Safi to Oualidia
Anna woke up miserable today. The cold that has been coming on, has made it. Headaches, sniffles etc. I guess I’m paying now for not buying decent winter clothes yet..
The plan was to see a bit more of the potters area in the morning, but Anna and Andrew decided to skip it for a quiet morning in and a good breakfast. David and Sophia did go though.
When they returned we walked to the grand taxi station for a taxi to Oualidia. We had been told by multiple people that this should be easy and cost no more then 25 to 30 Dirham person. Surprise to find then that a taxi was going to be 500 Dirham for the four of us. Unfortunately most of the discussion came down on Sophia, as she speaks French, but even then we could not get the price down below 200. We offered to pay 30 a person and pay for the two empty seats as well, making the total 180. Not accepted..
This is really getting on our nerves. There is one guy in charge of the taxi stand, so we cannot go and ask someone else, as everybody needs this guys permission before leaving. You also pay before you go here.
We know the difference is only 20 Dirham, but it is about the principle now.
We know we sometimes get charged a bit more than the locals, and that is ok. But to force us to pay for a private taxi (they refused to let us share with two other people) and then overcharge us on top of it.
Apparently they would rather not work at all, then make a litte less.
We are told there is another grand taxi station elsewhere and we can take a taxi from there to Oualidia for 25 each. They refuse to tell us where it is, but supply us with two petit taxi’s (maximum three people in a petit taxi), that can take us there for 30 Dirham. Again an outrageous price for a petit taxi. We decline. Down the road we stop a few petit taxi’s ourselves and ask to be taken to the taxi stand for taxi’s to Oualidia. They seem all confused. The taxi stand is the same as the one we just left…
We made our way to a cafe for a tea and get told that there is a bus at 15.00. Some ladies are waiting for it already. That will ony cost us 20 each. Sounds perfect and we sit back and relax as the bus wont leave for another two hours. When Sophia went to check an hour later though, the women had left and there was not going to be a bus to Oualidia at all today. Oh,god..
No choice then. We would have to swallow our pride and take the overpriced taxi.
The ride was pretty, with the coast line on one side and the farmland on the other.
At Oualidia, we were picked up by the local “Guide.” Giving him our specifications for a hotel, we were off. He took us to a really nice place to start with. However the price was more than double what we had asked for. We politely declined, and went in search of another place. He then wanted to take us to his family’s place. We consented and walked over a few streets. This was also a nice place. There were two units. Living room, Kitchen and bedroom. We could easily have fit in the one, but there were not enough beds. It was more than we had hoped, but we didn’t want to drag our bags around all day looking for accommodation, so we took them. On the surface they are perfect. TV, Hot water, a place to hang out. We could spend a couple of days here relaxing. So we booked in for two nights. The woman was a bit on the abrupt side, but we didn’t worry too much about it.
On closer inspection… The hot water is gas fueled, and while it exists, it is not that hot. Lukewarm at best, but still better than nothing. The apartment that Anna & I got was obviously someone’s living quarters 5 minutes before we arrived, and there was long black hair everywhere. Either the person putting the sheets on the bed had a serious case of instant hair loss, or the sheets hadn’t been changed. Well, no surprise there. In Morocco, we probably have had dirty sheets more often than not. The spare blanket that Anna thought we should take from Germany has proven its worth time and again! The TV didn’t even have a plug. It had been cut off at some stage in the past. Most of the lights didn’t work, and you would not want to cook, or even have described to you the kitchen. But it did look good! We retired upstairs to David & Sophia’s. It was not as bad as ours, so we hung out there. A quick dinner in town and we could even brew our tea from Agadir here.
The next morning: Anna is still not feeling great and now Andrew has caught up. A severe head-cold also. This is not so good for us. Andrew slept in a bit while Anna & David went out exploring the town. Eventually Sophia and I went to find them. Luckily this was not so hard, as this part of town is basically one big street we walked along that. They were sitting happily drinking coffee in the sun. A good idea.
We went for a walk after this. Where we were staying is at the top of a hill. It stretches down to a large inlet that is surrounded by a natural rock fortification. It looks beautiful, but we were not up for a walk down to the beach. Down would have been ok, but then we would have to go back up. So we decided to go along the top. On finding an old fort, we climbed up the inside and sat there for the rest of the morning, talking and soaking in the warmth and sun. We had a better view of the ocean from here. There is an enormous sandbar in the inlet, otherwise it would be perfect for swimming, but there were still a few boats dotting the water. The wall between the inlet and ocean has a few breaks in it, and you can see the surf out through them. The old fortress itself is not that big, and the cannons here would more likely have been to fire on ships in the inlet than out to the ocean. Just across from us was a mosque. This is not unusual in Morocco, as they are everywhere, but the now common stork nest on top was occupied by two storks. They are fun to watch. Occasionally, one would fly off, circle around and return. Both crying out when it came back. Stretching their necks in greeting, and making sure nothing was amiss from the brief flight.
Back to the hotel to chill out for the evening. Watching bad telly, where the TV stopped working periodically and you would have to unplug it from the wall for a minute or two and plug it back in for it to work again. To top it all off, the movie channel decided to start the next movie before the last had finished. We managed to miss the last 20 minutes of a bad movie. That made it even worse!