Bureaucracy Gone Mad

A bit of retail therapy – bright yellow handmade leather slip-ons cost £6.50

At the end of January 2022 the Moroccan government extended the COVID emergency until the end of February. We were back in Sidi Ifni and we felt it was time to tackle the paperwork in connection with our “Prolongation de Sejour Exceptional”.

We made several visits to the local police station to find out what was needed to complete our applications. We each had to fill out three identical application forms and we also had to get written “Attestation” from the camp site guardian confirming where we were staying. We had to show we were financially secure by exchanging €100 euros for the local currency at a bank – we didn’t actually have any euros so we withdrew dirhams from the ATM and went to the Bureau de Change and bought euros. Then we reversed the transaction and exchanged the euros back to dirhams which generated the necessary paperwork to prove the transaction. Our ever-thickening files included all forms, six photos each, photocopies of all pages of our passports and photocopies of our bank cards – everything had to be submitted in triplicate!

Finally, with a feeling of triumph we lodged our document folders at the police station and were told they would phone us in four weeks when we could collect our Permission and have our passports stamped. Phew! Then we heard that Morocco would be opening its borders in two weeks time!

Beach Front at Sidi Ifni

The weather at Sidi Ifni was proving challenging – it was warm enough, 17° at night and 23° in the day but for three days the wind blew relentlessly, gusting in excess of 40 mph. Anything not weighed down blew far away, our 15 ton truck was buffeted mercilessly and wobbled like an ageing rock star, feet firmly planted, torso moving to the wind’s rhythm. Clouds of sand swirled erratically, visibility was reduced. We had to cover our faces whenever we ventured outside but we still got sore eyes, sneezy noses and gritty mouths. The interior of our truck was covered in a film of reddish dust. It was deeply unpleasant.

Promenade at Sidi Ifni, blowing sand made it hazy