We were keen to catch up with our good friend Terri and her Moroccan family, but the delays into and out of the boat yard and the inclement early winter weather meant we could not make a forward date to meet them without risking a pasting out at sea. So it was bitter sweet irony to be arriving in Morocco after we had given up on seeing it and not being about to meet our friends there. Having caught up with the Ozzies overnight here we are following the pilot up the Bouregreg river into Rabat.
A happy reunion on the arrivals dock as we wait for customs clearance. Following on from the fishermen calling out welcome to Morocco the welcome was very warm and the formalities smoothed out for us. Lovely!
A bit of tight parking and we were settled into the marina for a quick celebratory drink for Kylie’s birthday and welcome to Africa, and thank goodness we have at last made it through the gate of Gibraltar! Yay! Not too sure of the local acceptance of drinking there was some concern when the head of customs brought our passports back surprising us just as we finished the Champagne, quickly trying to hide the evidence and knocking the bottle over…
Off to explore the old walled town in Rabat. The first few hours I will admit to having a tight rein on the kids in this uncharted territory for us. But we quickly relaxed with the warm and curious welcome from the locals. We were obviously somewhat off the beaten tourist path.
Good fun exploring the many souk’s. A big hit was the pet shop, followed closely by the ladies hand making all sorts of delicious sweets and offering the kids samples.
Had to see, but the snake is almost as big as the boys…
Amelia loves animals! Insert caption for Seb’s expression here…
A must do was a stop in an authentic Moroccan tea house. We are well off the tourist trail here and saw only 2 Europeans all day. We did not see any ladies in any tea houses so interpreter Cesare was sent in to scout out if females were allowed in. Not sure on locals but we were again welcomed. Mike was given the briefing on the proper serving of the tea.
Much hilarity followed as he was ribbed on how much of the briefing was retained and who overdid the mint. For the record it was most excellent tea.
A little more boat work by head torch at wine o’clock. Stereo install is on the priority list.
The next day we headed across the river to explore the Kings Tomb and the newer part of town. Caught a shower as we are rowed across.
Tourist brochure shots.
In real life it is a very popular place.
Seem to have found a few more Bostons.
No wonder it’s popular, it’s a pretty amazing place.
For the contrast of the day. Morning ride over the river in wooden row boat unchanged in the last century. Afternoon ride in immaculate new and super smooth tram that puts New Zealand public transport to shame.
Dinner party thrown by our new Boat Buddies ‘The Amazing Marvin’ crew who somehow avoided being in any picture. Cruisers make friends fast and within a few hours of meeting them Amelia had a sleep over with their daughter Allie. This is not a house, this is the beautiful saloon in their Leopard 48 cat and the kids are locked away in the starboard hull with a movie.
Another little rain shower running through. Note the minaret tower for the call to prayer broadcast over the town.
Don’t worry about the rain, we are on the way south chase the sun and warmth…
Operation gull free. We found a seagull tangled in fishing line and the Swiss army knives were quickly deployed.
Another happy day getting lost in the souk’s. Yes, Amelia is standing in front of the carcass.
And all too soon it was time to leave Morocco. A weather window had opened so we are off again. Back down the river behind the friendly pilot.
Running for the Canary Islands where my brother has been waiting for several days already.