Morocco Part 211:58
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 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!
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!!