Moulay Bousselham – El Jadida (201 Miles)
We were awake early, it was another ‘Moving On’ day and we were both ready for it, although today it was going to be a longish haul of around 200 miles !! There is no getting away from the fact that we are both only here for one main reason, and that reason is the warmer winter climate, at Moulay Bousselham it isn’t really any warmer than the ‘Algarve’ or ‘Southern Spain’ with daytime temperatures around 18 degrees(c) and chilly nights at around 7-8 degrees(c), however by moving further South our daytime and night-time temperatures will rise by 2-3 degrees(c) respectively.
We had pre-done the necessary ‘on board’ facilities the previous evening to save a bit of time, we had been using the on-site showers so we still didn’t need to top up the ‘Fresh’ water tank, which also meant we still had good ‘drinking’ water, so no need to break into the ‘bottled’ reserves just yet. Once this tank has been used though we would need to top up with ‘potable‘ supplies of Moroccan water, although we wouldn’t use it for drinking, just washing-up the dishes and for taking showers, if the site facilities were not good !!
Ever since ‘Big Momma’s’ tantrum, all moving on days are now going to be a little anxious with that inevitable question of ‘Will she, or won’t she ?’. Because of our lengthy journey Shazza had prepared some sandwiches and I had made the flask of coffee, as well as staving off hunger it would also serve to break the monotony of the long drive, it’s always good to have something to munch on ! With the EHU unplugged, without any ‘shocks or crackles’, and the cable stowed it was time to roll of the levelling block and stow them, then the moment of truth………………………. no problems, she started first time !!
It was easy enough getting out of the site and within three miles we were back on the Motorway, this would take us virtually all the way to El Jadida. The journey was routine, and typical of most Motorways, it wasn’t very scenic. We did see lots of Shepherds, and Shepherdesses, religiously supervising their flocks of sheep or goats, or both. Now this is one thing that surprised me because it is a common sight since being on our travels here in Morocco. I wondered why these people stood, or walked, with their flocks, as opposed to just leaving them to graze in the fields by themselves ? We were not aware of any predators that would take them ? Perhaps they just had nothing better to do ? Perhaps, if they didn’t stay with them, someone may steal them ? My guess, and it is only a guess, is that, from what we can see, there are no fences to create boundaries, so perhaps it is to prevent their flocks from straying onto a neighbour’s land, for if they do, that neighbour may claim ownership of the flock or claim compensation if the flock graze on their land ? Isn’t it amazing the things that tend to go through your mind when you are driving !!
The Motorway was relatively quiet, as is usual, but again, Shazza and I both made the same observation, everyone will tell you how poor people are in Morocco, but we have not seen one single Moroccan without a mobile phone, and another observation, all the cars we do see on the Motorway all look quite new, Toyota 4×4’s are very popular, Volvo’s, Mercedes, VW Golfs, so perhaps they are not ‘all’ living ‘hand to mouth’ !! We also saw lots of working Donkeys, looking in good health I hasten to add, some grazing in fields, whilst others were earning their keep either carrying their ‘masters’ to who knows where, pulling carts, or in fields harnessed to agricultural equipment, no such thing as Tractors out in these parts !! We have seen very few ‘other’ Motorhomes actually on the road, plenty on our first campsite though, although two did pass us but they were heading North, perhaps the ‘others’ are using the more scenic Southbound ‘non-motorway’ routes, even at the risk of being ‘stoned’ as they pass through the towns and Villages !!
As we followed the Ring Road around ‘Rabat‘ the traffic increased in volume at least fifty fold, we now not only had cars but trucks, large, medium and small as well as buses and……… ‘Traffic Lights’ !! I thought that this was a Motorway ? Another thing to be aware of, there are plenty of speed warnings on these Motorways and they are not here just to add a change to the scenery ! We have passed lots of Policemen, sat on chairs in the central reservation, with ‘speed guns’ !! Another noticeable thing, around Rabat, the number of Traffic Policemen on Motorcycles, the number of Policemen stood at all the major road junctions and the number of Police Checkpoints that were pulling over vehicles, but only the Moroccan registered ones, checking what I assumed was the driver’s vehicle documentation and then they searched the vehicles, top to bottom. However, as we approached, slowly, they just gave us a smile and waved us through.
Just after leaving the outskirts of Rabat I saw two Motorhomes behind me, they remained behind for quite a while until at one point they had no option to overtake, it was then that I saw that they were two ‘French’ registered vehicles and it looked as if they were travelling together. They got delayed exiting one of the ‘Peages‘ (Toll Booths) so it was back to ‘Follow my leader’ with me out in front. We, and they, had no way of knowing that we were all headed for the same Campsite in El Jadida, until we arrived in convoy !! And for those who are interested in such things, our journey on the Motorway was around One Hundred and Ninety Miles, for which we paid 142 Dirhams (€13.38 or £10.90).
The Vicarious books, ‘Camping Morocco‘, had not given this site a very good write up, however, it was last ‘inspected’ in 2009 so we hoped that there may have been improvements in the preceding five years. Now when I scribe these ramblings, I do, wherever possible try to make the title of each ‘Post’ bear some relevance to what I actually put in them, or I try to be creative and give them a cryptic title which ‘generally’ has a bearing on something that may have happened. By way of example, I was going to title this post ‘From Rustic To Primitive‘, because in comparison with the campsite we had just left, which now I would consider as being ‘first class’, this one, well let’s just say that we will be using our own on-board facilities throughout our stay here !!
However, I do, as you well know, try to keep to the principles of ‘The Life of Brian‘ and always ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life‘, (Okay, stop that humming right now !! you can do that later !!) so, given that the ‘work of fiction‘ is forecasting us with a bit more of the wet stuff during our short stay here, we have at least managed to park on a ‘Hardstanding’, we once again have what appears to be a very good ‘Ampage’ on the EHU, this means Day Four of not having to use any of our precious LPG, and although WiFi is only available in the Reception area, the ‘Motorhome WiFi iBoost‘ is finally coming good and proving its worth yet again, as we can pick up the WiFi signal in ‘Big Momma’, and finally, we are within walking distance of what appears to be a reasonably sized town, which has a Port, an old Portuguese Quarter and a Medina (Market) so I guess we do have several ‘Reasons to be Cheerful‘.