Stranded in Casablanca for 64 days

(from left to right) Ted (Polish), Elsabe – his wife (South African), Gardi and Charles Major

Ted and Elsabe Jasrzebski contacted Gardi Major today for a trip up Sani Pass. This was the third time that they have come to Underberg to make take the 4×4 drive up the pass. The first visit was washed out by rain, and the second – by snow. But Ted and Elsabe persevered, and finally went up the pass today.

Ted is a Polish engineer who married Elsabe – his South African sweetheart – resulting in him settling down in South Africa – and eventually getting his local residency.

Two years ago Ted and Elsabe travelled to Casablanca – a port city and commercial hub in western Morocco, fronting the Atlantic Ocean. Little did they know that their dream holiday would turn into a political and emergency nightmare for them. COVID struck, and their lives turned upside down. All their touring plans came to an end overnight, and they were quarantined in an Air B&B that they had to pay for – for 64 days!

No 2 week fun holiday, but rather a 64 day prison sentence – with brief visits to the food market, pharmacy and South African embassy.

Elsabe used the time to connect with other South Africans stranded in Morocco, creating a WhatsApp group of 88 people, allowing them to discuss options and plans to get back home. Unfortunately no help was received from the South African government, and the group had to make their own plans. On day 64, twenty nine members of the group including Ted and Elsabe – managed to charter an exhausting 20 hour flight back home.

What an experience!