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Published: December 18th 2017
This is our first full day in Chefchaouen. Given yesterday was not very well organised we gave ourselves a “Needs Improvement” and plan to do a walk up to the Spanish Mosque which is on the outskirts of town.
We set out reasonably early. On the edge of town there is a river where the local woman are washing their clothes and a lady with an Ostrich. It costs DHM5 to have a photo with the Ostrich, but it didn’t seem overly Moroccan. We set out on the 30kms walk. It starts off great, well signposted and we get to the Spanish Mosque with ease. The mosque was built by the Spanish, but it was never used by the locals, probably a bit like the Muslims building a church.
About a kilometre from the mosque the signposting starts to break down, something to do with Moroccan attention spans. Also, you can see the town so how much signposting do you really need. Two dogs got very upset with us, and the lady who’s house we ended up at was very helpful, but not helpful enough! We ended up at another small mosque and one of
the locals came up to us. He suggested to Gus he could go back to his place and smoke kef, but when we came up he suggested tea instead. Tempting as the offer was we decided to push on. We had a lovely visit to a farm with a couple of donkeys, some goats and a stone wall which was difficult to get over. At this stage Gus peeled off from the main group.
After much slipping and climbing we seemed to be on the right track and were able to give 3 American girls some assistance (they’d been trying to find the track for 3 days). The most disappointing bit was finding that Gus was already back at the hotel on our return.
For lunch I was going to try Ahmed’s restaurant. He was one of the touts in the main square. In my opinion it is imperative in 3rd
world countries to befriend a tout (or similar) in all towns. They can become your “go to” person. Unfortunately Ahmed was on a break and given I’d promised to eat at his restaurant we tried next door.
Our restaurant seemed to buy 2 chickens off an old guy walking past (as you do) and tied them to a table out the front. This kept the gaggle of cats highly amused and they took it in turns to attack the chickens. Embarrassingly Ahmed came back from his break and was indignant that we weren’t in his restaurant. I did my best to smooth things over.
All the walking and climbing had made us very tired, so we had a nap back at the hotel and went back to the square for dinner. Of course, we went to Ahmed’s and he set us up with a great table surrounded by cats (it was near the heater). This was our second dinner in Chefchaouen without alcohol which is the longest I’ve gone for quite some time. I had a chat to Ahmed and arranged for him to get us a six pack of Casablancas. He asked whether Flag was OK which we said it was but really flag is not a patch on the Casas. After about an hour Ahmed surreptitiously returned and whispered in Gus’s ear. Apparently he couldn’t get Flag only Stork. I’m not an expert on Moroccan beers but I’d never heard of Stork. He then started producing bottles from various parts of his clothing. I made a mental note of the one he got out of his undies for Gus.
Back at the hotel Gus and I drank a six pack of Stork.
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