Hunkered down in Morocco

Update on our status 3/24/2020:

A lot of people have reached out to us to see where we are and how we are doing. At a time where people around the world are all dealing with sickness, fear, and uncertainty, we don’t want to add our well-being to the list of things our friends and family are concerned about.

On March 19th, the Moroccan Government announced a State of Emergency to go into effect 6pm on March 20th.  At that time, we were on a remote beach called Plage Blanche.  We made the decision to attempt to make it to Aourir  (near Agadir) to a campground we had stayed at previously.  We had contact with a family camped at Aourir Camping and asked them to check with the owner to make sure we could camp there before wasting fuel and the 6 hours to drive there.  Unfortunately, the campground was told by police to close to new campers.  We decided to head into Guelmim to top off our diesel, local currency, water, and food supplies before finding a place to hunker down.  While at the grocery store, Ryan spoke to a group of 3 people in a Land Rover Defender who were stocking up and heading to a wild camp with a hot spring that had a good flow rate.  We decided to join them.  Safety in numbers, right? Meaning, Ryan’s first impression of Lucas, Lewis, and Lilly was positive.  It’s better to at least have a semi-known vs a complete unknown for camp mates that we may be with for weeks or months.

Hot spring at camp 3:2020

We arrived at the camp area around 4:30 pm, an hour an a half before the new rules were to set in.  We were greeted by the people already at the site.  When we arrived, there were 8 other vehicles from Great Britain, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany.

Jumping forward, we have now been here for 4 days.  Since we arrived, 2 other vehicles have showed up from France.  There are approximately 20 of us here now.

Ryan and I have stocked up on supplies to allow us to sit without resupply for 30+ days.  We have come up with a plan to use the hot spring water for washing and showering.  This will allow our drinking water to be stretched out for at least a month, if not longer.  We will definitely not starve, but will be dreaming of cinnamon buns and bacon in a few weeks.  Actually, who am I kidding, I have been dreaming about those two items for weeks now.

We have started composting, segregating trash that can be burned and trash we would prefer not to burn.  The emergency toilet we have in the van, the Wrappon toilet is not very conducive to use when trash disposal is not available, so we are using the dig and cover away from water sources method for solid human waste.

It is super windy and sunny in our current location.  We spend the day using our various window coverings and our roof fan to insure that the van’s interior temperature stays about ambient temperature as to not tax our refrigerator too much and for a more pleasant temperature for us when we are escaping the mid-day heat.  We have not deployed our awning due to the wind, but may give it a go and see how it fares with the wind. Yesterday we experienced a mild haboob (sand storm) followed by a thunder storm. All I can say is, “wow”.  The wind also poses a challenge when trying to dry clothing that are hand washed outside.  We have needed to put up drying lines inside the van so our clothing doesn’t fly off into the desert. This is working well since the relatively humidity has been relatively low.

Haboob hot spring camp 3:2020

We have discussed with the other people at our  “Hot Spring Camp” to assist each other with resupplying when necessary.  We are required to have a special transit permit to go to the grocery store.  Two people are allowed in a vehicle and only one person is allowed to exit the vehicle at the grocery store, pharmacy, bank, or fuel station.  If someone is going into town, which is 20 minutes away, a list will be made for supplies that are needed.  There is also a smaller town closer to us.  There, one can find fresh vegetables, fruits, and bread.  Some of the campers have electric bikes that they have use to scope out the area, and resupply in the smaller town when necessary.

LWP watching campels hot spring camp 3:2020

One of my favorite things about this location are the hundreds of camels that graze in this area.  They brighten my day any time I spot them, whether walking through camp or just their silhouettes in the distance.

camels walking at hot spring camp 3:2020

Morocco has extended it’s State of Emergency until April 21st. Ryan and I plan to hunker down in this location as long as we can, limiting our interaction with other people.  Luckily the cellular data service here has been pretty good and we can keep up to date with the news.  We also have a short wave radio, so hopefully we can stay connected if for some reason cell service goes out.

I hope all of you stay safe and healthy no matter where you are. For those of you still trying to make it to your “safe” spot,  I hope you get there soon.

-LeeWhay

5 Replies to “Hunkered down in Morocco”

  1. It is so amazing to read your blog. We are worlds apart in geography, but unified in how we need to approach our lives for our health and safety. Keeping you and Ryan in our prayers. Kay ps. I am going to see if I can share this with one of your special patients who you said inspired you regarding travel.

  2. If anyone has the knowledge, experience, and mindset to make the best of those circumstances it’s the two of you. We miss you. I’m praying for you guys.

  3. Wow! What a trip of a lifetime!!!

    Reading this blog makes me feel like I am there with you, and that’s neat!

    I’m sure that looking back, this Coronavirus “exile” will just be another adventure you will laugh at.

    Enjoy your trip and keep on using the Dragon Fly Tarp. Please also let us know how it stands up to the desert environment and strong winds.

    Oded Paz
    Dragon Fly Tarps
    http://www.dragonflytarps.com

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