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Now Back Home In Britain I Had To......
After such an epic, five month long adventure, traveling through Europe and North Africa, I decided that I should become familiar with my own shores. The British Isles are a beautiful collection of islands and I knew nothing about them apart from what I had learnt in my history and geography classes at school. So, now back home in Britain I had to plan another trip.My initial idea was to hitchhike and backpack up to and through Snowdonia and Anglesey, two gorgeous areas of North Wales. An area that always intrigued me…it was calling.Having consulted maps and photographs of the area I decided to head straight into the mountains (and National Park) of Snowdonia. I wanted to camp on Mount Snowdon's slopes, and hike the beautiful valleys at my leisure and for my pleasure. So packing my rucksack, once again I set off. I ‘thumbed’ my way up to North Wales in the space of a day. It was an uneventful trip and eventually I found myself in the tiny vil…

Returning Home ~ A Great Adventure

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Returning Home ~ A Great Adventure
Several months after starting out on our epic and life changing trip, we found ourselves once again in a cross channel ferry port awaiting embarkation... this time back to England. Our Afrique sign (used for 'thumbing' lifts as hitchhikers) was discarded long ago, because it had taken us across Europe into North Africa. A piece of cardboard that we had used to get us home...a simple Union flag painted onto it... had gotten us back to Le Havre. Much wiser and somehow, many years older, we patted each other on the back as we boarded for the crossing. We got into Portsmouth Harbour, very late at night, but being the hardened travellers that we had become, we were not phased by the prospect of sleeping in a bus shelter or perhaps in one of the fortress towers that encompass part of the town....all was good... we had after all just arrived home. We were both euphoric ! the feeling of accomplishment was immense, and I know that we had both cast off som…

Fes And A Scuffle

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Onward to Fes... And A Scuffle !
I'm sitting here, at this moment, drinking tea..... a nice cup of tea ! I'm English  and its what we do! On a fateful morning, many moons ago, we decide that we had to move on. And it was over a cup of sweet tea that we made our plans. We'd already spent several days languishing in Ouezzane....the people were wonderful and we'd been enjoying the food immensely... but our feet were itching and wanderlust was driving us onwards.  Our next destination was to be the medieval fortress city of Fes. You may ask why ? My simple answer is because its there and we wanted to see the place that gave its name to what is, a rather odd hat with a tassle. So off we went. The public bus was once again our main means of transport. Hiking across the mountains was not an option in those days. There was too much risk attached to it. Hitchhiking was 'improbable' because of the lack of roads with vehicles on them. So once again it was to be a beaten up bus…

A Skateboard Shock And A Goat

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A Skateboard Shock And A Goat

Leaving Ceuta on the north coast of Morocco and well into our 3rd month on the road, we had decided to carry on South. Rumours had reached us of a virtual border war between Algeria and Morocco and it was felt by us that prudence was the better part of valour. Our original intent was to go west but south it was to be. We were headed to a place called Ouezzane and this meant crossing the mountains. Once again filling our canteens with clean water and after devouring our muesli, a staple of ours so far, that was coming to an end now, we headed towards a tatty and really forlorn bus station in the middle of the town. After some hasty negotiations we had discovered that the next bus headed out was actually headed in our direction....and it was leaving. We ran, shouted and waved, all of which helped attract the attention of the driver, who looked at us with incredulity...remember.. this was before the days of mass tourism to Morocco, and we must've been quite…

Into North Africa

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Into North Africa. Dunes, Camels and Tea

Waving goodbye to Spain and catching a glimpse of the great island fortress of Gibraltar, We embarked on the ferry trip to Ceuta.  I know that some of you have never heard of it and yet you probably have heard of the political wrangling between the EU and Britain over the territory of Gibraltar.......... what those bodies never talk about is that Ceuta is a Spanish territory on the mainland of North Africa, in what would otherwise be Morrocco..... I think there's a moral there somewhere. We arrived safely and disembarked into rather a shabby port town. I had never seen real poverty before, but over the next few weeks that would change. Ceuta was the first clue of what was to come. We walked and walked. Again it was another scorching hot day, but the sea breeze felt good and following it we found ourselves on a vast stretch of beach. We headed East following a line of immense dunes and of course the waves on our other side, roaring as they crash…

Traveling Companions !

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Traveling Companions !
After Leaving the North Coast of Spain, our simple plan was to head south, and using our 'Afrique' placard, hitchhike into North Africa.... sounds simple doesn't it ? It was a hot and very uncomfortable day for two Brits, who enjoy cold wet weather, but we found ourselves on the outskirts of Burgos. In those days a military town, and home to large numbers of conscripted soldiers...... so what?, you may say... It was demobbing day ! Thousands of young men in uniforms were heading home after their term of conscription, and the roads were full of hitchhikers....   we realised that we... two Brits in 'civies' and sporting Union Flags on their packs stood no chance of getting a lift. Here we were in the midday sun (with only cheap vino Tinto in our water carafes), facing a very long wait indeed. It was decided that we should head over to the adjacent fields and pitch our tents, garnering a little shade and getting us away from the horde of soldiers on …

Sand Dunes And Dresses

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SAND DUNES AND DRESSES

Walking out of the Pyrenees, we headed North and West towards the coast. In those days, Northern Spain was not a tourist destination. It was gritty, dirty, impoverished after many years of neglect and of course was still trying to recover from their vicious civil war, as was the rest of Spain. The British, Dutch and German waves of second home owners had not arrived. Arriving late one evening in San Sebastian, I noted how friendly the people were. They were all smiles and curiosity. This didn't change for our entire trip through Spain....the people were (and still are) wonderful. Upon our arrival we sought out coffee and tapas. We'd heard the coffee was good and the tapas were mouth watering. Finding ourselves lost in what was a large town, we wandered into an area with many tall tenement buildings...... it didn't look welcoming, at all. Looking up we were surrounded by tall concrete monoliths that were foreboding....however, there was a gaggle of chil…