The Adventures of Tall Skinny Kiwi in North Africa

Back to blogging after my 3 months in North Africa. Sorry for being so silent and distant. I look forward to getting into the swing of things again.

YES! 3 Flippin’ Months in North Africa!! What an incredible time for my family and friends. We drove around in our old 4×4 truck which also provided accommodation for all 9 of us.


Driving through crumbling mountain roads that looked like this . . .

and this . . .

Getting chased through the Rif mountains by drug dealers. We took a wrong turn in the Rif mountains, which foreigners should always avoid, and found ourselves in the middle of the world’s largest hashish haven. The dealers were quite persistent and they followed us, stopped when we stopped, overtook us many times and pulled in front of our vehicle. Then they would jump out with product in hand. ” WE DONT SMOKE IT” we insisted when we swerved to miss them on the road but they didn’t believe us and then they would jump back in their cars to try again. Friendly people! Such insistent hospitality!

3-50p.jpgTrekking up the mountains with our stuff on donkeys, camping out with hippies, getting sick from bad water when the only toilet was a dug-out trench in the mud, and praying for a man with a demon.

Enduring a sandstorm in the Sahara desert. Well, just a small one. Nothing of biblical proportions but enough sandblasting to force us to cover up. And the dashboard of my truck was covered over with sand.

5-50p.jpgGetting dragged out to sea in a rip-tide at Plage Blanche, one of the world’s most deserted beaches.
I battled the Atlantic waves for half an hour until, by the mercy of God, I found myself floating back to shore and feeling sand under my feet. AHHHHHHHHH!!!! Nothing like a near drowning experience to add perspective to your life. My wife has some thoughts on it.

6-50p.jpgA flash flood. We were parked uphill but this is what we saw in the morning when we opened the gate.


7-50p.jpgWild camping at beaches and dams and mountain passes. We only got moved on by the police a few times but that was more for our own protection.


8-50p.jpg Eating camel couscous in the Sahara with nomads in a camel hair tent.. The mint tea was dangerously hot but that adventure was more of a new culinary experience than life-threatening one. Dang, don’t I look stylin’ in my Lawrence outfit?

9-50p.jpg Transporting boxes of books and stuff out of the country. A number of foreign Christian workers were expelled while we were in Morocco. They were only given a few hours to leave so they had things they couldn’t bring with them. We took the stuff up to Spain where it will find its way back to the right families. The parents are hoping to be reunited with their children who were taken from them. They could use your prayers.

10-50p.jpgFinding a hospital in the middle of nowhere for my daughter who slashed her leg open in a freak blue-mud jumping accident. The closest town was an hour away. The cut was 8 inches long and she got 10 stitches but there was room for 20. I would have insisted on 20 just for the story. I could show pictures but I will spare you the gore.

no . .. really . . you DONT want to see it!

ok . . . if you insist . . .


As for the rest of my adventures, are they not written in the annuls of the Jonesberries family travel blog? And more stories are available in my newsletter. The next one goes out in a day or two.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Chris says:

    Hey Andrew-
    Glad you are safe! I had an encounter with the deep blue water myself… it does indeed provide you with a different perspective!
    God bless you all on your continued travels.

  • Michel says:

    Incredible stories…what memories! I can imagine Grandpa Andrew, some day in the future, sitting around the fire with all his grand-kids listening with rapt attention as he recounts the time he almost did not make it back to shore…I am so glad it ended well! And that you are all safe!

  • Ryan says:

    crazy. Tough girl. I know there were tears. But what’s the blue mud deal? Enjoy N. Africa. God is at work in that country. We have friends there in northern region of Morocco and Algeria.

  • Jason says:

    Wild adventures, glad everyone made it through okay.

  • tsk says:

    blue mud at plage blanche, where the sahara meets the atlantic. full story here if you want more about the water and the mud and the cut.
    yes – God is at work. stay tuned to hear of what the local n. africans are getting up to with their house churches.

  • Yeah….. figures…….. nothing like taking prayer cover over yer pasty white … ummmmm,…… bum. Love you guys and yeah.. yer on my prayer radar!
    Sending blessings….. and all that good jazz.

  • Rick says:

    Wild stuff.
    Tall Skinny Kiwi, or Tall Skinny Indiana Jones?

  • linda says:

    the drug dealing story is too funny. they must have been thinking “but they look like hippies…” look forward to hearing more about your adventures. glad you survived the riptide and your daughter is okay! she’ll have stories to tell when people ask her about the scar.

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