photos by rasa
the road South towards the Sahara
In the beginning of 1983 we traveled through Morocco in a VW bus transformed into a camper. The German Post had used our van to carry the mail for some years before we bought it. Since several countries in Europe used yellow vans for postal work, we were often mistaken for a government vehicle. We were amused to realize we could park anywhere in those countries and no one ever asked us to move. On the coast of Spain, before we took the van on the ferry to North Africa, we painted an orange stripe along the side in an effort to give the VW a little character. We may have only added further confusion for onlookers.
When we were near big cities we usually parked in a campground. Once we were parked along the ocean just South of Casablanca and late at night the police knocked on the window. They were polite and suggested that for our own good we not park in such a dangerous place. They also asked if we had any American cigarettes. We drove into the next small town and parked in front of the bank. We figured that would be safe as the bank had a guard on duty all night who was standing right in front of our bus.
Traveling three months, we visited the big cities - Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez - and drove through parts of the desert where there were no roads or signs, only tracks in the dirt where camels or other cars had been. We drove from oasis to oasis in the Western Sahara, visiting small towns and villages. We parked on the beach in Agadir for a few weeks to enjoy a very warm January.
Everywhere we met amazingly friendly people. We were invited to people's homes for dinner nearly every day. We cooked dinners in our van and invited people we met to dine with us. When we started this part of our journey, we had planned to slowly head towards Athens where we would sell the bus and fly to India. That eventually happened, but we joyfully got "delayed" in Morocco, using every day of our three month visas.
goats in trees
a Berber woman hitchhiking, we gave her a ride
her mother and sister
on the road south
holding his baby camel still for the photo
camels hanging out at the weekly Goulimine market
you only think he's smiling
the Goulimine market from above
discussing the value of a goat
when they have nothing to tie the camel to, they tie the camel to itself
standing outside the shadow of Sahara Tours
the day before the weekly village market
brasswork from the city of Fez
basket seller in Marrakech
narrow lane in the coastal city Essaouira
women in the shipyard
blues and reds
purveyors of finely carved and inlaid wooden objects
Rasa sitting on Erg Chebi, Western Sahara
(photo by Rebecca Castro)