For those who don’t know about it, there is an App called Park4Night, an online hub for travelling folks which, with the help of google maps, indicates spots where it is nice/safe to park for a night.
As always, these apps have their drawbacks… one being that putting a nice spot on the map may mean that it will be completely swamped with campers from then on, possibly resulting in the authorities stepping in and forbidding overnight stays. It may also mean that you drive past another spot you may have discovered yourself, had your mind not been trained on finding the one on the App.
But in general, Park4night has been good for us. It has taken some of the stress out of travelling. If you know you have to find a spot by 6pm or you’ll be searching in the dark, it’s good to know that if you don’t find something yourself, there’s always the one on the App.
This is how we find La Ferma, a campsite at Cabo Negro, an easy drive from Tangier Med eastwards along the coast. Surrounded by newly built holiday complexes lie six hectares of land, owned by an idiosyncratic Frenchman, an artist with a penchant for nature and horse riding. He’s called Frank, so for the duration of our stay there, our Frank gets renamed François. Frank leans over the counter, talking to you, meanwhile drawing a picture upside down for him (right way up for you), incorporating something you have told him about yourself. So ‘François’ gets a picture of a clown and for me he draws a moroccan-style pair of Tango dancers. I’m going to post this photo in the way he drew it for me, so you’ll see it from his point of view. What contortion is going on in this man’s mind while he draws upside down???
I wonder what it must feel like, having started this farm a few decades ago in the middle of nowhere and now slowly being engulfed by apartment complexes, to the extent that they cut off the view to the sea and the mountains, with precious little space in between to go for rides etc. But Frank has other worries. His wife is very ill with Alzheimers. Really, he is on the point of selling up to spend more time with her. If he sold to the apartment complex brigade, he’d probably get a lot of money for his piece of land…
La Ferma is a good first stop in Morocco, a bit of time to gradually acclimatise, some nature around you and very friendly, helpful people. It also has a very good restaurant offering genuine Moroccan dishes, and you can go for horse rides:
On the morning of our departure we get talking to four young people who arrived in two smaller campervans late last night. They are on their way back to the ferry, having had a month in Morocco, surfing and exploring the desert. We spend a while chatting. I like the interior design of one of the vans, hand made by the owners, ex-Steiner pupils on their gap year:
They are a bit sad that their time in Morocco has come to an end, but looking forward to returning to their families for Christmas.
It is great to see young people taking initiative, kitting out a campervan and organising a trip. These two are off backpacking in South America next before heading into their respective studies. Everything you learn in University will have a different meaning having first acquired a wider horizon through travelling.
For a couple more photos of the Young Ones, click this link
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