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Ping !

As I’d pulled away from the numerous toll booths on the way up from Marrakesh, I’d occasionally get a ping from the VW as I had taken off my seat belt to reach across to pay the fee or pick up a ticket. This has been done 8 times and this was now the last time as I pulled into Tangier after a 6 hour slog up from Marrakesh. Alas the ping was different and it was the same ping that had sounded going through Cheltenham a month ago.

I’d dropped Tamara off at 7.30am after a short trip across Marrakesh from the Ibis to the airport. Sorry to see her go and it also meant I was heading back north. Weather was crap with heavy rain showers and a cool 8 C in town. I picked up another tagine on the way to the autoroute for 50 dirhams and it included a burner underneath with which to use charcoal or sticks.

Made good time till Casablanca where the roads were busy and the toll queues long. Decided then not to push it for the 14h00 crossing and go for the 16h00 from Tangier Ville and stopped for lunch about 150km short on Tangier for a service station tagine. Not too bad.

I had planned to use the last if the dirhams for fuel but following the ping headed down to the port wondering how serious it was going to be. Tangier Ville port wasn’t quiet and having seen a lot of French and Italian cars well laden heading north had a suspicion things were going to be busy.

Took an hour to get through the police check and customs and then line up in the queue for the FRS ferry. There was it seems no 16h00 sailing the next one was 18h00 and the 14h00 had left full leaving a number of unhappy in the port. A French guy with a VW had been there since 10h00 and was no worried he was parked where he wouldn’t get off quickly and how he’s been waiting.

I’d checked the coolant bottle and there was some oil in the top but no water in the oil checking the stick and the cap. Interesting and wondering if the oil cooler was failing in the same way as before or if the oil was simply the residue in the system and had floated to the too after 4000 miles. I doubt it’s the latter and that the oil cooler has failed again.

Now sitting on a very full hydrofoil that’s still in Tangier. Getting in to Spain is going to take some time tonight and will aim for the campsite in Tarifa which I think is open till 10pm. Plenty of thinking to do and I might aim for a gradual drive through Spain tomorrow watching the oil and water every 100 miles. Seville is first target and see where I end up tomorrow. I’m on the 10h00 Tuesday ferry from Bilboa and it’s about 500 miles so we will do it steady city by city and may even go via Madrid for some options.

Like when the van going ping before on the way to ferry on 4th December this also has mixed blessings. It happened 15km from the ferry port after 1400 miles in Morocco, and not somewhere south of Tafraout.

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