We entered the mountain town of Chefchaouen and drove through looking for the campsite which we found perched on the top of the hill overlooking the town. The campsite was certainly not what we were used to in Europe it was very muddy, just like a gravel capr park and everyone was parked up close together. The shower and toilet facilities were pretty indiscribable!! We have now arrived in squatting territory!!
We walked downhill into town and were mezmorised as we walked around the market looking at the simple stalls. There were live chickens for sale which the Moroccans picked whilst still alive. It was then weighed, its throat was cut and it was plucked on a primative wheel which looked like a shoe shine machine. It was then handed steaming to the villager all whilst we looked on. The small stalls sold everything from plastic bowls, one cigarette and one egg and even one finger of kit kat.
We went into a male orienated cafe as only men go to the cafes here and had a coffee whilst watching Chelsea play Watford live on t.v.
It rained very hevily during the night and the next morning it was cold and overcast and in fact snow had fallen on the mountain tops. We went into the old medina (walled city see picture) which is painted a luminous blue colour and had coffee in the cobbled main square watching the mornings comings and goings. The medina is small and uncrowded and easy to explor as we were never hassled or pestered to buy anything. We had a typical Moroccan lunch in the busy square of tangine (meat stew) and chicken on skewers, no alcohol of course.
The heavens opened as we walked back to camp so we got a petit taxi which the locals use to take them everywhere. The campsite was by now very very muddy. As we sat in the motorhome a big red coach arrived towing what looked like a faiground attraction. As we watched about 30 well dressed middle aged Germans got out of it and in the torrential rain proceeded to erect the trailer into a mobile hotel on wheels. At the back was a makeshift kitchen and then an awning pulled out from the side. We laughed and laughed as they stood around in the pouring rain sheltering as best they could under awning and then produced some tables and benches which they set out as a dining room. When the food was ready they queued up at the buffett table in the rain and sat at the benches under the awing eating their meal in the dark as it was now 8.30. The bedrooms were bunk bed pods in the back of the trailer. It was absolutely unbelievable (see pictures).
We checked out of the campsite again in torrential rain and the cost of 2 nights was £9.50 much cheaper than our last night in mainland Spain at £17 per night.
As we drove to Fez along the busy main road donkeys, goats and sheep were being herded by their owners sometimes they only had about 2 or 3 animals each. We then had a major disaster... the control panel which operates the electrics to the motorhome broke. This meant we had no inside lights, running water, microwave, heating or toilet flush!!!!! Our first thought was that we would ahve to come home or at least return to Europe and look for somewhere that deals in our make of motorhome. However, we decided we would press on to Fez and make the decision when we got there. Peter ended up in a right strop that afternoon!!!!!
We had tentatively planned how to find the campsite in Fez but as this is a major city with a population of one million it could have been difficult. However on the outskirts of town a guy on a moped rode up alongside telling us which way to turn towards the campsite. We stopped at traffic lights and he said follow him and he would take us there. We went around the city a good way following him and eventually ended up at Camping International!! He wouldn't take anything for his trouble but said that his brother was an official guide and would give us a tour of the city the day after. Obviously we were very sceptical but as we had read in our guidebook that a guide is needed to take you around the Medina in Fez due to its sheer size, we agreed.
We parked up the motor home and checked out the control panel again, couldn't fix it and plugged our lead into the 240v mains. On checking all our equipment our heating worked, the microwave worked and so did the 240v socket in the van. We still ahd no running water, flushing toilet or inside lights. thinking hard about it we decided we would stay and make the most of it. We went to the local supermarket and bought a reading lamp for £3 which was on special offer!! By pressing the control panel the water and toilet flush work for 30 seconds and then cuts out so in fact we still have luxury facilities compared to the poor Moroccans and the people either side of us in tents as facilities in the campsite are still pooooooooooor!!!