Morocco would be really nice, if there were no Moroccans there
I know I’m a little harsh, but it’s true. I don’t understand how people can not care about theirs country. Garbage and horrible smell is a part of every place there.
This time my mind set for Morocco was very exciting. I couldn’t wait to meet those people as I was under impression that people that have less are also more willing to share. I was wrong on so many levels.
Right way from the boarder the extortions started. For filling stupid for dude wanted 10 euros from me. Then another one that took me to police station wanted money for walking with me upstairs. They just seem to wait as you open your wallet. Some even wanted money just for smiling to you. This way you start to reject any help from them and then it gets better, but it’s not the end.
Before you buy anything, check the prices and always negotiate. Bread costs from 1,5 to 2 dirhams. But when you don’t know it they would sell it to you for 15 or even more. Same thing is with parking. When you negotiate and you are happy with the result you are probably still overcharged by 50%.
When joint in my front wheel broke I thought that it’s the best place for this kind of thing, if there could be a good place for any break. One guy from Belgium sad that repairs in Morocco are really cheap and the know Toyota very well. Reality was much different. Fortunately for me I was still with Matt. But he was supposed to take a plane back to Spain from Casablanca. We found a mechanic that said that his friend has the part I need in Casablanca, so he will drive there the next day and bring it. On his way he will take Matt and the part was supposed to cost 100 euros, so not too bad, comparing to 150 euros in Poland. It seems like Moroccans take saying „time is money” a little too serious, as 4 hours later guy calls me and says that the price is 500 euros. I called friends in Poland to check a genuine part cost and it was more or less the same, so I agreed. So you could imagine how surprised I was when it turned out that the part is not new, it’s scratched like hell, with wholes, wrong diameter and length. But still guys says it’s perfect. It was another level of „full of shit” for me. I didn’t want that thing inside my car, especially for that kind of money. So I just disconnected front drive and with differential lock, I continued my journey.
There is a good side of this story. Mechanic was just by a restaurant. We tried a tagin there. It’s a traditional dish in Morocco. It’s a ceramic plate, that you cook on grill. Inside you have meat and vegetables. As it’s closed everything inside is boiled. I’m not a fan of boiled food and for now it will stay that way. In the evening we opened a bottle of whisky and decided to try something else. So brochettes was out second try. It’s basically grilled meat on the stick. It was really nice with some spices and salt. When waiter noticed the whisky, he asked for some for his boss (patron). Couple minutes later he comes back with another peace of meat with salad for us. The next day I got full lunch with salad and drink for free, so I was really pleasantly surprised.
My good mood last as long as I came to Casablanca and so my first Moroccan beach. It look like miners blocked Warsaw, maybe just without burning tires. But still I preferred to keep my distance.
Kevin, Sweden traveler, who I met on a campsite in El Jadida, shared my opinion. He was travelling Marocco on a bike and decided to join me for a while, as he didn’t feel save with traffic there. I have a pretty good idea why. Let’s just say, that my car is quite huge and visible, so other drivers prefere no to meet my steel bumper.
We joined forces and drove to Essaouira together. On our way we drove through some festival. 5 or 6 kilometers of old tents, horses, poo, crowds and insecurity. It was like hell rised to the earth. We both were out of our comfort zones. They would wash the hourses in sea just couple meters from the place where children were playing. One horse hit the car. And the smell bit every bad smell of Marocco I felt before. This couple kilometers felt like ages, but it finally ended so we could continue.
Essaouira and Dakhla are two most famous spots out there. Dakhla is supposed to be better, but thousand kilometers through the desert didn’t make so excited, so I decided to skip that one.
I don’t want to repeat myself, but garbage was everywhere and it took over any other feeling of the place. Wind was good so I kitesurf a little bit. But once again UFO (Unknown Floating Object) destroyed the moment. Even entering the beach was not a pleasant feeling. Camel poo is not a thing you want to walk bare foot on. And of course Moroccans trying to sell you any kind of shit they could.
I convinced Kevin that he should try kitesurfing. I gave him two or three lessons and he was doing great progress. There will be a kitesurfer out of him.
Kevin’s travel guide said that there are really nice people in middle Atlas. Plus nice waterfall- Ouziud. So we decided to give Moroccans one more chance and see how it’s out there. Marrakech was on the way. Stopping there was not the best idea. We wanted to see dancing cobras. But their owners were the worst of them all. Agressive, greedy and offensive. They were not asking for money. When we just closed on the circle with cobras they would come to us and expect money. Kevin was holding a phone in his hand. Guy thought that he took a picture, so he grabbed him, told him to give him money or delete a photo. Then he tried to take his phone. Hundreds of people out there and situation like this happen. What’s wrong with them? And they were sober as they don’t drink... usually.
So we didn’t stay there long and left asap for the famous waterfall. Even the road there was exciting. Driving on the edge of the cliff, driving through crappy bridges that you don’t know if they hold the 3 tons of the car. Now it’s time to find a campsite. Even though it was already dark, city was like in a middle of the day. A lot of people, fortunately less aggressive than in Marrakech. But once again same story. Guy tried to sell as a place on a campsite with shower. Ok, show me. Yes, there was a shower, he just forgot to mention that it was not working and that to get to it you have to get through a swamp. Guide said there are nicer places at the top of the city. And it was right. There was one of the nicest campsite ever there, with style, internet and great views. Run by Dutch couple, no wonder, it was clean there and Moroccan’s haven’t even heard about cleaning.
Next day was waterfall sight seeing that looked like „Mad Max” or „Water World”. There were wild monkeys and it looked like slums of Rio de Janeiro, with good food. Food was really good. I had chicken brochetas. Just one rule, don’t look how they prepare it or even try to be concern with hygien.
Atlas is beautiful and views are astonishing. Just take a deep breath before entering the cities. Or don’t enter them at all.
Two things got me wonder in Marocco. First is why half of buildings are finished and the other half is without windows, doors and empty. Sometime it looked like we were going through ghost cities.
Another thing is Big Mac Index. And yes, it is a real thing. „The Economist” did a study on wealth of the countries. As a tool for estimating the wealth they used a Big Mac hamburger price in each country in relation to the price in USA. Marocco is not officially listed in that study, but I could easily to one on my own. So prices were over twice that the one in Poland and also higher than in France or Spain. So it would mean that it a rich country as people could afford the burgers. So WTF? On one side people are poor, beg, drive bikes or 40 year old Mercedes. And on the other hand it’s not so cheap there and country seems to be richer than Poland. And still it’s a third world country.
But back to the trip. Kevin stayed for some biking in middle Atlas and I went back to Tarifa. I’ve been in Marocco and I have no plans for coming back. And even if, I would go straight off road into desert.