Category: Morocco


african-oscars

Well now that we leave Africa soon (Boo Hoo!) Muni & Molly’s African Oscars are now published.

The categories are : (drum roll please)

1. Best Accommadation / Hotel : Green Turtle Lodge, Dixcove, Ghana
2. Worst Accommadation / Hotel : Pensão Leeta, Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique

3. Best Meal : La Colombe, Constainia, Cape Town, South Africa
4. Worst Meal : Cafe No Name, Arsi Negele, Ethiopia

5. Best Transport : CTM, Morocco
6. Worst Transport : Burundi

7. Friendliest People : Tied at Burkina Faso and Malawi
8. Unfriendliest People : White Namibians

9. Best Value : Ghana
10. Worst Value : Rwanda

And last but by no means least…

11. Best Beer : Primus 720ml, Burundi
12. Worst Beer : Laurentina Stout, Mozambique

And the most coveted award for biggest tosser in Africa goes to….

The fat, Afrikaner, make-up put on with a cement mixer, hair-do like a bulldog’s arse, manager of the Cat Nap Guest House in Springbok for her inability to take a booking 3 whole weeks in advance. Moan about the check in time, lie about her presence prior to us checking in and then only say that we had booked one night when two were requested. I hope you catch the clap from a toilet seat and you choke on some worm infested biltong again. Congratulations, your golden Oscar is in the post.

We’ve also added some additional categories for those that were worthy of such an acolade.

They are:

Toughest Day : 8th April 2009, Butare, Rwanda after visiting a genocide memorial. (I talk about it HERE)

Most adventerous moment: Boarding a tug boat to travel down Lake Tanganyika en-route to Kigoma, Tanzania

The 5 best highlights (in no particular order):

1. Getting up close and personal with 5 Silverbacks in Parc National de Volcans, Rwanda
2. Being pamered in Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa
3. Juming out of a dhow, after spotting Dolphins, onto the best beach in Africa. Praia de Chocas, Mozambique
4. Standing on the precipace of the plateau in Dogon Country, Mali
5. Giggling at the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean’s at the southern most tip of Africa

Muni & Molly

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Castles Made of Sand! – Essaouira

The train down to Essaouira, at least the first leg, was in premier class (dont you know!). AC and quite comfortable. The second leg from Benguerir was a touch above a cattle train. It had the stillest air I’ve ever felt on any moving contraption. Molly immediately had nodding dog syndrome. The window could be opened but for a flood of sand blown in. It was only for an hour or so, so it was bearable.

Our Riad in the….wait for it……….MEDINA was simple but elegant. Run by a very nice Italian chappie with a head for languages. 4 I think. I got sunburnt on the roof tarrace….that lesson I never seem to learn! So that seemed to put a dampener on things a bit. I was like a rasher and feeling every bit of it.The beach in Esaouira is by far the longest beach I have ever seen. At least 6km. There is a old delapidated castle right on the beach half way down and apparently inspired Jimi Hendrix to write “Castles Made of Sand” – more info here.

We walked down to it with 40km/h winds at our back and walked back at a slant while being sand blasted. (oooh so tingley on the sunburn). It’s a huge resort town that I like. Food, drink – as in beer, and entertainment to be had everywhere in stark contrast to their availibility in Safi. (Safi, in my estimation, being nothing to write home about). We decided to stay here for a while and relax as this traveling business is tougher than we expected. Funnily enough this is the easy bit as Morocco is the most “westernised” country for the next while. Busses run on time – not “Africa time” as I’m accustomed to from previous experiences. Mauritania will be the REAL acid test for us as it’ll be a whistle stop at its slowest and circa 40-45 degrees C at it coolest. The visas were obtained without hitch (we expected problems) and make for the border in a week or so.

We’re currently in Agadir ( Aga-dont, says Molly). Just another beach side town with more of the same really. No Medina though which is odd! We have a sound enough hotel with a mini swimming pool 20 ft x 10ft. But it’s home for the next few nights. Laayoune is the next stop and a monster 13 hour or so bus ride over night. Least we dont have to pay for accommodation for that night – its the only silver lining I can find. Then on to Dakhla. Another 13 hour or so bus ride. Then it really starts to hot up! Maybe I’ll get a hitch from the fella below…

muni

Fés to Rabat

Arriving to the Medina in Fes from Chefchaouen, after a quick three hour bus ride, was an assault on the senses. The semi-orderly riot that we now have come to expect when heading into the old town (and normally the Medina) was a shock after realitively quiet Chefchaouen. The smell of smokey charred fish, sweet pastries, old rancid meat and kif is alot to deal with, while trying to eat yer dinner, is over powering.
Upon arrival into the Medina at Fés Molly had a little arguement with a not so friendly local in relation to the costing of his fine establishment. We did, however, find a lovely Riad (Moroccan guest house) soon later for the same price. Sleeping again was problematic as the local mosque was nearby and calls to prayer at 4:20am sharp. It could, I suppose, be likened to a drunk let loose with a loud speaker after a skinful of his favourite tipple !
We eventually found the tanneries for which Fés are famed for. They’re basically are 4ft wide earthen pots full of dye that pelts, from various animals cured with pidgeon shit, are dyed in. Fronting the tannery are a pleothra of leather shops peddeling the finished product. Very interesting seeming this process hasn’t changed for hundreds of years…if you can stand the stink!

The next day we sorted the train tickets to Rabat and headed up to the main square for the 12th century anniversary of Fes celebrations. Moroccan rap bands are something to behold…alot of ordinary Moroccans standing around scratching their heads. Very funny!

The train, (and the public transport for that matter), has been top notch. Runs on time and generally arrives early! AC and comfortable. We really have not had to have a long trip on either yet but forsee no problems. We only stayed in Rabat for one night as the Mauritanian Consulate was SUPPOSED to be in Casablanca. Rabat, for me, was largely unremarkable. Quite like Barcelona (with the amount of Spanish) and very cosmopolitan. Molly liked it and I as ever liked the beer. A swim was to be had on the beach but upon arrival Molly was deemed too white, western and lacking a “modest” bathing costume. So I frightened the locals with my brilliant farmers tan and side belly!

muni

Dublin to Chefchaouen

Everything seemed to go like clockwork. The flight was on time, got to the bus station in Malaga easily enough (but then realised that Jeanne’s camera had been lifted… splitters !). The 3 hour journey down to Algeciras took us down the coast through the holiday towns of Feungerola, Torre Molinos and Marbella. I’m delighted that I did not have the misfortune of ever going there on jolliers, as it really does look like “Ballymun in the Sun”. We checked into the “Almar” hotel in preparation for the 9 am sailing to Tanger the next morn.

The sailing was a bit bumpy to start. Most people were walking about as if they had a few pints on them! The bus station was right outside, and once we figured out the time, we waited for the bus to Tetouan. The bus ride to Tetouan was cool enough but towards the end the stunning Rif Mountains revealed themselves. Our hotel, the “Panorama Vista”, was fine but our “vista” was the stairs and not the mountains… pants!

The next day off to Chefchaouen. Andalucian style buildings of bright white and pastal blues. Very pretty. It’s our new home for two days. And well deserved think as we were knackered. But to our delight there were five weddings outside our hotel and did not get a wink of sleep. So, today a few siesta’s will be had…

Pastal Streets with Vines Overhead
Pastel Streets with Vines Overhead

muni

I’m a bit sweaty

I think that the above is going to be my new phrase for the year!!! We are not even in the Desert and it’s bleedin roasting!!!

The ferry to Tangier was rough to start with sick bags being handed out but thankfully didnt need them.  Then took a few hours to figure out the time difference between Spain and Morocco; but after waiting for a bus for yonks eventually figured it out.  The first town Tetouan in the middle of the Rif mountains was nothing to be excited about except for all the fruit and veg in the markets, you know me always thinking of my belly.

Today we arrived in a town called Chefcehouan about 2 hours south east of Tangier.  Laid back, hot and little to do and see but to chill out.  Takes time to adjust to doing nothing but little naps will sort that out. We’re here until Saturday and then oonto Fez and then all i want is a beach and some sand.

That’s it for today, thought i’d better write something or i’d be in trouble with the lot of you!