UNFIT,FAT AND F@RTING! ONE MANS JOURNEY travel blog

Brings A Tear To My Eye..........

Mel,Emma and Deb taking a quiet moment and yes Mrs Sealy Emma...

Rabat Casbah as seen from across Salle Estuary....

Local Dogs Who After This Shot Decided to Go Me......Knew I Should've...

Sunny Salle Beach in the Foreground with the Medina in the Background....

Fish Market in Front of the Big Tower across the Estuary in...


Greetings once again folks from sunny and now pretty bloody warm Rabat.....

Still here trying (begging is more the case) for various visas.Had a day of visa hunting yesterday which was an experience in itself.For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of trying to obtain visas in a foreign country it goes something like this.....

Firstly you hope to find a taxi driver who can understand what your on about and actually knows where the embassies are located which in our case took a while but we managed to trace some bloke who had a faint idea of what we were on about.

Secondly when you locate the said embassy you are after(which in our case involved alot of driving around in circles,u bolts and plain old fashioned luck)you stroll in and in your best pidgeon franglais try to explain what you require.Luckily I turned out to be the joker in the pack as amazingly 14 years after studying french at uni and not speaking any french since then it sort of come back to me and I was able to make myself understood although when in the Angolan embassy the woman there on hearing my explanation of why we want a visa for her country and where we were staying in Rabat looked at me strangely then hollered out for another woman to come and deal with us. So god knows what I must've said to her but needless to say they wouldn't allow us to apply for visas unless we miraculously became Moroccan residents so we might be buggered on that one although there is hope that we can get an Angolan visa further down the track.A complete contrast was the Malian embassy bloke, he was cheerful and very helpful so visas for Mali have been obtained and if he's anything to go by our couple of weeks in Mali will be enjoyable.We managed to apply for Gabon visas but the bloke on the gate was a bit apprehensive to let us in and scolded Emily for not obtaining visas in our countries of residence.Tomorrow we are all off to Casablanca to try to get a Mauritanian visa which hopefully can be obtained in 1 day otherwise it will be a pain in the @rse going back there to pick it up the next day as although everyone has this romantic notion of Casablanca being a romantic place ,mainly because of the film of the same name, it is described in most guidebooks and by other people that have visited there as a sh1thole but no doubt will be able to make my own mind up about that tomorrow...

Spent the arvo in downtown Rabat which was an experiece as the centre of the city is just like any other western city with all the shops,banks etc that goes with it but on the outskirts the old town starts.the old town or medina is surrounded by a massive wall with all the fortifications still intact,its an amazing site to see but makes it easy to get around because if you get lost you just head for the outer wall and hopefully find your way from there.As of yet I haven't managed to get myself lost but I'm sure that day is to come shortly...

Had a good wander around the city with the bonus of when we stopped for a coffee(which in itself is a chore which I will explain later)of being sat right out the front of some government building which as soon as we sat down a large group of people gathered at the front gate shouting and chanting things which we couldn't understand.This went on for about 30 minutes right in front of us to the worried looks of myself and my companions which became even more worried when the riot police turned up but it all seemed to fizzle out after a while and we didn't break one of the rules of travelling in that being don't get caught in any civil disturbance.Plenty of time to get caught up in that sort of thing later in the trip.....

So after the obligatory ride back to the campsite in the dodgiest taxi going around which was being driven by a bloke who had no idea where we wanted to go or what we were showing him on our maps and who proceeded to stop and ask everyone he could where we wanted to go,we finally made it back to camp for an afternoon of organising all our food stores so we don't have to keep going into the lockers and fixing the sandmats to the side of the truck for easier access for those times when we are bogged which no doubt will be when going through the Sahara into Mali...

Now I know I did mention to a few of you before I went about some of the crazy toilet options I'd be encountering,well let me tell you it didn't take long for the first encounter with a squat toilet.For those of you who've used one before you'll know what I mean but for those of you who haven't had the pleasure it brings a whole new level of excitement when having to go to the toilet.Things that go through your mind when you grab the bogroll and trudge off towards the bog are "hope its going to be a solid one as I don't fancy having turd all down the inside of my legs","please god don't let me crap in my jeans" which after the story Chris one of the drivers told me about his first encounter with a squat bog certainly got me worried about my first encounter.I soon learnt that its best to take your jeans off completly so as not to risk sh1tting down the back of them.It certainly is an art form using one of them as you have to place your feet on 2 raised steps inside the bowl type thing then do the squat.Sounds easy you think but when the steps you place your feet on are about 5 cm wide and more suited to little people using them it becomes a mission especially with my dodgy knee and ankle which start to hurt after being in that positon after a couple of seconds.All of us have been having a good laugh at the procedure required for using them and have been giving each other tips on how to best perform the unloading procedure.Will take a picture and hopefully post it on the site shortly so you can have an idea of what I'm on about but am having some problems trying to download photos at the moment.

As Morocco is a muslim country we are smack bang in the middle of Ramadan which has been interesting to experience although only as an outsider.Nothing shall pass the lips of the people who follow Islam during daylight hours (I think) so that means no food,drink and more importantly for alot of the poeple we've spoken to no ciggies.For us we've tried our best when eating,drinking and smoking to do it out of sight so as not to offend and so far we've had no grief.The best part is that everywhere you go they are selling the special pastries which are a taste sensation.Sort of like a deep fried doughnut covered in honey which I'm finding diffilcult not to devour a few everyday but I'm of the theory when the good stuff is there to eat I'm going to eat it as there'll be times shortly when it'll be a tinned food diet for us all.

Food so far has been great with 3 full meals a day all bought fresh that day which as I described earlier is great fun doing.Today Ken and I wandered the local fish market and managed to haggle with a bloke for 2 fish both weighing about 6 kilos.As I sort of speak french I had the pleasure of the bargaining which to be honest I am rubbish at although I did manage to get 2 fish fo 100 dirhams(6 quid) after the bloke offered me 1 for 70 so I thought I did all right but who really knows but the main thing is we've got fish for dinner which is going to be baked over the hot coals.I've got to shoot up to the market when I'm done here to pick up some veges so better get this finished soon

All of us are getting on very well at the moment which hopefully will continue over the next few months of living in each others pockets although we've had no hardships to speak of so far,well apart from the last of the beer supplies ran out last night but they were warm anyway so maybe not a bad thing.A mission for beer is being devised by Andrew and Jo the kiwis on the trip so hopefully by the time I get back to camp a beer of some form may be available for consumption.One of the reasons I think we are all getting on well is that all of us have travelled a fair bit and have worked/lived in other parts of the world so we all have a good idea of how to get on with people and more importantly how not to p1ss each other off.Again long may this be the case....

Managed my first lot of washing today which was bloody hard work as all of it is by hand which made me think that my dream of being a washer woman will now have to be shelved.I also learned that dark clothing is the way to go as my light coloured clothes have now taken on a dirty brown tint to them which to be honest there is no way I'm going to spend the time scrubbing that out as my hands are killing me from what I did today.Have gone soft I'm afraid after living the easy life for the past few years and sitting on my date in an office week after week....

Luckily today is a Tracey Chapman free day in the internet place and I think I've got the hang of the arabic keyboard although it still has taken me 2 hours to do my emailing and this update....

Anyway time for me to go to the market so I bid you all adieu and hope everyone is well.Will hopefully manage to work out how to download some photos soon of the truck and some other touristy shots....

Onyas



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