Trip Start May 01, 2001
44Trip End Jun 30, 2001
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
8 hours, 9.6 kms
I've learned a few more things about Khouribga over the years: Morocco is one of the biggest phosphate exporters and Khouribga is one of the main mining areas. A Moroccan joke goes, "how do you know is someones from Khouribga? They have brown teeth!" Apparently, there's a lot of phosphate in the water, and it tends to stay on peoples’ teeth.
I will hasten to say that I did see a lot of Khouribgans WITHOUT brown teeth..
Finally my bus arrives at the station and I head out to discover the town. My first destination is to visit the sprawling "souk el hedd" (Sunday market) that I saw on my ride into town. I know I’m heading in the right direction because I pass endless flatbed horsecarts carrying ladies home from market--apparently a major form of transportation in Khouribga. I do manage to take a very discreet picture of one of these...
Highlights of the souk el hedd include the picturesque butcher section (though not as varied as, say, China) the "scrap" section where you can buy a screw, a twisted piece of plastic or a widowed shoe, the mountains and mountains of beautiful watermelons and the huge piles of used clothes brought down from Italy by Khouribgan emigrants.
Next I tour through the middle class rather boring neighborhoods of large, three to four story freshly painted homes and wide boulevards. I suspect many of these homes belong to families of Khouribgans who have emigrated to Italy...
...Then back into town--take my clip next to a couple of decorative railroad cars that symbolize Khouribga's phosphate industry..
...Then through a neighborhood of large French-style villas with gardens--actually built by the French back when they ran the phosphate mines... Then a little French-style park...
I decide on a new rule of thumb for parkbenching in Morocco: if the first session doesn't go too well, try at least once more--I'd hate to give up on Khouribga so quickly...
So I pull out my guitar there in the park... sure enough, soon a respectable schoolteacher stopped by--we had a great conversation as he tells me of his adventures teaching in a village high in the mountains above Marrakesh. He says that he and his wife even climbed Mount Toubkal--the highest peak in the Atlas. That’s quite interesting to hear about--as not very many Moroccan women that I know of are into mountain climbing... Afterwards he invites me to his place for tea and msimin. I figure it would be nice to start out my new Morocco tour by accepting this gesture of friendship.
In the end, it’s a quite satisfying experience here in Khouribga and a good start to my journey. But I feel the urge to continue on and explore yet another town.