Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Free at last!
Enfin! At last!
We finally broke free from the clutches of the port of Casablanca, where we were beginning to feel doomed to spend our days chasing papers from eno office in one end of the town to another at the other end, while the women do their best to buy up the entire Medina!
I will tell the story of the shipping clearance in another post, and it is a story worth telling. Somali pirates have to come here and learn! Kafka would stir in his grave if he knew what he missed!
Early this morning we left the Hotel Central, www.hotelcentralcasa.com, and their duty manager tried to call us two taxi's, then walked us to the main road and helped us get two. One was surly, the other was ok, despite having started working at two in the morning. They took us to the indicated point, and our driver called the manager of the container depot, took us to where she waited for us, and charged 20 Dirham, according to his meter. The other threw a tantrum and charged seventy, since we were outside the city limits.
The Land Rover was already out of the container, the Cruisers not. A customs guy was there, very nervous, and checked that our papers were ok, then left. The assistants at the depot were over-eager, and helped jump-start the cars. Stephanus' Cruiser, brand new, lit up its lights, then needed jump-starting, my old '62's one year old SABAT main battery was stone dead, but the new Raylite Gel Deep gygle battery had enough left, after five weeks, to start it first go. We had a moment when the assistants jumped Hans' Land Rover from a fork lift, then held up both jumper cables in one hand, in triumph! Some smoke and a second jump, and it was running.
We left, surprised that there was nothing else to pay, and hit the road, first the coast road to Mohammedia, then the motorway to Rabat, then the motorway to Meknes and Fes.
At three we were in the Camping Diamant Vert, in nice, expensive surroundings, and being regaled by deafening “animation' from the nearby swimming pool. Then the big repacking started!
Our first stocking-up trip done, we are preparing for the night, tomorrow we will do the car repair runs, stock up some more, and get ready to tackle the Atlas mountains. I will post our photos tomorrow as well, but first, we are free! At last!