The backyard where we are housesitting near, Stamullen, Ireland.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Stamullen, Ireland.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland!

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!

We left the campground early, figuring that we would get to the ferry port and have time to have breakfast while waiting for the ferry. While there is an actual schedule, they are so often not on time that there's not much point in trying to get there at a specific time. And worse case scenario, if you miss one, you just take the next one.

Scenery just south of Tangier.

We stopped at the last fuel station before the ferry port. You want to arrive in Morocco on empty, but you want to depart totally full. Cost was 12.80 dirham (€1.16) per liter, while in Spain it is currently about €1.50 per liter. So it's a significant difference.

Wind generators on top of the ridge.

The short drive to the ferry is actually quite scenic.

Train bridge.

We got to the check in for the ferry and decided to have some breakfast right then and there. The big departure board said our ferry was scheduled to leave at noon, so we still had lots of time. Had breakfast, then I walked over to the currency exchange. We had 800 dirhams left over, and it's apparently difficult to get rid of them outside of Morocco. At the live exchange rates, that's €72.50 in euros. I was expecting not a very good rate, so I was pleasantly surprised when they handed me back €71.40.

Then I went to the check in booth where the sign said the boat was leaving at 11:00am. I asked the guy if it was 11:00am, or noon like the big departure board said. He just smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Who knows??

This port is where the new cars are shipped out. 
Morocco produces about 700,000 new vehicles per year.

We drove through passport control, and got our vehicle exit permit stamped. Really friendly guy, who asked all about our trip.

Then had to get Max x-rayed and it took forever. Again, not that we're in a rush. 

Got down to the lineup to board the ferry, to see that the ferry was in port and most were already onboard. In fact, it was full. They squeezed one guy in a car on, but told us we had to wait for the next one. So it turned out that the ferry did actually depart at 11:00am, or thereabouts.

It was 1:45pm by the time the next ferry pulled into port...

Here it comes now!

Lots more motorhomes behind us waiting in line.

And lots of motorcycles in front of us.

Finally boarding at 2:25pm.

Ruth took a video of us boarding the ferry. We were directed to the upper floor, so we had to drive up a ramp. Once we got up there, I figured I had to follow what the guy in front of us did. So when the helper was trying to get me to do something different, I couldn't figure out what he wanted me to do. It was kinda funny, but we got it sorted out. Turns out he wanted me to back in once I was at the top of the ramp.

From the top deck, looking towards Spain.

It was a nice enough day, but unfortunately they didn't have any access to outdoor seating. You could go out and hang onto the railing, but nowhere to sit down.

Lots of places indoors though.

After I took the above photo, I went and sat down beside Ruth. A guy nearby asked if we wanted a photo of the two of us together...

On the ferry to Spain.

We finally departed after 3:00pm.

A big container ship, with the Rock of Gibraltar.

Our last look back at Morocco.


We arrived to Spain at 6:45pm! Turns out there is a two hour time difference between Morocco and Spain. Morocco doesn't do daylight savings time, but Spain does. And Morocco had a one hour time change that is only in place due to Ramadan. 

This motorhome was parked on the ramp.

The ramp is lowered so we can all drive down to the lower level.

Ruth made a video of us getting off the ferry...

It took twenty minutes or so to get through immigration, but when we got up there, they simply scanned and stamped our passports and sent us on our way. No questions, nothing. We had thought about bringing up this visa waiver agreement extension that we want to do while here, but decided it's better to do that in a bigger city. Besides, they had a pretty good system of trying to get everybody through and we didn't want to throw a wrench into it.

We drove over to a huge parking area that is used by many motorhomers while going to, or coming back from Morocco. It's not the most scenic, but it's convenient because there is a big Mercadona supermarket. It's closed on Sundays, but we want to do some stocking up first thing this morning in case we find somewhere nice that we want to stay a few days. 

And so, we're happy to be back in Spain. Morocco was fine, but not great. We much prefer Spain, and we got that same feeling coming back here that we used to get upon entering Mexico. For whatever reason, it's just a country that we like.

Nice price drop on this Cordless Leaf Blower.

And in Canada...

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