The Land of The Rip Off

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Friday, August 18, 2006

Taxi ride from desert to Rissani involved us being stopped by a guy who wanted us to go into his carpet shop. 2 Local buses to get to Tinehir bus stop full of scarey little boys. These are better sometimes because the aircon doesn't work on the the more expensive buses (CTM) - local buses have small windows and 'if' they're open it's cooler. Taxi up into the Gorge.
When we arrived we were exhausted, sandy, dirty and hungry. Dinner took something like 40 mins and was tiny much to our dismay. 'Spaghetti Berber' is a small pile of tinned tomatoes on a small pile of spaghetti. We were so tired we didn't care. We showered and went to bed.
In the morning we realised that the menus everywhere here were ridiculously priced - 60dh (about $8) for an omelette? We were able to barter for food, but todra gorge has only a few hotels with restaurants in them and they keep to a similar price. Breakfast took an hour and the proprietor was really wierd and a bit scarey too. Now it was getting really hot and we wanted to do a 3-4 hour hike in the Gorge.
We walked up into the Gorge following a rough map from Lonely Planet. Todra Gorge was big and brown. I keep getting suprised at how arid this country is. It's so brown and dry. We passed many people herding donkeys and goats through the gorge. Every single one of them asked us for 10dh.
The views were sweet once we got up high as there was an oasis below us (well a palmery actually). We got to the town and immediately skulled as much cold water as we could. The gorge is dotted with these green palmeries where pomegranits and palm trees grow. Inside most of these are ruined Kasbahs. Makes for some great pictures.
When we were finished hiking we decided it would be cheaper to catch a taxi back to Tinehir to eat. As we waited a man started to talk to us. He was with his family and his mum had made some cake which they couldn't finish. They offered it too us.
That's what Morocco has been like. Some really lovely, innocent experiences followed by some shitty, in your face creepo being aggressive and ruining your day.
We found a place only locals were eating in and then went to buy our bus tickets. We decided to go CTM as the ride was so long and a local bus would be uncomfortable for this long.
As we were walking I heard Ben and Jean Luke (our new traveling companion) telling some guy, "No!" etc and as it turns out a guy had come up to Jean Luke and Ben then threatened them with a knife (although he never showed his knife) and said, "we go to ATM now, I have a knife." The guy went away eventually and we got our tickets eventually.
Just another day in Morocco.
Back up in the Gorge our hotel decided not to turn on the electricity to the rooms so we were in total darkness trying to organise our bags and take showers. Ben was pissed for a change while I found it funny. He had tried to get them to turn on the lights but they wouldn't. We found a lot of the people working in the hotels here very unhelpful and confrontational.
I went up to the rooftop (where you can sleep for 20dh) and the sight was gorgeous. The gorge which rose up beside our hotel was blocking out the stars and some light was just making the rocks visible. I think it was far prettier at night but I don't have my tripod so I couldn't take a photo.
(Ben here) But we are getting use to this and the trip is still fun. The people here go from warm and friendly one second to muderous rage in another! It's all part of the trip!!! Allah Ackbar bithes!
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