Into Africa. Morocco Begins
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
It’s been a long time coming, and it hardly seems real. Over 5 years of planning and dreaming and working towards this day.
I book tickets for the ferry from Southern Spain to Tangier, Morocco late one afternoon. I’m setting sail early the next morning. I’ll be in Africa early the next day. Hmmm. That’s hard to take in.
A couple of last minute jobs and a dip in the ocean and I’m ready to go.
In the morning it’s two minutes to clear customs leaving Spain, and I drive the Jeep into the belly of a very modern ferry, along with about 10 other vehicles and 30 people.
On the ferry my passport is stamped into Morocco, and I’m soon driving off the ferry into the customs area. Along with the other vehicles I’m held behind a large gate where my paperwork must be completed. I smile when I notice the brand new twin-turbo Porsche beside the Jeep.
A police officer has me fill out my details on a card, then sends me upstairs to get my passport registered as a driver. Once that’s done the same policeman has an extremely cursory look in the back of the Jeep. And asks me the following (in Spanish)
I’m handed a small piece of paper that is the 90 day temporary permit for the Jeep in Morocco, and I’m free to drive out. All free. I park immediately and walk over to an office to buy vehicle insurance. It takes about 10 minutes, and I’m all set to drive out into Tangier.
It’s been a while since I have driven in an undeveloped country, and it’s a shock to be thrown back so deeply into “Make It Up Driving” as I like to call it. Turn signals, stop signs, red lights and lane markings mean absolutely nothing. Go when there is space. Jam in when there is not.
Ahhhh, now this feels familiar!
My first country in an entirely new continent! Here we go!
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