Barely Enough Room To Swing A Toothpick


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Africa » Morocco » Guelmim » Tiznit
February 7th 2008
Published: February 15th 2008
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OnionsOnionsOnions

Nice guy let us take a picture of his hundreds and thousands of onions
We did a good job of getting up early and on the instructions of the guys working in the hotel we set off down a road to find a few bus companies that were going to Tiznit. None of them were any use and all said we should go to the main bus station which is a considerable distance out of town. We opted against that and wandered over to the grand taxi area to see if we could get join a collective to Tiznit.

26dh each felt like a good deal until we got into the back seat with two other people and realised just how squished we were going to be. In total there were seven of us in a battered old Mercedes which was sabotaged so that you were as uncomfortable as possible. The other occupants of the car were dressed in woolly hats and jackets, and we were literally dripping wet. To make matters worse, all the handles had been removed so the only open window was the drivers, with which he tortured us by opening it the tiniest amount.

Eventually we arrived in Tiznit and walked a very short distance to Hotel des Touristes which would have been an ok choice except there was a really pushy boy working for them. Within five minutes of sitting down he had planned our entire day for us, including where we were eating and a visit to another Berber jewellery place.

We managed to shrug the guy from the hotel off and went in search of a sandwich for lunch. Moroccans appear to eat a big lunch like tagines etc and then stay at home or have something small for tea. We like to do it the opposite way around. This usually leaves us stuck walking round towns looking for a place that does anything other than tagines. A nice guy greeted us on the street and led us to a place where we could get a sandwich for lunch.

We knew that today was souq day so we decided to go and get our first taste of a non touristy souq. It was further to walk than we had originally anticipated and there was nothing in the way of shade. However, when we arrived we were greeted by heaps of shade by way of sheets overhead. The souq consisted of hundreds of stalls each
No CampingNo CampingNo Camping

(Read the Sign- and thats not the worst of it)
with mounds of fruit, veg etc displayed on the floor. The sheets were covering both the stalls and walkways but were only shoulder height so you had to stoop continuously. It was fun, and despite not intending to buy anything we walked around most of the market. We did actually buy some strawberries because the smell was just too tempting.

From the souq we headed back into the centre and had a good nosy around the centre. There isn't too much in the way of attractions but the town is genuine and hasn't changed too much for tourists, so it was interesting to just witness everyday life. The walls around Tiznit stretch for 5km and Lonely Planet says you can get up onto them, which officially you can no longer do. We were walking along a quiet section of the wall and found a way to clamber up to have a sneaky peak which we did with little hesitation.

Whilst we were walking around our noses smelt out a tiny little stand where a guy was making doughnut type things. Yummy. After those we returned to the hotel for a shower and a reading session before heading out for food. We ate at bog standard Moroccan place but the food was very good. We even ordered some of the Mint tea, but after we had massacred it it wasn't all that tasty.

We found an internet café which was 5dh (30p) an hour and stayed up pretty late sorting travelblogs and searching for apartments in England.



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