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The Road to Morocco - Inverness to Marrakesh with our Caravan


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In January we set off from our home in the northern Scottish Highlands (north of Inverness actually, but that would have made the title too long) with our Swift Challenger 635 TA caravan on a 5,672 mile epic journey that would take us to Marrakesh and back. We set off in foul wet weather one morning and two weeks later we crossed the Straights of Gibraltar and drove off the ferry into a warm and sunny Africa!

 

It was an incredible, exciting, and at times stressful trip that saw us tour Morocco from Tangier to Marrakesh and the foot hills of the Atlas Mountains, return to Europe via Spain, settle, so we thought, in The Algarve, get evicted from Portugal due to the Corvid-19 virus, and make a madcap dash back to the UK via Spain and France in just 4 days wild camping overnight at truck stops, followed by towing the length of the UK in just 2 days!

 

During the journey I kept a travel journal detailing the highs and lows, the adventures and escapades of a couple of fairly novice caravanners, as we threw caution to the wind and took our caravan to another continent and back.

 

On returning home I have added a guide to taking your caravan to Morocco to the journal, detailing how to get from Europe to Morocco, an itinerary suitable for towing a caravan in this wonderful country, a guide to the campsites we used and lots of information that will help you enjoy your trip there. The guide and the journal are both illustrated with photographs taken on the trip. There are also links to YuTube videos showing the routes into some of the campsites we used and others you may find of interest and help.

The journal begins with our first idea of taking our caravan to Morocco, why we changed our caravan, the equipment that we took, the maps and guides and the plan that we set off with.

 

This journal and guide is now available as a PDF. The cost? Well whatever you want to donate to a worthy charity, The British Moroccan Society's Covid-19 Relief Fund:

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic that is causing hardship especially during Ramadan in remote villages of the Atlas Mountains, the BMS has decided to set up a special fund in order to provide basic food provisions to people who are in desperate need of our help.

 

Thanking you in anticipation of your generous contribution to our worthy causes at this time of exceptional circumstances, to donate please visit: http://www.britishmoroccansociety.org/covid-19/

 

If you would like a PDF copy of the Journal, The Road to Morocco, send me a PM with your email address and I'll send you a copy of the PDF. The amount of your donation is entirely up to you, I don't even want to know what it was. Any amount will help and will be gratefully received by the British Moroccan Society.

 

So, take your minds off all the doom and gloom, sit back and enjoy the adventure, and you never know, we may even see you and your caravan in Morocco next year.

 

 

BH

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Could I please ask that you mention the journal if you make a donation.

 

Thanks.

 

BH

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This is a genuinely interesting, informative, funny (in places) and well crafted journal of a pretty epic journey with a caravan. Well worth a read if you are prepared to make a donation to a very good cause.

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2020 Swift Eccles 650 towed by Range Rover Vogue SE SDV8 4.4

"What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!"

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Sorry that it has taken me a long time to leave a review. 

Firstly thank you to Blackhart for the wonderful journal of his trip to Morocco and back.

It should be also noted that he is not making money out of this (although I don't doubt that he could sell it commercially) but to help a worthy cause which I am sure like many of you, like me, will never have heard of.  

 

The Journal itself is both comprehensive (nearly 200 pages) and entertaining.  

When I asked Blackhart for a copy I was not sure what to expect but in reality had expected maybe 50 pages max, well I was very impressed both by the writing style and content.

 

I sent the journal which is in PDF (Adobe reader) format to my kindle as I normally read books on this and found myself hooked. I read it over a couple of days after work, not only did it give me an amazing insight into a country I knew little of, other that a few friends who had been to resorts on package holidays, but it gave me inspiration to want to head on a real adventure of my own (when were allowed and when I have time as being of working age this is not possible at the moment).  It gives enough detail to be helpful but without getting so bogged down it loses its appeal as a good read.

 

I would happily recommend this journal both if you are thinking of an adventure yourself or if you just fancy a good read following someone else's. 

 

If I were to give this a rating it would have to be 5 stars out of 5.

 

Blackhart has natural writing ability, whilst many of us have extra time at the moment while we are not able to continue with our normal pastimes this allows an escape into a different world. 

 

Many thanks to Blackhart for my copy. I was only too happy to give a donation to the British Moroccan Society in return.

 

I hope that Blackhart and other members keep producing journals like this when we are able as it is one of the best reasons to be part of this forum. 

 

Jon

I in my mid 30's and caravan with my caravaning cat all year.  Honda CRV '65' Plate 1.6 Diesel towing Swift Corniche 15/2E 1995  Hyundai Santa Fe towing Adria Dart (with weight upgrade to 1800 kg)

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I agree with everything that Jon has said.  Not only is this an informative and amusing account of an adventure but it also has a well documented section at the end that takes you through the basic requirements for a successful caravan trip to Morocco.

 

If anyone is thinking of 'taking the plunge', this account is an excellent start.  It is, IMHO, a stunning culturally diverse country with a wide variety of breathtaking scenery, delightful and friendly people and a air of exotic adventure about it.

 

We went on a 'bit of a wing and a prayer' in 2018.  We were at the bottom of Spain and made a bit of a spur of the moment decision (although I did leave UK with an insurance Green Card with a 7 week travel window just in case).

For a variety of family reasons, we only had just over 3 weeks in Morocco but it was enough to convince us that we needed to spend more time there.  As soon as it is safe to travel again and my knee has been replaced, we will go back.

 

If you enjoy something a bit different, I can recommend Blackhart's journal which may lead to you deciding to give Morocco a go.

 

Bob

 

(We are both the wrong side of 70 and tow a 7m Fendt with a 2019 Santa Fe)

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I am full of admiration for what Blackhart did and would love to go to Morocco myself - but dare I say that I would fly in, travel from place to place by train,  and stay in some of the stunning traditional riads in the very heart of the old cities.

 But bravo Blackhart and thank you for the report.

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Thank you for your kind comments.

 

The Road to Morocco is now available in Kindle or generic eBook format so you can read it on your smartphone or tablet. If you have already received the PDF version and would like a Kindle or eBook copy (at no extra charge) please PM me.

 

If you have not already purchased a copy of the book then PM me and state what format you would like.

 

Remember donations to http://www.britishmoroccansociety.org/covid-19/  there is no set price and I do not require to know how much you donated.

 

Thanks again.

 

BH

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Wasn't The Road to Morocco also a comedy film with the late great Bob Hope?  Thanks for going to the trouble of writing the book.  We would love to do Morocco using caravan but sadly the cost of having the cats in the cattery for 3 months puts a halt onto it.  I assume no issue with dogs?    :D

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Indeed it was, our trip to Morocco was a bit of a comedy as well, which is how the journal got its name! :o

 

No excuse regarding the cats though. Our German neighbours in Marrakesh took their cat with them (see photo).

 

No problem with dogs either, it's all catered for in the guide section. Photo attached of our wee dogie getting admired in the Medina at Asilah.

 

BH

 

 

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We can keep the one cat on a leash, but not the other as he is a hunter.  Both cats weigh just under 6kg each so normal weight for them.  Our previous cat we were able to take wherever we went and had no issue.

That chicken in your picture would be history with the male cat who kills to eat and not simply for the pleasure of catching and killing.  BTW he has more than enough food available at home.  :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, anyone fancying a trip to Morocco with their caravan in 2021?

 

We are planning a visit of 3 months, but with flexibility to take in the Coronavirus situation. Having done the trip now we know that we can tow the caravan down to Algeciras and get a ferry across without too much trouble. The decisions come about taking the ferry to Spain, or crossing with Eurotunnel and driving all the way through France. Having a wee dog we need to book well in advance for a pet friendly cabin on the ferry. Taking Eurotunnel we can set off at a moments notice.

 

We will give it a couple of months and reassess the situation with the ferry. If it is still unclear at the end of August then we will opt for Eurotunel. Let's face it, experience tells us that we can drive from the Scottish Highlands to Algeciras in 6 days (well we did it the other way coming back).

 

BH

 

 

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The ferries to Spain seemed to be heavily booked in July when I looked and getting a dog cabin in August will probably be difficult unless someone cancelled just before you looked.

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  • 4 months later...

Well, here we are planning our 2021 trip to Morocco (Covid-19 rules permitting), as I want to be able to leave at a moments notice as soon as we are able to travel.

 

We have decided crossing by Euro-tunnel this time, for 2 reasons. Firstly, we will feel safer in our own vehicle rather than on a 24 hour ferry journey. Secondly, we can get a train across with very little notice, so will have great flexibility for when we travel and won't have to book weeks or months in advance. By the way, as we discovered when 'escaping' from Portugal in March, I found that I could drive from Albufeira to Calais in 4 days, we will make a quick journey down to Algeciras to get the ferry over to Morocco.

 

This year we purchased car insurance at the Moroccan border (Tangeir Med Port) for the month that we were there at a cost of about £150.00. Today I have been in contact with our insurers and find that they will issue a 'green card' insurance for us covering France, Spain, Portugal and 3 months in Morocco for about £50.00. So when we renew our vehicle insurance in December I'll get the green card then all ready for our trip.

 

We will be taking any old electrical devices (old mobile phones, chargers, cables etc.) that we have lying about the house as there is a strong market for these sort of things in Morocco. When there we will find a charity to donate them to for them to sell on to make some money.

 

Three months in Morocco (possibly more if I can sort a visa whilst there) then 90 days in Europe (staying in Portugal for a while, then returning through Spain and France) will make a great winter in the sun! :D

 

Things may be grim here at the moment but it is a good way of staying positive by making exciting plans for next year.

 

BH

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Thanks for the journal.

 

Donation made.

 

Ian

2018 Range Rover Sport AB,  2015 Buccaneer Cruiser.

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My pleasure Ian, I hope that you enjoy it.

 

Also a reminder to all the the offer still applies.

 

BH

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BH,

 

We are aiming for a mid-late January 2022 departure with the aim of spending about 2 months or so in Morocco.  As you know, detailed planning is not our strongest point so sadly our paths will probably not cross unless we bump into each other in Spain - you on the way back and us on the way out.  Providing the knee has fully recovered and the other one not given up in protest, and Covid permitting, this year expedition will be driving though the Balkans to Greece.  Good luck with the planning - I can definitely recommend going south from Fes.

 

Bob

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