I read somewhere its hip to refer to Casablanca as Casa’. Anyway if you think driving there was bad try leaving the country. I was in no rush as my ferry didnt leave until 3pm so I took a leisurely drive towards Cueta, arriving at the queue for customs and exit papers around 12.30. It’s now 4pm and I am still trying to get to the passport control. I’ve missed the ferry which will cost me for sure and my fixer took the money and disappeared, In fairness I only had £2 so I’m not surprised. According to him the Police want £10 to stamp the paperwork anyway. I’ve seen two fights in the queue and a third is brewing as I type. An armed Police officer was given a bit of a kicking by a motorist who well and truly won the argument despite being very in the wrong. It’s mayhem. The third fight has been disbanded before punches were thrown, not by the Police but by the locals. Meantime I have progressed to passport control,where my papers have been stamped to let me out. However that just lets you join the queue to get into Spain. So I sit here not 3 meters from the booth waiting to move into no man’s land and onto Spanish territory about 200 meters away.
I am still here waiting having not moved for thirty minutes, there are no facilities or any form of shelter from the sun. Apparently the Spanish are in despute and will only open one entry gate to Spain. Back home there would be all manner of complaints to HM border control but here just an acceptance that we will wait until the solitary border guard can process us. As I typed that last sentence twenty of us were let in. Just enough to get through Spanish passport control but not enough to clear customs or get to the ferry terminal.
In due course I was let through and made my way to the ferry port. The FRS gate is closed and unoccupied. I could well be spending the night here… I’ve not eaten since my porridge this morning and despite officially being in Spain I can’t get internet access to find out if there is a ferry crossing today. There is the obligatory old lady begging and I really don’t have any money but she was kind enough to help me with where to park the car. I was hungry so I drove into town following the well signposted McD’s. It had a drive through only because there is nowhere to park there. The girl at the counter was most confussed when the car pulled up and she could see no driver. I picked up a meal for me and a (girls) happy meal for the poor beggar lady. On getting back to the car park my beggar lady had a friend. Sorry thats just tough. I called her over and handed her the box. Very gratefully she accepted it asking “Is it halal?” Yes, it must be, anyway just how hungry are you? She shuffled off and I ate mine whilst being pestered by the other. In the end they shared and I gave them half my coke. They were quite contented sitting there on the lane deviders. I wonder who got the toy? At that very moment the lady from the ferry ticket booth turned up. She was brilliant and got me on the next ferry at 9pm. She didn’t charge me because it wasn’t my fault and I had brought the beggars some food which she thought was very kind. Also I suspect she knew there were only 3 vehicles on the late ferry.
Back on the mainland I made to the Rio Grande to be reunited with DJ the next morning, however Ian (VW motorhome guy) had contacted me to say he was in Marbella. We had coffee at his new site before I returned to strip the bike and load it in the car. I was pretty concerned that it wouldn’t fit.
First the front wheel, forks, tank and saddle had to come off
Then the rear wheel, suspension, handlebars and exhaust.
Then all the plastics and electrics.
Finally packing it all in the car.
I was shattered, so I went out for a very bland meal and made the decision to head to Marbella. I was going to book into the campsite Ian was on and have two days on the beach before heading back to Santander. Dubless isn’t the happiest car lugging an extra 200+ kilos but we are in no rush.