The Rental Expeditions to Morocco changed in character and besides expedition vehicles, the 13 foot Bliss Mobil units on 4×4 Mercedes-Benz Atego’s appeared to be great quarantine vehicles as well.
The start of the Rental Expeditions
We started the first rental expedition on the 29th of February. On the first trip, we completed the scheduled rally-style adventure, without any signs of a threatening situation because of the Corona crisis. We even started the second rally without any signs of Covid-19, but when we left the desert and returned to civilization we discovered that the world had seriously changed in the mean time…
Morocco is closing borders, shortage of essential necessities
Arriving in Marrakech on March the 16th, we were confronted with an acute crisis situation. Ultimately resulting in a shortage of food, fuel and water. Since the Covid-19 hotspot in the Old World is situated in Italy, the natives became hostile against Europeans. Hundreds of tourists with campers were not able to make the transfer to Europe. Thousands of tourists trapped in a highly uncertain situation, not knowing if they would be able to leave the country or not because of a complete lockdown, since airliners were not able to reach Morocco anymore.
Together with our customers, we decided to stock up with sufficient fuel, food and water to accomplish our emergency plan to leave the country. In the six days that followed we were 100% independent, with fuel tanks of 400 liter we had a range of over 1600 km. With a fresh water capacity of 460 liters and with fresh food stocked, we were able to leave the threatening situation and we went northbound. While Morocco was being looted, we were in a huge rush but we never had to worry about running out of safe, clean water or food.
The way to Ceuta, well prepared, for good luck and trust
Although official authorities told us that there was no ferry leaving for Spain anymore, we took the risk and went to Tan Tan to pick up the last Bliss Mobil truck. As fast as we could, we went to Ceuta in northern Morocco. Even without the certainty of getting a ferry and open borders, we felt safe and secure in our trucks. We had enough fuel to return to Marrakech, hygiene was secured since we had our own toilet and shower on board and we did not have to get out for groceries or supplies. We were truly independent and could pick any, quiet safe place to make our stops or to stay for the night.
Catching the last ferry to Spain, a safe harbour in Europe
We don’t have to explain how happy (and lucky) we were to catch the very last ferry on Thursday March the 19th to Spain. On the way through Spain and France we drove on empty highways and under restrictions of not leaving the highway. We were fortunate enough to be able to prepare our own food, to get a good night’s sleep and a fresh shower before making the 2.500 km trip from the South of Spain to the Netherlands in the three days that followed.
Even after arriving in Holland on March the 22nd, 5 days after leaving Marrakech, we still had 50% of our water capacity and enough food left to have survived multiple days thereafter.
The world did change in the last days, our expedition vehicles proved to be quarantaine shelters; we could stay far from the crowded places/airports, because we had our own facilities. This ensured us of a safe and hygienic situation, avoiding any risk of getting infected with the Coronavirus.
The fact that we were able to have a good night’s rest, prepare our own, healthy meals and felt protected and secure against Corona infection, resulted in a situation where we could drive the many miles that we had to, in order to reach safe places.
A special thanks
A special thanks to our customers from Germany, who supported us all the way through and for whom the organised rental expedition changed into an adventure that they will never forget. They stayed calm, gave us the trust for a good ending and gave all their efforts to drive back 2.500 kilometers, back to their homes and loved ones.
Which Rental Expeditions next ?
Awaiting the time to come after the Covid-19 crisis, we will certainly plan new rental expeditions.