Falling foul of foul weather

Trip Start Dec 29, 2008
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Trip End Jan 11, 2009


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Where I stayed
Hote Roudani

Flag of Morocco  ,
Thursday, January 1, 2009

This morning we got up early to get our bus to Inezgane from where we could then get a transfer to tarroudant.  It took 4 hours but it was a good chance to see the real Morocco outside of the city. 

Quite often we'd see road blocks set up by the police complete with barbed stingers ready to throw out.  Maybe they have a lot of speeding cars here or maybe the police like pulling people over? Funny enough they decided to pull us over but after some kind of heated debate between our driver and the police for 20 minutes, we were off again. 

In Inezgane we arrive near to what looks like a locals market so we head in to look for gas again.  A young guy tries to help us and takes us around a few stalls but none of them had the screw top gas bottles we needed.  He seemed quite helpful and I didn't get the impression he was out to scam people however he did then invite us into his stall where we were suddenly ushered into a seated area and served tea and then the spice sales pitch began!  It was quite funny at first as every spice/herb/mix was supposedly some kind of miracle remedy for various things ranging from headaches to libido!  The tea they served us was quite nice so we agreed we'd take a little of that.  They also had some kidn of tagine spice which would be nice to cook with back home so we agreed to take a little of that.  Paul and i had a rough idea of how much it may end up costing and after the vendors did lots of calculations on a piece of paper they came to a figure of 16!  I had to laugh as it was a laughable price so then they went back and wrote down a new price which was still extortionate.  Being the hardy traveller I tried to put on a tough act (even though I was actually feeling quite upset at the thought of yet again having someone want to rip us off after acting nice) I said we'd just not buy anything as it was all too expensive.  My tough act didn't work as we eventually gave in to a price of 6 which wasn't so bad but still a good profit for them I expect!  I don't think people set out to be deliberately nasty as that's what they do to make money and I doubt they realise it can be quite upsetting to be in such a situation.  I've dealt with it so many times and I'm still quite sensitive to it as I try and believe that people are genuinely nice unless they prove otherwise. Oh well, lesson learned!

We headed outside to figure out how we get a grand taxi to Tarroudant since it shouldn't be too much but get quoted extortionate prices and eventually find a policemen (complete with gun) and he points us to some buses where we get a ticket for 40DH and grab some food from a cafe since we have a 30min wait.  As we were about to board a bus a local helps us with our bags into the boot, despite the backpacker inside me remembering back to the fact that anyone trying to help wants money.  I ignore this voice, telling myself not to be so silly but then we are promptly asked for 10DH per bag!  Oh well.Still cheaper than the taxi!

The bus was only an hour and we are soon in Tarroudant, surrounded by some kind of protest about Israelis bombing Gaza.  We find a hotel (Hotel Roudame) for 70DH with en-suite, well imagine a very basic bathroom as it is Morocco and it was fairly similar to what I was used to in Thailand. 

We'd read in the guidebook that this hotel had contacts with local guides so I asked the manager about the guide, Ali, we'd been told to speak to.  He didn't seem to understand but said something about another guide who knew Ali and he'd arrange for us to meet him soon.

We ate dinner in our hotel which was traditional tajine and couscous and tried yet again to look for gas but again no such luck.  Starting to think we'll have to live off bread and jam in the mountains!
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