Travel

getting out of our comfort zones

By on September 28, 2016

After a 3 hour bus ride, a long walk, and a ferry ride we arrived in Tangiers, Morocco.  Much to the chagrin of the older people in the group, we went for a tour around town(on foot).

I took out some Moroccan dirhams from the bank machine. 2000 of them actually. Yes, in case you’re wondering I’m rich.  Or at least it feels like it.

2000 MAD is 279 CAD and doesn't last very long. I felt rich for 5 minutes. A beer is 60 MAD.

2000 MAD is 279 CAD and doesn’t last very long. I felt rich for 5 minutes. A beer is 60 MAD.

We finished our tour and got into our bus. Somehow Tom and I managed the back seat. The thing about the back is it is cramped, has no air and no windows. Good thing it was only for 4 hours. Apparently we went through the Rif mountains.

Chefchouan

We arrived in chefchouan. This is a blue village high in the Rif mountains. Our room was on the 5th floor and there is no elevator. After spending the day in that bus we were happy to get some exercise. The reward-our room had a living area and a bedroom! Everyone else said their rooms were the smallest of the trip. Karma.

The blue is left over from when the Jews fled Spain in 1492. Apparently the locals think it keeps the flies away. I want bothered by them so....

The blue is left over from when the Jews fled Spain in 1492. Apparently the locals think it keeps the flies away. I wasn’t bothered by them so….

This is the first country I have no idea how to say hello, thank you or no thanks. We have definitely left Europe and are now in Africa.

Fes

We had to leave early for our trip to Fes. Back in the shitty bus for the entire day. After a 4 hour bus ride, we made it to our lunch stop. This is where the older people on the tour revolted. They did not want to continue touring for the day and decided to leave the tour and head directly to the hotel. This worked out well as we were able to really enjoy the tour of Meknes.

More Roman ruins. Not as spectacular as Pompeii and more hot.

More Roman ruins. Not as spectacular as Pompeii and more hot.

The big event in Fes was hitting the medina. This is the huge area of shops. I was prepared for it to be extremely stinky and crowded and dirty. It was not bad on any of those things.

This is the medina. There are 9000 alleyways designed to get you lost. We stuck with our guide.

This is the medina. There are 9000 alleyways designed to get you lost. We stuck with our guide.

We walked in to the food section. First thing we saw was this camel head hanging. So that was a shock. Then the head of a shark. Ok, that area of the market was stinky.

Yes. That's the head of a camel. They hang it at the front of the shop to say they sell camel meat there. I guess just a sign that says "camel meat available here" does not work. ?

Yes. That’s the head of a camel. They hang it at the front of the shop to say they sell camel meat there. I guess just a sign that says “camel meat available here” does not work. ?

The only way to get things in the market is by donkey as the roads are all very narrow. So every once in a while someone from behind you yells “BARAC” and you must squeeze yourself up against the wall and let the donkey through.

Donkeys are serious business here in Africa. None of them look very stubborn either.

Donkeys are serious business here in Africa. None of them look very stubborn either.

We toured the ceramics place, the copper place, the textiles place and the tannery. All of the items in the market are made by artisans and they also live in the area for many generations. I bought a leather bag and the good news is I can take the smell of the tannery with me now for the rest of the trip.

Sometimes in Africa in the medina they want to wrap you up in a scarf. It was hot and I had a hard time voicing my displeasure because he put that scarf over my mouth.

Sometimes in Africa in the medina they want to wrap you up in a scarf. It was hot and I had a hard time voicing my displeasure because he put that scarf over my mouth.

You must barter for your items in the medina and it’s not as much fun as it sounds. When you purchase something the guy is mad at you and you are mad at him. No one feels like they got a good deal.

You are lucky you cannot smell this picture. They use pigeon shit to make the dyes work in the tannery. So yeah, that shit stinks.

You are lucky you cannot smell this picture. They use pigeon shit to make the dyes work in the tannery. So yeah, that shit stinks.

We stopped for a prickly pear. This is the fruit of the cactus and is delicious. And only cost 1 MAD.

We stopped for a prickly pear. This is the fruit of the cactus and is delicious. And only cost 1 MAD.

Tom found some avocado milk. Adventurous!!

Tom found some avocado milk. Adventurous!!

We went to a dinner and show organized by the tour. We showed up and it was full of other tour groups and the show was terrible. We watched them bring old guy after old guy on stage to practice belly dancing. Ya, real authentic experience. Oh, well, everything can’t be excellent.

Train ride to Casablana for a day then wrapping up in Marakech.

Super Side notes

Dudleys old man’ness’ charm has worn off completely.

Someone exclaimed ‘we like to be in control of our own holiday’, while on a group tour with a detailed itinerary.

We started a side bet on how long it would take Jean to ask what something is after it was explained in detail.

Salim malikam is hello

Chakran is thank you.

Yalla is lets go already.

Boom. Arabic language unlocked

TAG
10 Comments
  1. Reply

    Mom

    September 28, 2016

    Well this is certainly an interesting leg in your journey. Thanks for sharing your adventures. If you have to wear a scarf, are you allowed to wear your bathing suit? Chuckled at your side notes.

  2. Reply

    gtk

    September 28, 2016

    Scarf suits you well! Good luck on your next adventure and good luck not murdering your tour buddies! Xoxo

    • Reply

      Kerri

      September 28, 2016

      I need the luck!!

  3. Reply

    Aunty Sheryl

    September 28, 2016

    Great recap as always Kerri – smiles, giggles and omg’s all around – also sounds like you’ve about had it ? with “some members” of your tour group ???? – #justsaying ?

    • Reply

      Kerri

      September 28, 2016

      Oh auntie. You have no idea! ?

  4. Reply

    Michelle DeBay

    September 28, 2016

    Hi Kerri (and Tom)
    Glad you are having lots of adventures and finding time to keep us all updated! Camel meat does not seem like something I would ever try…even after several shots of tequila!!

    • Reply

      Kerri

      September 28, 2016

      I wish tequila! There is barely alcohol here at all!!

  5. Reply

    Mary

    September 28, 2016

    Hi Kerri! I looked forward to to your updates everyday!

  6. Reply

    Beck

    September 29, 2016

    Such an interesting read and amazing pictures!!! Love the scarf look too Lol!

  7. Reply

    Karen Olson

    September 30, 2016

    Love your travel updates and pictures! I think I’ll take Morocco off my list.

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