Edit Blog Post
Published: March 5th 2008
We managed a pretty decent morning start, but our efforts were thwarted by the lethargy of the hotel staff. We ordered a breakfast and sat around for ages waiting for them to eventually arrive with a basket of toasted baguette, butter and apricot jam. The best thing about breakfast was the OJ followed by mint tea. (Don’t think about the sugar content) We had a quick stop to say goodbye to Anthony as we almost certainly won't bump into him again; he is heading north for a ferry back to Spain.
We wanted one last walk around the medina before we left, so we wandered around the blue streets that were a lot quieter than yesterday. We managed to find a few of the places that Lonely Planet had pictured and replicated them. We didn't have time for lunch so we grabbed some more flatbreads to eat on the bus. Once we had collected the backpacks from the hotel we walked to the bus station stopping only to buy some local goats cheese.
We had bought our actual bus tickets yesterday and so when the bus arrived we went to put our bags on anticipating no problems. A man
asked for payment for the baggage and Rob handed over the usual 5dh each. As we went to get on the bus he called us back and asked for 10dh each a bag. I laughed and told him no, only 5dH each as usually at t is point they laugh back and flash a "you can't blame me for trying" look. This time the guy just lifted our bags off the bus and said we should go and change our ticket if we weren't going to pay for baggage. I hung around for a bit arguing with him and insisting I see him take the money off a Moroccan man for three bags all bigger than ours. He only paid 6dh and that was when I decided I wasn't paying what he asked. We sat down on our bags at the side of the bus and waited. Rob said we should just pay as we had no other choice, but I was still pretty irritated. It isn't the Amount of money I object to paying and if there was a sign saying that foreigners need to pay more then I would have no choice but to pay. However, it is
just greedy men with the idea that all westerners are "green" and by paying up each time, this mentality will just increase. Eventually when we had been sitting to the side for a bit I decided that irritation and quick talking was my next tactic. I told him we only had 11dh in total on us and that we were heading to Rabat for a flight home. I then proceeded to inform him of every single bus journey we have been on in Morocco and how each one cost just 5dh for baggage. I hadn't even gotten onto the Northern part of our trip when he threw his hands up and gave in and let us onto the bus.
We settled in for what we were told was to be a five hour journey which should have gotten us into Rabat for around six. We seemed to spend ages at each stop and as the bus began to fill up, fights began to break out. The guy we had dealings with over the baggage actually got into a punch up with a couple of other men. There was a lot of money swapping hands and people jumping on and
off the bus. Each time a bus pulled away from a stop, people ran alongside it attempting to jump on.
Eventually we arrived in Rabat after a seven hour bus journey. The sun had long since set and the station was a good couple of kilometers outside of the city. We hopped in a petit taxi and described where we wanted to be by way of two road names. Not only did the driver get us there but the meter tariff was honest, he didn't charge for baggage and he was friendly.
Walking through medinas with backpacks on at night time is not something I would recommend to anyone. We really had to push our way through as there is no way of being polite and actually managing to get anywhere. We found Hotel Al-Maghrib al-jadid which was grotty and only had a squat toilet but it was late and I didn't want to go looking for another place.
We started looking for food around nine which by Moroccan standards is very late. We found a little café which had an extremely cheap menu and so we decided to give it a go. The harira was only 3.5dh (22p) and was surprisingly good but the couscous was too much for me although Rob managed admirably.
We found tiny little internet café and sat down to post a few blogs. We heard lots of noise coming from down the road so I went to investigate. I think it was some sort of procession of musicians heading into a mosque for a wedding as they were carrying a large decorative carriage.
The squat toilet drove us to the idea of searching out a McDonalds for the use of their usually pristine facilities. We looked around but we couldn't find one anywhere and there were very few people around. As we were heading back to the Hotel we spotted a kiosk from which we bought chocolate. We enquired as to the price of a Mars bar and after discovering it was 6dh we opted for the Moroccan version which was only 1dh.
We are currently laying here and whilst I am writing this, Rob is pondering over the price difference and whether it is because the cost of importation or because the government places high taxes on none Moroccan produce. Ideas on the back of a postcard please.
Night night. Stob.
Tot: 0.509s; Tpl: 0.069s; cc: 11; qc: 30; dbt: 0.0171s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb