After breakfast, we drive overland to Rabat, the capital of Morocco, to meet our fellow travelers and begin our main trip.
We leave early arriving at our first stop, The Caves of Hercules, before it is open but are given access to the large underground cavern, something of a symbol for Tangier and tied to the region’s relationship with the mythical hero who was said to rest here after his famous labors. There is a large sea window shaped like a map of Africa or some see the profile of a turbaned man. The caves have been inhabited since prehistoric times and used more recently to cut millstones. The resulting round indentations on the walls and ceiling have been attributed to the clawing fingers of Hercules.
Another legend says the cave leads to a tunnel that crosses through the Strait of Gibraltar, leading you to the other side of the Mediterranean. Facts or fancy it is still an interesting stop and the views out to the ocean are magnificent.
Not far from the caves is Africa’s most northwesterly promontory, Cap Spartel.
From Cap Spartel we travel about 3 hours south through a fertile farming area to Rabat.
Most of the farming we saw was small scale family farms but there are some very large farms managed by the Spanish who find the land in Morocco much less expensive and while they cannot own the land 90-year leases are available.
On arrival in Rabat we checked into the hotel and took a quick orientation walk and stopped for lunch at a little café.
In the evening after meeting the rest of our group we went to the riverfront for a delicious dinner at Le Dhow , (a dhow is a traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region) this one had been converted to a restaurant and was gorgeous inside. The dinner was delicious and we were entertained throughout the evening by young drummers.
The park along the river was a busy place on this Saturday evening, even late there were still a lot of families out enjoying the beautiful evening. The Bou Regreg River separates Rabat from the city of Salé and is also a beehive of activity.