MOROCCO MAURITANIA MALI NIGER LIBYA EGYPT BY LAND
I was trying to go to Algeria Tunisia etc to Egypt or Israel.
I am now thinking about the above route, but I am here in Marrakech and I am learning nothing about the trip. Normally in a city there will be travelers along the path that you can compare notes with and learn some options. In the worst case you can find a tour operator that will educate you at the cost of listening to their lies, but…
Here in Morocco so far, the average tourist or traveler seems to be on a two-four week vacation trip and not traveling the country and if they are they are probably going to Fes or Fez for a smoke dope trip, or to the desert for a do the desert trip, and see a camel, or to Marrakech because they are too afraid of Tangiers to just cross the border and stay in Tangiers, and Casablanca is too large or the wrong flavor. Whatever the case there are maybe some surfers working their way down to Senegal or something, but nobody is going to Mauritania - Mali, they are all going Mauritania - Senegal and there is normally a reason, not necessary a good reason, but there are paths to follow in a country. Some that are boring and others that are safer, but normally just one traveler or tourist following the one in front of them.
20 PERCENT COMFORT ZONE
I am only at a 20 percent in the comfort zone with the idea of traveling from Morocco to Egypt with the low route below Algeria and not above Algeria, so I am still trying to figure out how to get to 80. I will only be at 100 after I have done the trip and can do it again, but then who like to do that?
1. Go to Casablanca and get my visas.
2. Go to the southern tip or border of Morocco and Mauritania and see what is the scoop and if there are people camped and ready to make the jump outside of Morocco, and if they have any clue.
The problem is I was not planning an Africa Safari, I was just trying to go to Tunisia and transit across Algeria and Libya when I started, and did not believe that there would be zero travelers going on the lower route. I know zero people going this way, and the ones that say they are going this way are only in the Thorntree of the Lonely Planet and this is not always the best blokes to follow down a road, the Lonely Planet Thorntree is full of travel impersonators that do a lot of research, but never leave the computer, they are extremely knowledgeable and hard to distinguish between them and the truth. Plus there are tons of tour operators hanging around trying to steer you into a tour package through a lot of misinformation. I experienced this when I went to Iraq, and almost 90 percent of the information in the Thorntree was either a lie by tour operators or just bad information that was hearsay.
THE SECOND PROBLEM
I do know that if I went to Earls Court Tube stop in London and hung around for a week I could Suss out the best possible paths because there are a lot of them big South Africa guys that look like they lifted too many weights and are steel workers in disguised, but are very knowledgable, so I know I could get some good advice. A construction worker from South Africa (White guys) that is working in London doing construction has a better grip on reality than some surfer that just came from the Atlas Mountain, where they were searching for Kif or Weed or whatever they call the Marijuana in these dope areas. This must be the Rajastan of Morocco.
MY INSTINCTS TELL ME
1. Go south to the border, do a recon information mission like I did in the Philippines.
2. Stop in Casablanca on the way north for a week or more to discover the Visa situation.
3. Get a plane ticket with Easyjet.com from either Faro, Portugal or Malaga, Spain to England. I can also get a plane ticket to Tunisia if the price is cheap enough and I can figure out how to go Tunisia to Egypt.
4. Spend 3 days there sussing out the information.
5. Give the project a break, and fly to either Bangkok, Egypt or India and I can work on my web cam project.
Andy, I think you are fabulous. I visit your site almost everyday and have been following your travels for a couple of weeks now. I have totally given up on the world. I shall never have the money in the world to see it like you are doing. I find it unbelievable that anybody could be so fortunate as to be able to undertake travel on such scale! And even in these modern times when you need a lot of money to entertain a couple of friends on your birthday once a year! Not only the mention of Ibn Batuta is going to suffice for me to understand how you are able to pull it off and I think your travels are no less spectacular than Blodin ferrying across his mother on a wheelbarrow over the Niagara Falls on a tightrope. I would like to give this question a rest for good and I would like to make one final guess about you: you are over fifty years old and cashed in a lot of money in the dot com boom: you were one of the few first people to see the oncoming burst, you made all the money you could and are currently 'running' away with them around the world:-)Hope this helps. Take care and happy travelling! You put the man with eighty days to shame! Yours, Narendra
hi andy... thanks for posting your photos of essaouira. shame you didn't manage to find the morocco you are looking for there. it very nearly became my home and i miss it!! i found it does take a bit of time to get under the skin of morocco and to get beyond the tourist thing in a country so reliant on foreign cash. i make no claims to be a traveler, but i almost married a moroccan and i know it takes a long time for a moroccan to be persuaded that you really truly want to see how it really is - i'm sure you're not in the least surprised though as that's exactly what all the 2 week tourists tell them...
i understand you aversion to the whole communal bathing thing, the rub down is not an obligatory part of the experience! it's possibly different as a girl(!) but no other westerners visit the hammam i go to- i think the guide books sent them all to the same ones. moroccans go there to relax and i found it a great place to get to know people, and have as a result been invited into lots of peoples lives.
not sure if you've found the visa info that you need - from essaouira i had to go to safi rather than marrakesh i think.
another thought - if the hamman really isn't your thing, become a regular at one of the barbers for a shave - might be the male equivalent of my hammam experience!
hope you get to algeria - always been fascinated, but never brave enough!