Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Morocco in one photo...

This is Morocco - my favourite photo so far...

It's clear we have the same sense of humour. But then it is also clear that the donkey doesn't mind a hard days work - there we have to differ.


...we saw

1 half flattened snake (ie flat one end and not the other)
1 very alive little tortoise (although with a suicide mission well in place)
42.49 billion mud houses
33 dozen donkeys
3 tajines
4.25 litres of water
522.64 trillion sheep and goats
17.14 million other tourists
every colour of the rainbow - and more - in the landscape
1 kasbah ruin
293.86 gazillion lads selling gemstones - fake or real...? (anyones guess)
one blue lizard
one tiny black and white bird
2 stork nests, each with mum and 3 babies
about 300km of road
1 funny little thing resembling a chipmunk...

I swear, I never exaggerate at all...

Dishonesty and hard work

Today we are off to the desert - here's hoping the people are nicer there.

It's incredibley hard work fending off all the dishonest con artists - of which there are so many!

Yesterday we went into the Place Djemaa El Fna in the Medina (central square) We had a great time wandering around the markets and chatting with a few locals, buying a couple of things and then having mint tea in a central cafe looking out to the market.

Then we went back to the hotel to meet a potential guide for todays journey. Afterwards we went back to the market and intended to look for more companies with guides.

Firstly when we got out of the taxi, he tried to charge us over double of the metred fare. We got out and left him with the fare on the machine. Then went over to a sign to read what one company offered and of course got nabbed by someone telling us this office was closed for day and we needed to go to the 'other' one jsut down the road.

We followed him to said office and of course wasn't same company so walked off. He followed us saying it was the same. We said no it isn't and continued walking. Another man then joined in and said he was from original company and was now open if we liked to go there.

We said no, you are lying to us and we are not going to either company now. The second man insisted he was telling the truth - but damage done. He retreated fast as he knew we could call the tourist police at any moment and he would be dealt with...

Then trying to get a taxi back and everyone wanted to charge triple or quadruple the metred fare again, so we started to walk instead. We both decided to try one more taxi and he gave us the right answer and got us home happily - so we paid him double...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuna, donkeys and the bus

Three days with no connection. What a challenge!

Where to start...

We left Mililla, crossed the border again into Morocco and caught a grand taxi into Nador (again) and bravely entered the bus station. Mobbed within seconds by 'helpful' men asking where are we going. The first man was trying to lead us off somewhere unknown so we stopped and found another who was much nicer and he led us to a kiosk nearby.

The first soon stormed up and started to argue with the second man - we were obviously 'his' catch! They then seemed to work out an agreement and we were led off again with the first man (the second man assuring us all was well).

6 Euros each to Fes and then onto the bus and allocated a seat (after moving aside the cases of tuna with tomato sauce) to await our departure.

The journey itself was relatively uneventful.

We saw...
brown fields
green fields
5 dogs
20 zillion donkeys (predominantly bundles of straw or grass with legs and ears)
11 harvester machines
10 trillion harvester people
and more herds of sheep and goats then you could poke a stick at

The bus did not close the door for most of the journey so you could say it was air conditioned.

The good news of course is that we made it and did not have to share our seats with any chickens, goats or tuna.