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Published: December 29th 2017
Toda we head from Fez to Casablanca. Our taxi arrives on time and our driver speaks English so all is looking good.
We first head to Volubius which is a Roman city outside of Mekness. Becs wants to get a guide but Constance is convinced we can self guide using Lonely Planet. Inevitably this leads to an argument, to settle the peace Gus runs off to find a guide. I would probably say that even though he was difficult to understand sometimes the guide was worth the DHM150 (the Chief Negotiator wanted to have a crack at him but we convinced here that Gus had already negotiated very hard). Although Constance did follow us around with the Lonely Planet trying to prove that it could have been done just as easily.
After Volubius we head for Moulay Idris which was the home of Jamal Idris (or something like that, maybe Idris II). It is one of the most significant pilgrimage places for Muslims, as our guide put it if you don’t have enough money for Mecca you head here. The town is on two hills like a camel. Previously non-Muslims weren’t allowed in but apparently
this has been relaxed. Next we head to Mekness for lunch. We have selected a nice little Riad in the Medina, but our driver wants to recommend a restaurant he knows which is only for locals and the food is very fresh. Only DHM40 (normally probably only DHM30). He was very insistent about it, but after quite some argument he grudgingly agrees to take us where we want to go. After lunch he suggests we go to the stables. Now given he lost the first argument we agree (and it is only DHM10). Surprisingly it is fantastic. It is a massive (and I mean massive) silo and stable built for a king or something right in the centre of Mekness. Unfortunately the museum which we are keen to visit is being renovated. The driver stops at a carpet shop but we tell him it is illegal to import carpet into Australia and he agrees to start heading to Casablanca.
The traffic in Casablanca is a disaster. Driving in Morocco is pretty hairy. On the expressways they have a speed limit of 120 which they totally use plus some. It is normal to drive between lanes and as
you approach you toot your horn so they will move over. Everyone drives with their hazard lights on because there will be one shortly. In the cities constant horn tooting is obligatory. If a pedestrian walks out onto a crossing you should pull out all stops to avoid running them over except stopping. Stopping is for cheaters. Also if you stop pedestrians will become a constant stream requiring you to muscle through them. Some pedestrians will knock on your window (especially if you run over your feet). Now I’d like to say that all this works perfectly except I’ve never seen so many accidents. Overturned trucks, curiously a head on between two motorbikes and numerous car accidents.
We arrive at our hotel although the driver had to ask about 20 people how to get there). The hotel is fine. We have dinner at a great seafood restaurant which had about 3 areas and was packed. At forst I thought they had put us in the tourist area but then I realised they’d but us in non smoking and no soccer, which was full of ex-pats and one local watching a video of someone smoking on his phone.
Tot: 2.3s; Tpl: 0.049s; cc: 11; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0355s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb