Now that’s a different way to travel

An interesting way to travel

An interesting way to travel

Over the years, I have seen some unusual sights while travelling.

For example, only earlier this week here in South Australia we were driving from Peterborough in the mid-north back home in Murray Bridge, near Adelaide. We passed two people travelling north on in-line skates (roller blades) using two skiing poles to propel them and their small trailers.

Bizarre.

And very hard work on a hot, humid day.

On our tour of Morocco, I took the photo above. We were stopped at a roadside restaurant for morning tea. Other vehicles had also stopped there. A single sheep was having a grand tour with an excellent view of the countryside. I love the trouble that the owner of the van had gone to in order to keep the animals he needed to transport in safety. It was possible a quite normal thing to do in Morocco, though I didn’t see any more examples of this method. In Australia, we are more used to seeing animals transported in large trucks, trailers of many sizes, or ¬†on the backs of utes (utility vehicles).

Less common would be transporting animals inside a vehicle (with the exception of pet dogs, cats and the like), though I have heard of people carrying animals inside the boot (trunk) of a car and even inside a van. I have even seen sheep being transported on a quad bike (4 wheel motorbike) or over the lap of a person riding a two-wheel motorbike which is relatively common on farms here in Australia. But I have never heard of or seen animals carried on TOP of the cabin of a car or van, as in this photo.

I actually think that it is quite innovative.

Transport in Fes, Morocco

Transport in Fes, Morocco – what a load

One of the interesting things about visiting an unfamiliar country is the interesting – and unusual – sights one can see. Of course, the scenery is usually quite strange to what one is used to, as is the architecture and in places like Morocco, the clothing locals are wearing.

Something that fascinates me – not sure why – is the differing modes of transport. In crowded, busy cities like Fes in Morocco, walking is by far the most common mode of moving people, especially in the narrow lanes and streets in the medinas. Motor bikes are also in large numbers everywhere, even in the narrowest of lane ways.Pedestrians beware!

Today I feature two photos of transport. Above is a delivery van with a huge load on the pack rack on top of the van. I didn’t check up close, but I hope that either the rack is VERY strong, or the load is VERY light. The inside of the van is also stuffed full of something.

The photo below was taken quite near to the one above. It shows another van loaded up with pipes (or something like pipes) on top, as well as a converted cart being towed by either a horse or a motor bike, and for good measure, a donkey transporting a man. All these contrasting modes of transport are quite common in Morocco and go to make the visit so much more interesting.

Different forms of transport in Fes, Morocco

Contrasts in modern Morocco

Traditional transport in modern Morocco

In many ways Morocco is a modern country quite at ease with high rise buildings, busy CBDs in the cities, modern communications – note the mobile phone towers in today’s photo – and many local concessions to and adaptations of the modern, western world.

Some traditional things still abound – like the people with their horse and cart (see above) taking their produce to market. The market was probably in a nearby Medina. I’ll show photos of the medinas in another post.

This photo was taken in Meknes.

On second thoughts: the “horse” may well have been a donkey. Donkeys far outweigh horses as beasts of burden in northern Africa.

Then of course, there are some locals who cannot afford a horse or a donkey.

Street scene in Meknes, Morocco

Sydney Mono Rail

Mono Rail, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Mono Rail, Darling Harbour, Sydney

A few years ago while on a holiday in Sydney my wife and I took a ride on the mono rail. We didn’t go on it on our most recent trip to Sydney. Instead we walked under it so I was able to get several good shots of this transport system.

The Sydney Mono Rail takes passengers through some of the CBD and links with several railway stations on the subway system. It also links with both trains and light rail trams at Central Station.

This is an excellent way of seeing some of the highlights of the city, with stops at some of the main features of interest, such as Darling Harbour where I took these photos.

Mono rail, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Mono rail, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Sydney Harbour Water Taxis

Water taxi on Darling Harbour, Sydney

Water taxi on Darling Harbour, Sydney

One of the fascinating things about places like Sydney Harbour is the constantly moving water traffic. There are boats of all sizes, from great sleek cruise ships with several thousand passengers through to small dinghies with one passenger out fishing. And everything in between. All shapes and sizes, colours and purposes.

One of the common types on Sydney Harbour are the water taxis, like the one shown above. This morning I checked out some websites because I knew very little about them. The few companies I checked out claimed that they will pick up passengers almost anywhere, including beaches. They will likewise take you almost anywhere on the harbour much faster than public transport or even driving there yourself.

That’s probably true and they do look very convenient. There’s only one catch: you need a very deep pocket as they are relatively expensive. Yes – they might be quick, but it will cost you. Mind you, it would be a great way to have a private cruise of the harbour if you had a large group of people, say 20-30 to share the cost.