What a beautiful place to wake up in, amongst the hills. We had woken a couple of times in the night, this has been a daily occurrence as there are numerous noises in the night.The wild dogs start barking around midnight until 6am, donkeys bray at regular intervals in the night as though they are being murdered, cockerels seem to have little sense of time and start at 4am and the call for prayer is very loud ,from many different mosques at about 5am.We are very used to it all and if woken, go back to sleep. We also gained an hour today as the clocks went back,that`s 2 extra hours this trip.
So, my turn to drive.The plan was to drive about 210 miles to Essaioura on the coast,well that was the plan.We are actually back on the campsite in Marrakesh.All was good for the first 80 miles or so. There was a protest march just outside of the campsite, all women and children, taking up the whole of the road. I slowly drove behind them and they were lovely and friendly, shouting and waving at us until an elderly lady made sure we could pass through.
I got to Marrakesh and drove straight through the centre, it was crazy! Traffic is all over the road, whilst there are lanes, they are not used in the conventional sense i.e. 1 car in 1 lane! I really got into using the horn, as the locals do.If someone does not immediately go on the green light everyone peeps them, so when in Rome...... So we got through all of that, with a few close shaves and a few expletives. Then the dial on the radiator heater started to head towards over heat and we had to stop, our first mechanical problem which would lead to the engine blowing up (I think?!) if we carried on and ignored it.So we stopped in a petrol station off the crazy roads. We got out our Haynes manual, opened the bonnet and looked underneath.We were leaking from the left hand side. OK, so what next? Phone a friend! We called Bob at the garage in England , described the problem to him and he was brillant as always and told us we had a problem with the heater matrix and we had to disconnect the 2 pipes running into it, thereby bypassing it, connect the 2 pipes together with a hose connecting kit, and refill the radiator with water and antifreeze. "A hose connecting kit," we asked? "Didn`t I give you a hose connector kit?" asked Bob?! Oh well, who needs one of those when you have gaffer tape and other stuff! Gav was a star and I tried to help.We got out the tools and spares which were at the very back of the landy so everything needed to come out and he set to work trying to disconnect the pipes and reconnect them together.He was deliriously happy to use his toolkit and the hammer got an outing, when in doubt give it a smack with a hammer! A lovely petrol attendant tried to help and we had quite a laugh trying to communicate.
I was tasked with going into the garage to buy some more blue anti freeze.Interesting.I can say blue in French and so my starting point was going into the garage and shouting "bleu".OK, puzzled looks. So next to mimic anti freeze. I acted out freezing, "brrrrrr" and hugging myself and then saying "non".Got there in the end!
So with the pipes disconnected, reconnected and held together with jubilee clips and gaffer tape (as we had no connector hose!!) and the radiator refilled, we let the engine run for 10 mins and were relieved when there seemed to be no new leaks and the temperature gauge was back to normal. Given the time, we decided to go to the campsite we had previously stayed in in Marrakesh, check the landy again tonight and in the morning and, all being well, set off for Essaioura tomorrow. So we had to go back through the the chaos again as our camp site was on the other side o the City. When we got there they were surprised to see us again but very welcoming. We opened the bonnet to find that where Gav had taped the 2 ends of hose together looked a bit fragile so out came the tools again and we cable tied, jubilee clipped and taped the 2 ends together and now we think it will do the job! Just as we finished, the British camper vans we met in Fez turned up in convoy, they have all been poorly for the last 2 weeks and hardly eaten.We also met a Dutch man here in a landy whose girlfriend is in hospital, being flown home tomorrow because she has been bitten by a fly in the desert..Everyone has their stories to tell and we have been lucky so far, touch wood!
The Brits Moroccan guide has given us his mobile number to call if we have any more mechanical problems along the way tomorrow, but we have tools, gaffer tape and Gav, Bob on phone a friend, what more could we need?!