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Archive for December, 2009

Dec
26

Christmas Day in Morocco

Posted by Andrew

What else is there to say about Marrakesh apart from ‘amazing’.  The city is a sensory overload as you walk around the Souks and Medina’s.  We’ve had an enjoyable couple of days for our Christmas break and loved all the experiences.  We are heading in to the Atlas mountians tomorrow for some off roading and then some beach driving so will not be around for a few days.  Until then, here’s some photo’s.

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Dec
23

We’re in Morroco!

Posted by Chris

We have been in Morocco for two days now and it has been pretty challenging.  We managed to get a very rough crossing from Algeciras to Ceuta when most were cancelled due to the poor weather.  The next challenge was the border crossing in to Morocco which was never going to be easy.  We paid a ‘fixer’ a few euros and he helped us get the necessary paperwork sorted.  Crossing the border was a real experience-being herded around different officials by ‘Mohammed’ and watching the locals jumping the border fences. 

We didn’t want t0 drive too far yesterday after the border crossing but went to a town called Chefchoun which is located high up in the Rif mountains where we camped for the first time on the trip.  Several times on the way through the country roads we were offered hash, which we didn’t take them up on!

We woke up this morning to lashing rain and high winds to have to dismantle our soaking tents and crack on with the drive to Azrou via Meznes.  This was the most bizarre journey we’ve had – coming across a lorry that had lost it’s back axle going around a corner and countless other vehicles broken down.  The bad weather had caused severe flooding on some of the roads we had planned to drive.  The convoy came to a stop when a river burst its banks and was over a foot deep cascading across a road.  Some trucks managed to get through, but after watching a transit van almost get washed away we decided that another route was the only option.  This other route was on more flooded roads and we came across a great deal of damage caused by the recent downpours.  After a few dodgy towns – we made it to Azrou for an early night and to recover before Christmas in Marrakesh tomorrow, as long as we can avoid the flooded roads some more!

Merry Christmas everyone if we don’t get chance to blog again before then.

Dec
20

We can see Africa!

Posted by Chris

Well, we’ve made it to Tarifa in one piece.  The car is running a bit better following some new plugs and a few changes to the mixture.  Problems keep occuring with the car though, but none that ar going to stop us!

We have met with the other teams now in the hotel and have 36 hours to get our stuff together and get ready for the crossing. 

The drive down through Spain has been long but enjoyable.  As you can probably tell from the blog, we were less than impressed with Benidorm, so we decided to stay away from the main resorts.  Think we went from one extreme to another and stayed in the ‘badlands’ of Spain.  Anyway, photo’s below…

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Dec
18

BENIDORM!

Posted by Chris

Oh my….

For those of you who have never been to Benidorm, don´t bother, it´s horrible.  We arrived about an hour ago and it is full of old people who look like they are on their last holiday! 

We have nothing left but to get drunk.  Goodbye until tomorrow.

Dec
18

Andorra to Barcelona

Posted by Chris

We left our appartment in Andorra yesterday morning for the drive to Barcelona and decided to risk the mountain pass given how good the visibility was.  We were pretty lucky with the weather and it has to be the most amazing roads I have ever driven on.  Photo’s below don’t really do it justice but give you a taste of what we experienced.  My particular favourite being the third photo below.

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In Barcelona but leaving in a short while for a drive down the coast towards Alicante.  Not too sure how far we will get but Need to be in Tarifa for the 21st.

Dec
16

Andorra

Posted by Andrew

So we left Ray’s (with suprisingly not very sore heads given the previous nights antics) and headed south through some really picturersque towns and villages towards Toulouse to pick Shelley up for Skiing.

Getting to Andorra was somewhat challenging though.  By the time it had started to get dark the temperature dropped considerably to around -10 and the roads were getting more and more treturous.  We decided to stop and fork out for some snow chains as the roads were turning into mostly just ice – they proved to be a really wise investment and we wouldn’t have made Andorra without them. 

Car wasn’t feeling the love for the cold air either, but she’s still going.  As we approached Andorra we picked up the next obvious fault – notably the passenger door swinging open when going around corners.  We’ll take a look at this when we have finished skiing!

Below are some photos of the last couple of days.  In order – the pug avec snow chains, parked up at the appartment, the view from the top of the ski lift, Chris learning on the busy slopes and one of all of us on the chair lift.

1 2 3 

4 5

Dec
13

On est arrivé au Dordogne!!!!

Posted by Chris

We have finally arrived in the Bordongne following only a few car problems.

The carb is still causing us problems and we have managed to break the ignition some how when we stopped for fuel near Bordeaux. Tomorrow we head for Andorra to go skiing. 

Pour tout le monde qui parle français nos regards vont au famille des Dales pour nous mettre dans une lit et nous faire manger heuresement !

Dec
13

Day One Completed!

Posted by Chris

Well, we have the first day without too many drama’s.  Early start as our ferry got in to Le Havre at 8am so we had a fair amount of time to get to our first nights stop. 

Engine is running badly, we think problems with the carb but it could just be that the air in France is not as good as in Devon.  Photos that capture the day below!

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Dec
11

We’re off!

Posted by Chris

Well, it’s been a busy couple of days with some last minute changes to the rally – such as it being cancelled!  We found out late on Wednesday evening that the FCO have changed the rating for Mauritania to ‘no travel’ from ‘only essential travel’.  It’s put a real downer on our last minute plans – we thought things were going well!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/8408197.stm

But… we’re still going!  See you all in the New Year.

Chris & Pan

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Dec
09

Latest Artists Impressions Completed

Posted by Chris

Our thanks go out to Joe for his artists impression of us on our journey.  Some of you may have struggled to picture us driving through the Sahara so hopefully this will help.  In the diagram, you can clearly see me in the background behind the car with Andrew in the back seat.  Click on the image to see a larger version of it.  If we can commission more work before we leave there will be more images to follow…

Car