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As Requested,Part 4 of the 2.5 Month Trip T o SPain and MOre

As Requested,Part 4 of the 2.5 Month Trip T o SPain and MOre

Jan 12th, 2004, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 804
As Requested,Part 4 of the 2.5 Month Trip T o SPain and MOre

Ok...I am back.


We woke up to another beautiful sunny day.
After a delicious breakfast we headed out for a day of sherry tasting and buying.

Tio Pepe was one destiantion. We had a ball on our tour and during our tastings. We made it to Jerez, Spain tasting Domeco, seeing the sights and enjoying a PRIVATE tour of Sandeman.... we love Sandeman Sherry.

We made our way to CADIZ, SPAIN for the evening. Stayed at The HOTEL REGIO 2. Very basic.

Our big thing that night was to dine at the infamous: EL FARIO DE CADIZ...exquisite and through the roof pricey. This place proved to be our first place where we spotted major celebrities.


We got up very early as we were headed to AFRICA!!!

We found the "safe" parking at EuroFerry's. We were beginning a tremendous journey to Morocco. Our round trip ferry tickets for two came to $88.00 USA. Unbelievable...

We even fit the necessities into ONLY two bags!!!! The rest we locked in the car. We strung the remaining four suitcases together with a heavy duty cable motorcycle lock that we brought with us from America.

The ferry took two lovely hours. It was extra HOT that day and the ones to follow...

Upon arrival we were not prepared for the super aggressive people. We had decided to take the Train to Fez. Getting to the train station was a major under taking even though the train depot was a mere 15 minute walk from the Ferry dock.

Once at the train station we needed to wait an hour. The train for two to Fez, Africa was $24.00 USA.
Our ride was an arduous and eventful 5.5 hours with major harassment, fright and stress. I will not dwell but if you have been to a third world country then you may have an small idea of our train ride with the locals.
All of the tourist from the Ferry hired cars for several hundred dollars...we quickly found out why.

We arrive in Fez, Morroco at 10:00pm. It was a beautiful yet surreal sight.

We made our way by taxi to our hotel:
PALIS JAMAI-FES. A true Palace. safe, heavily guarded and elaborate. I wanted to stay here forever.
We had a major dinner and slept in late.

We hung out at the Palace, had a lavish lunch at the Palace and then we broke down and hired a "guide" for the afternoon and evening...our new best friend!!!!

Our guide took us everywhere. He honored my wish to not be dragged to sales people. He helped me find and ship major amounts of copper home...I still love him for all that he did.
We went to the Medina, Souks, museum and saw all of Fez.

The next day we went into town and saw even more. That night we went to a delightful Moroccan show, dinner, drinks and dancing.

The next day we saw the rest of old Fez. We went far and deep...riding donkeys and all that...
We stayed an extra day and night to simply lounge around our Palace...poolside, pampared and loved beyond belief!

Very early the next day we arrived at the bus station. We decided to take the bus with the locals from Fez into Marrakech...
This was $26.00 for two vs.$140.00 for a driver.
We got a lot out of our 9 hour bus ride to Marrakech, Morroco...ALOT. The hole in the ground toilet, the slaughtered lamb for lunch, the machine guns on the bus, the inspections of paggengers...ALOT! We saw farms, poverty beyond your wildest dreams, no technology, villages, cities and so on...we grew. I swear we grew...not one argument between the two of us...not one...

Once off the bus we got a cab to our Hotel in Marrakech. I made that sound simple...it was as difficult as the 15 minute wlak from the Ferry to the train depot... HOTEL KENZI SEMIRAMIS was where we stayed...a dream...

This five star gem was another haven for us...Exquiste beauty, gigantic pool that went on and around for days...

We went to The Palace Djemaa El Fna and looked and shopped and shopped.
We saw exotic creatures and smelled delicious foods. we went to the Mosque and The Square of The Dead.
We saw gardens, spices, rode camels and on and on...
We went to a dramatic Folklore Marocain show complete with spectacular fireworks, horses and so much more...Fantasia they called it...we agreeded.

I ventured out on my own. I was careful to have my passport, hotel key, money, credit cards and wedding ring in my tiny pouch that was clinging to my skin from all the heat.

I saw an outfit that I really wanted so I went to our hotel lounge to give it some thought. I counted my money and returned to make the purchase.
Once back at the hotel I un-stuck everything and was about to shower when I realized that my 2.5 marquise(sp) cut dimond wedding ring was missing. I know I fainted as my husband was standing over me asking me what was wrong.
I could not speak...nothing came out but tears. By pointing and gasping I told him. We looked EVERYWHERE, going back to all the places that I had been that day.

After several hours I was distraught. My hubby said not to worry and that he would replace my ring...one day. We sat in silence in the lounge. I was seriously deciding that the time had come to cut the trip and all losses and go home.

Who did I think I was?...EVERYBODY had said it was outlandish to be gone for so long...EVERYBODY had asked about the time and the money...No One was 100% supportive and this was proof positive that yes, I had bit off more then I could chew.

I should do my three weeks vacation like the rest of the world and wait another twelve months to go on bended knee and ask my boss if I could please be gone for two or three weeks EARNED vacation next year...

As we rose to go up to our room my hubby said: "hey, let's make the best of this. You have put together a fabulous trip and although I would give my eye teeth to be in my own bed...let's keep going..."

He placed his hand on the sofa to rise up. His hand slipped between the overstuffed sofa pillows.
His eyes grew wide... he miraculously came up with a fist full of 2.5 carat wedding ring!
We were both screaming like banshees...We dropped to our kneees, thanked God and took our clear cue to journey on with much joy!

The next day, after a full night of partying with others in our hotel( They all knew about the lost wedding ring. Several of them, like me had tossed all those pillows on the sofa several times)we boarded a plane to Casablanca. It was a short 30 minute flight.
We wanted to see the Grand Mosque but the cabbie wanted fifty dollars so we passed. We waited 6 hours at the airport instead...oh, be quiet...smile.
With this major delay of our flight to Tangier we missed our ferry to SPAIN...

Ok, let's just say DRAMA CENTRAL...The MOTHER OF ALL DRAMA occurred...

The "officials" of AIR MOROC decided that they were not responsible for our delay...they were! They held us on the run way for over an hour.
After my complete and total meltdown, they decided that our tickets were FAKE and that we needed to be questioned!!!!!
Being "detained" in Morrocco was not how I wanted my trip to Africa to end.
I immediately started kissing much Tangier behind, apologizing, and shutting my mouth big time.
After a couple of scary hours the Air Moroc "Officials" verified that we had indeed purchased our tickets in America and that we were really tourist on our way back to SPAIN.
Now they wanted to chat us up about America but, I just wasn't feeling them like that.
We got put up in the WORSE HOTEL on EARTH called: HOTEL REMBRANDT, TANGER.
It had bugs, dirt amd loud un-explained noises. I kept one eye open as I was for sure we would be kidnapped and lost and that we would never see our darling son in America again...We seemed a LONG way from CALIFORNIA...A Long way in every way.

Promptly at 4:30am I made us get up for the 5:30am Ferry to SPAIN..Oh, sweet Jesus!
They tried to get us to eat a complementary breakfast. I envisioned us being poisioned and politely refused.
My husband started to give me "hunger" static as he had not eaten since lunch the day before while at the Casablanca Airport.
I squeezed and squinted my eyes at him in a qradruple double way...he got the message...I stayed crossed eyed for nearly an hour behind that move! giggle...

We made a mad dash to the Ferry...Problem...NO FERRY...The 5:30am Ferry was really the 7:30am Ferry...time difference.
After letting out a primal scream I made us stand on those craggy rocks for two full hours until the ferry came. I was singing spirituals the whole ride to ALGIERS, SPAIN.

Time for bed...
More tomorrow, or the next day.

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler

OaktownTraveler is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 04:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,785
Wow! I can't wait for the next installment! Despite your troubles and difficulties, you seem to have a good outlook about travels in distant lands and life in general. The Palaces sound great - I hope you believe the whole thing was worth it despite the problems!

I am so glad you found your ring, too. Keep writing!

kaudrey is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 804

THANKS!!! I woke up this morning wondering if anyone was reading and should I keep writing...I am a silly girl.

Yes, all that happens in travel totally make "it" worth "it".

Off to write Part 5...

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler
OaktownTraveler is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 17
Hi oaktown traveler - I am reading your travelogue backwards as I scroll down, i.e. first part 5, now part 4 and so on.
I was mesmerized by your accounts of all your Africa adventures.
I have travelled third world and so can relate.
I am so glad you didn't quit when you lost your ring. How wonderful that you found it again.
Thanks for taking the time to type this up - its great.
Love Sue
olchard is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 804

Writing this report has been quite an experience and I still have miles to go before I sleep.

Since you are reading backward by now you may have read the story about the rental car...can you believe it?

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler
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Jan 15th, 2004, 08:43 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 804
My hubby said that I left out something for this part of the report...

Their had been travel advisories issued for Americans to not travel to Morocco.
A bombing had occured at one of our destinations...
Our parents, mainly mine, had begged us not to go.
Our final decision was nearly last minute(while in Spain) and we did not let our folks know that we had been there until we got home...
We saved the story for months after that.

The whole removing my wedding ring thing was me getting caught up in the: Do you bring your nice jewelry on your travels thing?

I did/do not consider a wedding ring jewelry so there you have it in part.
I still travel with my ring. I turn it around into my palm ALOT but, I still travel with my wedding ring. I tried the simple gold band thing but I feel naked.

We had a fantastic time. I hope that came through...

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler
OaktownTraveler is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
To get directly to part five, click here...


Best wishes,

rex is offline  
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