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Loaded up for Morocco

Should we spend the night at the highway service station?

N 45°37'18.0" E 002°27'25.0"
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    Day: 008


    highway service area

    Latitude N:

    Longitude E:

    Daily kilometers:
    505 km

    Total kilometers:
    1116 km

    900 meters

    Travel time:
    11:15 hrs.

    Temperature day max:
    minus 4 °

    Night temperature:

    07:30 am

    Arrival time:
    6:45 pm

Although we spent the night only 50 meters from a main road, it was surprisingly quiet. We get up at 8 a.m. and I immediately switch on the heating. It doesn’t take long for it to get comfortably warm in our Terra Love and for us to enjoy how luxurious it is to travel in an expedition vehicle and enjoy life in this way. “I’m going out with Ajaci,” I say to Tanja while she prepares breakfast for us. There is snow outside and the sky is cloudy. Ajaci and I follow an icy path that winds its way up the hill. As we reach the highest point, an icy wind blows towards us and snow crystals swirl across the furrows of the fields, which are sure to be a lush green in spring. “Let’s turn back,” I say to my dog, who responds with a soft whimper. After a delicious fruit breakfast with yoghurt and soy milk, we leave our unusual and not entirely

voluntarily chosen pitch and drive to the fast food restaurant to at least download an offline map so that we can continue our journey, despite the poor Wi-Fi. “I can’t believe it, they’re still closed,” says Tanja disappointedly. “Maybe we can use the Wi-Fi if we’re right in front of the building?” I ponder. “It works,” says Tanja a few minutes later. “I don’t really feel like hanging around cafés or restaurants looking for Wi-Fi all the time,” I reply grumpily. “Neither do I, but at the moment we probably have no other choice. We’ll find a way to feed our social media,” Tanja replies with her usual confidence. “I hope we don’t have to go to cafés or restaurants all the time,” I reply, not yet realizing that times have changed in Europe and you can get a cheap flat rate in Portugal or Spain for 30 to 35 euros.

We leave the small town with the offline map downloaded to our cell phone. As I don’t like driving on the freeway and want to avoid the sometimes high tolls (€0.07 to €0.16 per kilometer), we decide to cruise along the country road towards Spain. After an hour, we have covered just 40 kilometers. Hefty bends, snow-covered and icy roads make our progress very slow. “If we carry on like this, we’ll never get to Spain. What’s more, this constant cornering costs much more diesel than gliding along on the highway,” argues Tanja, who longs for warmth and sunshine. “All right, then we’ll take the highway,” I give in, as she is undoubtedly right.

Tanja discovers public Internet access at one of the highway service stations. We park immediately and unpack our notebooks to log in. “The signal is very weak,” I say disappointedly. We have no chance of uploading an update to Instagram, Facebook or our website or publishing a video on YouTube. But it’s enough to answer a few e-mails. An hour later, we leave the service area and continue our journey towards Spain.

“Should we spend the night at the highway service station?” asks Tanja as it begins to get dark. “I don’t know,” I ponder. “Do you mean because of the risk of burglary or robbery?” “I don’t think our expedition vehicle can be broken into without great effort. Besides, we still have our Ajaci,” I reply. “Then we’re staying?” asks Tanja. “Why not,” I say and steer our Terra between two large trucks.

We look forward to your comments!

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