A Travellerspoint blog

We may run into villians

.. but we're not afraid to roam Because we read the story and we end up safe at home (yeah) Certainly do get around Like Webster's Dictionary we're Morocco bound

sunny 37 °C
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We caught up with Louwrens and Marianne after a couple of nights in the Riad in Marrakech. It was great to see them again after so long. They were equally impressed with the sights and sounds of the city. We decided to rent a car for the next part of the journey, there are hundreds of tour companies offering well packed trips to the areas that we wanted to go, but as we had a month, we wanted the flexibility of a car. In the end, contrary to what all the guide books say about renting cars in Morocco - it proved to be the cheapest and by far the most convenient way to see the country.

After a quick familiarisation session navigating our way out of the city, we were soon on the road headed South to a great spot called Ait Ben Hadou the site made famous by Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator and other big budget films. On the way we crossed the High Atlas mountains - and they were... really high.

We stayed a night in both the Dades Valley and the Todra Gorge, both within easy reach if you have a car and well worth the visit.

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Camping proved to be really cheap in Morocco and we felt safe in most of the places we stayed.

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We camped up on the roof. It was great, we watched the sunset over the desert and really started feeling that we were in the heart of the country and at the beginning of a true adventure.

Posted by adamandmeg 23:00 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Take a train to Casablanca going south

Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my m,m,m,m,mouth Cold coffins hang in the square Charming corporals in the square Don't you know we're riding on the Marrakech Express

32 °C
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We caught an overnight train from Tangier to Marrakech, this had us arriving just out of town early in the morning. We found a coffee and decided to walk into the town centre.

Djma El Fnaa is the main square in Marrakech and it may yet prove to be impossible for me to properly describe it here.

If you can imagine a large open square filled with the hustle and bustle of market sellers, smoke rising from BBQ stalls, swirling around the crowd as cars and motorbikes part the throng like Moses and the sea. It really feels old world and so full of senses that it it feels like a punch in the face. Only, in the nose, ears, eyes and skin as well. It is overpowering and it really does give the immediate impression that it will consume you without a thought.

Now that all probably sounds a little trite and wanna be poetic, but let me tell you straight – we had never seen anything like it and it excited us and scared the shit out of us at the same time. It was incredible.

We stayed at a Riad, just off the square and settled into getting to know the area immediately surrounding the main square and getting ready to meet Louwrens and Marianne.

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Posted by adamandmeg 03:34 Archived in Morocco Comments (1)

Living reflection of a dream

Tangerine

sunny 33 °C
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Thinking about going to Tangier, we were both filled with images of snake charmers, hippies, opium dens, thieves and beggars. While the snake charmers would have to wait for a few days, everything else was there in abundance. Being Australian, we were immediately befriended by a young man who was able to help us out with anything that we wanted all we had to do was meet him in a cafe to “sample his wares” and he would sort us out. Having been in the country for all of 10 minutes, we decided against an early venture into the underground drug rings of Morocco and continued along our way to find a hotel.

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Every street corner we had delightful people offering us assistance in this endeavour. “My brother owns the best hotel “Special price for you” Hello Aussie you want a good room” and our favourite “I'm not a guide”.

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Eventually we found a great room with a balcony overlooking a square in one of the souk areas of old Tangier. We spend (or lost) 3 days in Tangiers before catching the overnight train down to Marrakech to meet our good friends Louwrens and Marianne from Holland...

Posted by adamandmeg 02:00 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Tea in the Sahara - with you

Morocco

40 °C
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Morocco

The ferry trip to Tangier proved to be somewhat of a challenge. We had bought a ferry ticket from a guy in a booth at the port town. Only to discover that by the time we arrived at the ferry terminal (about a 5 minute walk) that the ferry was full and we would have to wait another 2 hours for the next one. So we waited... and waited... eventually our superfast ferry arrived and we boarded.

I reckon it must have taken about 30 minutes, just as we drew alongside the Rock of Gibralter, and things started to go bad. The port rests in a sheltered bay and as soon as we hit the swell outside thej bay, things started to change. Initially, the hundreds of kids on board got a little restless. The percentage of the population that are under the age of 15, in many developing countries is high, in Morocco it is really high. So we had kids running around shouting, spilling food and drinks and generally being pains in the but for about half an hour – which wouldn't have been a problem if

1.Our superfast ferry was superfast
2.They had continues to be peppy and up beat

Instead, they turned various shades of blue/green and crashed into nausea and vomiting, causing their parents to do the same. Within another hour we were on the set of some low budget hollywood sicko film about disease epidemics. It was truly gruesome.

Now, the distance between Spain and Morocco is small and superfast ferries can cover it in about 2 hours. I have told you that it took half an hour to leave the harbour, half an hour of yelling and screaming, and one more hour of chuck fest 2008. Here is where the story gets really fun.

We sat on the ferry for another 3 hours in rolling swell dry retching our way to the port of Tangier.
Superfast my arse!!

As we were leaving the ship of sick, we overheard a rather distressed woman concerned about the theft of her passport whilst on board – checking and rechecking our passports as we left the ferry, we braced ourselves for the shock of Tangier.

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Tangiers from the beach

Posted by adamandmeg 17:26 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Hola Amigos

I know nothing... I'm from Barthelona

40 °C
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Spain

Arriving in Malaga we started sweating and didn't stop for 3 days. Malaga is in Southern Spain and if not for anything else it should be known for its heat and its bullring. The ring is right in town, edged between the lookout hill (With an ace castle on it) and the beach. We watched the last stages of the Tour De France (Though proving himself yet again to be one of the gutsiest performers in the ride, Cadel Evans again was left wanting just a little more from the race, coming in Second this time).

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After a couple of days resting in Malaga we caught a bus down to the southern tip of Spain, a place called Aljeceras.
Here we caught the "Super fast ferry" to Morocco - the Kingdom of our dreams.. and the home of Louwrens of Arabia...

Posted by adamandmeg 17:24 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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