March 17, 2020, after having been on the plage blanche track for 4 days, we return to the civilization. Where it actually immediately becomes clear that something is going on. In Tan Tan we stop to do some shopping and refuel. The pump attendant is wearing gloves and wearing a mask. What is going on? Is this for the corona virus? The man does his explanation and also tells us that since Saturday March 14, everything Mosques, restaurants and cafes have been closed. No Morocco is not yet in lockdown. However, all social places that are quite important to a Moroccan are closed. oh oh not good We already realize that we really have to decide whether we want to stay in this region or whether we want to drive to the desert.
No we stay here. If this takes a long time and it becomes more spring or even summer, the temperatures at the sea are much more pleasant than in the desert. So we refueled diesel and we continue to El Ouatia or Tan Tan beach where we park bakkie at a campsite. Atlantique camping site which also has some other mobile homes. The first days that we are at camping atlantique there is still some movement. Mobile homes are still arriving and there are also departing. Clearly, everyone who arrives has the same idea as we do. We need a place where this crisis can be sweated out.
Then it happens, Friday, March 20, 4 pm Morocco goes into lockdown. On all social media, the craziest stories circulate about bad conditions in West Africa Borders are closing. There are no ferries and planes anymore, everything is locked. What happened to hundreds of deaths and thousands of infections in Europe happened on the African continent almost after the first infections. The continent is terrified here. What is this? Soldiers and many, many police and gendarmerie appear in the streets. Very quickly, a state of emergency is declared and a curfew is set at 6 p.m.
There is a strange atmosphere here. We are being watched, people are a bit scared, perhaps a little angry with the westerner. The Moroccans consider us “the white man” responsible for this. We are the cause of this problem. Not nice, but it is just like that. It is soon understood that it is not we Westerners who are the problem. It is a problem that is in control of the whole world and we soon regain the feeling of Moroccan kindness. That does good and is also a relief because looking over your shoulder is a less fun way to go through life. Weeks of lockdown pass and luckily they pass quickly.
There is therefore 1 golden rule that we maintain. Normal day life Get out of bed on time, have breakfast, if necessary to the city center for food. working, lots of work, walking along the beach, enjoying the sun, and cooking in the evening. The month is over before we realize it. April 20, What to expect also happened. The lockdown is extended and this immediately by 1 month. It all gets a bit stricter. Wearing a mouth mask is mandatory, not on the campsite but outside. We are no longer allowed to come to the beach. But we remain positive. this in contrast to other stranded travelers. It has now become mid-May. What will be decided by the government on May 18, you will read it in our next blog post. At least we hope that the lockdown becomes less strict