I never planned to be chasing 100. I remember the stories about CU's former Assistant Housing Director Bob Pine, who with his wife Dorothy had achieved a world record of 335 countries visited and I was impressed. However, travel was the destination for me. I loved interacting with the people, checking out the grocery stores, finding out what was the same and what was different, not collecting stamps in my passport. Still, there I was, 15 miles past the rock of Gibralter standing in the hum of the biggest wind-farm I have ever seen and staring at the coast of Africa looming in the haze.
At just 30 minutes away by fast ferry, it was a no brainer. Christine would be able to make her first footfall on the African continent and Morocco would make 88 countries for me, just 12 short of the 100 required to join the "Century Travel Club". A group I know nothing about but for some reason, unknown to my conscious mind, I can't wait to qualify for.
What a trip it was 30 minutes is hardly the time it takes to get from Boulder to Denver, but this short hop was like a time warp episode on Star Trek. The differences between southern Spain and northern Africa stand up and smack you in the face so hard you can't believe you started the day just a few hours ago grabbing espressos at Starbucks. This is not Europe
What it is, is fascinating! It was the final day of Ramadan and the families were out in their finest, incredible fabrics and draped in amazing ways. Completely different dress but the mood and the activity was the same as Christmas Eve in the states, the whole town heading to sundown dinners and celebrations with their family and friends that would mark the last of their fasts.
Despite being stylish for Spain, Christine felt out of place in Morocco. Her hair was uncovered and the pants she was wearing were not covered by yards of robes. However, even when I left here on a corner for a few moments to get a picture she was left alone, something I could never do in Ecuador without coming back to find someone begging her to marry him. The people could not have been kinder. We were definitely the weird ones, once again...