used to - random chaos (ie worse than simple chaos). We leanrt later that the situation has improved over the last five years in so far as no bribes were asked. As a group we now faced the challenge of where to spend the night. It was late, dark and there were gale force winds. I was desperately hoping we weren't going to camp. Eventually Bob and I took the pragmatic decision to use the Ibis hotel for the night. I will never be dismissive of Ibis hotels again. Despite being 11pm we found a delightful Moroccan restaurant which served the most delicious fish tagine. Spirits were being restored.
26th Monday - Tangier Today started off very slowly as we sortrd out car insurance (something we couldn't do at home). Therefore we didn't set off until 2pm which led to the inevitable late arrival at our next waypoint, Rabat. Once more as a group we were struggling with how long we took to find a camp site and when should we pike out and choose an hotel. We did - a shabby chic hotel where the loo ran continuously and the towels were the size of handkerchiefs. However it was our home for the next 2 nights.
27th Tuesday -Rabat Our hotel may not have been 5* but breakfast was taken on a high veranda overlooking a charming bay and beach. Much of today was acquiring visas for Mauritania and Mali. This also gave us the opportunity to gather information on entering these two countries since Mali had experienced a coup the day before our departure from the UK. There had been disturbances in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and through which we were obliged to travel if we were to reach Burkina Faso (our final country before reaching Ghana). Feedback from frequent visitors to these areas were more encouraging than that from internet sources. There was a feeling of surprise when the application process for these valuable visas seemed so straightforward since we were rapidly becoming accustomed to incomprehensible delays. We rewarded ourselves with a fabulous swim in the cool but refreshing Atlantic, reminding ourselves that we were on holiday, not simply "en travail". 28th Wednesday - Rabat As I write this diary we are about to collect (hopefully) our visas, top up eith essential provisions and start the more challenging stage of our journey.