Mohammedia/Marrakech...Update for Tuesday 13th November.

Chelone's travels.....
John and Susie Blair.
Tue 13 Nov 2012 09:00

Coo! Lots has happened since I last wrote here!  I’ll try to keep this interesting.  Surfed into the harbour here just after lunch on Sunday, the usual tricky berthing procedure awaited but soon we had Chelone trussed up like a chicken with oddments of rope and fenders in all directions and we all took hot showers and checked emails etc through the really good wi-fi here before all to bed for about 9pm.


After a good night’s sleep we surfaced at around 8am yesterday, went to the bank to get some local dosh before heading downtown to see the sights. As you’ll see from the pics we visited the local market with plenty of local produce, sharks fins, and lots of chickens being dispatched as we walked past. We didn’t hang around too long though as we we’re on a mission to see about a train to Marrakech.


We’d just missed one train so we had to wait until 12.20pm for the next. We asked for return tickets, boarded the train and we’re on our way…. We sneaked into a 1st  class cabin where four hours lay ahead but interesting to see the interior of Morocco and we could now relax.


The landscape of the interior between Mohammedia and Marrakech is mostly vast flat open plains of tilled ochre tinted soil interspersed with stone built sheep hearders dwellings complete with satellite dishes.


Over half way there and the awesome snow covered Atlas Mountains came into view, we chatted to an elderly Moroccan businessman who’d boarded en-route, in perfect English he answered our torrent of questions about his country and we chatted the time away until we reached our destination.


With the sun getting low we bartered for a taxi to take us to the Medina, five of us crammed into the old Mercedes, Louise with Ross on her lap! The cab wove through the mental late afternoon traffic and deposited us right at the entrance of ‘Al Jabbar’…the Medina.


Into the melé,  and what madness it was! I don’t know what hits you first, the smells or the sounds, both I guess? Like sensory overload, what you see is smoke rising from the crowded market hoards, too many smells (good and bad) to pinpoint exactly along with the sound of snake charmers trumpets, mopeds, loud drumming and the obligatory Imam, calling the devoted to prayer over loud hailers.


Snakes, beggars, filth and fire, we wandered through the crowd being constantly sought out as obvious tourist fodder by the mega insistent stall holders…’Come, look! No obligation…Please look’ etc. I didn’t need a Pouffé,  or a Carpet but Ross and myself haggled a woman down for a couple of wool hats (price slashed from £2.00 to £1.75!!). I spotted a moped the same as I had in my youth….in perfect condition considering they ceased production of them 30 years ago!, mega collectable and now worth big bucks in the UK.


I’m not going to ramble on further here, you get the picture I’m sure. We crammed into another cab and headed for the station, our entry to the platform meant showing our ‘Billetes’ to the ticketmaster, ‘no good’ he said, turns out we’d been sold one way fares back in Mohammedia so we bought more tickets (£8.60 each way) before boarding the 9pm train for the four hour trip back.


On arrival we paid three quid per cab (x2) with the last of our Dirhams and we we’re back at the Marina for about 01.30am…..beddy bye’s.


So, what’s next? We’d like to be going to Las Palmas, Canary Islands but that’s a 3 and a half day passage, the weather forecast say’s we’ve two days before winds turn around and head us from a South Westerly direction so rather than wait here until the wind right’s itself (Sunday?) we’re going to use the two days to sail down the coast to Agadir, (260 miles).


Clear blue sky today, light breeze, we’re preparing to leave as I write this. Top up water, pay Marina fees, stowe gear, engine checks etc, etc.  See you in Agadir, JB.