I’ve got a bit more wi-fi at my current hotel, even though it’s not the hotel in Agoudal that was planned.. more on that story in the next post. Currently sitting in the reception of hotel Riad Mimouna near Midlet (*update as of 2210: they've now closed the reception so outside :)
Coming back to day one as yesterday was a disaster zone for internet connection (mind you, I got a 4G dongle for my laptop today, but don’t think it’s working either round here). Anyway, some promised photos and a slightly more detailed update from the first day of the challenge.
Picked up the Dacia Duster from the airport. Wasn’t as straight forward as it seems.. The airport in Tangier is surrounded by police and you can only get into the building if you have a flight that day! So if you’re picking up a car the next day…that doesn’t count. At least the guy guarding the gate wasn’t having any of it. Eventually after half an hour of talking pigeon French-English, he spoke to his boss and they let us in. Luckily all as planned on the inside. We’ve got our car from a local car hire company and generally they are the best option round here. The big boys like Avis or Europcar charge a fortune and they didn’t have a Dacia available anyway.
Next thing, supermarket spree. Got all the basics: water, snacks, wet-wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, plastic fork and knives (plus also a proper knife for bread and any other unexpected things:). I absolutely love going to a supermarket when I’m abroad, because they so differ in every country. I could spend a whole day there!
We started the drive after a quick visit to McD. I didn’t sin that badly.. only had a salad which I mixed with stuff I got at the supermarket! So no burgers or fries, I’m excused;)
By the royal ‘we’ I mean me and my co-driver (and coach) Maciej Bochenski, who is an accomplished rally champ and an experienced driving instructor. He also runs a company with his friends called ‘GT Events’ and they organise a lot of similar off-road rallies all over the world. He’s done a driving tour of Morocco twice before, but he’s checking it out yet again for future 4x4 events he wants to do here.
We headed towards Fes just before 1400. It’s a 300km drive and it took us just under 5 hours (google says 4 hour 11mins via Meknes which is NOT TRUE as you constantly end up driving behind a super slow truck or a horse & carriage).
Managed a quick coffee on the go! Local Starbucks (actually, way better than Starbucks)
...and a local BBQ
We visited Meknes on the day, but only did a drive through at dusk. It looked magical by night and very new compared to everything I’ve seen around the world so far. Different scents, colours, atmosphere of the city.
And finally arrived at the hotel Riad dar Guenoon, right in the very heart of Fez. I was knackered.. and after incessantly trying to get the wi-fi working I headed to bed!