Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Wandering around Arcos de la Frontera, Spain

Another beautiful day, and warm... with a high of about 27C (81F).

We took off around 11:00am for a walk into town. Arcos de la Frontera is an old Moorish town with a history dating back to the 10th century. The geography is really interesting because the older part of town is surrounded on three sides by a river, and steep narrow streets make up the road network. Not motorhome friendly!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The cave was a little difficult to find!

Searching on google maps for things to do in the area, I found a listing for a hike to a cave. If we're going for a hike, it's always nice to have a destination... usually either a cave, or a waterfall, or a viewpoint.

This cave looked like it might be really interesting, but some of the reviews mentioned that it wasn't easy to find. And that turned out to be true!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

We figured we might as well have some fun!

The weather is great, highs of about 23C (73F) but it was quite windy. We can see wind power generators in the distance, so perhaps it's windy in general in this area.

Later in the morning we went for a walk around the town of Benalup-Casas Viejas, and to a nearby lookout.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

We love the motorhome aire system in Spain!

Time zones can be very strange. Here in Spain it is light until almost 9:00pm now, which is really nice... but the sun doesn't rise until 8:17am! So we're getting up in the dark. And it makes you not feel like getting up, so when we do, half the morning seems to disappear.

We did mange to get our grocery (and beer and wine!) stocking up done though, and hit the road to a hiking trailhead not far from Algeciras.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Hello Spain!

Yesterday was a day of waiting.

We really didn't do anything other than take an hour and twenty minute boat ride. Yet the whole procedure took all day!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

One last campground in Morocco

Saturday, we drove from the capital city of Rabat to the coast just south of Tangier. We were looking for one last campground to empty Max's tanks, but there wasn't much choice. We would have wanted to see the small coastal city of Asilah, but the two campgrounds located there both got horrible reviews.

So we chose a place about 14 kms north of Asilah and that turned out to be a good decision.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Spent some time planning our route through Spain

Friday was just a nice quiet day. We went for a stroll around the area in the morning, and just did some puttering around in the afternoon and played some backgammon.

Here are some photos from our stroll...

Friday, March 24, 2023

The case of the missing SIM card

Lindsey and the kids came over at 6:00am Thursday morning so that we could drive them the short distance to the airport and then say goodbye.

Lindsey had borrowed an electrical adapter from us so she could keep her phone charged. She had also borrowed one of my two Moroccan SIM cards so that she could be online during their time here. When they arrived, we switched the SIM cards and I put her Canadian one in my wallet, where I have always kept various SIM cards when we travel to different countries.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

On our own again

Lindsey and the kids took a taxi from their guesthouse in central Morocco to meet us at Max where we were parked near the shopping mall. There was one more thing they needed to do before leaving Marrakech... ride a camel!

Our desert camel excursion had been cancelled because they were all ill. But in touristy Marrakech, there are guys with camels set up on a few different street corners. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A fun day in Marrakech!

I think we're warming up to Marrakech.

When we were here in 2017, Marrakech didn't leave a good taste in our mouths. In fact, it was probably the worst part of our visit at the time. So this time, we almost didn't come here.

But, there are definitely some interesting aspects of Marrakech that should be experienced, so we decided that Lindsey and the kids should see it. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Good news! And, into the big city of Marrakech...

I sent a request for information to the Spanish embassy in Ottawa, Canada last Friday afternoon, and they got back to me on Monday. How efficient is that? And they sent all the information I needed (in both Spanish and English) to positively answer my question regarding using an old Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement between Canada and Spain that is still in force.

So, we are headed back to Spain as soon as we say goodbye to Lindsey and the kids Friday morning. We'll take our time getting to the ferry. We're in no rush, but will certainly be crossing back within a week.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Back to civilization

Well, Lindsey, Cameron, and Sadie came over to the motorhome early Sunday morning... all three of them, for the first time in three or four days! Still not 100%, but by far the best they have been in a while. We think the worst is over!

And good thing, because we had some driving to do, both yesterday and today.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Off to the doctor!

Yesterday was no improvement for the kids. Lindsey felt a little better though, so at least there's that. But we were actually starting to get a little worried about Cameron and decided we had better visit the local doctor.

Ruth and I have been traveling in different countries long enough that we know things are not done the same as in Canada or the U.S. when it comes to medical situations. But this would be a new experience for Lindsey.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Not a great day. And another change in plans!

Both kids were still sick yesterday, and Lindsey isn't much better although not as bad as the kids. So we put off the camel ride into the desert, and just hung around the guesthouse.

Strange day from a weather perspective. It was cloudy in the morning, then the wind really picked up in the afternoon. So much so that we're actually glad we weren't out in the desert on a camel!

Friday, March 17, 2023

New Moroccan friends

Cameron still wasn't 100% yesterday, and when Lindsey woke up she wasn't feeling well either. So we postponed our camel trip into the desert.

The camel trip doesn't leave until around 4:00pm anyhow to avoid most of the afternoon heat. Then they set up tents and make dinner and have a campfire. Then wake up, have breakfast, and return here.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Speeding ticket!

On Wednesday, we drove from Ouarzazate to the edge of the Sahara Desert. We are now only about 25 kms (15 miles) from the Algeria border, although we can't go there because Morocco and Algeria don't get along. The land borders have been closed for years.

There are two main areas that tourists in Morocco go when they want to play in the Sahara Desert. When we were here in 2017, Ruth and I went to Merzouga, but this time we chose to come to M'Hamid.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Ouarzazate Kasbah

We set off walking from the campground to the central area of Ouarzazate. Not a very scenic walk, through a lot of garbage and old building construction material.

Unfortunately Cameron wasn't feeling well, and half way there we put him and Ruth into a taxi and sent them back to the campground.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Spectacular route R307 crossing through Morocco's High Atlas Mountains

There are several ways to pass through the High Atlas Mountains. The easiest is the well traveled route N9 from Marrakech. But that would have been a major detour for us, so I was looking at the other options. I read a lot of reviews and did a lot of research and decided to try route R307.

Some of the reviews mentioned the need for 4 wheel drive, but others said they had done it with a normal campervan. Most of it depends on what the recent weather has been like. There are a lot of rock slides and sections where the road surface has deteriorated and some parts can be muddy.

Monday, March 13, 2023

We could easily stay here longer!

Another perfect day from a weather perspective. Not a cloud in the sky, and 27C (81F).

We set off on another hike at around 10:00am, this time heading north up the valley. We found a couple of pedestrian bridges that crossed the river, so we went up one side and came back on the other side.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Such a gorgeous area.

It was cool overnight, with a low of about 8C (47F) but with a forecast high of 27C (81F) and lots of blue sky and sunshine. And that's exactly what happened.

We set off at about 10:00am for a walk through the nearby town. Other than that, we didn't really have a destination in mind. There are so many trails in the area we figured we would just pick something and see where it brought us. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Into the High Atlas Mountains!

Google Maps routing said that it was going to take us two and a half hours to do the 110 km (68 mile) route from Ouzoud Falls to Zaouiat Ahansal. And knowing that Max typically goes slower than the average car, we planned on three hours.

Why does it take so long to go 110 kms (68 miles)?

Friday, March 10, 2023

Today's blog post written by granddaughter Sadie (age 9)

Day 3. Oh, day 3,

We got breakfast, but I couldn't have it because my mom said "No cheese, no milk, no butter". So I had an omelet, then it was good. 

After breakfast, we went to Ouzod Falls again. BUT!!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Fun day at Ouzoud Falls and the monkeys

First full day with Lindsey and the grandkids, and boy we got the trip started with a bang. I think everybody had a fantastic day!

We had read that it's best to get to the falls early to avoid the tour bus crowds that come on day trips from Marrakech. We were aiming for a 9am start, but it was 9:30am before we got going.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

They have arrived!

Their flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:20am, but when we woke up we had a note from Lindsey saying that they were late leaving Montreal and when I checked the flight tracker website it said they were going to land around 8:50am.

Anxious to see them, we went and stood at the outside arrivals area to wait, knowing of course that they still had to make it through immigration and customs.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Not much longer!

By road. 

It seems funny that we were at Marrakech airport, and we drove to Casablanca airport. Wouldn't you just fly? But we were only there for the cheap secure parking. And, it was along our route.

Trying to avoid the crazy Marrakech traffic, we got up and drove right away to do the 10 kms (6 miles) or so to the big Carrefour superstore. In hindsight, we would have been better off waiting until after 9am, but then we would have been later finishing than we wanted to be.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Made it to Marrakech

We had such a peaceful night parked in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. Total peace and quiet. Such a difference compared to the busy campground we had been in the night before.

We haven't been doing much wild camping because it's difficult to fill European propane tanks here in Morocco. So we've been relying on electricity at campgrounds so that we don't have to worry about our propane supply.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Crazy mountain road!

The road through the Tizi n' Test mountain pass was built by French engineers between 1928 and 1932. It was the first modern access from Marrakech to Taroudant, although now there is a highway through the plains from Marrakech to Agadir that most people take. So the mountain pass road isn't well maintained.

Rockslides and avalanches are common. No way I would attempt this road during bad weather, or even on a rainy day. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Now that's a chicken lunch!

Friday morning we walked into the small city of Taroudant (pop 80,000). The center of town is located about 4 kms (2.5 miles) from the campground, so it was a decent walk.

First on the agenda was to find an ATM. Our Canadian bank has an agreement with BCMI bank here in Morocco for no ATM fees, and there is a BCMI location here, so that's where we headed.

Friday, March 3, 2023

That was an interesting drive!

Max likes driving mountain roads just as much as our North American motorhome Sherman did. So when I saw a route heading to our next destination that was more direct than the main road, I did some more research. And yes, it was a twisty, curvy mountain road, with reviews that warned of narrow sections with no guard rails.

But, it was also paved and in overall good condition. And a couple of other motorhomers said that they had done it without issue, but that it was "interesting".

Thursday, March 2, 2023

It's been a great week, but it's time to move on

We really like this part of Morocco. Tons of hiking opportunities, and it helps that the weather has been absolutely perfect for that activity.

So we took advantage of our last day here and did a hike up into the mountains behind where we are staying.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

What did it cost for our long weekend in Canary Islands?

After a record breaking high expense month like January was, it's refreshing to see our February expenses back to what we consider normal.

There were no surprises... well, except for a last minute long weekend to Canary Islands! We'll break down exactly how much that long weekend cost in the details below.