Morocco Part 2


So, when I left you yesterday, I was talking about making plans with a local for breakfast, tours and camel rides. Well, let me tell you how this happened...

Despite our new-found knowledge of guides and being ripped off, we still somehow found ourselves being convinced and led off by a guide! We left our hotel in the evening in search of some Moroccan food to fill our bellies before sleeping it off and were pounced on by Abdul, he was like a stalking predator and jumped on us like prey. He won us over with a tale about how he worked in our hotel and had seen us arrive that morning, he even chucked in the detail of seeing us arrive with a guide, just for extra measures to get us on his side and trusting him!
At first, we gently declined, as we'd been doing all day, but I accidentally let it slip that I was dying to ride a camel and before we knew it, we were being led down narrow, dark back alleys, which funnily enough had NOTHING to do with camels at all! Instead he took us to a market which we'd already visited and showed us round some dodgy looking streets whilst casually teasing us with promises of camel rides from time to time and before we knew it, a thick, blanket of darkness had engulfed the city.

Eventually he revealed all and said if we meet him tomorrow for breakfast at a cafe then he'll take us to go on a camel ride along the desert and up into the mountains! We stared in dreamy amazement, we were sold! Strange how the promise of cute animals can cause you to let down your guard straight away! With a cheery smile, we said our goodbyes and agreed to meet him the next day at 11am. Almost straight after our departing, Ian turned to me and informed me of how he had definitely been lying all along that he worked in the hotel! At the beginning he said he was working there that evening at 9:30pm but by the time he dropped us back off there, it was way past that time and he walked off in the opposite direction. I hadn't clicked at all. This realization led us to question his authenticity; if he didn't work at the hotel, how did he know that we'd arrived that morning with a guide?!...He'd been spying on us!

After the days adventures, we curled up in bed and discussed our plans for the next day; could we still trust him? I had all sorts of visions running through my head! In the end we decided to ask at the hotel reception for 'official' camel rides, we figured that it's much better to be on the safe side. Better safe than sorry and all that! 11am came and went and we groggily hid lazed in our room until we felt the coast was clear. Then we went down to the reception and asked the concierge for details of camel rides, he ran off outside to the taxi rank opposite the building, which drew my attention to notice ABDUL stood outside, waiting for us!!! I freaked out!

You could see the two men chatting, obviously about us and our failed arrangements, then we were signaled to come over. My face must have conveyed my fear because he reassured me that everything was going to be OK...which was slightly embarrassing.
We lied through our teeth that we had tried so hard to find him that morning but we just couldn't quite find the right cafe and we were just so happy and glad that we'd eventually found him! He awkwardly waved for us to follow him as I'm sure he sensed our lies. The next thing we were in a taxi which felt approximately  9000 yrs old. Yey.

Admittedly we drove passed some gorgeous places and were encouraged to get out and take pictures.

We were told that this is the oldest lighthouse in Africa. I missed the shot of the actual lighthouse but you can imagine it in the top, right corner.

Despite Abdul and the taxi driver's kind and lovely behavior, it was still slightly unnerving not having a clue what they were talking about when they spoke to each other! They easily could have been planning our murder whilst we merrily admired the beautiful view.

All fears vanished when we saw the camels!

We bartered a price with the camel owner then raced down the steps to meet the camels on the beach...not the desert which was initially described but to be honest I would prefer a beach any day!

The camel owner was amazing! He took my camera whilst we were on the camels and took about 43985642 pictures of us, all whilst singing various English songs and shouting random words such as "OH MY GOD" and "SHIT" I laughed my head off the whole time, it was hilarious and such a great experience! After walking along the beach, we turned round and walked up a little hill to get back to the car...which I guess was supposed to be the "mountain" that was initially promised! Haha, you've just got to laugh!

The ginormous 'mountain'!

After our ride, we traveled back to the city center and were then 'spontaneously' (we were assured) taken to a range of shops where we were given a tour and explanation of their products on was as if they were told to prepare something beforehand and were expecting our arrival....hmmm I wonder if Abdul knows anything about that!! Haaa

At the spice shop where we bought a remedy for migraines, tea, 'magic' lipstick which goes on green and turns red dependent on your temperature and Moroccan, argon oil.

Next we were taken to a rug shop where we were shown every rug imaginable and served delicious, sweet, mint tea. Even though we didn't want a rug, we felt compelled to buy something after their hospitality so settled for 2 cushion cases.
Oh the joys of being such a nice human being!!

Finally, we were left at a restaurant which Abdul would not stop going on about, they ushered us upstairs and told us what we were having, no questions asked. We admired the amazing decor whilst our food was prepared.

Then food was served. This is the 1st course; what I can describe as a rich soup served with olives, lentils in a tangy sauce, freshly baked bread, artichoke dip, beetroot salsa and some sort of pickled vegetables. 

Next we had a sort of spicy chicken samosa, seasoned with a thorough dusting of icing sugar and cinnamon, with a side order of lettuce. It was delicious!

Then Abdul came up to join us and just kind of awkwardly sat there whilst we chewed our food in silence wondering what he was doing, before he eventually got straight to the point and demanded money. To be honest, it kind of spoiled the meal, it was such a nice, relaxed atmosphere and delicious food and after offering him the equivalent of about 30 euros, he got quite persistent and we were forced to pay him more which I found a bit intimidating and scary. It put me right off my food....
Until this was served...then my appetite miraculously came back in a vengeance.

Chicken tagine and couscous with oranges and strawberries for dessert.

Although we noticed how at first, when Abdul was still about, they served the food course by course with extra care and then after he left, everything was just plonked and slat on the table here there and everywhere and we were forgotten about.
When we'd finished, we walked downstairs and I got a henna tattoo done by a girl who worked there.

I was a bit nervous about the fact that she didn't even consult me on the pattern, size or even on what part of my body I wanted it before she dived straight in!

She sprinkled it with glitter at the end which made it look really pretty...but was a bit pointless because it had all come off by the time I left the place haha!

Then came the payment. Bearing in mind that he'd already told us it'd be 13 euros all together, we didn't expect it to be much more with the tattoo added on. Well, we were wrong, they profusely insisted that it was 13 euros each, which to us sounds reasonable but in Morocco prices are so much cheaper but they can't resist but try to rip-off tourists and due to us both being on the rather poor side right now, we had been looking forward to the dirt-cheap prices, only to find ourselves being ripped off left, right and center. In the end we just paid them the extravagant price, which we both instantly regretted.

After another whizz round the markets the next morning for last minute souvenirs and presents, we made our way to the ferry port....long story short, our ferry was delayed for 12hrs due to the rough sea, throw in the delightful sound of every person within a 20 meter proximity throwing up violently and being rocked around like a pin-ball, it was a GREAT journey back! We arrived back to Spain at about 3am in a terrential down pour and had to get a taxi back to the apartment...say hello again to European prices!!

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