We spent three restful days at Mathilde’s camp site in Santaella before driving south to Algeciras to catch the ferry to Morocco. We bought return ferry tickets to Tanger Med for €200 and spent the night prior to our departure near the ferry terminal at a lorry park adjacent to restaurant Casa Bernardo where I was able to use the lorry drivers’ shower at a cost of €3. It smelled strongly of cigarettes and aftershave. We belatedly remembered that the kitchen didn’t even start serving dinner until 8.30 pm – nearly our bedtime!
We slept well despite having eaten so late and arrived the next morning in good time for our 10 am sailing. We joined the queue to have our tickets, passports and vehicle documents checked and rechecked. The process took so long that we didn’t board the ferry until 11.30 am.
The crossing took 90 minutes and during the voyage our passports were checked and stamped by the Moroccan police. On arrival in Tanger Med each disembarking vehicle was passport-checked by just one policeman, others were standing idly by, smoking and chatting. Afterwards we presented our documents to Customs and received another stamp on our passports and our vehicle import document was stamped. Over an hour later we were finally waved through and arrived at the exit to the port where a policeman checked our papers once more before we were finally free to leave and be on our way to Chefchouan, high in the Rif Mountains. Almost five hours of officialdom!