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Blog Archives: Entries for 2008

Morocco brief

I got assistance onto the ferry at Terifa, to take me across the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangeer, Morocco. A kind, friendly Moroccan exchanged my British pounds for Moroccan (D), which was approximately 15 D to £1. The journey across the Strait of Gibraltar took about forty-five minutes with an hour reversal in the process.

I had been warned that Tangeer was rough at night and dangerous and had nothing attractive for the tourist, except pick-pockets and beggers. I met a young backpacker from Finland and we decided to go together to find a taxi to take us to the train station – we were both heading to Marrakesh.

My passport was stamped on the boat and I crossed into Moroccan territory without incident. The port was almost deserted, it being around 8.00 PM. One Moroccan man approached and claimed he new where the taxis were and said a price for the journey to the train station. He asked for some money for showing us to the taxi rank. We just kept saying thank you and yes and no simultaneously. He was friendly enough. We were deposited at the train station ten minutes later after a quiet ride. The station was a modern looking building with white marble everywhere. We both perchased a ticket for the sleeper to marrakesh, a journey of some eleven hours then ventured outside to sample the air and wait for the departure. We had at least two hours to wait. It was a cool evening with a chill in the air. Tangeer held nothing of note and was so quiet it felt still. Once on the train, we bedded down to sleep and I was only disturbed once when the guard checked our tickets. I enjoyed the journey and slept soundly, waking an hour before the trained pulled into marrakesh. At the taxi rank my friend and I parted company, he going to his hotel and I going to my hostel near the main square. I payed 50 D for the taxi because I had no change. The hostel was comprised of two buildings separated by the centrol square named Djemaa el-Fna. I was met by an old man who spoke little English and some French. This building housed the dorms, but I needed to check in at the main house. This building held the reception. It was a lovely house (Medima) with comfortable couches and rugs scattered about the marble floor. It was where the included breakfast was taken every morning between 8.00 AM and noon. I checked in, payed for two nights and was walked back through the square to the dorms. I was given a bed in a ground floor room which contained four beds, but no bunks. There was one bathroom for the entire building. It was durty and the shower had no hot water.

I slept for several hours and on awaking, asked the old man to take me to get some food. I also got him to wash my clothes. He took me to a durty kind of café, a five minute walk from the hostel. I had a bottle of sprite and a kind of spicy casserole. It contained meat and some vegetables plus a round peace of bread. I soon discovered bread is served with every meal and in large quantities in Morocco. The meal cost me 50 D, though I learnt later I could barter for everything. In the afternoon, I went for a Moroccan massage. I had heard that the hostel could arrange massages so I asked for one. I was taken to a small house around the corner and went up some steep stairs into a narrow room. I removed my clothes and lay on a bed. A large man then rubbed oil into my back and legs and gave me a heavy Moroccan massage. He moved my heavy muscles and pounded my body. It lasted an hour and was impressive. It cost me 140 D. On my first or second evening I met an English backpacker and we explored the square together. I heard the commotion, the drums, the singing, different performers, all trying to make money. The centrol square was jammed packed every evening and it was just as caotic by day. Mopeds road in and out of the croud – not caring who or what they hit. Men everywhere shouted at us, asking if we liked Morocco or did we want to buy something. It was interesting and very different from Western society. My companion and I wandered around sampling different refreshments and enjoying the wild ambiance. We tasted orange juce at one stall and had a kabab at another. There were outside restoraunts with tressle tables. Paper place mats were layed and food put upon them. Once you were seated, a large round peace of bread would land, you gave your order and nothing happened for ages. Eventually, the food arrived, greecy and hot. I liked the small sausages and I also tried a kabab on a skewer.

I considered visiting some other cities, Casa blanca or Rabat, the capital, but once I had been tricked into spending 600 D on a magnificent belt and discovering my funds were lower than I had figured, I stayed put and waited for my time to pass.

I wandered the streets and square by day after taking the usual hostel breakfast. This consisted of bread, jam, a tiny glass of orange juce and tea/coffee. Their tea was interesting, peppermint flavoured in a small tea pot. It was poored into a glass resembling a shot glass. It was very hot and had to be sipped. However, it was refreshing.

I wandered round the market streets absorbing the mixture of sounds and smells. I got lost on many occasions and had to ask people to show me the way back. This cost me 10 or 15 D. one Arab gave me a ride through the market on his moped, which was a frilling sensation. It cost me 20 D, but it was an experience. The machine wobbled through the narrow streets passing different marketeers yelling out various prices and trying to get the foreigner to come and buy their goods.

It was on one of my many wanders that I got my cane broken! I was standing in the shade in a narrow street, about the wipth of two cars when this young man ran through the narrow space and stood right on my cane. It snapped in two. I swore and bent to inspect the damage. It was broken and almost useless. A man in a stall saw what had occurred and offered to mend it. He said it would cost 100 D! I laughed and said “To much!” he laughed as well and asked me to sit on a small wooden stool. We chatted as his friend put some wood around the break and tied it with strong tape. I thanked them and continued my explorations. The cane was not perfect but at least usable. Oh the joys of traveling blind!

I met the few people who became my friends on my third or fourth day. The first guy I met was an Italian named Nicola. I later met a Swiss Guy named Andreas. They were both in my room. I got chatting with the Italian first, he was in Morocco to explore the desert for a week or so. The Swiss was doing likewise. I told them about my travels and they were impressed. Nicola thought I was a bit strange, not being able to see yet using language of the sighted etc. Plus, the fact I liked to sing when I walked, which sounded strange to him. The three of us spent an afternoon walking the streets, eating in a few cafes and talking about travel. We met the girls in an alley when looking for the way to a kind of museum-palis. There were four of them, they were from England. They were studying in Spain and had come to Morocco on a ten day sight-seeing trip before returning to Spain to re-commence studies. Their nanes were Claire, Nisha, Hayley and Franchesca. We aall just fell into conversation and decided to team up and explore together. The palis we found was largely just ruins with a large square with trees in one corner and some old crumbling steps which led to a covered room in another corner. The weather was hot and it was quiet in the ruins – away from the traffic. It was outside the city walls which made a change from narrow alleys and the centrol plasa. In the evening, we went for a meal in an expensive restoraunt. The food was delicious, I had a lamb dish with rice and it was fantastic. There was a real table-cloth and cutlery. Nicola had met a local guy in his mid fifties, he took us to the restoraunt and afterwards suggested a night club. WE took two taxis and ended up in an upstairs place that contained old couples dancing to some strange loud music. I drank water as I new we would be charged an extortionate price for any drinks. I chatted to the English girls who were interesting and very pleasant. I especially liked Hayley who was studying English literature. We eventually left the club after an argument over the drink prices. Our Arab friend was drunk and got a little agressive, he was funny and acted strangely. I suggested walking back to the centre, the night was young, it was warm and it would cost less – I was down to my last 100 D by then! We arrived back at the hostel around 1.00 AM and I joined Nicola and one of the girls on the ruth patio for some air while they shared a joint. It was relaxing being with like-minded young people.

Marrakesh was interesting for two or three days, but on ones own, it quickly became borring. However, sharing its delights with other people made it more entertaining. The girls marveled how I managed to get about blind and seemingly unaided. I just smiled and said I trusted my ability.

When the group left me to go on their various tours for a couple of days, I mostly rested in my dorm, only going on one main excursion. It was Nicola who returned first and he met up with some more of his friends who he introduced to me. They were reg and antoinette from Belgium. We met them around 8.00 Pm in the square and went for food, I had sausages as usual. After, we went to a bar for some drinks. They were interesting though a little quiet. Regie had large hands and Antoinette was gentle. On my penultimate evening, the English Girls along with Andreas returned from the coast and we all went for dinner and Drinks in the Djemaa el-Fna. I got to sit next to Clair this time and everyone gave me their sausages, which delighted me immensely!

We all caught up on each others events and laughed about different happenings. Andreas got teased about having been alone with four attractive girls!

Once the evening was over, I got kissed by all four girls and the following morning, Nicola gave me some money so I could get to the airport. We said farewell and I went to catch my flight back to England to wash my clothes and prepare for another adventure.

Travel Words

My name is Tony Giles from England, I am totally blind and severely deaf, yet I have travelled the world visiting all its continents.

It is a fantastic achievement and a dream come true. At a young age I desired to be independent after attending a specialist boarding school for the blind. I gained the mobility skills and confidence to believe I could do anything I desired. Further education presented opportunities to experience other countries. Once I was exposed to travelling in foreign environments, there was no going back – I was bitten by the travel bug!

It has been a privilege and a real education to travel the world, meet people from different cultures with alternative epistemologies and engage in all at a country and its people have to offer. I nearly always travel alone, meeting likeminded individuals as I go. I have made many friends and have created a vast global social network through travelling. It is my entire life and I love the challenge it provides.

My main goal for all of these adventures is to increase my knowledge and become a wiser and better more open-minded person. However, it is also about personal challenge and discovery. I challenge my fears and discover not only new peoples and cultures, but also I learn more about myself and that is exilerating.

I am exceptionally lucky in that I have a private income from my deceased Father, this enables me to travel without having to work. I journey as a backpacker, choosing the cheapest accommodation, often buying my own food and travelling by the most cost affective means. However, my income is constant so I do not have the worry of becoming broke when on the road!

I like to engage in many activities while travelling, from meeting local people to mixing with other backpackers who are often found in hostels – cheap shared accommodation for travellers. I have bungee jumped twelve times and sky-dived in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the fact that I cannot see the ground only makes it easier and more frilling!!!

I want to get the most out of my journeys, so participate in as much as possible. Trying the local food and hearing a country’s music is a must when travelling, as it not only enables me to use my other senses but it also gives me a greater impression and appreciation of a country’s culture. Travelling teaches one to be open-minded, to try things, to be receptive. It is about being open to new ideas, concepts and not afraid to try the unknown.

Travelling can be a buzz for anyone, doing it blind can be even more rewarding. I engage all my senses to discover a countries delights.

It is not all a bed of roses and travelling for a prolonged period gets tiring. You are constantly having new challenges and have many emotions to tackle and often fears to overcome. Many regions of the world are dangerous and one has to be permanently aware, it is this which is the most exhausting. It has its frustrations like any challenge. Probably my biggest problem on the road is cooking/eating. Hostel accommodation though great for meeting people, often lack good kitchen facilities and the ones that do, also lack disabled friendly appliances. If in Asia or Africa, it is cheap enough to dine out, but this becomes a chore after a couple of months. Plus, when on a budget eating is the first area where cutbacks are made. The theory being, ‘I’m here to experience the country’s attractions, eating can wait’. I also get disenchanted with food after about three months of travel, I still do not know why.

Travelling the globe over the last ten years has taught me much, both about the world and myself. There was an occasion when I was travelling in Canada, I had made it to the Yukon Territory and had decided to camp. I was alone and pitched my tent in a field; near a path so I could find it again with my cane. I went off exploring. I returned later that night to discover my tent and backpacks gone. I hailed down a passing motorist who helped me to search and later took me to a Salvation army hostel for the night. Kind people took me in, gave me a bed, a meal and new clothes. Initially, I was angry with myself thinking that if I could see I would have pitched it in a better place. However, the experience taught me that things could have been worse, I could have been attacked and injured or even killed. I had lost all my gear, but they were just possessions. The only things that really matter is one’s health and family and friends. I also realised that even though something bad had happened to me, there were still good people willing to help. Since that experience, I have travelled light with just one small backpack and maintain that anywhere I go in the world, there will always be kind people to help me along the way.

I am exceptionally lucky, I have the time, money and confidence to travel. It is what I love and it gives me so many rewards. I put myself in the situations and I am positive and willing to have a go, despite my disabilities. If people see you trying, they are usually willing to meet you half way.

Having an outgoing and positive personality helps. But anyone can travel if they desire, disabled or not, male or female, rich or reasonably poor.

I would not give anyone any advice except follow your dreams and live life to the full.

Alternative travel

I was sent this from a friend who is also deaf and blind, enjoy.

Kayaks, Unicycles and Rickshaws – July 15, 2008
By Andrew Shanahan – The Guardian

Why travel to work like a sardine squashed into a tin?
Andrew Shanahan meets the commuters who have ditched trains, buses and
cars for less conventional transport
Bill Corr, Software Engineer
When my wife decided to start working again, it seemed like we’d need
to get another car to get the kids to school. We really didn’t want to
because I work at home [but do the school run] and it just seemed like
a waste, so we explored alternatives and I found this rickshaw on the
internet. I showed it to my wife and I thought she was going to say,
“Don’t be stupid!” but she said, “That looks really cool!” which
flabbergasted me. So that set the idea in motion.
We were very dubious about whether it would be feasible because it’s
very hilly in this part of Devon, which is why we chose a motorised
rickshaw, to give me some help pedaling a full load of about 200kg up
a 1:4 hill! It cost us about £5,000, which was pretty expensive but
they have a very high resale value. When it arrived in February it was
quite cold and rainy and I thought that might put the children off it,
but they absolutely love it, and it gets a very favourable reaction
from most people.
On the school run there’s quite a long hill where you have to park
your car at the bottom and walk up. I’ve lost count of the number of
times I’ve given other kids a ride up the hill and then given a load
of mums a lift back down. It’s designed for three adults but you can
get six kids in it.
I definitely think people should look for alternative ways of doing
their current commute. It does make me laugh that people drive a few
miles to work, drive home and then drive to the gym. Why don’t they
just cycle to work? People are stuck in the mentality that a car is
what takes you to work and back.
I have always lived outside of that car-loving mentality simply
because I adore cycling. The other thing we’ve found is that commuting
can be fun. If I’d only bought the rickshaw because of the
environmental benefits and the children hated it, we would have spent
a fortune to make the children miserable. Fortunately, it’s a scream,
it’s cheap to run and I can be smug about the fuel prices rising!
Chris Dawes, Chief flying instructor
On an average day it takes me about 15 minutes to fly the microlight
to work. It would take me about an hour and 20 minutes if I was
driving a car to work, so it makes sense. In the summer I may start
teaching very early and not finish until late – and the last thing I
want to do is get in a car for a long journey home. Flying is quicker
and definitely more enjoyable.
I take off from a field outside my house – for a microlight all you
need is about 150 metres of field to get airborne. So I get to the
field, kick the tyres and get in. As I climb away I take a bearing
straight for an old stone circle. I fly at about 3,000 feet at about
80 knots and there’s even a heater in the microlight – it has all the
mod cons. I don’t listen to the radio because when I’m commuting it’s
nice just to have time for myself without interruptions. Quite often
when I’m flying along I’ll see a traffic jam tailing back on the
motorway – and I always make sure I wave.
The flight is beautiful. In the morning you get a lovely light
slanting across the land far below you, and in the evening when I’m
getting home late the light comes from another angle and makes
everything look different again. People are always surprised by how
close you get to the birds when you’re flying. I see a lot of kites
and buzzards on the way to work.
I’d definitely recommend it as a form of commuting, although it takes
a minimum of 25 hours to get a national private pilot’s licence. What
most people do to get started is buy a share in a microlight. Then you
just pay for it by the hour for the fuel they’re using. You can get
shares in a really good microlight for between £4,000 and £10,000 and
you’re away.
Barry Gates, Computer consultant
I’ve been riding a unicycle to work for four or five years. I take a
car to the station with the unicycle in the boot, then an intercity
into Paddington and then I unicycle to London Bridge. The route’s
quite nice because it takes you into Hyde Park, past Buckingham Palace
in front of the guards and into Westminster Square, across the bridge
and past the National Film Theatre and to my office on the river.
There are several reasons why I do it: on a practical level it takes
the same amount of time as the tube – and I’m a unicycle hockey player
in my spare time, so this is a great way of keeping fit for that.
I think there is also an element that it’s a bit quirky, which I
suppose I enjoy. The unicycle is a big 36in wheel and the saddle comes
up to your armpit, so when you’re riding it you’re very tall . Perhaps
I have delusions of grandeur that I’m taller than everyone else when
I’m riding it! It’s also quite a relaxed start to the day because I
weave in and out of pedestrians and the cars don’t give me any hassle.
The reaction from other commuters is really good. Occasionally people
say that you’ve made their day and wave but then other days you might
get attacked! Most people are very accepting and think it’s a bit of a
laugh – and you get dialogue with regular commuters. At the office
people are used to it now, although there’s a lot of Indian offshore
workers in the building and I think they find it very bizarre.
It only costs a couple of hundred quid to get a unicycle and they are
very robust. Having said that I wouldn’t say it was a particularly
safe form of transport. You need a lot of practice to get the
confidence to go on a road. On a standard 20in unicycle you could
probably get to go in a straight line in a week and get to be a
confident rider in about two or three weeks. To get up to a bigger
unicycle is probably about six months. The good thing about that
though is that it means the unicycle is pretty safe from thieves – I
think most self-respecting criminals would get laughed out of town
just trying to mount it, let alone make a quick getaway!
Ricardo Assis Rosa, Assistant architect
I started kayaking to work because I’m lucky to have a garden that
backs on to the river in Bath and the office is only about 80 yards
from the river. Also I have a terrible travel bug and I feel a need to
be moving all the time – this is a way of working in an office but
keeping this part of me happy because it makes it feel like I’m on a
journey or on a holiday every day. I don’t think it’s strange,
especially if you think that 100 years ago the river would have been
one of the main access points into Bath, so it’s just revisiting that
idea that a river can be used for commercial transport.
At work they think it’s great, we have a very environmental focus in
the office and this is just another way of putting those beliefs into
action. I think one of the key things about being aware of green
issues is to actually spend time with nature – with trees and rain and
the river – which makes us much more aware of why we make
environmental decisions.
From a practical point of view there aren’t many problems. When I
kayak, I have my work clothes in a rucksack; fortunately we have a
casual office so I don’t need to crumple a suit. Then I put my phone
and wallet in a Tupperware container to keep them dry if I capsize,
and my lunch in another Tuppperware box. The worst thing is that the
swans can be very territorial, especially during the mating season,
but I take some bread and pay my toll and they’re fine.
It’s funny but there’s one bridge I kayak under where I always see
people stuck in their cars. You look at them and you know that some of
them don’t even know they’re on a bridge and that this beautiful river
is right under their noses. But you do see people peering down
sometimes – and we look at each other and realise that we’re both on
our way to work.

New Adventures!

This is the latest update on Tonythetraveller!

On August 23rd I travelled to Venezuela at the top of South America for a month’s backpacking. However, due to bad sickness from probibly the intense heat and different water, i returned early, after just 9 days.

It is an amazing country; with intense weather, interesting food, insessant moskitoes and wonderful kind people.

I officially Couch Surfed for the first time and found it enjoyable and educational. A host named Darwin showed me some of Karakas with its squares and fine old buildings. He also treated me to Arripas, local food consisting of bread rolls with meat and/or cheese plus a heavy doe. They were delicious, but a little heavy on the belly!

I did some travelling, to several water holes and a beach. I eventually went in land in serch of Angel Falls, my reason for venturing to Venezuela. I got near but sickness meant it is a journey for another time. Plus the organised excursion is expensive at 300 Euroes £250 for a three day trip.

Since returning to England I have turned 30. This occurred on September 6 – I spent a pleasant day with my family, visiting Chedder Caves.

My next adventure is to France and Spain for several weeks in serch of Europes Principalities – mainly Monarco and Andorra. I aim to travel through several French coastal cities before eventually turning in land towards the Pyrenees. I aim to get up into the higher country and taste the scenery and enjoy the fresher air. Finally, I head to the North Spanish coast and the Bay of Biscay.

Munky business!

Gibraltar is a British territory, although it has its own currency in Gibraltar pounds and its own elected government. It basically rules itself. However, British pounds can be used and the predominent language is English. It has no cities or towns, it is just Gibraltar – The Rock!

Once through customs, I headed for the nearist buss stotp, showing a pedestrian the address of the hostel I had booked previously in Cadiz. The local showed me to the bus and asked the driver to drop me near my destination. After being deposited, I made a turning, crossed a road and after asking some more people for the hostel, ascended a steep slope and found the place in question. It was a simple affair with a tiny paved garden and basic rooms. The dorms were in the back up a couple of ramps. The hostel was run by Moroccans; young and aggressive, but friendly enough. There was a kitchen but only for staff use. I found this somewhat strange, but used it anyway. I then got directions to the centre and went exploring. I basically exited the hostel, descended the almost vertical hill, crossed a main road, walked down another small street before finding myself in a pedestrian square. This was Gibraltar’s centre. It resembled any British highstreet, mostly shops and pubs, noisy and full of loud English types. I had a lemonaid in one pub then found a chip shop and had English quizine! It was not cheap, everything is imported, hence the high prices. A pint of lemonaid was £2.50 and my fish and chips cost £5. A night in a dorm at Gibraltar’s only hostel cost £15, expensive after the hostels in Spain and Portugaul. I stayed one night. I spent my only real day on the rock sight-seeing. After collecting some money from the post-office sent by Western Union, I visited the tourist information office and discovered I could get a taxi tour around the rock. This apparently cost £48, but if you found two or three other people it was only £16 each. I went to the taxi rank and said what I wanted. One cabby suggested waiting to see if anyone else arrived. Eventually, he captured an American couple and off we went – I got the tour for free.

Our guide was an insatiable chap, but funny as well. He said he was a mixture of Italian and Maltese, but was born on the Rock. He drove us round, pointing out the different attractions, telling us about the Strait of Gibraltar and how it went to Morocco, that the rock was British and had been returned by the Spanish in exchange for the Canary Islands. We were told about how the area was discovered by arabs who crossed from Morocco and traveled as far as Granada in southern Spain. Hence, Gibraltar’s diverse culture. We visited a large mosque, but were only allowed in the entrance because it was a Friday and a day of prare. I asked about the port, which was closed to tourists because of security. The navel base is used by the British Mediterranean fleet, Gibraltar being the gateway to the Mediterranean and also the Atlantic. Our guide took us to a vantage point where we could see both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

We next headed up the rock, absorbing the magnificent view. The guide informed us about the rock, its size and depth. We heard about the tunnels dug by the British Royal Engineers in 1941 in case of invasion by the germans. The tunnels went a long way under ground and are still used, it is the fastist way to reach the international airport! Our first stop on top of the rock was to visit the munkys. The munkys or ‘barbary macaques’ were everywhere. The driver was knowned to them and yelled at them. He told one named Barbara to ‘Get out my window’. I took a picture and gave the munky some peanuts. We then stopped for a photo oppourtunity and I had a munky on my head – that was a little scary! The barbary macaque was heavy. They were cheaky, ran around and tried to steel items from our persons. Our guide took my cane at one point and gave one a poke. They were very small, about two feet in hight and extremely quick and strong. The guide said he recconed they were smart because they had never crossed into Spain!next we visited a large cave and the American couple and I entered and explored. It was a huge cavern, more resembling a large amphitheatre, but without seats. There were many small, steep steps and one had to watch their footing. The natural stone architecture was magnificent.

Our final stop was at the mouth to the tunnel system. I alighted here and asked if I could go and explore some of the tunnels. The driver asked another guide and he agreed to give me a brief talk and bring me down afterwards. I thought he might allow me in one tunnel, but he refused because of safety. However, he did give me a brief outline of their history and geography, which can be found on any website about the Tunnel system of Gibraltar. There was a Six pounder machine gun outside the tunnel entrance and I got a picture with a pritty girl next to it – beauty and uglyness together! Then I boarded a large bus along with another tour group for the descent to the centrol area.

Once back in the centre, I took a local bus to the boarder. Back on Spanish soil after walking through the customs tunnel gate, I crossed a road and found the bus station after some wandering. Local Spanish bus companies were on strike, so I could not get a direct bus to my destination. One bus took me to Algeciras, where I had a long wait for a bus to Terifa, my final stop that day. The entire journey from Gibraltar to Terifa took over six hours. I was deposited in terifa next to a petrol station on the outskirts of town. One old Spanish gentleman slightly drunk, helped me into town and to the hostel. We stopped briefly for coffee along the way and he introduced me to several of his friends. We eventually found the hostel after wandering several tiny streets. I thanked the man and settled in and relaxed with a hot shower.

The hostel was basic with a small bar, some comfortable chairs and little else. The dorms were up stairs. I met one couple from Wales but few other people. The receptionist was French.

I spent my two days walking the tiny town, searching for a bank to change my British pounds and locating the windiest beach in Europe. That is what Terifa is renouned fore – its windyness. Indeed, it is a wind-serfers paradice. I spent a good day walking the beach which was avoid of any people and had a relaxing strole. Though the weather was very warm and when I ran out of water, the walk became more demanding.

On returning to the hostel, I collected my pack and went in search of the ferry port to catch the boat to Morocco, to begin the last part of this crazy journey.

I found the ferry port with a little help and once there, had my first problem. I only had 27 Euros left and a single boat journey to Tanger, Morocco cost 31 Euros. Also, there was no currency exchange, it being Spain and Terifa only being a small port town. I also had no debit card, mine having been subject to credit card frord in Northern Spain a month before. My bank had repayed the money, but as yet had not granted me a new card, one was now probably sitting on my door mat with my post, but I was in Southern Europe not England. Hence, the cash by Western union. I stood at the ticket counter looking lost and pennyless and the ticket Clarke told me to give him what I had and he discarded the remainder. I thanked him and twenty minutes later boarded the large ferry to morocco, where the last part of this interesting, but strange journey began.