Saturday, December 14, 2013

Towards Tarifa and problems problems problems

We thought it was a good idea to plan a little ahead when it came to using ferry. We looked at the various companies and decided to go to Tarifa (more about this in another post). Three legs and we would be in Tarifa with each leg about 250km. From there we would take the ferry to Tangier and spending Christmas in Morocco. That felt exciting. Besides this, there would be a good chance for some last maintenance in Tarifa (i.e. within EU) and getting papers for Africa organized.
A strange landscape appeared to us - the area was full of greenhouses.
Our first stop was in a tiny village. It was so tiny that all shops and everything else were already closed as the summer season had ended. When we booked it, it looked good and it was so cheap that we could not believe it first.
A much different landscape compared to Alicante.
Our big terrace, in which we enjoyed breakfasts in the sun.
The place was freezing cold inside and we did not like it very much. At least the sleeping room had a heating device and when we were inside, we spent most of the time there. In addition we only had cold showers for the first two days before the water became warmish. Lucky us, the sun was heating up nicely during day time. We found a hike trail nearby and girls liked it a lot since we could play with them during the walk and "at home"!

First time we saw an almond tree and picked some (plenty) - they are were delicious and by no means comparable to what we have bought in a shop in e.g. Finland or Germany.
I noted already earlier that the rear of the GS looked very dirty - full of oil spots. I checked it out and noticed that I filled a little too much oil into the engine (did not want to throw some extra away) which then spilled over into the air inlet housing. Of course, I said to myself that this was a stupid thing to do and took a mental note on that issue.

On the way to Nerja we found some great facilities along the road... :D
Riding through Sierra Nevada
Next stop was Nerja and back in city limits. We got lucky again with the apartment - it had a south-side balcony. Plenty of sun bathing for Milady.
Walking at the promenade in Nerja
Appears obvious who comes to live here and yes... we heard Finnish the day we arrived, what a shock!
Parking under the balcony and bikes in sight
On the way to Nerja I suddenly knew it was not the engine oil which caused this mess - my brand new shock was leaking its oil! WTF*!!!

Broken rear shock in the BMW
OH NO - the whole bike was wobbling and rocking. I needed to drive half of the way extremely carefully like a typical 80 year old Sunday driver. It was weekend and a holy one: Spain was closed from Friday to Monday (we learned that when Sunday is a holiday, the following Monday is a holiday too). The only thing we could do now was to wait and get all this sorted out when we were in Tarifa. Until then some more of the slow riding and only major highways and no more small and curvy roads. Anyway we made all the major orders of items so that they would come in time during our stay in Tarifa.
500l and get a free meal - I prefer 25l and a free beer ;)
And then we hit rock-bottom...

It started with the fact that the flat was a rathole. Yeah it looked ok in pics and sounded ok when we booked. Reality was really different. The series of disappointments started with the fact that the office was closed for winter (and not open every day as stated on their door) and you need to call someone for the keys. There was no internet in the apartment, it was freezing cold, no way a mail man would find us here, toilet dirt water was flooding and many other small things did not work either. It became a major and expensive issue now that I needed to call some office in Malaga all the time for fixing things. The ultimate turn-off was that the stove did not work and my master cook could not use it.

All our plans for ordering stuff and getting it to Tarifa got destroyed. We realized then, that we would not get the Carnets done during our stay in Tarifa neither the international driving permits. The tyre delivery company demanded from me that I show a bill with the delivery address to proof my identity (passport was not good enough).

We were really down, depressed and Skippy was almost crying.

During our stay at the previous place we searched what has to offer in Tarifa and found the Eco-center. First of all they had good food as well as free and fast WiFi. We became regular customers there :D

Eco-Center in Tarifa with a shop, restaurant and free Wifi
Vegan humus as a starter
Vegan Paella - this was delicious and filling
We drowned our problems in some excellent tasting Muscatel wine (17%), some more unhealthy food and watching movies from our laptop. Some orders were confirmed and others were pending, open issues on the both bikes, the flat in its current state and the idea to be Christmas in Morocco: many moving parts and how to make a decision.

Something needed to happen and the question was what?

~ Wolfi

*WTF = What The Fruit (learned from the Banana Girl)


  1. Hey folks,
    you are still in Europe with the intention to stroll around the world in the next years. I don't want to demoralize you but things won't become easier in Africa.....You'd better become used to such situations - the magic formula is serenity! Good Luck

    1. Thanks for the hints - at least Wolfi is learning :)
      Not easy for an ex-project manager to give up on some old habbits :D

  2. OK, let's try to encourage you. You are film geeks? Then you know Balou of course.....

    One, two, three:

    Look for the bare necessities
    The simple bare necessities
    Forget about your worries and your strife
    I mean the bare necessities
    Old mother nature's recipes
    That brings the bare necessities of life

    Wherever i wander, wherever i roam
    I couldn't be fonder of my big home
    The bees are buzzin' in the tree
    To make some honey just for me
    When you look under the rocks and plants
    And take a glance at the fancy ants
    Then maybe try a few........................ ( OK, forget this part ;-) )

    The bare necessities of life will come to you
    They'll come to you!

    Look for the bare necessities
    The simple bare necessities
    Forget about your worries and your strife
    I mean the bare necessities
    That's why a bear can rest at ease
    With just the bare necessities of life

    Now when you pick a pawpaw
    Or a prickly pear
    And you prick a raw paw
    Next time beware
    Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
    When you pick a pear
    Try to use the claw
    But you don't need to use the claw
    When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
    Have i given you a clue?

    The bare necessities of life will come to you
    They'll come to you!

    So just try and relax, yeah cool it
    Fall apart in my backyard
    'cause let me tell you something little britches
    If you act like that bee acts, uh uh
    You're working too hard

    And don't spend your time lookin' around
    For something you want that can't be found
    When you find out you can live without it
    And go along not thinkin' about it
    I'll tell you something true

    The bare necessities of life will come to you