Here’s Looking at You, Kid!

Journeys of Aardvarc
Mon 5 Nov 2012 11:20

33:35.4N 07:36.4W Casablanca

After a Saturday night on-board eating leftovers we spent Sunday chilling out & doing a few jobs. Bob went scavenging in the marina, returning with a can that we could use for storing extra fuel on the trip to Madeira. Upon taking a trip to the fuel pontoon to fill up, they guy from the marina slapped wrists & requested the return of the “stolen” can, promising to find us another one, smiling all the time - really lovely bloke….

We had some lunch & decided to wander into Mohammedia – on the way we checked out a few restaurants, only to bump into our friend from the 1st day, Mohammed. We promised to return to his place another time. We had coffee & cake in one of the lovely cafes surrounding the parc in the new town & made our way to the medina, finally arriving at Carrefour for a few bits. Back on the boat Ed cooked a very tasty paella. It has been raining on & off today, as predicted by our weather man – but the warm/dry interludes make it more bearable.

On Monday we got up to more rain, we hung about in the cabin deliberating over what to do next & then the rain cleared so we ordered a Grande Taxi to see Casablanca, only 10 miles south along the coast. Our first stop was the famous Rick’s café! Not that it ever really existed (until 2004 when Kathy Kriger, then a commercial counsellor for the US embassy, decided to leave the government & start up “The Usual Suspects” company turning the mythical saloon into reality), but the architecture & music is right on the mark! Sadly there was no “Sam” in residence on Monday lunchtime, & I was very tempted to belt out that old favourite – chopsticks, but we sipped our gin & tonics to some nostalgic tunes & the food was excellent……Rick’s Hamburgers all round!

By the time we left Rick’s the rain had started again & instead of walking to the medina we jumped back in our taxi – on the way the taxi driver showed us Hassan II Mosque – it is massive!!

 Bet that’s noisy when it calls everyone to prayer. We hit the medina & got totally soaked in the rain & then completely lost, finally arriving back at the taxi like a pack of drowned rats. The medina here is very different
to Marrakech, focusing more on locals & selling knock off designer gear rather than traditional Moroccan goods – so it wasn’t very interesting. Except for the wonderful place names " Sidi Belyout!"

We then decided that the rain had got the better of us & it was time to go home. It’s a shame, I didn’t feel like we saw the best of Casablanca (although Rick’s Café was very special) & perhaps we left too early……we could regret it, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon & for the rest of our lives!!! Back on Aardvarc we decided on a light tea & downloaded Casablanca to watch, which seemed fitting for a night in! It was hilarious, the acting is absolutely atrocious…….but was a perfect end to the day & the start of a beautiful friendship…….(sorry)

On Tuesday we awoke to rain – heavy, heavy rain…… didn’t stop – all day! Ed &Bob managed to find some gas for the boat in the morning & we headed to Hotel Hager for seafood lunch under our brollies. The rest of the afternoon we spent in the hypermarket, taking full advantage of their alcohol section, which do exist & are heavily frequented by the “tee-total” locals!?! The rain persisted all afternoon & upon return to the boat the wind had increased to 30-35 knots & we had to secure the boat due to the storm, tying up to the opposite pontoon with a long line that took a bit of throwing to get across. Ed & Bob braved the elements to get pizza from the town during which time there was a power cut & the whole town was plunged into darkness! Back on the boat I thought I had broken the wifi bat (our device that amplifies wifi signals so we can pick them up on-board & the reason I have been continually on facebook for the past few days!) & was already preparing my apologies when we realised what had happened! Phew!! I would have been in trouble……

The rain & wind had died down a little by the time we hit our bunks – but we battened down the hatches & hoped that the storm would pass by morning.