Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
76Trip End Aug 31, 2013
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First one being that we were never stamped in our passports when we arrived in Spain. We didn´t have any issues with border patrol in Gibraltar so I figured we´d be ok to enter Africa. I got through without hesitation but they stopped to question Steve. (He´s got a newer passport so that might have been what caused the red flag.) Luckily, Spain is really relaxed so we simply explained that no one bothered when we got off our ship in Malaga and he just noted that we should have looked for someone to officially note that we entered the country
The second issue was the ferry. We left late, closer to the time we were expecting to arrive so there was no way we´d make the connection. There was another train in three hours but since the journey takes five hours, we knew most of the day would be shot. Fair enough, that would give us more time to deal with the touts. We were the only obvious foreigners on our ferry but we were relieved that once we got off the boat, only two men approached us and quickly backed off. I bargained for a reasonable taxi rate to the station and once we arrived, we sampled some local bakery items.
We were in and out of sleep for the ride but that was not due to a boring scenery. We took some anti-motion meds which was the more likely culprit, that and getting up early. The train was comfortable and we had plenty of space to spread out. The coutry side was interesting, with their cactus fences and free roaming animals. People work the lands by rustic means and live in really basic looking accommadations. While on the train, two men brought up conversation that was directed at Steve and were obviousy fishing for opportunities to take advantage of us. We were not biting so they moved on but we also heard that the touts had been boarding trains and hassling tourists once they arrive in Fes
There really haven´t been too many tourists walking around so we do stick out. Cute little kids come up to us trying out their French, then English. Within minutes of uttering a sound, they respond by asking for money. I do see a genuine curiousity in their actions towards us but money is the bottom line. It´s a bit of a shame because we are turned off on talking to any of the locals, out of a sense of distrust. Other than that though, we´ve liked most of the food we´ve tried. Lots of pastry dishes and items including grains. We have eaten less than usual, shied away from eating within the souks and chosen our main dishes of the day from within our hostel. We can go without eating for a bit anyways, losing weight will only be good for us!
When we arrived in Fes, we strolled around the medina on our own for a couple of hours. It´s easy to get lost in the labyrinth of the neighborhoods, apparently over 300 neighborhoods and 9000 paths, but Steve brought along a small directional GPS gadget that gets the job done. Thank goodness the battery never gave out!
Today, we signed up for a tour of the medina through our hostel. It was just 5 euro and we were the only ones on the tour. Good value! So worth having a guide!! We were more comfortable, we saw so much in the three hours of walking and learned more than we would on our own.
Leaving on an overnight bus to do some camping, ride camels and take in the Sahara Desert!