Day 31: Agadir - the dregs of Morocco

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Mon 6 Dec 2010 18:18
Day 31: Sunday 5 December 2010. Camping Agadir. N30 26.441 W009 36.449 Distance driven 461 km
We had a wonderful drive today from Zagora - fabulous scenery and little traffic until we hit the outskirts of Agadir. Northwards up the Draa valley we followed the river, winding through huge palmeries with many old mud ksars perched on hill tops above the river.  Then, just south of Agdz we stopped for a coffee before taking to a minor road which wound through several mountain passes with stunning views of the High Atlas away to the north and Jebel Toubkal, Morocco's highest peak (4167 m) capped in snow.  The route continued all day in sunshine until late afternoon as we approached the outskirts of Agadir when it began to rain slightly.  From 1600 onwards we looked for somewhere either to camp or to stay, as by then we were beginning to think of a hotel when the lightening began.
For mile after mile there was just nothing, then we got into the evening traffic and it began to get dark.  Moroccan motorists seem very reluctant to put on their lights in the dusk so it was quite a hair-raising drive especially going through villages with people all over the road, donkeys, motor bikes, old men in wheelchairs, bicycles and old badly lit trucks weaving all over the place.  Our thoughts then turned to getting a sea front hotel but before we found one we were at Camping Agadir, it was dark and the rain had abated so we came in.  What a surprise - about 200 wall-to-wall French and German camper vans, all packed in together in a rough walled compound with a  few scruffy trees, and filthy, disgusting toilets. By that time we were too tired to care so we put up the tent and went to the beach to find a restaurant.  of course, Agadir is Morocco's main tourist town focused on cheap package holidays for Brits and other Europeans.  The restaurants were all tourist traps but we did mange to get a nice spaghetti in an Italian restaurant but at far higher price than we had become accustomed to.
Anyone following this blog intending to come this way would be well advised to avoid Camping Agadir!  We'll be off at first light and leave it to the Germans to fight over the filthy showers.
Before we left this morning I topped up the steering ATF reservoir with some purportedly US manufactured ATF but without any recognisable specification.  When we arrived the level had not fallen so I don't think we have a problem.  perhaps the real problem was that i had not checked the level for 3,000 km.  I learned a new French phrase today - "la direction assistance" meaning power steering (PAS). I did however, note that someone (Mustapha or Nene Overland) had not replaced two bolts holding the top right side of the radiator in place and it is moving around with the vibrations.  Must fix this soon.