Marakesh

Trip Start Mar 11, 2007
1
16
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Trip End Apr 13, 2007


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Flag of Morocco  ,
Thursday, April 5, 2007

Things were going a little slow there for awhile. I managed to run into Carol and her family in the main square of Meknes. Olivia was taking a pony ride. We met later for some delicious rotisserie chicken. Those restaurants are very popular and cheap here. They're staying at a Riad, which is an older house that's been converted to a hotel. It's like staying in a museum with a private garden courtyard. My places are not so nice, but liveable.

Then the next day I set out to meet Mike in Casa. On the way out the door of my hotel at 7 am, I saw a homeless junkie chasing another homeless junkie with a knife or wrench all the way down the street and back. They were both dirty and exhausted from running. I decided to stay out of that one, but a businessman tried to intervene and the guy gave chase again, screaming wildly all the time. Geoff Gaston, I honestly can't make this stuff up! Violent Homeless Morroccan Knife-Wielding Junkies. You heard it here first.

I caught the train to Casa and realized that every train is late, but not too late. And there is no guarantee of seats in 2nd class. I've taken 5 trains now and stood for about 3 hours twice now. I met Mike at the airport right on time. Amazing since there is so much that can go wrong. We set out right away to catch 2 trains to Marrakesh with just minutes to spare.
That was a super long travel day for both of us. About 12 hours or so each. And then since we had no hotel reservations, we set out to try to find something at dusk, perhaps my least favorite thing to do while backpacking. The name of the game is to drop the anchor (pack) at a safe place ASAP. Marakesh is much larger than either of us realized. And absolutely full of tourists because of the Easter break. We found our way to a French run hotel to find it was full but there was a chance that he could squeeze us in.

I set out to hunt other hotels while Mike waited there to see if the owner could convince a family to share one room instead of two.  I checked 4 hotels in the area and they were all full. Drag. I headed back thinking we had a long night ahead of us but Mike smiled when I walked back into the Toulousan Hotel.  Score.  It was a nice place with 2 lovely courtyards, breakfast included, friendly staff, etc.  We called this home for the next days.
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