Bom Dia from a sunny Portugal,
I left Rabat and Mike after with a bit of a hangover. Mike and I made sure we finished every beer in Rabat that we had in stock.
I joined the motorway and headed for Tangier, the road was good and the miles flew past. I kept trying to comprehend the fact that I was a day away from travelling through the west coast of Africa. My ride was filled with all the guys I met along the way that helped me, took time out of their day to show me what I was trying to find. Helped me with water, valve clearance settings, a place to sleep and just asking me about my trip.
West Africa has surpassed every expectation that I had. I thought it would be more difficult, I thought that it would be unsafe and I thought that it was going to be a struggle from day one. Dont get me wrong there were tough times but Africa had a way to fix the problem, to get a smile back on my face and to make me fall in love with my continent and its people.
So back to the motorway to Tangier. I passed some small villages and kept wondering what lies ahead for me. I arrived in Tangier, looked for a supermarket to stock up on some supplies and decided that a Big Mac would suffice for lunch. I mean McDonald’s has free wi-fi, so it just makes sense you know!
I Purchased my ticket for the ferry to Europe the night before and made sure it was on my phone and downloaded so that there was no hick ups at the port.
I filled all the fuel cans I had and set off on the last 59km’s of my west africa section. I arrived late afternoon in Tangier-Med, the new port in the north of Morocco. I booked my ticket for 6am departure and needed to be ready to board by 4:30am. I headed back down the road and found a hotel.
I bought some maps on Garmin’s website for Europe and tried for the 3rd day in a row to get them on my gps… lets just say I only got a couple of hours sleep in that night.
I woke at 4am and headed for the ferry dock. Immigration took 5min and I was showed in the direction of the terminal only after the idiot at the desk wanted money… yes the give me something type of money. I told him exactly where to find “something.”
As I boarded the ferry set off. I couldn’t understand as there was still an hour left before scheduled departure… but no their wasnt. I made it in the nick of time as the ferry runs on Spain time. So I was an hour late for boarding…
The ferry took an hour to reach Algeciras in Spain. In that hour I watched the sunrise over the Mediterranean.
I was the first of the ferry and headed for emigration. That took 2min and I was in Spain!!!!!!!!!!!!
I asked a guy on a motorbike where the highway to Seville is as my GPS had no maps. He pointed me in the right direction and I was off. The road winded through some mountains and 200km later I was in Seville. I got another guy on a bike to direct me to the centre of town and I found a hostel. Dave advised me that parking was going to be a problem and from the word go it was. I had to park in the square and lock everything!
Its was really cool being in Europe. I walked around and took in the sight just like the million other backpackers in town. One thing I did realise was that all the motorbikes were chained up. It looked like motorbike theft here was a problem so I darted back to the hostel to make another plan with the bike. Strange how I did not once felt that my bike was in danger in Africa but my first day in Europe I got a bit of a panic attack.
I spent the afternoon trying to sort out the Garmin, but found out that my GPS is to old. (anyone working for Garmin want to sponsor me one 🙂 ) So now I am hoping to get my 100us back that I paid for the maps.
I had a beer in the square and went to bed.
I left early yesterday morning and headed for the Capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I passed some towns and one caught my eye. Lagos. Dave spent some time here and said it was fantastic. I wasnt in the mood and took the turn off to Lisbon, but after contemplating for 20km I made a U-Turn and went back to the coastal town of Lagos.
I arrived and found a campsite. I settled for a beer at some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in my life. The Portuguese speak good english so its wasnt difficult to make conversation with some random guy.
I headed back and got invited for some beers with local German campers. We chatted the night away about my trip and Germany and were we should go when we are their.
It was a fun evening.
I am hitting the beach in 10min. So enjoy your weekend. Its only 6 days untill Deidre arrives in Barcelona so I had a lot of things to look forward to!
See you in Lisbon!