Morocco - hard topic. The list of our potential holiday destinations is probably somewhere between Bangladesh, Pakistan and Armenia. The fact that we spent Christmas there is the result only of the fact that a friend wrote to us about Messengeer about cheap Wizz Air tickets. As we were queuing for a flight to Los Angeles, there was not much time for calculations. We bought tickets for a week's trip a few days after we return from a nearly 3-week tour of the west of the USA. It could not end well.
For two tickets (Saturday-Saturday) for direct flights Warsaw - Agadir with registered and additional hand luggage, we pay some 1600zł. Of course, our folding bikes fly in.
Morocco was written off before we left, and our expectations were limited to "just as it was not quite bad." We also planned to recover financially after returning from California, which was not cheap. How did it work out? Well, everything ended up completely different than planned and I'm not sure whether it's more in a positive or negative way.
Paragraph for people who only watch pictures.
- Morocco is cheap, but only for skilled tourists. For "ordinary" it is often more expensive than in Poland.
- The Moroccan mountains, and in particular Atlas, is an absolute goose for gravel and bicycles with tires larger than 28mm. SZTOOOS.
- The surroundings of the Atlas Mountains are such an intersection of Liguria, Tuscany and the Alps - excellent.
- I do not know if it is safe. In my opinion - generally it is, but there are also many areas where I would not even come close.
- In addition to large cities, people are incredibly nice, friendly and helpful.
- In big cities too, but they want money for it. If you do not plan to give them money, pray for the police to be nearby (which, fortunately, unlike our civilized country is sowing serious terror).
- I did not see that one country can be so liked and hated at the same time.
- If you're not a fan of cooked potatoes and carrots, you'll be hungry.
Will they kill us in Morocco?
I was in Egypt once, I promised myself that I would not go back there anymore. I was also in Turkey and it was also in a distant place among future potential goals. Morocco, however, is the first country in history, which I checked on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The total lack of time to prepare both substantive and logistical for this trip meant that I went to the "typical Jasia", dropping the organization on friends. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims that you can go to Morocco, but you have to be careful. This is an interesting variety after the United States, where everyone was paying attention to me ... for me.
"In the rest of the country, including in major cities and tourist resorts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends to be especially careful because of the terrorist threat. The main target of the attacks may be government buildings, religious buildings and tourist attractions.
In the desert areas, tourist routes and areas away from major cities, there is a threat of kidnapping and other forms of violence. Holidaymakers and humanitarian workers can also fall victim to them. Tourists going on trips to uninhabited areas are advised to use the services of licensed guides. "
"The last attack took place on 28 April 2011 in Marrakesh, 16 people were killed there"
Then I made a quick review of blogs (bloggers, despise you and your tips! - about this later) and hit as usual on the irreplaceable Kola Toczy, whose entry from Morocco is so good that I thought: "Maciek, you are going on holiday - you do not have to write about it anymore." So if you are looking for a guide, then I recommend "look into the competition". I look at the entry and feel like I was scrolling through myself: here's the link.
It is something like that. You go through the village marked with a sign saying: أردامن. You've seen the last man an hour ago - he liked goats. Nothing in front of you, nothing for you. Exactly as described in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs communication: areas away from major cities. An old Mercedes in a wagon leaves behind the bend - it mainly consists of rust and dust. In the middle of 6 bearded guys in their dressing gowns. You start to wonder how much sheep you are worth. Guests open the window, you are already improving your bangs to go out well in front of the cameras reading their official statement, somewhere in the mud hut. Guests start to smile at you and waving their hands greetings cheerfully. You feel like the LAST BAG.
If you want me to tell you if Morocco is safe, I will not do it. During our stay, we had very little - just one. It is some billion times less than a Moroccan visiting Poland. The Internet, in turn, in its opinions is divided into two camps: people who were in Morocco and think that people are przesympatyczni there, nice and friendly and those who will never go to these rapists, murderers and terrorists at the end of the world. I wanted to give some quotes from these reviews, but I thought that I would keep a certain level on the blog. If you want to damage your mental health, I invite you to any internet portal, any message related to Arabs, section: comments. I only remind you that cancer drugs have not yet been invented. It promised to be interesting ...
Nearly 2x more people die in Morocco than in Poland (per 1000 people) because of violence
... which is more or less the same as in Finland or Greece (source: WHO 2017)
Statistically, people live here less than two years shorter than in Poland.
From my point of view, it is rather safe, but I will not give myself a hand to cut it. You can read below about how it really is.
For sure it would also be a bit more comfortable for us, if not for the movie that circled the internet a few days before our departure, where the hijackers cut off the heads of two Scandinavian tourists. Unluckily, this is happening in the place where we plan trekking. Such incidents should not affect my assessment of safety, but the head does its job.
... on the other hand, a day later I hear that a speeding BMW fell into a bus stop full of people in the center of Warsaw at rush hour.
Jokes in the style of "do not lose your head"They accompany us already to the end of the trip. I would not let myself be cut off that they are elegant, but let me tear a little.
Will I save you in Morocco?
Morocco, a country in which GDP (per capita) is about 5 times lower than in Poland (na leaves it ranks between Ukraine and Belize). Larger by 130,000 km² and inhabited by 4.5 million people less. Country somewhere in the desert, in Africa, at the end of the world. We had to live like kings.
The prices will be in the post, but let me just say that if you are standard tourists (like us), it is not cheap. Poland is, however, great.
Prices in Morocco are often determined individually, based on the appearance.
We pay a lot for everything.
It's rather good?
6km taxi in Marrakech - 40 PLN.
Lunch in the city restaurant (main course) - 40 to 60 PLN.
A traditional dish in a random street pub on the streets of Marrakech - about PLN 30
A decent night in a rural agrotourism with breakfast - PLN 50-100 per person.
Renting a car from a power plant - dramatic 1500 - 2500 PLN per week
Gasoline - less than PLN 4 per liter.
Original clothes in shops, food in Kerfur, etc. - clearly more expensive than in our country.
but if you are a wake-up (or lucky guy), you can also eat a very good pizza hunted down in a pizzeria for PLN 4 or a wafer for 40g.
You can find a comparison of prices in Marrakech and Warsaw, e.g. here. It turns out that the prices of food are similar.
Do not look at our expenses, we are the worst tourists ever and generally:
This is an entry about how we did everything very badly. That Panda will never be back there again, and I'm counting down the days to collect the boys, gravele and go with the sleeping bag to the Atlas Mountains. (This will never happen! - Panda)
Is there a lease in Morocco?
I certainly do not ... he, he, he.
My homemade potato psychofan - rather yes.
I am unimaginably disappointed with the food in Morocco. As a classic ignorant, I counted a week of eating mutton kebabs and one hundred thousand grilled dishes. On the spot, I found couscous in one hundred thousand ways and tadzin in the way of thousands of eight: it differed mainly in the proportions of cooked meat, potatoes and vegetables. All of course served with a local roll.
If you are a fan of such institutions as Sanepid, National Labor Inspectorate, construction supervision, you will also be disappointed. Cutlery is rather rinsed than washed, a finger often serves as a knife on the street, and plates are a hypocritical invention.
In Morocco, we hear French more often than Arabic. It does not make a difference to us, because we both speak just as well. Thanks Wonderful years I can only ask in French do you want some butterand in Arabic, that Allah is great. Both turning is just as useful, although the first one is probably a bit more. If you plan to use Google Translate it's bad news, does not support he Moroccan Arabic version.
However, we do not have any problems with communication, because everyone who communicates with tourists, communicates well in English. Even among police officers patrolling in pairs, one usually speaks French, the other in English.
They are us, the most anticipated people in the world.
The airport in Agadir greets us very nicely. The first thing we see is three men equipped with rifles, who face us with a stone face to a building the size of our Tesco and the appearance of a more elegant mud hut. Then an hour in queues to men in the cabins, who ask the same questions that we answered a moment earlier in the forms, with two checks and we are free.
On a good day, I am caught by a man from Orange, who offers me the Internet - the blogger sensed probably from a distance. For 5 euros I get a 2GB card and 3 hours of local calls. SIMa installs me alone (along with Trojans that probably came back with me). This is an excellent country!
I have auto-taped the day before in economycarrentals, which I use anytime, anywhere (and here I am linking it with nothing). This is probably the most expensive loan in the history of our trips. For Fiat Doblo with a mileage of over 75000km, we pay, with full insurance, some PLN 2,500 per week! Somewhere I had to fight insurance, because it was supposed to be 1900 (and so obscenely much) His plus is that the guest issuing cars and marking all the places where he is crumpled, marks every element (because everyone is creased). Probably just a rollover would make Doblo lose value with us. In the world of Dacia and scooters, such Doblo is still luxury ... at least we thought so. One thing is certain: in this country, without full insurance, do not even get in. If the local one in you probably will not go, it is quite easy to pick up the mask of a scooter passing on the red.
According to Kolma Toczy, we all greet us from the first kilometers on the road. The horn greets me very often. When I slow down before the roundabout or intersection, when I get to move, instead of just driving on the road, when I stop seeing a man passing through a 3-strip road.
ABOUT LIVE, THERE'S ... THANK YOU, LET'S TELL HERE
Okay, let me put it straight: our first words after going out on the streets sounded like this: ABOUT JESUSKA NAZAREJSKI AND MARYJKO PRZENAJĘWIĘSSZA, WE WILL WASTE HERE. watched Homeland? Or maybe some other movie / series about the Middle East? It's hard to fight with prejudices. This "Homeland" was even partially shot in Morocco (season 3 and 6).
A visit to an Arab country is useful, if only for this reason,
that in a few minutes you can realize how our perception can create media ...
and how a man feels in the complete environment of another culture
But all in all, what about the fact that Homeland was partly also played in Pakistan or Afghanistan, which are separated from Agadir by about as much as Chicago or Seoul from Warsaw, since for us it all looks exactly the same.
Chaos on the street, houses that I know mainly from scenes in which the American democratic armies find the sixth most wanted terrorist in the world, and from the speakers some Imam sing Allah Akbar, because he is 14. They kill us here, then rape, blow up, kill again and finally convert to a kebab.
In road accidents, killed in 2016. in Morocco, 3,593 people,
In Poland, 2,993 people.
The atmosphere of horror is killed by people riding a donkey on a dual-lane road, groups riding on a trailer pulled by a donkey, cars in which there are as many people as the car normally drives + 50%, roof racks that hold 300% of the volume of the car under them and generally all people, because almost everyone is wearing a winter down jacket, and outside is well over 20 degrees.
Agadir like Costa Brava (only more)
We aim at typically tourist sleeping facilities. We land in apartments in Agadir Marina separated from the world by a barrier and military with rifles and finger held on the trigger: Bianca Beach Family & Resort. If you can describe a place in the area with words: posh, trends, jazzy, fancy etc., this is the place. On one side of the apartment we have a view of the city beach and promenade (something like a coastal Spanish city), on the other, the port for yachts surrounded by pubs (something like very small Cote d'Azur). Somewhere around there is even a red Ferrari. Nice, that's how I imagined a poor country in Africa ...
Bianca Beach Family & Resort (190 € / 6os / suite Executive Suite)
A dude comes to us with a melissa, says he will take our luggage so that we do not have to wear it and disappear with it. For the first time, we realize that, however, we are a little patrolling. This time, fortunately, it was actually a housing estate.
What is already in the eye for good morning is exceptional kindness and exaggerated, caricatural care. The guy from carrying the luggage, seeing that we are following him with the next suitcases, decides to run with those that he brings to get back to us before we reach the stairs. We would not needlessly get tired. A bit awkward.
My friend! You want something special?
The beach is large (at night even up to 2x larger) and footballers dominate on it. In December, there are few tourists, practically no one is sunbathing. From time to time, you will get a camel, but generally playing fields, footballers and a guest who runs for the ball after being kicked (because there are no nets). Promenada is a classic - pubs, shops, McDonalds, KFC and gentlemen from "Do you want something special my friend?", Trying to sell the growing marijuana around. By making good luck, you can even meet her on a walk not far from the city. One thing is different: if you think that in July, in Ustka, the promenade is crowded, you do not know anything! On the weekend afternoon the promenade looks like a sale Crocsów in Lidl.
We also drop in to the restaurant under the house. Such a rather ordinary, with tables overlooking the beach, but nevertheless ordinary. This is the first time we get life in the face. Hamburger PLN 40, Paella with seafood from PLN 70 per person, orange juice PLN 12, beer PLN 16. Fajno. We already know that we will spend another day somewhere else.
Do not get me wrong - it's not that it's bad. If you like to have a beaching and knajping, you will probably find yourself in this section of Agaridu (because you can visit the rest of the city while you are afraid). We are not very. So we count the local hill, at the top of which stands the ruins of Kasba (such a fortress) Agadir Oufella, from which we observe the setting sun and the moon emerging over the city and go to sleep. I do not think I've ever seen the sun disappear so quickly behind the horizon, and the moon was marching up the sky so fast. They move at least as fast as a cyclist from Pitta, who is observed from afar, during the Tatra Road Race. Hypnotized, we spend such a good half hour.
Paradise Valley, he he he
What to do in Agadir with a day off? Leave him. So we get on the bunkers and head to one of the most famous places in the area - Paradise Valley. Such a green oasis somewhere in the mountains, where the locals spend their afternoons, jumping from rocks to lakes.
I am seriously disappointed, because after a dozen or so minutes we discover that cycling is quite pleasant here. No wonder, next to fart Scooters and Dacia cars (and old Mercedes - taxis) the bike is the most popular means of transport here. The difference is one - no one rides on it normally. People sit sideways, twos (on the frame, on the steering wheel, on the trunk), triples, go slalom, but never normally. When we accept the fact that everybody goes by and we find a well-developed network of scooter-cycle paths, it is very good.
During the whole stay, none of us had a dangerous situation on the bike.
As far as red light is sometimes more advice here than a warrant, then the speed limit seems to be sacred. We did not see a man who would go fast. Again, we remind ourselves that we live in the jungle everyday. In Morocco, we did not observe anything like passing a man on the lanes. As a man wants to pass through belts, he passes, and cars pass him by this way. I do not know how it happens that it works, but it works. With time, it becomes even comfortable.
We go by two-lane along the sea, and then we reflect inland. Panda discomfort would be described as extremely high, because she is probably the only woman in shorts with a radius of at least several kilometers. Everyone is looking at us, but they generally have us in a pump. You can get used to it, because even when driving under the house, everyone behind the store is turning. The dress is a bit problematic here (especially that everyone in these plushies), and we try not to commit any serious faux pas, but no one paid any attention to us during the entire stay, we did not have any unpleasant situation with it, so Maybe we've added everything ourselves.
After about 40 minutes, we leave the last city and it is exactly as I was afraid. Asphalt is good, views too, because we are going along the river crossing the mountains, and the movement practically does not exist. From time to time, we pass a small village where children shout and wave at us, and adults greet us with a smile.
I'm stupid. Everyone is nice to us and they greet us, and I can not deny the belief that they will blow us up. Well, I should advise, since all my contact with such a culture is based on media, which depends on building a huddle, and hence - click-through rate. I was reminded of a Pakistani man whom I had once worked in Manchester, who could not quite understand why he was associated with any extremists. Just like myself, looking for work in Berlin and Holland several years ago, I did not know why they were taking me for a thief for good morning. Stereotypes and aggression guarantee click-through.
The side road to Paradise Valley allows us to become familiar with local folklore. Everything is different from what we were used to. There are also strange things for us, such as 3 ladies buried beneath burlamas who carry a large gas bottle, and a man walks happily behind them.
We arrive at the destination, but there are few of us. We have some time before our friends reach us in the car, which will serve as a storage for bicycles, so we go a little further. That's the best thing we've done that day. Behind the hill we see something that for us - cyclists, looks like a mirage. There is a small Stelvio in the place where there is a field on Google Maps. I have exaggerated this with a little bit, before us is a long, winding road that leads through a series of several serpents. We do not have an additional week, which we would probably spend on traveling this bunker, but fortunately, there is a friendly car that tosses us up. One day I would worry about it being unfair, but today it is very deep. We drive up the car, just to get down the bike.
There are no segments on Stravie, and roads are rarely described on the internet, but our measurements say something more than 800 meters on 11 kilometers!
Asphalt is quite covered with gravel, but at our speeds it does not bother you at all. This is definitely one of the most impressive ways I've seen in my life. As it turns out, there are a lot of them here. We look with envy at the surrounding slopes, which are cut by gravel and asphalt. This is the day we discover that:
Morocco is a gravel paradise
and the next days only reinforce us in this, because Atlas Mountains, to which we will go later - in short - they crush.
A list of several dozen of the highest roads in Morocco (> 2300m) can be found under this link.
We, however, go down deeply shocked to the purpose of our trip and walk further with the shoe. Paradise Valley is a good head, he he he ...
Do you associate a movie with a gypsy in the mud? It's more or less the atmosphere. Dirty, crowded, I do not know if it's nice. We enter, we look at how local homies check who has bigger cojones , jumping from higher and higher shelves and doing withdrawals.
I have the impression that Paradise Valley is an attraction for locals, not tourists. If you live in the desert, palm trees, a river, a lake, rocks and general greenery, can make an impression on you, but not necessarily for a resident of our rainy country.
We stand on the way in a bar on "Tajina". The pub is a strong term for a hut and a plastic table covered with oilcloth, which has the best years behind. We would like to enjoy tajain so much (not yet knowing that almost all cafeterias only give him or couscous) that we forget to ask about the price. For a plate with chicken and a boiled carrot (maybe also some other vegetable) with potatoes and orange juice for 4 people, we give about PLN 150. I say the plate, because as a part of the savings we get one tadżin vessel and 4 forks. And we pay 150 PLN, because the Lord has priced us on. However, you have to admit that the luxury is dispute, because the cook-waiter-owner rubbed a cloth before eating the oilcloth. The rag may have been used to wipe the floor before, but the gesture is after all. It was the moment when we discovered that in this country the price is ALWAYS BEFORE eating. Then of course we forget about it again.
We are conducting an interesting dialogue with you from tadżin:
- Oh, you're from Poland. You have some vodka
- Unfortunately not.
- How is it? It's Sunday
- Well, we do not have
- AAaaa, are you in the car? Bring me, I will buy back!
- Not every Pole goes with alcohol.
- Eeee, how is it?
This conversation does not find a happy ending.
In the evening, we go to the promenade, which on Sunday evening is stuffed with people completely and eat McFlurry, because it's always a good and sure choice. All this, however, with a slight disgust, because as soon as you put away the shake (a mandatory addition to the ice cream) on the table without the intention of completing it, you will see how a child gets it. Well, gentlemen, who at all costs are trying to sell us a bracelet, or at least a hash, follow us with long minutes and talking.
On Monday morning, not quite convinced of the rightness of choosing Morocco, as a place to spend Christmas, we set out for the Atlas Mountains. We had to ride bicycles, but it is
too far the road is too boring. So we get off the car with bunkers only on the vehicle under the Tizi n'Test pass. One of the most famous passes in the area, but also one of many available at a reasonable distance.
29 kilometers of driveway with an average of 4.5%
The road winds up the slope of the mountain up to a height of 2100 meters. Just like that, one car passes us every half hour and no riders. The views, although they are directed to the same page all the time, are very good.
On the way we pass cafes marked with a 2000m and 2100m plaque - a smart play. Man thinks he is at the top - he stops, and later turns out that the driveway is not over. Some of them have their best years behind and have been vacant.
A small place with food awaits us at the top. For PLN 40 per person, we get a salad, a substantial egg-pepper omelette and homemade cakes (apparently). We talk to the owner for a moment who is keenly interested in where we came from and where we are going, then with some of our colleagues and we move on.
It's probably one of the longest conventions in my life. Strava says something about 60 kilometers of continuous losing. We are going through the gorge again, this canyon. Something like Colorado, but a bit smaller. Asphalt slightly rough but sufficient. To feel at home, from time to time we miss a crater on the road where you can effectively lose your teeth. Snow-covered peaks in the distance add to the charm.
We drive through villages consisting of huts and car wrecks. As to some of them, we have doubts whether they are inhabited at all, but from time to time there is a laundry or a man walking somewhere ahead. Kids (at least those who do not lie laughing on the street, maybe seeing the Brompton people for the first time in their lives) shout and greet us. Id like to say that. When we get a break at school (and it's not difficult):
The laughter carousel does not cease to drive. Sometimes I'm afraid that one child, curling up on the ground, will burst out laughing ... oh wait.
Before dark, of course, we do not make it. It is Christmas Eve, we somewhere in the middle of the Atlas Mountains, we are battles in total darkness, broken only by a stream of light from the front lamp. Again we have this strange feeling that we are doing something weird. It does not matter much, the adventure is perfect.
† Here is also the saddest moment in a long time - through the sand, which for a long time was getting deeper and deeper into my camera - the device dies. I suspect that it will not be able to save him 4 times in 13 months, so let him rest in peace, and I start looking for a successor for the best compact I have ever had: Leiki D-Lux 109 †
Here is the last photo taken with this camera. A request for a minute break in reading towards his memory.
Ouirgane Ecolodge (50 € / 2os / day with breakfast)
Down Ouirgane Ecolodgein which we will spend the next three days we reach half an hour before dinner. Naturally, on the Christmas Eve table there is tadjin, the next day will be couscous, then again tadzin. Omlette breakfast, cake, bread and jams. Every day the same, but hungry people do not bother you until the mass of food agrees.
For an overnight stay at the Ouirgane Ecolodge with breakfast we pay 50 Euro per night per couple - it's a great money spent. We live in a complex of 2 houses, a garden with vegetables and herbs, a swimming pool, a tiny farm and a booth, which serves as a dining room. Everything, of course, surrounded by beautiful mountains and enveloped to such an extent that the cleaning lady folds our clothes every day scattered around the room. If I could sit and do nothing, I would be sitting there.
Tour of pathologists
On Tuesday, we hit Imlil. This is the main base in the area - so the route to the highest mountain in North Africa begins: Jabal Tubkal. We reach the car as far as we can, and then a little further - a gravelly, winding road, about one and a half car wide. I do not know what would have happened if there was something going in front of me, but I suspect that the railing is not there just to let the car stand out a little. Mijanki are very funny here at all, because both cars drive down a bit, so usually only one of them goes here, and the other one drives the middle, unmoved. As a tourist, I'm always the one on the side of the road. Unless the guest in front of him notices that I am a European tourist, then probably he will politely go.
The first stairs are about 10 meters from the park. Locals are standing in front of us. I read about it somewhere - they stand and say that without a guide you can not go to the mountains, and that's not true. The only problem is that this time it is probably true, because they are standing with the police. As it turns out later, everyone is actually moving along the trail with the guards of a local guide. This is the aftermath of recent events - girls who have lost their heads for this area. Their deaths are commemorated with the flags of Denmark and Norway posted in the last café in front of the trail. We pay about PLN 80 for the guide and spend the whole day with us. He is probably the most patient man I've ever seen in my life and he gets us some free tea along the way. His role is to just be with us until we find ourselves again at the car and sometimes throw a curiosity.
The guest says it's not money for him, but for the police - I believe him. He also mentions that if we were poor, he would go with us for free. But we are not (or at least we do not look like that despite Doblo, whom we have arrived), so it is not for free. He also mentions that his name is Robin Hood.
Yes, Robin Hood brings 8 (+2 children) of rich tourists to the unknown mountains surrounded by poverty. It sounds safe.
The problem is that the curiosity is dominated by the unfortunate trip of those girls. So he shows us where the terrorist camp was located, shows us the houses where the girls were killed and so on. We would have preferred him to do this BEFORE we start making funny selfiki in a Slavic crouch. It went a bit like the famous, youth trips to Auschwitz.
So besides, it's very nice. That's a bit of Nepal - I was not, but people who were, say yes. Along the way, some houses, a place to make a sacrifice of sheep, a stall with hats, a cafe, a kiosk, a mosque with an entrance ban for unbelievers and so on. The trail to the top is 5 hours to the shelter, and then another 3 hours - we fail to fit 16 hours with the sun in that era, so we only reach a tiny village with a chapel (I do not know if this is what the Muslims call it) and hand sellers caps made and we shoot ourselves photos at some vantage point. I think that defeating this route in full will land on my list of things to do in the near or distant future. On the internet they say that this is one of the easiest 4,000 (4167m)
Wednesday is again the day of the bike. Aware of their own limitations (of course imposed by composers), we abandon the idea of attacking the mountains and we build a slightly more realistic route - half the day. As usual, we leave immediately after breakfast, and we return after the setting sun. We did not expect what happened to us. At 110 km, there are 2000 overhangs.
I will say this: it is very, very good. But so very much. I do not know if the landscape has changed so many times during the 100 kilometer drive.
Maybe not necessarily on a super-light road, but I think that with 28mm tires you can already try, because asphalts are good, except where the gravel interrupts them a bit or litter lies on them - of course in the least expected moments.
The route looks somehow that we move as a standard slope of a hill, thanks to which we get a perfect view of the whole valley (and the lake we passed by bikes at night, so we only saw it on Google Maps). Then the isthmus between the mountains, then some villages at the end of the world, Amizmiz (whom somebody described on the Internet as one of the nicest in Morocco - I would like to meet him), fields and hills from Tuscany, where goats, sheep and camels can be found, then a slightly surprising 20 km driveway, during which we climb from 650 to 1350m, a plateau overlooking the snow-capped peaks and the exit to the house.
On the same route, you could easily make the whole entry, because we saw so many different things on it and we were met with so many adventures that writing is for a few thousand words. I must, unfortunately, temporarily close down, because next holidays are coming ;-)
A wanderer is going through the desert, he suddenly sees an oasis, and in it a well. Rejoicing
yells: "Water!". An Arab comes out of the well and asks: "Where?".
When driving, for example, we are in the store. It turns out that there are quite a lot of shops here, we just did not notice them. Look out for donkeys parked in front of them, because the food and chemical itself is the size of an average bathroom in the classic Polish M3. In almost every child we find a child who is buying something sweet for a few dozen cents. It has its charm, but our local shops with cookies baked somewhere close to the heels do not grow up.
The slowest Arab in the world.
In the town of Amizmiz, we pass through police control. They happen from time to time, but they only stop the locals, so we speed up to a good 20 km / h and pass it without blinking. Two minutes later a policeman who hacked over to us (hitchhike) approached us. Unfortunately, I do not think it's the one who speaks French, not English. He asks us who we are and where we are going. I have been asking this question myself for years, but I think it is a literal answer. He takes pictures of our evidence, asks where we live, which way we plan to go back, everything is OK and there are no problems and she calls a friend. He also gives us his phone number, if we have any problems, take the number from us and let go.
Soon a scooter appears behind us. It goes a bit strange, because it overpowers us on the hills, then it stops and lets it through, then it overtakes again - we think it can cool the engine or just admire the views. After another hour, another scooter changes it. He drives a good hour or two behind us. Now there is no doubt - a guest on herring. When you are bouncing up the folding uphill with an average of 11km / h, it's really easy to notice that someone is following you.
To illustrate this better, the last driveway on the route is nearly 20km - we overcome it in exactly 2 hours. On the way, of course, we are on photos, pee, we stop listening to the calling mosques, go somewhere in the side to take a picture - someone on the scooter is in sight all the time. On the one hand, it's a bit stressful for us, on the other - it does not make sense. We will not be in the wasteland any more (as it turns out later - of course we will). On the way, Kasia disappears from us, which friends take away by car (i they will not let her out at home, he he he), and Piotrek decides to fight KOM and he is a kilometer ahead of us (i.e. probably from 15 minutes;). Waiting for us with some kids at the end of the driveway, we join forces again, but the scooter does not disappear ... I think that if they kidnap us and kill it is still half of poverty, but if they kidnap us and someone will redeem us for the rest of my life I will hear at home: "I told you".
The tail is trying to get lost at the congress - we cover 7 kilometers with a dizzying average of 35 km / h. It almost works, because locals from the hills always drive with the engine off. The ecological ones are so-so cool, because as you normally hear about a bend that something is going ahead and you do not cut, everyone here is silent. We travel to Asni, which is the largest village in the area, and we commute to the police patrol - we plan to stop at it and ask what's going on. Patrols can be found in all major cities or tourist facilities.
Our plan fails, because the man on the scooter stops at the patrol. Later, he comes to us, smiles, waves and disappears. We overcome the last few kilometers in consternation, which disappears only late in the evening.
Circle 22 gives us a knock on the owner of the object. He says the police arrived and needs our passports. I give him evidence, but it does not last, I need passports. I think that we probably pee in some holy place and we will never leave here again. He takes photos of passports and returns in a moment. It turns out that the police came to make sure that we returned home safe and healthy and that everything is OK. A bit nice, a bit scary. Maybe they just did not agree to the lack of one person in the escorted group.
There are two possibilities: they are still looking for people associated with recent events, but they are very keen to show that they are trying to ensure security. During our stay in a mountainous outback, many people ask us if everything is good. I hope that I have not mistakenly answered our familiar question from Prague: "Do you have a problem, dude?"
In the morning we set out on our journey to Marrakech. I regret it terribly, because I would like to spend a few days in the Ecolodge - both chilled and ridden and just sitting.
that is, that Marrakech hurts
In Marrakech we reserve a classic riad - it's the equivalent of our tenement house. With 4 levels, in the middle of 2 patios, on the roof of two large terraces, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, some living rooms, paintings, decorations - a bit like in a fancy art gallery. The problem is just that the address from Airbnb does not indicate our accommodation, but the city itself, which we find painful. The city center is Medina, a thousand year old equivalent of our old town. Winding and incredibly narrow streets arranged in a maze surrounded by a wall. Entering a car in this place was probably not the smartest thing we've ever done in life, but as the navigation suggests, we go without asking.
Dar Nassima (110 € with breakfasts / 10 people)
Morocco is visited by over 10 million tourists annually,
Two million of them came to Marrakech
The plus is that in Marrakech, all the locals are incredibly nice. Everyone tries to help us even when we do not want to. We are stopped by a group of young locals - they explain that riding does not make sense and we can park here. They help us find a parking space, try to take the equivalent of PLN 100, but we have only PLN 40, so we pay for the possibility of parking for 2 days. We also dispose of the last cash we have at hand. The locals lead us exactly to the place we have marked on the map. Our accommodation is not there. They ask for a name and help us locate the correct location. They walk, ask, call - general confusion. A policeman in disguise joins us - the locals are leaving immediately. In Morocco, there is a creation created for us: tourist police.
Together, we come to the conclusion that it is definitely not here and we decide to go back to the car. Guests from the car park of course have long gone.
Marrakech: Paradise for lovers
Romantic corners like from "Tales from a Thousand and One Nights", oriental gardens perfect for a walk in two and aromatic dishes full of aphrodisiacs. It's Marrakech - the red city.
We get the correct address from the owner of our riad and we are moving on. I will say this: driving a car in Medina is probably the biggest hardcore one possible. It does not even mean that you have to squeeze between people, scooters and donkeys pulling stalls - the bigger problem is finding a trip. Google Mapsy does not help here. The street grid is so extensive, and the GPS range is so weak that our dot on the map moves by leaps and bounds. It does not matter anyway, because a large part of the streets is impassable due to its width, and the attempt to convert ends with fiasco.
The day we almost kidnapped us
Remember how I said everyone is super helpful? Well, they are. Again, we come across a group of young people who explains to us that we will not go any further because it is too narrow. They want to help us find a car park. The more we do not want it, the more they try to help. We turn back and wanting - not wanting - we have to follow one of them, which leads us running. He brings us to the parking lot, where we do not want to stand. We leave him, but a bit further we are in a place where one can not go, and we are surrounded by helpful people themselves. They ask us to pay for their invaluable help.
We would probably pay for the peace of the last breams, if not for the fact that we gave the last money to the valet. They surround the car and the atmosphere becomes a bit heavy. Because everyone is always nice, but only when they pay for it.
From that moment there is an avalanche of failures - everything that we do plunges the situation even further. We feel like in Hangover.
After about 20 minutes of discussion, in which the locals try to scare us and draw money, and we want to pay them, but we do not have what, there is a stalemate. In total, I am not surprised that they do not believe us, because as many as four tourists from Europe may not have even 5 euros with them.
In my wallet, I find 20 zlotys, of course I do not want such money (for whom zlotys), but they agree to escort us to the currency exchange office. We're following the scooter. I leave the car and go with them, but on the way it turns out that the 5euro has changed to 20. I am walking back to the car quickly and trying to escape immediately, but of course it only works in movies. Immediately a scooter appears in front of us, which blocks the road and we return to the deadlock. I am calling Piotrek, who drives a second car to drop a cash register. When the homies see this, they state that Piotrek will definitely come with the police, so they kindly disappear and show us that we are going. Unfortunately, not everyone. One of them stays. We are waiting, because another failed attempt to escape would be too much.
Piotrek comes with the owner of our restaurant, who talks with our personal hijacker for a while, but it does not have any effect. Probably something he would explain to us if he spoke English. We provide the equivalent of PLN 30 and the situation ends ... almost.
I would not be myself if I did not score photos with Piotrek on the left (on the left). The guest gets angry and terrified. He is convinced that this is a photo for the police. The police are afraid here. The visitor tries to give away money and yells for us to leave, but as not very reasonable tourists we say that we do not want this money.
We could probably leave by stopping the money, but nevertheless we want to have a neutral relationship with the local during a 2-day stay. I show that I remove the photograph, I return the tribute returned and we disappear.
We did everything wrong. You should not argue here, you should not show in any way that you are taking help, do not move without small cash and do not do many other things that we did.
From then on, we avoid any contact with people in Marrakech. Regardless of whether they want to help us sincerely, or just to ask for money later - and rightly so. This is one of those cities where you have to watch all the time. Even in Carrefour (in which prices resemble Kerfur French + delivery cost to Africa), the man who immediately begins to pack our shopping in the net (in a Carrefour shirt, so that there is no doubt), does not want to let us leave the store without paying a fee in packaging. On the way, of course, there is also a taxi driver who wants to give us a ride home and a guest with a donkey who wants to help with carrying the nets.
I do not like places where you should be focused all the time, and everyone wants to get money from you. Even to the child who tosses your tissues under your feet, you raise them from habit and it turns out that you just bought them.
A wonderful Medina.
Marrakech is an amazing city, and after telling the truth, Medina is the most beautiful, old one! The surrounding walls were made not of bricks but of stones, sand, clay etc. and are still standing today! Narrow and narrow streets, here and there are so narrow that only a man can go there, is not it beautiful? Well, yes, it's beautiful !!! And what colors everything is painted, I'm in awe !!!
Shop at the shop, goods - whatever you want. Great and colorful spices beautifully exposed, until you want to buy them and taste first! The most beautiful stands are with ceramic and metal products, textiles and of course - jewelry! I could not pass indifferently the jewelry and I bought something for myself. From friends I got a lantern made of metal and colored glass, beautiful, and when I lit a candle in it, it became wonderful. I have not written about scents, feel them everywhere, there are aromas, natural aromas, ie fish, meat, vegetables, etc. and unpleasant. For shopping, please go with friends or a Moroccan guide, bargaining is a pleasure, that is, the sellers like it. I'll be back here again !!!!
Serce_13 I will find you just like any blogger who wrote about the beauty of Medina! I believe that it may be liked. I take it a bit as if I saw a guesthouse review in the style of: "A bit chilly - in the morning I had to ice the face. For dinner, I hunted the cat with a blunt fork, and for lack of water I drank my own urine. I definitely recommend, Bear Grills. "
It's good that our hut in the center of this chaos was very cool and relatively cheap:
Initially, I was even happy at Marrakech. I thought that I would be like those bloggers who walk in narrow streets and take pictures of local colors. Only at some point I realized that I am like a European tourist (so rich), walking among extreme poverty and chaos, only to look at them and take pictures. A bit unhealthy. I am not surprised by lokalsom, because if I came to look at poverty, why should they not look at me like money?
This is of course my opinion - Instagram under the hashtag #Marrakesh is full of delighted girls buying local products or posing with Bediun and a monkey kept all day long on a short chain.
We find nothing that could be described as "to visit necessarily. It is worth to dedicate to the city itself that it has three afternoon hours, but more in the context of "see how bad it is".
As part of the strike, we spend part of the afternoons in the shopping gallery, where clothes are more expensive than in Poland, and we drink coffee in Starbucks. The annoying feeling that everyone will try to rip us off does not give way to what our entire positive perception of Morocco is slightly destroyed.
The city has its own specific atmosphere. Streets jammed with tourists and traders, between which noise scooters pass. Stink reminiscent of Rybnik, but feel that the smog is fresh - straight from the pipes of vehicles that have the best times hundreds of thousands of kilometers ago. Gardens hidden on patios, to which all this noise does not reach (payable for tens of zlotys) is also hard to appreciate a man from a country where not so long ago, everyone had their own garden. Even the fact that such a garden is made of a thousand-year-old hydraulic installation that transports water from several dozen kilometers away from mountains, does not arouse the admiration it deserves in me.
Only our belief that we are not urban tourists is confirmed.
Morocco instead of Canary Islands? Why?!
There are one hundred thousand reasons why instead of Morocco, you should go for one Gran Canaria, whether Tenerifebut the reverse? For several days it was difficult for me to find a reasonable explanation for such an idea.
It seems to me that the best will be: If after reading this post, you are sure you want to visit Morocco - go. If in doubt, stick to proven directions. For me, mountainous rural areas were a great escape from what I see normally, cities in turn were a huge mistake. When I am asked today, I know that I would prefer to return to Morocco with a gravel, rather than pounding again, with dozens of other cyclists Pico de las Nieves or Teide. But that's me, I'm weird. Panda to Morocco will probably never come back. Women perceive this country differently. I probably would feel more confident going there without her.
Finally, I would just like to add that the text, when I wrote it, was definitely positive. It's hard to speak about the whole country when you saw two cities and a mountain range, but I know that I will return to the Atlas Mountains with a bicycle equipped with 32mm tires. The problem is that after the adventures in Marrakech, Panda's opinion is completely different, and as a concealer, she has the last word here.