. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: August 18, 1998

Tuesday, August 18, 1998
Algeciras, Spain to Tangier, Morocco
Spain's FlagMorocco's Flag

Tangier, Morocco:
Latitude: 35° 47' 3" North
Longitude: 5° 48' 30" West
Altitude: 95 feet
From Seattle: 6034 miles
Lodging: Hostel - Auberge de Jeunesse (HI)

Today's Travel:
Countries: Spain, Morocco
Regions: Andalucia, The Mediterranean Coast
Route: Ferry: Algeciras - Tangier
Path:Algeciras, Spain - Tangier, Morocco
Linear:34 miles
Weather: Sunny

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 495
Linear Dist: 122473
Countries Visited: 35
Regions Visited: 141
More stats...
Hotels: 109
Friends / Family: 154
Camping: 41
Hostels: 135
Transit: 49
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 1907

Journal Entry:
I really had only one goal before getting on the ferry, and that was to send a package back to the US. I thought the post office would close at 2pm, so I had lunch, did some shopping, and just walked around Algeciras. At about 1pm I got to the post office only to find out they didn't carry packing supplies. I'd been in one stationary store earlier, and had seen an even closer one on my way to the station, so I went to the closer one, but he didn't carry boxes either. I hiked to the farther one only to find it had closed for siesta. I had pretty much given up, and accepted that I was going to have to hang out in Algeciras another day when I realized I was walking down an alley that was littered with boxes on either side. I picked one of them up, found a bench, cut the box down to size, went to the open stationary store and bought some packing tape, and glanced at my watch to notice it was 2! Ran to the post office, and found that it was open until 2:30! Stood in line and was given a pile of forms to fill out - in Spanish, which I don't speak. Did the best I could, stood in line again and got there with 3 minutes. The clerk looked very confused with my forms, threw most of them away, and then spent the next 15 minutes (long pas closing) filling them out and trying to tell me where to sign. But everything got sent!

Stopped at a travel agent on the way back to my hotel, bought a ticket on the three o'clock ferry which gave me a little under fifteen minutes to get my pack and get to the ferry. Got my pack, got through immigration (emigration for exit?), got to the boat with five minutes to spare... But they'd already taken the gang way down! Waited 5 minutes for them to hook it back up (I wasn't the only late passenger, there were two other backpackers), and got on!

Three and a half hours later got off the boat at Tangier. I'd heard that the Tangier ferry port was possibly the worst border crossing in the world as far as the hustlers. I was disappointed, there were only about a half dozen "guides" and they weren't even too persistent (Cairo was much worse). I did rescue an English woman from a guide who was proposing to her.

Found the hostel with great difficulty (Let's Go continues to suck at maps and giving directions). Got a bed, and headed out to explore Tangier (the two hour time zone change meant it was still fairly early. Wandered through the Grand Socco, through the Bab Fahs (Moorish gateway) into the Medina (Old city). Wandered through the bustling crowds, along the city wall and up to the Kasbah. The Kasbah looked pretty interesting, but the guides were particularly vicious so didn't spend much time admiring the view towards Spain. Found the Petit Socco, the focus of activity in the Medina, and enjoyed the view over the water and of the Moroccan people (not another foreigner in site). Decided it was getting dark, and headed back to the hostel.

Had a decent five course meal for about US$5. Found an internet cafe.

Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Tangiers
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Morocco
CIA World Fact Book: Morocco

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