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Published: February 4th 2020
Day 15. 3rd
Got up late for a 9am breakfast at our Premier Inn. Buffet style, but with fish omelet rather than boiled eggs. After shovelling that down, I packed my bags & left them in Mike’s room, then I checked out at reception and we walked to the Atlantic, taking the easiest zig-zag route which took us past a hotel with 3 tennis courts. This interested Mike considerably, but he could not find it on google maps…
The beach was full of roped-off areas full of sun-loungers, with just a handful of very brown Europeans slithering about on them in their sun-cream. It was quite hot again, high 20’s at least, although there was a good breeze from the sea, we found a shady cafe and had some orange juice.
On our way back we both used an ATM that we’d spotted going down and got some cash out, neither of us wanting too much, especially Mike who flies out tomorrow.
Back at our hotel, I grabbed my bags & Mike booked an extra night (£5 more than last night!) Then, just when I was wanting to go, I heard a guy asking the staff
for a taxi to the CTM coach station, so I got one with him. Fazil was his name, nice guy, business man but ok, from Turkey. I said my goodbyes to Michael and left him there by the curb. Hope the funeral goes well,he was Maureen’s brother – another Michael, and a bit of a Harold Hughes, filled his house with junk, so lived in hotels. He wouldn’t let me pay my share so I had a free ride! (only cost 15Dh so we got ripped last night for 50!) Fazil was going to Marrakech so we parted then, he knows an opera singer & wants to put her in touch with me….
I got my bag weighed and ticketed but this time I had to load it myself (if the bus ever came). I got talking to a surfer, a Moroccan one called Hamza, he had exactly the same vibe as other surfers I know, must be something in the surf.
Coach came 30mins late (it started in Casablanca) and I managed to load my case in unaided! Just goes to show that anything is possible…
The coach stopped 3 times in Inezgane and then blasted
down a dual-carriageway to Tiznit, to the South. We had a 30min break before Tiznit and I talked to 2 French brothers, one from near Switzerland, the other from Bordeaux, who come to Tafraoute every winter, they made it sound idillic, but I’m keeping an open mind. We stopped in Tiznit and the bus filled up. A local family sat on the other side from me; a young Mother with her baby girl (who kept crying) & her Mother, behind them was the Father and young boy about 5yrs old.
As we eventually began the climb up the Anti-Atlas mountains, the older Mother began throwing up into a clear plastic bag. Hard to ignore but I managed. We climbed higher & higher, then lower & lower, then higher etc. Up and down the winding bendy roads across large mountains. These were greener than the High Atlas ones, with plants across most slopes. As it got darker the sun shone on the cliff sides making them even more red. On one steep bend the bus grounded out on the road making a nasty scrapping sound. The driver just inched forward very slowly and eventually the noise stopped. A bit worrying
Arriving in Tafraoute (pronounced Tafrout) in the dark, I went off looking for my Hotel. The 1st
guy I asked told me it was just passed the Mosque so I headed there, but still couldn’t find it. Then I asked some kids and they began taking me the wrong way, which I soon realised was so. I stopped and a guy came up behind me who turned out to be my manager, Hussain. I settled into my room, quite nice, shared bathroom (no loo seat…)
It was about 9pm now, so I went for a meal. As I was leaving I met Hussain talking to a Belgian guy who seemed a good larf so we went off to eat together. He was called Yan (Jan) and worked on tug-boats, even knew Middlesbrough! His wife was a tug-boat pilot. He had flown in to the North, hired a car in Fez, and driven all the way down here. We arranged to meet on the roof of our hotel at about 9am for breakfast elsewhere (as it’s not provided here).
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