After 6 weeks “on the road” washing has become a little easier and most clothes dry in a day, so long as we can find a tree to attach our washing line to. Still amazing how France,Spain,Portugal & Morocco DO NOT HAVE PLUGS-is there a world shortage ? I’ve never really thought about Plugs so much. Something we take for granted, as our sinks & baths in UK generally come with one attached.We have searched local super markets & local souks hoping for a glimpse of one of these rare objects.Even drawing an elaborate picture for one young boy manning “The Plumbing Kiosk” in Meknes Medina, as we didn’t at the time know the French name for Plug. Now I understand its called Bouchon. The sinks in some Moroccan campsites come with a sink of various depths ( I nearly fell into one it was so big) and definitely not ergonomically designed as a major stretch is generally required from the hips, causing havoc on the back .These sinks have a wash board type feature, generally at the front for scrubbing your clothes- but No B—— Plug ! I have actually resulted in asking our good friends Rich & Jocie to bring one with them from the UK. Oh and thats another thing, the plug holes are various sizes, so hopefully it will fit most of the sinks. Currently using a sock to plug the hole !
Ive also noted that other fellow campers use scrubbing brushes on their clothes & some even boil kettles for hot water ( we don’t have a kettle ). So when we went to a Moroccan Supermarket I had to buy a Barbie Pink laundry set, in the hope that it may help me get a few of Vinnie’s Skiddies out ! Nice pink bucket to soak a few clothes in hot water over night, a pink scrubbing brush and a soap container with 2 rotating brushes.
Having just put our first bucket load in for soaking I asked Vinnie to agitate the bucket for me- He hasn’t stopped giving the bucket abuse since ! Oh and we purchased a nice nylon washing line in yellow- they didn’t have pink !
When out exploring Medina’s I’m getting used to paying for a small piece of toilet paper to accompany me into “The Ladies” and then hoping my balancing skills are top notch and the placement of the 2 feet are deposited in the correct position, lined up to hover over the tiny hole in the floor and escape without wet feet or wet knickers ! Oh and remembering to put the paper Ive paid for in a bin & not down the hole ! Its a lucky day if you find a toilet facility with toilet paper !
As Morocco doesn’t seem to have any recycling, its amazing how much rubbish the two of us generate. Im not sure what provision there is for rubbish disposal , but I think it may be drop it as you’ve used it. The one thing about this lovely country that really lets it down is the amount of rubbish that lies pretty much everywhere.
We now also have some new soft furnishings for “Col K”. We noticed most fellow campers had some form of fly blind for their doors. We have fly screens for all our windows & were going to fit a fly screen to our door before leaving the UK, but it was too complicated. After a stroll around a Souk, we came across our nice new handmade tassle drop curtain, to hopefully discourage the little blighters from entering our living space. The problem we had was how to fix the curtain up. The nice man who sold the curtain kindly included the bent aluminium curtain track for us. So off we went looking for an alternative. We were sent to a plumbers kiosk ( yet again ) and he didn’t have what we wanted, but he did have broom handles, so after an exchange of -” that goes with this brush” we managed to get away with just the pole and 4 screws ! Vinnie cut it to size with his hacksaw.
We arrived at a Moroccan beach resort and went for a stroll. The difference in a beach resort from Europe was amazing. The whole beach was full of men and boys playing football for miles. There were hardly any women around, which to me seemed weird and those that were there , were fully clothed. So it was a bit of a cultural shock and one I’m getting more used to the longer we are here. It makes you feel self conscious and think twice about how you are dressed. We spent a day on a beach pretty much fully clothed as anything else on my part would have been frowned upon. We were interviewed as well by 5 young Moroccan girls for a college project, which they filmed on their phones.
We are getting used to using our diesel hob for cooking, so that we save our gas and its pretty efficient and takes 2 pans. We haven’t as yet had a BBQ, but I am sure we will have opportunity further South. We tried a Moroccan “Fast Food” restaurant, that wasn’t very fast, but have decided not to bother again and stick to tangine, cous-cous or skewers in future. The bread here is generally flat round loaves, which are pretty tasty and make a good sandwich. There is generally a wide range of good fruit and veg, olives, dates, spices etc for sale and of course Argan oil, for cooking or cosmetic purposes that is grown in the region of Essaouira and north east of Agadir. Goats climb into these trees to graze.
One thing that is difficult is not speaking French & I really wish I had gone to those lessons in the UK. We are getting by however with the “petit” amount that is coming back from my school days and using my French dictionary and nodding appropriately & saying no thank you. Whilst out walking today we came across a very remote rural village and had a quick French lesson from some arabic children. Today I have learned to ask to wash my sheets in a washing machine. We will see tomorrow how that works out ! Given that we are heading to Mauritania, Senegal and Mali, we had better speed up on our French ,Arabic and drawing skills. But after Vinnie tried to learn the Arabic alphabet, I think we will stick to French.
Vinnie also found use for the offcuts from the broom handle and made 2 washing line holders
We have also had our awning out for the first time and learnt a little trick from fellow campers, using filled water bottles to hold it in place. Oh and yes it did open after Vinnie’s little miss adventure with a Portuguese wall ! ( a few more dents & scratches).
We have also found oversized alcoholic butterflies !
You can buy a universal plug in most travel luggage type places in the UK. It’s a disc of rubbery material about 3 or 4 inches in diameter, the weight of the water holds it down over the outlet, not very efficient but better than nothing.
Thanks for that, wish I knew that before we left.
Another great post Jacqui – good to hear about the everyday issues of life on the road. Unfortunately, I can’t get the thought of Vinnie’s skiddies out of my head now. Thanks for that!
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Lucky Lucky You!
I have checked my dictionary but to no avail…for the benefit of non English speakers could you expand on the term “skiddies”.
From reading other blogs on your route….postings progressively decline after Morocco until say Nigeria,by the time Angola arrives,you suspect the bloggers may have been eaten by cannibals…at the very least….or if they are driving a DAF…they are awaiting a new engine to be flown out from Europe…..while holed up in a tsetse infested backwater sweltering in 37° heat…where the term “the natives are getting restless” actually has some real meaning.
Anyway Goodluck Johnathan**
(**An effusive greeting employed by locals in the armpit of Afrika…whose meaning cannot be literally translated)
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After dinner at the Tiger Inn with friends from Hastingleigh, I was telling them of our plans to travel the world in an expedition truck and low and behold I’m reading your tales with jealousy!! We are planning similar adventure in a couple of years but heading to Australia first. Have fun…
Simon & Joan
Hi Simon, do you live nr Hastingleigh then? Small world eh. Not sure your aware, but Im the Hastingleigh Community News roving travel correspondent lol
Hi guys check out the thermal spa/ camping at Guelimin just north west of Tan Tan great for a soak, living the dream we wish you well
Hi Tim, thanks for the tip, we’ll give it a go when we get down that far, we are in Essaouria for a few days with some friends that have flown out, so wall to wall tourists at the moment
Hey Vince, Jacqui, looking great — weljel ! Find that in the dictionary (Down with the kids eh)
Hope you are having as great a time as it looks,
All the best
Andy S (Overlander forum)
Hi Andy good to hear from you, yeah having a great time, down in Zagora now, very hot, but it’s gonna get hotter in Mauri and Mali, so it’s getting us used to it, slowly….
The Daf is behaving it’s self mostly ha