Today we decided to try a shared taxi, so called grand taxi, to Mirleft. A beach town further south.
First though another walk through Tiznit’s old medina to see the old mosque. The medina was built in 1882 and the mosque is about the same age. It was easy enough to find. The medina was surprisingly quite and peaceful. Heading from the mosque to the taxi stand we got a bit lost. The medina here is only small, but there are plenty of narrow winding alleys that keep turning you around. We ended up at a local market and thought we would follow this road back to the main part of town. People were selling vegetables, pottery, bread etc.
A nice man started talking to us and wanted us to have a look at his work. He worked with silver. His shop was nearby back in the medina. At arriving we found out we had already walked passed it this morning. He proudly showed us some of his bracelets and a beautiful snake belt of intricate silver made for a bride. We were shown how the filigree is done and the adding of colour. (coral, jade etc.) Beautiful old pieces from the Berber tribes were on display. Even though we had made it clear before that we were not interested in buying, he did off course want to sell us something at the end. It was tempting as the jewelry was stunning and he had been so nice, but we declined. (We can’t buy a souvenir of every kind person.) He was fine about it and after showing us out disappeared on his bike. This left us back in the medina not knowing wich way was out.
We wandered up and down some more dead-end streets till we made it out and we actually made it out the right gate. The taxi stand was straight ahead. We had a coffee before finding our taxi. There were already three passengers in and we got the front seat. A bit of a wait for the sixth passenger and we were off. It is a bit full with the driver, two people in the front and four in the back, but all in all not to bad. The drive is only about an hour and it is quite stunning. Through the hills and little pink boxed villages. It seems like the old buildings are box-shaped houses made from mud.
The newer houses are the same shape, but built with brick and concrete and then painted to resemble the old mud. They just don’t get the colour quite right and it varies from brown to pink to orange. There are prickly pears everywhere and they seem to be planted on purpose. Not sure if it is a crop or that they are planted to keep the goats out of the paddocks.
At arriving at Mirleft smaller taxi’s where waiting to take us to the beach, but we declined. How far can the ocean be? We have already seen it driving in. It turns out to be further then we tought and there where no real roads going there. We made out way over flat rocky land and past garbage and new construction sites. The coast here is gorgeous.
Big cliffs with little beaches nestled in between. The rocks come in many colours and we have never seen so many different types of cactuses in one place. The hills are covered by them. We have come the see the famous archway overhang, but do not know which way it is. We gamble and go right. We have a great walk along the cliff with different viewpoints. At one cliff the local fishermen hang out trying their luck. Eventually we make it to the Grand Beach of Mirleft and decide to go back. We did not find the arch, but it was not nessicary.
Now grand taxi’s do not have a set time of leaving. They go when the taxi is full. Not knowing how popular Mirleft is we thought we might have quite a wait for fellow passengers going to Tiznit. Well, we were wrong. The first taxi to arrive had only one seat available, so we decided to wait for the next. When it came we stood no chance as the waiting women stormed forward. No big deal, next one will be ours. It was quite a wait before this one came and a whole group of young men showed up just before the taxi did. They flew towards it and one even dived into the front seat before the taxi had stopped. We had been waiting and when the men were organizing their luggage in the boot, went to sit in the backseat. This caused a bit of a tiff. They were expecting us to get out so they could ride together. We told them we had been waiting longer and we wanted to go back to Tiznit. They agreed after a while and we made in back in good time. While having a tea in town Andrew started to feel badly, so went for a lie down. He was well enough to come out for a quick dinner, but we did not get back in touch with Hassan as we had promised. Too bad, as was really good. We will have to send him a thank you email.