Published: February 21st 2008February 8th 2008
We woke up to find an infestation of flies in our room. They were everywhere and kept on landing on us. We dressed hurriedly and opened the doors and windows so they could escape.
We were told that there were buses to Mirleft and with the memory of our grand taxi ordeal too fresh in our Minds; we deigned to wait for the bus. Overnight the weather had changed from blistering heat to gale force winds. We sat and waited for the bus whilst dust and gravel was blowing everywhere; we were covered and had it in our hair, mouths and all over our clothes.
The bus was about as comfortable as the wait for the bus. We did get some seats, but two older women got on so we gave them up. I positioned myself on top of my backpack and Rob stood for a while and then moved to a seat later on. People on this route seemed so rude and in particular the men. They would push their way onto the bus before letting anyone else off and would then dive for the nearest seat irrespective of other people who may have a greater need for
The bus left us at the Side of a dirt road, with only a few houses around. Up ahead we could see more dwellings and began to walk towards them. As we set off, two guys greeted us and pointed us in the right direction of our hotel. Once we had checked in to Hotel Atlas, we were stumped as to what to do. The town was tiny and consisted of two streets and the sea appeared to be a good walk away. We grabbed a sandwich at a little café. Cheese sandwich appeared to be an alien concept and therefore I received a concoction of salad, rice, cheese and chips.
We walked in a straight line from Mirleft to the water. The Landscape we walked across was dry and unused except there were huge piles of shells everywhere. We walked as far as we could and were greeted with a sheer drop down to the water. We were on a cliff overlooking the water and as far as we could see either way, there was no beach. We resigned ourselves to a walk along the cliffs and headed towards a rocky outcrop and along the
way stumbled across a pack of puppies. They were adorable and ever so playful.
We climbed up onto the rocks and sat and watched the sea crashing against them for a while. When it began to get to windy we set off along the coast again. The puppies followed us despite my attempt to ignore them. Some way around the coast we spotted a beach and decided to make our way down to it.
On the beach we took our shoes off and waded into the sea, leaving the puppies fighting over the shade created by our rucksack. As we were playing, a guy walked over to the puppies and started feeding them so we went over to say hello. Phillipe was a Canadian and extremely chatty, so we sat on the beach and chatted and played with the puppies. He was feeding them octopus from a fishing expedition he'd been on earlier. Later in the day, his girlfriend Heather came and joined us and we all sat and chatted until a football game made us move. We were invited into their rented flat which was dirt cheap and right on the beach and it even had a
little kitchen. We joined them for some tea, and Rob shared in a dish of octopus eaten Berber style with bread instead of cutlery.
As the sun was setting we walked back towards Mirleft and changed into warmer clothes with the hope that they would protect us from the dirt that was whipping around in the wind. We found a Lovely bar which was sheltered enough that we could sit outside. We both had the Set menu and began chatting to a Geordie that was at the table next to us.
The meal was pleasant but much better than that, everyone who passed in and out of the restaurant said hello or smiled. As a result we managed to start a conversation with a fair amount of people. Although there was no alcohol at the restaurant, the only pub in town did takeouts, so we were offered some beer which we gladly accepted.
Once we finished our meal, we nipped to the pub to get some beers and then with the help of a local, we found our way back to Aftas beach to meet up with the Geordie and a few of his friends. It felt
a lot further in the dark and slightly more dangerous. We did find it though and we were welcomed into a garage to meet quite a few of the locals. A few joints were going around, and there was a fair amount of beer considering the lack of availability. In fact, the only indication that we were in Morocco was the constant dishing out of tea which everyone took despite drinking beers etc.
Our hotel had a curfew of 12 (not that we were told until very late) so we couldn't stay too long before we had to run back to the hotel. It was pitch black and the guy escorting us had stolen my torch. On the bright side (literally) were the stars that felt amazingly close and unbelievably bright.
Quite often we find that instead of a pillow we are given a big sausage, and then you can look around for additional pillows. At this hotel there were only two tiny pillows that were as hard as rock, the sausage must have been forgotten. I found a softer spare in the cupboard and as Rob was moaning I gave it to him under the reasoning that
I'm not sleeping well anyway. Well the rude git didn't say thank you, and what's more, he wouldn't when prompted, so I have taken it back. It will be a quiet night because currently he isn't talking to me. Night night. Stob.
There are more photos below