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This page last updated 10 July, 2011
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Morocco
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Stats so far:

Exchange rate is currently around 11Dhirams to the Euro, which makes things simple for us and our Sterling heads - just move the decimal place one to the left and you have a good conservative calculation, eg 120Dh is around 12Euros, so somewhere close to a tenner.  The rate is set by the government so there’s no black market  as such, and you get the same exchange rates whether you go into a shop, use a bank or stick your euros into a hole in the wall and it gives you back local currency.

Diesel is around 65p a litre
Peage tolls averaging £1 for 10km (very rough average though as we’ve only been on them a couple of times)

Bread is around 15p for a flat round loaf about the size of a dinner plate.  Best eaten on the day but will keep for a couple of days if you’re only planning on ‘dipping’ with it.
Eggs are stacked up in trays of 30 - no problem to have less but they put them in a little plastic bag for you to gingerly carry home, so a good idea to bring empty cartons and have them filled.
Vegetables are fantastic quality - after dealing with crappy french potatoes for so long, its great to be able to peel a spud and not have to chuck half of it in the bin because its full of bruises and frost damage.  Sometimes its the little things... :-)
Food in general is very cheap and we’ve not wanted anything yet that we haven’t been able to get.  Not yet seen any hard cheese, but plenty of Laughing Cow.
Food shopping is mostly from markets or little grocery stores, often set up like Arkwrights, with the counter at the front and the man and his food behind it and you tell him what you want.  Marjane is a supermarket chain with usually a store on the outskirts.  Seems to be part of the Auchan chain from France, if you’re familiar with that.

Eating out - only done it once so far but had dinner in a nice little restaurant, Jason had soup and a chicken tagine, I had an omelette and a meat tagine, plus two cokes and two coffees, as well as bread and olives and all cost 120Dh, which is around £10.  Not bad at all...

Phones - There’s tiny little shops all over the place where you can buy a local SIM (make sure your phone is unlocked before you get here, unless you speak arabic!).  We picked one up for 100Dh which had a ‘double your money’ offer on it, which for some reason was in Euros.  So for less than a tenner we got a SIM card with a bit over 20Euros credit on it. Not bad.

Internet - There’s cybercafes all over the place, and surfing costs peanuts.  Most also have scanners, printers and copiers and charge around 2Dh a sheet (about 18p).  We’ve been in more than one place that says it has wifi, but service is patchy and erratic, so not ideal for uploading and downloading as you’re likely to lose your connection half way through doing anything.

We bought a 3G dongle in a Maroc Telecom shop for 200Dh, which has unlimited internet access for a month.  After the first month you can top it up.  Parked up in Asilah about 150m from a transmitter it was fantastic, after that its been pretty poor, especially in bad weather or up in the mountains.  Overall its been pretty sporadic, the connection drops out if you’re not keeping it busy and speeds can be closer to dial-up than broadband for downloading, but its still a good thing to have as it means we dont have to seek out internet cafes to do an email check or site upload.  Just don’t expect it to be reliable or quick and you’re fine! :-)

Maps - We have three paper maps of Morocco - Insight, Rough Guide and Michelin, as well as Tracks4Africa and Olaf on the GPS.  The maps are all different to eachother, which can make route planning interesting, T4A has loads of waypoints but not really until you get half way down Africa, and Olaf is a nice piece of reassurance because you know the road you’re driving on has been travelled by someone else, even if its not actually on the Michelin map!  But overall its just a case of lumping them all together and taking a bit of an average, plus asking around when you get a chance to talk to others about your planned route, as well as a fair dose of keeping your fingers crossed and just driving!
DIARY.
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