there are temporary fishing camps (sometimes only a cloth hut sometimes 10-20 huts).  But there is not so much as a tree for hundreds of Kms, no electricity and no obvious sources of fresh water. 

November 10 - Dakhla

After hundreds of miles through the barren, hot  space that is the Western Sahara we come to the turn off to Dakhla.  One more police checkpoint and we turn on to the road that takes us through a moonscape which is the start of the Dakhla peninsula.  We come around the bend and there is a beautiful lagoon with probably 30 kite surfers on the water and a sign for a boutique hotel! Wow.  We continue 40kms to Dakhla to the campsite.  The only other guests are French surfers.  The location of the campsite is perfect for surfing, they can walk out from the campsite and the waves are big. It is another beautiful spot in Morocco and we plan to stay for a number of days.

Notes on the kids: Eowyn has mastered the squat toilet.  She really is the master and now prefers it to the regular toilet.  As previously noted – since now 90% of what Julia and Stanley say is said in front of her she is really picking up on our speech.  The previous two days were spent peppered with exclamations of “Jesus!!” “ Jeeeesus!” and my personal favorite “Jesus Louiseus!”.  Today she interrupted our argument with “Hey! What is going on up there in the front seat, you guys!?”  I half expected her to tell us to pull over so she could sort it out! She also has a lot of questions all of which are IMMEDIATELY followed by “Yes or no?”.  For example: “Can I have chocolate milk? Yes or No”.  “Can I have nail polish? Yes or no?”, Can I sit on your lap? Yes or no?”.  It is a little like being on a game show.

Senna now says “Hello” (which sounds more like “Harro”) .  She does use it as a greeting but she also uses it to get our attention.  When she wakes up she sits in her tent and says “Hello!”, “Hello!”.  If you are eating something she thinks she’d like to have “Hello! Hello! Hello!”She also says “Boom” whenever she drops something.  Which is often!


Morocco photos