Morocco

Goodbye Sidi Ifni

Preparing to leave the camp site at Sidi Ifni

We returned to Sidi Ifni for a further ten days to await the arrival of our visa extensions. We had booked a ferry from Tanger Med to Genoa in early March and we felt it time to slowly travel north. Our application had been with Rabat for over three weeks and we went to the Sidi Ifni police station to tell them that we were leaving with or without our visas. After some discussion, we were issued with an official looking document, duly signed and stamped, stating our prolongation had been applied for. We felt we had spent more than enough time and effort on something that was really outside our control and we decided to leave Sidi Ifni after the weekend.

One incident that occurred during our stay made us feel uncomfortable. German fellow travellers Eva and Karl turned up at the camp site and brought with them, rightly or wrongly, a young fisherman whom they had met on the beach outside Sidi Ifni. Eva’s idea was for their new young friend to sit down with us for an hour to practise his English. Mohammed, the camp site guardian – normally so acquiescent – absolutely refused to allow the lad to stay, even for ten minutes and he was forced to leave ”for security reasons”. Eva asked whether the lad was a known criminal but no, Mohammed didn’t know him (but implied he recognised his type). Eva and Karl were very embarrassed. It occurred to us that the Europeans who lived locally visited the site regularly and, over Christmas, we had had quite an influx of strangers visiting us at the site. Different rules for Moroccans, it would seem, but – their country, their rules.

Dinner at Nomad restaurant with Eberhardt, Maria and Ian