Erkounte Park 22/02/2015
As the weather is a bit overcast we thought we would give you a quick update.
Eleven days in now and apart from a near-failure yesterday, more of that in a minute, it has not been too bad. The best thing is I have not had to take a single hiatus hernia tablet since we stopped drinking. Spicy foods OK, fatty foods OK, citric acid based fruits OK. In fact I can eat and drink everything without a problem. So what do I do at the end of March? Not worth thinking about so I won’t.
We have still managed to go down most days and get an hour in. The pleasure by being the only people on a beach is immeasurable and we have been truly spoilt. We did get a bit caught out by the Spring Tide this week and misjudged our bathing spot. Nothing too serious apart from a quick scamper up the beach being chased by a scurrilous over excited wave.
And here is a picture of one of its naughty cousins hitting the rocks.
Finally after being in Morocco for over a month we deservedly got to have our first msemmen, or Moroccan Pancakes. Abdel the owner of the campsite got himself and his team up early to make them for us and they were de-lish. Yummy yum yum. You can either have them naked or with an egg proudly placed atop. All they need is a sprinkling of Cumin. For those of you who have no idea of what I am going on about here is a picture followed by the recipe. I cannot think of a better way of starting the day and thanks to the team at Erkounte Park.
2 cups of flour
1 cup of semolina
3/4 cup of oil
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of dry yeast
1-2 cups of warm water (depending on the quality of absorption of your flour)
Steps for making the dough:
1- Mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, semolina, salt, sugar, and yeast)
2- Slowly add water and work the dough until you are able to create a ball with the dough
3- If you are kneading the dough by hand, use energetic and quick strokes. Knead for 20 minutes while adding water until you get an elastic dough.
4- You can use a kneading machine to speed up the process. Put the dough ball in the machine and automatically knead for the next 10 minutes while adding water.
5- Make small balls with the dough (the size of golf balls) and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Note: the amount of water needed depends on the quality of absorption of the flour you are using. the goal is to get at the end an elastic and mallaeable dough. If your dough is too sticky add some flour; if it is too hard add some water and continue kneading it.
Steps for folding the Msemmen:
6- Mix the melted butter with the oil.
7- Spread some of the oil/butter mixture on a flat surface. Take one dough ball and flatten it with your hands. Gently keep stretching the dough until you get a thin circle of dough.
Steps for cooking the Msemmen:
8- Gently spread the dough square with your fingertips until you get a thin dough square.
7- On low heat, cook the Msemmen 5-10 minutes in each side.
Oh, and not forgetting coffee complete with Moroccan Flag.
Things to do with Motorhomes are far cheaper here than back in the UK and this includes the fitting of Solar Panels. We have been struggling when we go off-grid to get our batteries re-charged, especially if we have had a heavy Remoska session. On calculation it would have taken our current set-up of 2x50W panels at this time of year Three days to recharge our batteries. We found on the web that the cost of having a panel upgrade was about half of that back home so when the Solar Panel Man made a visit to the site we jumped at the chance. A 180W panel and 20Amp controller supplied and fitted for £235. Bargain.
However, this is Morocco and it has a bit of habit of throwing up surreal interrupts and things are never that straight forward.
My solar Man started his work and was ably assisted by his apprentice, who was not able, as he was on crutches and sat in the car for the entire installation. Never mind, Serge, a fellow 73 year old camper decided he would fill the role of Solar Panel Apprentice. It was not my finest moment when I looked through the skylight and saw an un-known and un-invited elderly builders bum looking at me. On enquiring I was told not to worry as he was a retired Plumber. After an hour or two I was called to inspect the work and an excellent job had been carried out and our batteries were now getting a healthy 15A charge. I see many late nights remoskering from now on.
A picture of my new shiny Panel
The only thing left to do was pay. This involved a trip to Mirleft, 10 Klicks away to the cash machine. Foolishly I believed I would be transported by the Crutch Wielding Solar Panel Apprentice, as he had sat in the driver’s seat throughout.
No, no, no.
Serge, who by now was an expert on Solar Panel installation and telling the entire campsite and the solar panel man himself what to do informed me I would be going on the back of his Scooter to the Bank.
I have not been on the back of any biped derived motorised transport since I was a spotty youth, and then only once. Firstly, Serge tried to ram his wife’s minute crash helmet down over my ears, ignoring my shrieks of pain and repeating cava. No, it was not Cava and I had to run across the car park to get away from this insistent Gallic torturer with the helmet firmly wedged onto the top of my head and my ears splayed at 90 degrees. I finally got the thing off and replaced it with my cycle helmet. Probably not fit for purpose but at the least the majority of my head was protected.
The journey. Serge I believe must have seen Easy Rider as an impressionable twenty something. He treated the unfortunate Vespa as an ancient horseman treated his steed. He neither looked left or right but thrashed it to go faster. It was the most terrifying hour of my life on the back of this wobbly machine going 100Ks per hour while Serge was riding one handed showing points of interest. This riding technique was compounded by his desire to lean over as far as he could on every corner.
On arrival back at the campsite I got off and ran around like a whirling dervish as my adrenalin kicked in. The only other time I have experienced this feeling was getting out of a plane after going solo.
Like all good stories Serge and myself are now good mates. Here is a picture of me and the Silver Racer. I appear to still have my stupid face of fear on.
I have added menus at the top of the screen to try to make it a bit easier for you to find stuff. I will improve on this when I get used to the software.
I have put up the latest driving Video. It is from Abanyou to Tan-Tan. You can either see it on YouTube, on the interactive map, from the Menu or here.
Bye for now.
Love to all