Many years ago, before ‘Fulltiming’, I spent a great deal of time reading ‘blogs’ about people who were already ‘on the road’ doing the fulltiming stuff, trying to get a feel for what the life ‘on the road’ was really like. Okay, so it was always good to read about the journey’s and the places visited but I kept saying to myself “You can’t be on the road travelling everyday and you can’t be doing something every day, surely there must be periods of boredom” ? On a few occasions I took to sending Emails to ‘some’ of those ‘Fulltimers’ and I asked them all sorts of questions, but when I asked the question about getting ‘bored’ I was reprimanded, in a nice sort of way, but the response was categorically that there was no such word as ‘bored‘, in the Fulltimers dictionary, although, there may be occasions when one had a ‘Loose Moment’ !! Now let me just clarify this right from the outset, this has absolutely no connections whatsoever to that similar terminology, ‘Loose Movements‘ which believe me, in the close confines of a Motorhome is a whole different issue !!
When Shazza decided that she wanted to come to Morocco this year, I still wasn’t keen and so we came to an agreement that, if, after two weeks, one, or both, of us was not happy then we would get the next ferry back to Spain. Well, that was good enough for me, I knew she wouldn’t like it, all that being pestered when you walked around shops and markets, she didn’t like the game of ‘bartering’, she didn’t like being restricted to what she could wear when ‘out and about’, we didn’t have full gas bottles, yes, we would be back in Spain in time for Christmas !! You already know that we did not return to Spain for Christmas, or New Year, and by the time you get to reading this, we will have been in Morocco for four weeks, three of which have been spent on the same campsite in Agadir !! Now Morocco is almost exactly as I had imagined it would be, most of the towns shabby and run down and a great deal of poverty in evidence in the majority of places that we have either visited or driven through. However, I had underestimated three things. The first being the people, they are warm, friendly, helpful, trustful and exceptionally welcoming, secondly, being Agadir, yes old and shabby in places, but isn’t that like lots of Western towns and cities, they all have ‘suburbs’ that are far from salubrious. I think that Agadir can cater for ‘most’ tastes, it certainly has the typical Moroccan feel and look in the ‘old town’ with its large ‘Souk’, a vast number of ‘Mosques’ and that general hub bub. However, it also has its modern side, with its very Westernised approach. I know that to some more seasoned explorers, and even first timers who are much more adventurous than us, they will say that we haven’t seen very much of Morocco at all, and they are right, but at least we have ‘dipped our toes’ and given them a bit of a ‘wiggle’. And finally, I had completely overlooked the fact that I may just come to love this place, well certain bits of it at least !!
I am extolling the virtues of Agadir, but it would be fair to perhaps comment that this would not perhaps be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’. The Campsite is overcrowded, we were fortunate in that we got one of the last proper ‘marked’ pitches that were available, since our arrival people have still been turning up in their droves, pitching up wherever they could ‘squeeze’ in, I am just glad that we put our Awning out otherwise someone would undoubtedly have tried to park beside us !! The site is walking distance to everywhere in the City and due to its location there are a few ‘Inconveniences’. It is located next to one of the busiest roads, so there is traffic noise, day and night. On two sides of the site we are surrounded by Hotels and Nightclubs, all of which have music blaring until the early hours. But, all things considered, I personally think that the City is worth some of these ‘inconveniences’, you get used to the traffic, and to be honest it tends to just fade into the background after being here a few days. The music from the Nightclubs can still cause some irritation though, especially as ones beloved likes to get a full eight hours restful sleep at night !! But what is it about Agadir ? for even Shazza is happy to remain here for a ‘few’ weeks longer, it can’t just be that the daytime temperatures consistently average between 20-25 degrees(c), although that was the initial main attraction for coming here in the first place and when we look, on a daily basis, at the temperatures further North in places like Marrakesh and Fez, as well as Spain and Portugal, then there is nothing enticing us to leave here before we actually have to, especially when everything we need is quite literally here on the doorstep.
It didn’t really take us too long to get the ‘lay of the land’, we need bottled water on a fairly frequent basis and buy it in six bottle multi-packs, which, carrying them over an extended distance means they become fairly heavy, however, we have found a nearby shop so that problem has been resolved. We have a local pattiserie where we get our daily Baguette and that is just a couple of minutes away from the bank where we exchange our money when required. We have only visited the ‘Souk’ once, I don’t think we shall be visiting it again, however, we have the ‘Central Market’ just a short twenty-minute stroll away where we buy all our ‘Fresh’ Meat, Fish, Poultry, Vegetables and our Fruit and then five minutes from that is a small Moroccan supermarket where we can purchase Fresh Milk and other sundry items. There are also the numerous regular ‘traders’ that park up outside the site gates on a daily basis, so all in all, our normal day-to-day requirements are all catered for.
So what about things to do, places to go ? For those that bring with them some additional ‘motorised’ transportation, a car, quad bike, motorcycle or scooter, then that opens up vast opportunities to get out and about, to other local towns, historical places of interest, the desert, waterfalls and secluded beaches. But where does that leave people like us ? Apart from the obvious delights of Agadir, I think I may have mentioned them once or twice ! There is the old ‘Kasbah’ that sits high up on the hill overlooking Agadir, it is around 8km away so a decent walk, or you can take the much easier option, just flag down one of the numerous little ‘Petite taxi’s’, you can’t miss them, they are all red and importantly all of them are ‘metered’. We haven’t visited the ‘Kasbah’ yet but it is on our list of ‘Things To Do’, we will pack ourselves a picnic and get a taxi to the top of the hill, visit the ‘Kasbah’, then we plan to walk back, at least the return trip is downhill !! You don’t have to miss out on any of the ‘other’ stuff either, there are organised and supervised trips a plenty, whether that be a one day or two-day visit to Marrakesh, Quad biking in the desert, visits to ‘Berber’ villages with typical Moroccan food as part of the experience, “Excuse me waiter but my Sheeps Eyeball has a squint !! Yes Sir, and so would you if you had been hung upside down for three days before being slow roasted for 6 hours over hot coals !!” You can visit and swim in the Waterfalls, take a half day visit to ‘Tiznit’ (Silver City) and return via the Coast road. These trips are mainly done in 4×4 vehicles with groups of no more than 4-6 people and ‘Yes’ you of course ‘Barter’ to get the best price !!
Now of course, in temperatures averaging consistently between 20-25 degrees(c) during the day, there are times when you just want to sit, in your sun chair, cold beer in one hand, packet of cigarettes ready on the side, and just do absolutely nothing except hours of ‘Solar Basting’, can you really get bored with doing that ? Drat ! I used the ‘Forbidden’ word, okay, are their times when perhaps you get a loose moment, and the answer of course is Yes ! Now there are two things you can do about ‘Loose Moments’, you can sit and moan about them, or, do something about them. I believe that ‘Loose Moments’ can become worse when combined with ‘Lethargy’. There are times when you just cannot be bothered to actually do anything, which makes matters worse.
During the day there are the usual things, van domestics, internal and external, or, as we do, take on the French at their National Sport, that is always a good way of passing a couple of hours without expending too much energy. To date though we still have to beat them !! With each match comprising three games we have come close recently with a narrow 2-1 loss, but on the game we won we whooped them 13-6, there were certainly some concerned looks on their faces and quite a few ‘Sacre Blau’s‘ flying around. If we had won I may have been tempted to have got them to not just shake my hand but insisted on them kissing my cheeks, all four of them !!
However, there are days when we feel like getting outside of our walled encampment so we take a stroll, along the beach or the promenade and………………..
Now that’s all well and good during the daytime but what about when the sun sets and it gets dark, I hear you ask ? A damn good question, well presented and so deserving of a response. Being so close to the Promenade, we often have our evening meal, get washed up and then take a walk along the seafront, we are never alone, it is a very popular pastime out here, as in lots of ‘Mediterranean’ Countries, to ‘Promenade‘ in the evening. it’s difficult to describe but there are always lots of people out walking along the whole length of this very long promenade, it is lined with bright Neon lit Cafes/Bars/Restaurants. Families with young children come out, couples and even single people, of all age groups just mingle. The street vendors are always out selling their ‘tourist tat’, or children’s toys and balloons, or popcorn or nuts, it is quite a lively, yet strangely, also a tranquil place to just saunter. Often we will walk so far down, turn around and then before returning to the campsite we will partake of an evening ‘Nus Nus’ whilst others drink Tea, Beer, Wine or just water. But there are evenings when we just want to sit in, on such occasions we have things to occupy us. With an Internet connection we can ‘SKYPE’ family and friends, check and write Emails, catch up with other people’s ‘blogs’, I think I am currently following six other ‘nomads’ adventures !! Sharon likes to read and she has ‘physical’ books as well as her ‘Kindle’ (other E-Readers are available !). Then of course with iPads there are numerous ‘games’ that can be played, I tend to use the evenings to download and review photographs that I may have taken on my camera or other devices and of course to write, update or publish my blog posts. I also try to respond to every person who has taken the time to place a comment on my respective posts, well it would be rude not to. Bringing out a good supply of DVD’s is also an advantage as that can pass a good couple of hours, we have a sort of ‘unwritten’ agreement that if we watch a ‘chick flick’ one night then the next time we watch a DVD it is one of my choices, bit of ‘Blood and Guts’ adventure like ‘Die Hard’ or similar, or a good ‘Thriller”.
In all seriousness, anyone contemplating this ‘lifestyle’ needs to think beyond the actual travelling part. It will of course depend on your individual budget but generally, travelling consistently, equals more fuel usage and additionally, the weather may force you to park up somewhere for longer than you may have anticipated. So whilst it is good to look forward to driving around Europe, seeing new places and enjoying an ‘outdoor’ lifestyle, you also need to think about periods of ‘confinement’, not always due to inclement weather, it may be that there actually isn’t very much to do at some locations so be prepared. Even in ‘Winter Sun’ locations it gets dark early !! Apologies if that sounded a bit like a lecture, but I think that it is an important aspect that can very easily get overlooked but which could have a massive impact on the long-term enjoyment.
Just by way of another footnote, our Spanish neighbours have now departed, so no more ‘fishy’ treats !! However, as they come from just outside of Seville they have given us their telephone number and home address and asked us to call them when we are next in their ‘neighbourhood’, you really do meet some lovely people on your travels. However, in their absence we will not go hungry, Arlette, our French friend and neighbour delivered us a plate of hot ‘Crepes’ this evening !!
So after completing another evenings ‘Promenading’ and look forward to another new day, we have been asked to join in another game of ‘Petanque’ tomorrow, followed by ‘Drinks and Nibbles’, so whilst that will stave off another potential ‘Loose Moment’ I already feel another hangover coming on…………….