Moving Greetings!

When traveling, there are a number of landmarks that feel good to accomplish. They include getting to the airport early, checking in for a flight successfully, clearing customs and getting to the gate in time to board the plane. Also included in this mix is going through the process of renting a car and, much more importantly, returning it unscathed -both the vehicle and myself- after driving around a foreign country in sometimes challenging conditions. During these present travels, so far so good, yet I had a near miss just two days ago. Here’s what happened:

While driving north from the very southern town of Dakhla, I had just passed through the city of Laayoune and stepped on the gas, a bit too hard as it turns out. I was stopped by a policeman and shown on the US-made hand-held radar gun a reading of 113 kilometers per hour; the speed limit at that point was 60. I thought, no problem, that I’d pay a small fine and be on my way, as this was what had happened a week earlier. But the infraction was so great, the policeman took my license away and then took me to the police station for booking!

At the station, I sat and waited, eventually for 6 hours. Late in the wait, I was told I would be given a court date in a few days, where my fate would be determined. I pleaded insanity and finally they took pity on this poor foreigner, bringing in the judges afterhours to decide my penalty. I was happy to give them 1600 dirham (about $160), thanked the judge and was then back on the road again, happy to once again be free.

Getting to my destination that night required driving until 2 AM, then the following morning I arrived back in Marrakesh by the skin of my teeth. Once there, the rental car was returned. Whew! After catching up on my sleep, this morning I have happily checked in at the airport in Marrakech for my flight back to Bordeaux. I’ve cleared customs and am now waiting to board my flight. The moral of the story? Don’t get caught speeding!

Back a few weeks ago, the reason I rented a car was to freely explore Morocco. It was a very good trip, even including the incident with the Moroccan legal system. Here’s a link to the first two days of my venturing out beyond Marrakech:

Remember to watch you speed!


PS  There’s no trouble ahead: