Changeover time, some chilin & superb photos!

Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
Trip End Oct 27, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Morocco  ,
Thursday, September 16, 2010

We arrive exhausted in the dark just after the sun has set and into the old part of town, the Medina. We park outside, next to the harbour. Open air fish restaurants line the area and the smoke form the grills overwhelms our cars. These parking lots are always looked after by some "guardien" who charges 10dirham Moroccan prices to look after the car for the night.
We are hungry and go for something to eat at the fish restaurants next door. We inspect each and everyone of them and fiercely refuse to pay the advertised 60Dh (5.40euro /4.50quid) tourist price for a platter of fish. Its actually dead cheap but we're in Morocco so we're gonna pay Moroccan prices! We get to the last place and negotiate 100Dh without salad and 2 cokes. Love the haggling, its part of the culture.
We sit down at the table and start enjoying some delicious and simply cooked fish. While jay washes his hands at the outside sink i noticed the guy in the open air kitchen drops a piece of bread on the floor and picks it up and puts it back. This is then served on our table! We correct this problem and they pretend nothing has happened.
We go into the medina, lonely planet guide in hand and and observe an explosion of tourists and locals in the ancient, tight streets. I havent seen this many tourists in a very long time! This also comes at a price, there's beggars and run-down animals everywhere. We wander around the tight mazes looking for accommodation. Some more intense haggling takes place and i sometimes interfere in my French and basic Arabic that i have picked up during the trip. A very interesting experience!
We look for a place called "Hotel Central" which is supposed to be very cheap, 50Dh/night (almost 4.50 euro). We find it in the tightest of alleyways and haggle with the owner, mohammed. We get it down to 80Dh (7.20euro/ 6quid) for 2 people on the top floor!
We leave our stuff upstairs and grab our professional cameras for a walkabout in the town. Once outside this slurry drunk Moroccan kid with a black and bleeding eye sways towards us. He is ridiculously intoxicated and takes a liking to Jay who after some attempts manages to get rid of him politely. This however makes him sway towards me and he puts his dirty arms around me. I react and push him away shouting "ne touchez pas!" in french meaning don't touch me! Since he is extremely gone i dont realise that the slight push accelerates his sway into a group of people.. he bumps one and smacks onto the floor violently. He still manages to look and point at me dazed.. Everyone ignores him and we continue to the harbour.
The moisture in the air is extreme and exaggerated by the big harbour lights. We stumble into an old friend of Jays called Brahim. After exchange of friendly words we continue to the harbour and find some great scenery. The smell though is overwhelming. This combined with the spookiness of the mist is quite imposing. We soon get drawn into the many interesting subjects to photograph and go deeper. Our presence attracts some young local kids attention. They are probably 8-10 years old and sniffing glue. Not far after another guy approaches us posing as the "guardien" once again.. I forget this is an easy excuse for people to make money here and he offers a small tour of the harbour after which he obviously asks for money. Annoyed we say this is not necessary and negotiate that 5Dh is more than enough.
We head back to the hotel to find that the super mini supermarket next to the hotel is closed. Earlier they had said they close at 4am! We get some 5l bottles nearby and head off to bed. No shower, dead tired!
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