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Tuesday October 21st - 2008

After two false starts + going back to the house, it’s the long haul down to Plymouth, arriving at 9pm. Place is deserted and not fancying the dubious curry house, it becomes a liquid supper, entertained by the drunken resident hassling the bar staff.

October 22nd

Major technical problems with computer with only an hour to go before boarding the ferry. Very large (+salty) pasties for breakfast, so plenty to bring back up on the boat! (Hate ferries, but fortunately it’s a bright calm day. Oh hang on it’s raining now!

Wednesday 22nd

On ferry crossing - quite smooth so no being sick, but mainly suffering from exposure to really bad entertainment, circa 1970! Cabin resembles a shoe box, but not a bad nights sleep, despite lots of alcohol (nothing to do but eat + drink + drink a bit more).

Thursday 23rd

Arrive Santander at 8am and drive to Burgos - nice + sunny with lovely scenery. From there down to Salamanca. All technical problems have been solved (hoorah). Stay in hotel to sort out bags + truck as it’s tres nippy for camping. Spanish Top Gun movie* before heading out to the restaurant - had proper meal since yesterday lunchtime so fingers crossed it’s half decent. (*Maverick and Goose not the same when lip-syncing)

Friday 24th

More technical disasters! Paul broke laptop screen last night (”I can’t believe I did that” he said many times). Good points are that we didn’t camp, as there was a harsh frost and even the die-hards on the site stayed in their camper vans. -The Belgian contingent have been admiring our vehicle and seemed very interested in our water capacity! Bad points are the food was shite - mine was a nice bed of grease accompanied with life-threatening rice and Paul’s was a deep fried fest. At this point it’s 10am and we are still in the car park. Paul ahs seen his arse over his computer woes and I’m contemplating  new storage space for his monitor.

Well, made it to Seville - long drive but beautiful scenery, lots of Red Kites soaring above us. Seville is very busy but we’ve hit rush hour + think we may have a problem with the truck. Several laps later, we find a mechanic, who says “no problemo”, it’s just dirt sticking to the underside, causing the creaking. Mmmm, maybe a quick call to our man in England. Takes two hours before we find a hotel with appropriate parking (truck is too high for underground parking). -Out for tapas and wine (loveley evening, very warm) followed by generous measures of Havana Club. Bedtime.

NB. Please note that navigation from Seville was mostly by my good self, with map + signpost - Paul nearly had us the wrong side of a motorway with his gadgets which are still not functioning properly. The dashboard is starting to resemble the flightdeck of the Starship Enterprise, with my passenger side shrinking by the day.

Saturday 25th

Staying in Seville today and being tourists. Not far from Gibralter for the crossing, so may as well stay parked up for a day or so and chill out a bit. Beautiful hot sunny day and this is beautiful city with river walks and stunning architecture. (Also Captain Kirk needs a day to sort out his flight console, as it is still broken and Uhuru would like to go shopping).
Explored Seville old city and had a lovely tapas lunch. Also climbed Giralda Tower,35 flights up, for a birds eye view over the city. A wee siesta, s**t, shower and back out to eat and drink. (it’s a hard life :-)

Sunday 26th

Head for Gibralter, lovely mountian drive with dozens of soaring eagles. Pick up ferry tickets from a very drunken Carlos (someone had to phone him to open the office).
So a night in Gibraltar - it’s like being back in Blighty - very British. Hotel is clean if not a little dated but we do have ITV News. (Very strange as we will be in Morocco tomorrow, for a complete culture shock). Still, we shall go explore.

Monday 27th

Decided to spend the day here. We were both shattered yesterday and need to sort out stuff before heading to Morocco, where we plan to set up camp for a couple of days basically not move or do anything!
It’s quite stressful moving all the time, finding accommodation, making sure the vehicle is safe and a classic we have both done is getting to the hotel before realising that you’ve left all your clean underwear is still in the car! We are on  our own time scale, but there is a lot to do each day and the time seems to be flying by!
So today, up to the top of the rock, see the monkeys (apparently they don’t do a lot) and visit St Martins Cave. Also shopping - no VAT or tax in these parts - so I suspect much alcohol being purchased!


Truck breaks down between Algeciras and Gibraltar. Starter motor gone, so roughly:-
10.30 Taxi to garage to arrange tow truck.
3.00pm Tow truck arrives finally, but the wrong one. Our cruiser weighs A LOT.2nd doesn’t want to be lifted. So three hours later, the amazing guy they sent out to us, figures it out and we have lift-off, after stripping it totally to get the weight off. It’s 9pm before it’s offloaded and then we need a hotel. Luckily everyone incredibly helpful and we get a lift into town. (I remain composed throughout the ordeal, but probabley due to using the will to live!) Crash out with an early night.

Tuesday 28th

Start to rebuild our trusty steed, but no parts until Wednesday.
GOOD NEWS! - Four Eurofighters coming in on Thursday (as a complete fighter plane anorak, I’m very excited and refuse to budge until then!) Fingers crossed we catch the ferry Thursday afternoon. Very windy today, so still haven’t been to see the monkeys on the hill. Paul has a new computer, so he is like a proverbial pig ‘dans le shit’ and the room is a rats nest of wires adn charges (he is gadget boy).

Tuesday Evening.
F**k me!!! Shep has just walked in. What are the odds of that? Jonathan Shepperd & David Russel + wives in the same bar - always bump into somebody from Ilkley.

Wednesday 29th
Truck repairs have begun, well it’s up on the ramp, so that’s a start. Whilst at the garage we saw the rare sight of literally dozens and dozens of eagles soaring in low toward the rock, before landing on top. Even the locals said it was unusual to see so many at once. Also just seen the ‘evil monkeys’ at the top of the rock - they tend to just laze around scratching their bollocks and eating fruit, waiting for photo opportunities.

St Michaels cave is is very impressive, millions of years old with huge stalagmites and stalactites merging together. Meeting Shep for a drink later.

Thursday 30th:

Finally managed to get into recommended restaurant, as paul was craving steak Alas, I could only manage to look at mine, as feeling sick as the proverbial dog! Tired out today, but we are underway!

The truck is back and fixed folks, so ready to sail to Ceuta (very ready, as I got times wrong). Could be a while at border, depends what mood the officials are in.Need to make good time to camp, or my debut at tent construction will be in the dark.

(Later that evening) Didn't make Chefchaouen, the road too dangerous at night, so a hotel in Tetouan this evening. What a bunfight the border crossing was! Dozens of foot passengers laden with belongings in plastic bags, all legging it through like Its A Knockout. We were fortunate and got through in about ten minutes.

FRIDAY 31st:

A more appropriate web address for today would be: whosaiditdoesntraininmorocco.cock.up.uk. Coming down in buckets, big buckets!

Chefchaouen, very pretty, but difficult to tell when its raining sideways in a force 8. So we chase the sun. A pleasant drive, lots of people, especially kids, walk miles through the countryside, all waving and smiling. Pauls in seventh heaven videoing in his BBC voice, resembling Don Estelle in his floppy hat (hopefuls for it Aint ‘alf Hot Mum watch out). We arrive late in Fez, but set up camp. Then I hear THAT phrase: “you wont believe what I’ve forgotten - got the roof tent, but no bottom canopy to shower in". (I resorted to alcohol at this point).

During the night monsoon season arrived so as I descended the ladder for a midnight loo break, I’m into 6 inches of water, instead of groundsheet (language gets blue here so we shall go onto Saturday).

Still raining hard. Lots of geese and ducks happily paddling around the truck, one very large goose in particular kept eye-balling us. And lets not forget the campsite cats- don’t be fooled, they aren’t cute. Last night was like a scene from Paint Your Wagon, we were surrounded by the little bleeders. As soon as you weren’t looking, they would dart under the truck; angling for a way in. Two succeeded in their mission, leaping out when we opened up this morning,  looking refreshed after a good nights sleep (which is more than I did). Still it pours and looks set to for next few days, so gonna hole up in a comfy hotel, with a bar, for next couple of days, then aim for the cedar forests (unless 2 weeks in Majorca starts to look more appealing first!)

Instead of sun we found snow. Headed for the cedar hills, Morocco’s ski resort in the season, which was early this year! The town was like a Swiss village, nothing like the chaos and poverty in Fez.


Took a drive into the forest, which was picture-postcard pretty, huge cedar trees topped with snow. We saw a rare sight of the evil monkeys in their natural habitat (they weren’t impressed) .At the top height of 6700ft was vast open plain for miles, where Paul got to video himself off roading through big  puddles (keeps him happy; bless).


Still snowing like stink, so cant go through the mountain passes now, but will stay at an auberge, which is still very high up. The owner of this place is a great character, very much like Mr Benn appearing out of nowhere from different corridors. He is Berber, but speaks German and French. We are joined by a French party, which was a great night, many bottles of wine breaking those language barriers down!


Driven through some spectacular gorges this morning like the Grand Canyon; with a river running through and palm trees lining the sides. And guess what? sunshine! The coats and jumpers are stuffed in the car, in shame. Apparently this is the worst autumn in Morocco for 50 years, most of the crops being washed away by the heavy rain and burst river banks. Heading for Mazouga tomorrow, then into the desert!

WEDS 5th:

Whilst I remember, we have only camped once, as everything got drenched the first time, but I’m not complaining! So we arrive to the sun setting on the sand dunes, which is beautiful. Just a small ridge of them, we aren’t talking Lawrence of Arabia here, but will take best part of a day to drive around them. (aren’t experienced enough for serious sand driving) we also arrived in a convoy, with 5 other land cruisers, Paul whooping with delight all the way! Lots of drum- playing and drinking in the evening.


Drove in the dunes yesterday, my first time driving in the Sahara. Quite daunting out there after a while, as you become aware of how small you are in such a large space (alone you would think, but oh no, the obligatory kids on bikes keep appearing, trying to sell stuff). Spent the evening talking to a Dakar rally support team Tibau, whose truck made ours look like a mini! Their mechanic kindly located a problem with our cruiser just some light welding needed. We set out on our desert crossing, which will take 2 days and we have to change the route, as the river has flooded. All is well until about 5 o’clock and then 20 minutes from camp we get stuck in mud! The surface has baked hard and cracked, but beneath can be very thick mud. Luckily kids on bikes arrived and sent for a tractor (fortunately we were close to farmers) and about 2 hours later, in the dark, the rescue squad arrived. I did lose the will to live and being told “you will look back and laugh about this” didnt help. Set up a late camp back at the auberge.


Hoorah, out of the desert! Its been a good experience; but boy, that tarmac is looking mighty fine! Heading for the Dades gorges now, which should take a couple of days if we manage to stay out of the shit. I would like to mention I’m living on Laughing Cow triangles, which come with breakfast out here, and not much else, as meat is usually on the plate, even if you haven’t ordered it. (and Louise, give Joshy a big hug for me and tell him about all the walks I will take him when we get back! )Dogs out here are generally not kept as pets and live on the streets.

After weeks of desert and mountains, with a few more mountains for good measure, its time to chill by the sea ( I like looking at mountains, don’t get me wrong, but I wasnt born to be terrified at 6000ft on a constant basis). So long drive down today and camp tonight-loving the Ibis, but it feels like we are working in London. (mind you, there are  similarities to Tottenham Court Road in places)

Anyway, a brief summary of the last few days:

Set out for Dades Gorges, but due to a large quantity of Bacardi the night before, with a great German couple, we set up camp just before the village entrance.

VERY steep rocky mountain ascent, at a steady 5mph, just to draw that terrified experience out a little longer for me  I don’t like heights; but I think Paul is reincarnated from a goat) Stunning scenery through the one open eye and then a gradual decent, comparatively speaking Opened both eyes, honest and drove a little myself (grateful M&S sell brown underwear)

MONDAY 10th:
Cities - avoid them.  We nearly get hustled in a sting operation. Whilst waiting for the truck to be washed ( covered in mud from when we sank), a cup of tea seemed a good idea and the guys chatting said they would show us a good place. Ten minutes of a hurried dash through a grotty market implied there was no tea and we bailed out! They were just faux guides, after money like everyone in this country and we stand out a mile as “rich English” ( also we don’t have to much grazing at home for camels, if I get swapped)

Gorges were stunning, despite another perilous steep climb. No camping yet-done an African hunting lodge- style hotel and this Ibis, but the comfort is over for a couple of days! WE have new names a crazy auberge worker gave us (been on the kif too long we suspect) so corresponding from Morocco, its Mohammed Tahjine and Fatima Cous-cous! Will report back in a couple of days when we hit the coast!
P.S. food still crap- tried French-Moroccan last night, just as bad as Moroccan -Moroccan, so stocked up the fridge from le supermarche and we will make our own x

Now Saturday and its good to be at sea level, although paul managed to spring another mountain drive on me yesterday, which was stunning and we even saw some wild boar. We are in Agadir which isnt the behemoth we were expecting. Had a good hotel, despite the goat sanctuary next door, which you dont want to be down wind of !( they are orynx goats, very beautiful so will let them off). Also found real food! Lovely fish restaurant, which we have used both nights, despite the cheesey pianist and the old couple who are waiting for god.. (there is also the obligatory English bar with flashing Union Jack- classy).

Losing track of the dates but think this page updates to Marrakesh, where we are now, in a lovely park with a state of the art cyber-cafe which doesn’t take half an hour to connect, which is usual in small towns. 

Hit Essouiria on Saturday but I think there has been much artistic licence in promoting the place (photos taken elsewhere) . Nonetheless, a more relaxed and nice place to stroll. Bought fresh fish in the market for dinner and set up camp, with a stunning sunset in the background. Gained a team dog, who loyally defended camp all night. This is the romance of camping, unfortunately, so is getting stuck in your sleeping-bag (paul) and the 2am urgency to go to the loo is a riot, when you are short-sighted and trying to get down the ladder, hoping wild dogs haven’t run off with your boots. Also check the direction of the wind before lighting fires. Spent 2 nights here. I caved into the cold on the second night and left Ray Meers by the fire, illuminated by his head torch, like a image from Dangerous Adventures for Boys…bless. 

So Monday (yesterday) we hit the road to Marrakesh for the excitement of the city (and a damm good scrub!). All roads in Morocco have an element of playing chicken, but here it’s another level. Cars actually floor it when they see you in the road, not even really bothering to swerve; running between the gaps is the preferred method at this time. Lovely city, totally mad, lots of street entertainment (Ray Charles look-alike was very popular) and stalls replicated over and over. Good atmosphere though, lots of banter, rather than persistent hassle from previous towns (we got it all “am i bovered, to this is not just cous-cous, this is M&S cous-cous”) Lotions and potions gather crowds of young men, aimed at improving their prowess (ground monkey parts probably). Staying at a lovely riad in town with roof-top balcony.

Tomorrow, maybe some shopping (pointy shoes for Paul) and lots of parks and gardens to wander in Back to the market tonight- the food was great and Paul wants to film Ray Charles

Wacky Races
Saturday today, so will try and update! In Ceuta now, Morocco’s Spanish enclave. Remarkably easy border crossing, compared to the bun fight on the outward journey. The title above refers to Moroccan driving-its mental. Most of the journey out of Marrekesh was with baited breath, interspersed with such comments as ” ooooh, that was a close one!!” or the classic “ where the f***ing hell did he come from”?!
On arrival at next destination, parking becomes the next issue.

Step 1:
DONT pay parking bloke on arrival.
Step 2:
Collect ticket, where attendant wants a tip for pointing at machine for you.
Step 3:
As you head for hotel, parking bloke demands tip for watching car overnight, despite earlier saying he isn’t working later.
Step 4:
If you made school-boy error of tipping in Stage 1, parking guy denies all knowledge of this previous payment and wants another.
Step 5:
Argument is futile. Cough up.

So today we hope to get the ferry for half hour crossing back into Spain, as they were cancelled yesterday due to choppy seas. So far today, despite chucking down the morning, we are set for the 3 o’clock. Then up to Seville and left turn into Portugal for a spell. Morocco was a life experience, with good and bad and a few unbelievables! A bit of normality is much appreciated though now, noticeable even here (no-one staring, no kids chasing after the car, toilets, decent coffee, no hacked-off looking donkeys or people trying to haggle the clothes off your back, its the little things…) By the way Craig, yes Aunty Dawn is having a good time, thank you and your monkey is in the post x

Back in the euro.
Landed back this side of the pond! In Porto at the moment, very nice place. Just been tourists for the day (the only ones apparently) hopping on and off the tour bus, via the port distillery, which is my exscuse for any shpelling mishtakes :-).

The ferry crossing from Ceuta was pretty awful, surprised they let it sail. Only half an hour, but that’s a long time to cling to a formica table, trying desperately not to look out of the window. However, the sun and sea of Lagos more than compensated, as did the urgent and overdue laundry stop. Paul was down to the final pair of skids, a pair of my socks and jeans that climbed out of the suitcase unassisted. My few remaining outfit ensembles easily qualified me for an interview with Billy Smarts.

Had a slight traffic incident here, due to sat-nav distraction (Paul bumped a young guys car, well his mothers car to be precise, which i think worried the kid more! ) Father called amicably this morning, saying £200 should cover it and he would “send someone down to our hotel” at 5.30 pm. We are staking the lobby out now, looking for the moustachioed henchman at the bar….Will report back later to let you know how the deal went down…


Last Lap
Well folks this final instalment is being written from the comfort of our home, preferable to a dodgy booth somewhere on a wind-up computer.

After parting with the cash in Porto ( the heavy mob was disappointingly a rather timid secretary) we pushed on into Spain, through stunning national parkland, but all the while the weather was getting colder. Spoilt in Bilbao with bargain 4* hotel, which was lucky as the alternative was a debatable 2* opposite a sex shop.
Still we pressed on to the French border, where everything became ludicrously expensive! Toll booths on every stretch of road, we didn’t even know what we were paying for half the time, after only driving the length of Brook Street. The best “well and truly shoved up us” was in a vastly overpriced 3* which thought €24 for two Bacardi-cokes was perfectly reasonable.

Cold and out of pocket, we rolled into Calais last night (I find the word ‘hole’ politely describes it) staying overnight in a very busily decorated place which to say the least, had some wallpaper issues!
Nice calm crossing this morning and the final stretch up the M1, which they seem to be merrily digging up since we have been away.

Anyway, this is the last write up for this trip and the good news is that www.herewegoagain.co.uk will be the next instalment of Team Drivers World tour, hopefully some time in the new year.
We have both learnt a lot from this first outing, so with Morocco under our belts, Down Under could be next stop. I do know that some things wont change, like ” where’s that bloody rattling coming from?  Tomorrow morning wont seem quite the same though without it- we can always go play up Keighley gate for a bit of off roading!

Until next time!
Dawn x

Full length feature - 60 mins

Five minute mini episodes

Episode One
And we're off

Episode Two
The road to Erg Chebbi

Episode Three
I think we're stuck Jim

Episode Four
Guess where we are?

Episode Five
Did you see those chipmonks?

Episode Six
Atlantic coast and Marrkesh

The five minute mini episodes were heavily edited for YouTube