Thursday, 3 January 2008


Yesterday was supposed to be an easy day - only 100 miles down to Rabat. Jo rode her bike for the first ever time having never riden a C90 before. Within 5 miles Paul's bike had a broken exhaust so he continued on the Reverand's bike. Jo's bike then had problems for 20 miles and Dennis fixed this by cleaning the fuel filter. It still had tick-over, battery and electrical problems. Seems the "free" service by a Honda dealer was not too good then. All the other bike are going faultlessly.

We arrived at Rabat around 2pm. We stopped here in order to try and get a 30 transit visa for Mauritania rather than the 3 day visa from the border. This is because part of the group require more than 3 days for their desert route there....

However we had some problems finding the place and tempers were challenged. Eventually Dennis and I were led to the right place only to be told by a tall and very dark man behind a tiny window that we needed to go back there between 9 and 11 the following day.

So that was it for the day's travelling except getting to the campsite - in the rain and across a very busy Rabat.

Once ensconced the Police Inspector then, again exceeded expectations by cooking a Carbonara - sheltered only by a flapping tarp.

The rain subsided and we enjoyed the grub, through it was too wet'n'windy for a camp fire.

In bed at 8.20pm - bliss since it had been a much harder day than expected.

Thursday 3rd

Steve and I set off to sort out the visas (whilst the others had a lie-in. We were first in the queue there and were joined by lots of Marocans and other adventure traveller (for the Lisbon-Dakar).

Turns out the forms we had spent a lot of time preparing were out of date and so Steve and I had to complete by proxy the new forms. We only had 2 hours to do this, including getting the forms corrected if necessary. All the wording was in French and Arabic and so we had to work hard to get all 8 forms done. Then we has to requeue along woth everyone else. One Marocan did not appreciate that we had 8 forms to siubmit and gave us a bit of agro, but we sorted the out and thankfuly all 8 formas were accepted, together with the 20 Euros, Passport, Photocopy of passport and 2 passport photos. Phew. Steve and I left there at 5 to 11 so just in time. Now we have to go back again to collect out passports - at midday on Friday. So even if this goes OK it will have cost us 2 days!

It was still raining when we left. It is still raining now and possibly tomorrow also. Quite an experience really. Only 1 tent has been lost (not mine). I'm v glad I brought 4 desert tent pegs which are fully employed right now.

Paul is cooking chicken tonight. We're using the shower block for this... It's dry and warm afterall!!

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