Snake charmer

Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Our final breakfast of Moroccan pancakes this morning and they were delicious. We eat them leisurely and then go and get our bag. The other riads we stayed in have been more than accomodating and extremely friendly - here there has been no real communication.  John and I wander around for a good fifteen to twenty minutes, calling out hello in the courtyard trying to get someones attention so that we can find out where we can leave our luggage for the day - because we don't want to attempt dragging it round Marrakech with us.  We didn't want to just leave it there because there was no indication that we could actually leave it there and we were also concerned about coming back later and noone answering the door to us.

In the end we decide that there is no choice but to go to the airport and hope that there is somewhere to store our luggage there for the day - so this is what we do.  We find our way through the souks and out onto the main square where we stop a taxi and negotiate a price to the aiport.  When we arrive at the airport we find that there is nowhere to leave the luggage, so we sit down to have a drink and discuss our options - obviously staying at the airport for the day was definitely not an option, so we decide that we will go and hire a car for the day, that way we could chuck our luggage in the boot and drive round and see a bit more of the surrounding area - this mission fails because noone seems to have any available cars - our last try was at the Europcar desk, who also don't have any cars for us to hire. The man asks us why we only want a car for the day and we explain our predicament to him - the words "you don't want to hire a car for the day just for that, leave it here and go off into Marrakech - no charge, I don't like seeing visitors stuck"  was music to our ears!!!  We give our luggage to him, he stores it in his kiosk with him and we go to negotiate a price with a taxi driver to take us back into Marrakech.

Sadly this took up a precious amount of time and by the time we arrive back in Marrakech a number of hours have gone by.  We try to get into the palace to have a look round, but we are told that it is closed, so we wander around and finally end up back at the square, where we managed to get into some bother with a snake charmer.  This snake charmer comes up to John and John stops - big mistake, the next he has a snake wrapped round his shoulder and the man is seemingly refusing to take it off until we take a photo - which of course he will want us to pay for -  John asks him how much money to take a photo and the bloke says "whatever you want" - yeah right!!!  We tell him we only have 10 dirhams on us at that moment, he seems to acknowledge this, John asks me to take a photo so the man takes the damn snake back, so I do, we give him the 10 dirhams and then he gets angry with us and starts demanding "at least 50 dirhams, at least 50 dirhams" we tell him we have no more and he's still refusing to take the snake back - it's very unlike me, but I didn't like his manner, so I told him "we told you beforehand we only had 10 dirahms, thats all we've got, take it or leave it, its tough" - he then begrudingly takes the snake off of John -  you learn in the square that "pay whatever you want" never really means that.

Anyway, so we're snake free and we decide it would be entirely rude to leave Marrakech without having another tagine - so we find somewhere serving tagines and enjoy our final taste of this exquisite cuisine.

We try again to get into the palace as we thought it might have closed for lunch, but no, still closed, so we had to give up on that idea and went for ice cream instead!!  

We were both really tired and aching from the horse riding yesterday, so we just sat on a bench and watched the world go by for a while and before we knew it, it was time to head back to the airport - we retrieved our luggage from the man at the Europcar desk and checked in to return home.

Morocco is a fascinating place - there is so much more I want to see here, we will definitely be returning.  The atlas mountains, a berber tent in the desert and so much more awaits for another time.
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nixsboys on

Great Stuff
Hi Paula, Loved reading your blog. Thinking of going in November and your descriptions just want to make me get on the plane straight away!

travelmonster on

It is a truly fascinating place - definitely go if you get a chance!!

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