From Porto Santo to Morocco

From Madeira we sailed to Porto Santo, a small island surrounded by splendid white beaches and turquoise seas just NE of Madeira. PHOTO 1 Unfortunately almost immediately upon our arrival, paradise islands transform into dull pieces of land with grey clouds above them. But it was not only misery and a bus tour around the island showed us some very nice parts, especially the strange sand stone formations. PHOTO 5

Sailing from Porto Santo to El Jadida (400 nm) was not that easy. During our first try we encountered much more wind than expected, in combination with a confused sea. After 60 miles we turned back to Porto Santo so it was a rather rough 20 hours sailing to Nowhereland. Our second try rewarded us with fair winds so we had a reasonably comfortable passage
(as far as one can speak of "comfortable" on a sailing yacht).
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar… Ashhadu an la Ilah ila Allah... Ashhadu an Mohammedan rasul Allah… Haya ala as-sala... Haya ala as-sala... Come to prayer, sounds five times per day from the mosque's loudspeakers. 
Many people experience a culture shock when they arrive in Morocco. But we already had ours the other way round upon arrival from Essaouira on Lanzarote, and felt this time more as if we were coming home. But yes: the contrast between Europe and Africa is mindblowing.
PHOTO 7-12

The fishing vessels are still built in the traditional way, i.e. in wood
PHOTO 7. The language in Morocco is Arabic and the second language is French PHOTO 8. Many Moroccans are (partly) analphabetics. This can result in problems, for instance if the sign maker hardly speaks any French and his client can not write and therefore dictates the text for the billboard... 100DWICHES, not unlogical. PHOTO 9
Morocco is a country between cultures and the contrasts are huge. Men wearing kaftans are having mint tea on the street; someone passes with a hand cart, a donkey, heavyly veiled women are selling their home baked bread; the eggs seller does not own a cap against the sun but is very creative with his egg cartons PHOTO 9A. And next to him stands a girl dressed in hip jeans and a small top, a cell phone glued to her ear. But at the same time in the medina still not every house has the luxury of running water, which can be obtained on one of the central squares PHOTO 10. Everyone shops in the soukhs or at the sellers who have displayed their produce in front of a half completed (and abandoned) shopping galery, where the shiny escalators stand still forever, waiting for customers who will never appear.
The streets are busy. The salesmen are proud of their produce's good quality
PHOTO 11. And the great thing is that people are honest; a foreigner does not pay a penny more than any other customer for fish, meat or vegetables.

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