The Madness of Marrakesh – Where We Become Rubbish Tourists
I could write a novel on our first 3 days in Marrakesh but after you read about the sights, smells, souks, and food, you would be no wiser than if you read Trip Advisor. So I will write about us for 3 reasons.
1. Trip Advisor will be more accurate
2. Nothing I could say would be as good as coming here
3. You are reading this blog to hear about us. Even if we are "rubbish tourists"
The arrival. The first person to be insulted was Tony. Our pre-arranged ride to the riad did not seem to be there. It turns out the Mustafa was looking for an Italian called DeLorenzo. Tony was obviously not Italian as he was 1 - Too fat and 2 - Too pale. Clearly Tony was a pom and so it took Mustafa a while to realise he was there to get us.
Lesson 1. Marrakesh resident have a sense of humour like kiwi's
As we were in the old part of town where cars are not allowed (yeah right!) we walked through what looked like a slum filled with undesirables who would kill us and sell out kidneies on the black market. Our host Olivier seemed unperturbed so we followed.
Lesson 2. In spite of appearances the old city is really safe.
Our rooms are great, blah blah blah. Just see http://www.riadaloes.com/ Their photos are better than my words.
Day one. We headed out to get and change some money. A quick skirt of the souks so early in the day meant we were not yapped at by pushy store holders and made good time. Laden with cash we went wondering around outside the big mosque and a helpful local told us some info then offered to help us find our way to the market. He took as along a boring main road and when he tried to push us towards were we had come from Tony had enough and told him in no uncertain terms to leave us alone (the exact words were "no"). He went mental and started yelling at us "I believe you are rubbish tourists!" as he stormed off. To prove him wrong we then attempted to cross the road by ourselves and were all nearly run over by a taxi, bus, donkey, scooter and a mo-ped in that order. Rubbish indeed!
We then hit the souks after lunch for more insults as we refused to buy things or even enter the stalls. The fantastic sense of direction that Debra and Tony have eventually saw us emerge from the maze of streets and alleys onto the road where our riad was. Tony did give the game away though by yelling "We made it! I'm alive!" and then kissed a donkey. Who promptly said it was a rubbish kiss and stormed off.
A great thing about the riad is that as it is essentially private we can drink beer after a siesta. This is done every day.
Day 2 is a bit of a bur. There was shopping, arranging a horse tour for the next day, sleep, beer, and the main market at night, where Miranda was molested by a monkey and had to pay for privilege. I won't begin to say all we saw and did. Even the most mundane things take on a surreal feeling of awe. It is all beautiful, different, and more than just a view. Everything is an experience.
Day 3 As Miranda nursed some scratches from the monkey and frothing at the mouth, we did the house ride tour thing. Yes it is a rubbishy touristy thing to do, but it is the best way to see the old and new city. Good way to get mugged too as we found out.
Going down a proper street with actual cars and us of course Sally suddenly started doing a Keith Quinn impersonation. "Ohh! Ohh! Ohh!", and pointing. Tony turned around expecting to see Jonah Lomu scoring in the corner but instead saw a Moroccan youth who had leapt onto the back of the buggy and was trying to grab Debra's bag. Debra alerted by Sally's rubbish use of the English language gripped the bag tighter. The youth having managed to get nothing but now with 5 pairs of eyes on him bailed out and took off to his mate on the other side of the road waiting on a scooter.
We are such rubbish tourists. We could not even get mugged properly!
Pumped with adrenalin and with a wary eye out for fashion challenged guys on scooters it was all put behind and we finished the day with more shopping, exploring a new part of the old city and having a great dinner. Unfortunately for 2 of us that dinner would be remembered and cursed from bed and during many trips to the toilet throughout day 4. Sally and Tony went shopping.