Showing posts from March, 1998

The Big Yellow Truck

The BYT warrants a description of its own. 20 tons, 1500L of fuel, 500L of water in jerry cans, two winches, tools and sand mats, wood compartment, three axles (two drive), four spare tires. PK, Shirray, and Mick drive up in the cab: we sit in the back. Communication via buzzer and intercom. Seating's divided into three pairs of bus seats at the front and two long benches at the back, two steps between levels. Two big bins at the back hold safes and sleeping gear. Storage space behind webbing at the top, under the seats, and under front floorboards. Food & dry goods stored below rear floorboards. There's enough space to stand comfortably at the back. Batteries (seperate from starter) power tape deck and lights for hours. Fridge runs only when engine does. Couple of other nooks and crannies for common storage. Garbage bin doubles as card table. Dramatis Personae * PK, New Zealand * Shirray, Australia * Mick, Australia * Heidi, England * Tony, England

Morocco: Diamant Vert Camping, Fez

In the truck, rain pelting on plastic around me, a long lazy day (except for cooking duty) ahead. Just what's needed after a fairly frenetic few days. Nice green campsite, lights, hot water, tous les conforts de home. Narrative: Another day of waiting in Rabat: roved the medina, read a paper, drank coffee, returned to the Bukimans, no BYT. Walked/taxiid/walked to hypermarket to get 'em a case of beer as a peace offering, toured the jewelry shops of Sale medina and ate w/ Tony + Heidi, returned & drank & chatted & crashed in Phil's tent. Next day - 24th - went for a walk up the beach & breakwater with Heidi, returned to find, drum roll, the big yellow truck. Lunch & rejoicing. Changed money in town and returned to the now-familiar Camping de la Plage. Clare of the Bukimans shaved a couple of heads and we said our goodbyes. Filled in some visa forms and played some guitar. Day trip to Casablanca was next, a needed break from Rabat. Casa is big, ugly, noisy

Morocco: Camping de la Plage, Sale

Marooned, but the natives are friendly. Truck Africa remains strictly hypothetical, but we've been adopted by the good people of Bukima Africa, another trans-African group. Hopefully tonight/tomorrow. Chronological report: moonlit hustle thru Brixton to a Tube train's thankfully-reopened doors. 7AM passport chaos. Met Heidi, gave her her passport, recognized by Tony on embarkation. Touchdown on Gibraltar, and the Rock rearing up into most of the sky from the doorway of the plane. Hike way across airport runway - red lights that are never run - to tiny downtown. Shopping and money-changing and roving up Main repeatedly. The more we wait, the more the truck doesn't appear. Sleep deprivation and heat lead to a miasmic ferry journey to Tangier. The Pillars of Hercules on either side. Woke and climbed decks - wind of the Atlantic in my hair, broken chains of light along both sides, ship surging through the dark water. A bolt of red wrapping paper, caught and tossed into the sky