Day 100, 101, 102 Chefchaouen to Tanger
22.08.2016 - 24.09.2016 28 °C
We recovered from yesterday's mountain climb up to the Medina of Chefchaouen.
It also was very hot so we were going to use time to plan out Paris, blog writing and quietly enjoy our last days of Morocco. Our Riad is lovely and a lot larger than the ones we had been in before and Chefchaouen's Medina is again very different to previous ones.
All the houses are painted blue. We spend some time walking the narrow streets that have all the usual shops, e.g. Carpets, clothes, pottery, perfumes, bed throws, blankets, clothing, bronze stuff etc. etc. The main square is tiny compared to the one in Marrakesh, far more touristy and no snake charmers. This town is one that the Moroccan tourists seem to frequent. We spend the hottest part of the day just chilling out in the Riad and being very lazy which everyone else seems to do.
The door to our Riad
We do some simple exploring and head in the up direction towards the start of the river. The Medina is on the side of the hill and instantly it has a look and feel as if you are in the Greek Islands like Santorini without the ocean.
We decide to take our days here easy with a one km walk up hill to the look out opposite the Medina. It starts from the river outlet and where they wash rugs in cold water.
The lookout is nice and away from the crowds so we just sit there and take in the moment. It's our 100th day so we reminisce of what we have done in that time and start to think about heading home and the things we want to do.
We then do a climb up to the back side of the town and get another lookout over the town and mountains. The area is strewn with rubbish and one thing we are getting tired of is how much rubbish there always is around the places we visit. If there is one thing that has disappointed us is how local people have disregard for trying to keep their area clean. Jen's big issue is the amount of stray cats that wander the street throughout Morocco.
On our way down we get invited for coffee by a fellow, who claims he is travelling to Australia for 6 weeks and just wants to chat to us, offering us tea. As we were a little parched from our hike and welcomed a cool place to sit down, we accept. He just happens to have a carpet shop. He is one of the most sophisticated salesmen we've encountered. He assures us we don't have to buy anything and just wants to chat with us. His stop is adorned with Aussie souvenirs and a tube of Vegemite (it looks old and unopened). First, whilst his English is good, he only learned from the television so can't read it and asks Jen to read a thank you note in his book from a traveller who bought rugs, saying how wonderful he was. The book just happens to be his delivery book with records of rugs he's shipped around the world, flipping through asking us to see all the glowing stories written by shoppers. We explained that we'd already bought our rug and our suitcases were full. We asked more about his Aussie plans, but we are confident the trip to Australia was a rouse and his testimonials of tourists just like us buying at least 4 rugs were fabricated. He was determined though to convince us that need to buy more as gifts. Having only backpacks was not an excuse as he will ship to where ever in the world. We resist his persuasive powers and we leave after 45 minutes, refreshed, we extricated ourselves fortunately with all our money.
It's our last night in Chefchaouen and we dine on the roof top over looking the square and the kasbah feeling very satisfied of our adventures in Morocco. It is a funny site to see so many large Eucalyptus trees growing.
Next day we planned to leave for Tanger in the afternoon so we did not need to rush. It gave me time to have a haircut Moroccan style and in the previous day had sussed out one that looked respectable. The guy is very funky and did a great job, very meticulous (even sterilising the blade by burning off alcohol) and all for the cost of $3.50.
This time it's a down hill walk to the bus station but our bus is an hour late. We are further delayed as we had to change our bus for some reason we don't understand and arrive in Tanger around 7 pm. People have warned us that it is not the greatest place and just a big port town for people to try and get across to Europe. The bus station is also a place we don't feel comfortable and after 2 taxi rides (cost of 230 Dirhams = $40.....very expensive) of about 20 km we get to our hotel 2 km from the airport. We have a flight at 6.30am next morning and enquire about getting to the airport next morning. We are told there is no shuttle bus and at 4.30 am you have to get a taxi for the cost of 150 MAD and you can't walk as its too dangerous! What the! So basically to travel say 22 km it has cost us around $50. Travel tip, don't go to Tanger.