The “Road” to Morocco, Part 1: Logistics

Ever since my sponsor enjoyed a solo trip to Morocco just about a year ago ( Let Your Sponsor Go! ), he’s been on a mission return, with “moi” in tow. Thus, our first overseas space a adventure for 2017!

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From Rota, Spain (via space a from Norfolk), we planned a circuit, taking the ferry across the Straits of Gibralter to Tangiers, spending a couple of nights each there, Fez, and Rabat, then finishing up with several days in Marrakech.  From Marrakech, we tucked in quick overnight break to the relaxing seaside town of Essaouira before departing for Seville on Ryan Air and making our way back to Rota for the return hop to the east coast.

Our transportation looked like this:

January 17: Depart NAS Norfolk on Patriot Express (PE) for Rota. Room reserved at Navy Gateway Inns and Suites (NGIS) on base.

January 20:  Rota to Tangier. Walk out the Rota gate to the bus station. 30 minute bus ride to Cadiz, transfer to 1 hour, 45 minute bus to Tarifa. 5-minute taxi from bus stop to port. 30-minute ferry to Tangiers, Morocco. Spain stamps passports out at the ferry terminal, and Morocco stamps them in aboard the ferry.  Look for the line aboard the boat and get in it.

Once in Morocco, we traveled mostly by train: http://www.oncf.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx  (page is in French, buy first class tickets). All prices below are conversions from Moroccan Dirham (MAD) to USD equivalent.

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January 22: Tangiers to Fez (about 4 hours/$16 PP)

January 24: Fez to Rabat (about 3 hours/$12 PP)

January 26:  Rabat to Marrakech (about 5 hours/$18 PP)

January 29/30: Marrakech to Essaouira and back by bus http://www.supratours.ma/en/Produits-services/National-transport   (3 hours including 30 minute food stop/ $8 PP each way). Tickets sold one-way only, purchased bus stations in Marrakech and Essaouira the day before travel. 

January 31: Marrakech to Seville via Ryan Air. Seville Airport bus to train station. Train to El Puerto de Santa Maria. Taxi to NGIS. 

February 1: 0445 roll call for 10 hour C 17 ride back to Norfolk.

Easy peasy, yes?

We got out of Norfolk on our first try, on the planned date – YIPPEE! From Rota, all the transportation was clean, comfortable, and pretty much on time. Everyone spoke English at the train and bus stations, both in Spain, and in Morocco – there was no language issue making arrangements. We couldn’t have asked for better travel!

NEXT: Experience Morocco!

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