Back in Europe.

Trip Start Nov 17, 2008
Trip End Feb 16, 2009

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Thursday, November 27, 2008

My hotel in Tangiers may have been pretty far out from the town centre, but my room had a great view.  It was maybe 5 o'clock by the time I checked in, and it was getting dark, so I had resigned myself to sitting in my room and reading the rest of the night.  Fortunately, I saw distinctly Irish looking guy sitting beside the pool reading a lonely planet guide, so I walked past, gave it the old "A'right mate?" and waited to see if I got a response.  Sure enough he was from Donegal. 

Shane had just arrived a couple of days before and wasn't impessed with Tangiers either.  He was on his way to Marrakesh for a month or so, and was catching the train the next day.  Naturally when two bored Ulstermen meet in a hotel bar the inevitable happens and we ended up getting pissed.  The hotel was practically empty, but drinking at the bar beside us was the Moroccan version of James Bond.  He had been all around the world, even been to Belfast a couple of times, spoke perfect English, and when I asked him what he did for a living he just laughed and changed the subject.  I asked him again a few drinks later and he looked aound, made sure no-one was listening and said he worked for the Morrocan government.  Like I said, James Bond.

The next morning I awoke to find it pissing down.  Not what I was expecting in north Africa. After breakfast the rain seemed to have let up a little, so I walked the 4 miles back to the Old Town.  No sooner had I arrived when I was followed by a guy wanting to show me about.  I kept telling him no thanks, but he followed me everywhere, telling me he just wanted to practice his English.  Then he said something which made me think.  "One mosquito is better than a thousand."  This is very true, and if he was with me, then the rest of the drug addicts in Tangiers would leave me alone, so I let him be my unofficial tour guide.  He was very friendly of course, but when it came time for us to part ways he got a little angry that I only had 3 euro to give him, and he put a curse on me.  Strangely this isn't the first time someone has cursed me (it happened in Chile to), but I've got Buddha watching my back, so I'll be ok. He knows Kung-fu.  :-)

To be honest, there was not much to see.  A couple of old mosques, an old gun emplacement belonging to the British from over a hundred years ago and that was about it.  Although walking through the narrow side streets I heard a woman screaming.  A horrific kind of screaming that I'd never heard before.  I thought someone was being raped and tried to find what drection it was coming from, but then people started leaning out of windows to see what was going on.  I asked my ad hoc tour guide what everyone was saying, and it turns out a woman had just found her husband dead.  Very sad indeed.  

It wasn't long before I had to get back to the hotel where a bus was due to pick me up and take me back to the port.  Walking home the heavens opened again, and I got soaked. Freezing cold, wet right through and dying to get back to Spain (which oddly felt like home now), it was time to go.  I got back to Tarifa that night and stayed in a hostel Shane had recommended.  Africa may only be a few miles away, but it was good to be back in Europe.
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