Taforalt to Guercif
Long boring bus
Walk markets river
Fountain & Floors
Taforalt. It is a shame to say goodbye. Well, not really, but it is a nice town. During our stay here, we had discovered there was a bus from here that goes to Sefrou. We would stop off in Guercif though. There is no point being on a bus all day if we can help it.
The only problem with this is that the bus leaves at 8am. What is the point of travelling if you can’t sleep in? I would almost be able to see dawn! Way too early. And cold. Still, we made it, and went down to the street. There was already a bus there, and we thought we would miss it, as it was too early. However this was a different bus, and not the one we needed. That was good. Still, we ended up sitting on the curb for about 45 minutes until the bus did arrive. Loading all our bags on, and then finding a seat. The bus was not the most comfortable, although my seat was extendible (It was broken, and slid backwards and forwards with every movement). The drive to Guercif was pretty. Like most Moroccan landscapes, and we were heading back into the Rif. There were long rolling valleys and hills. The occasional town, and lots of green. Trees, grass, the usual. OK, so it wasn’t anything special, and I did try to sleep through part of it. There is only so much you can say about bus rides. Unless you want to mention the kids staring at my dreads, babies wailing, people kicking the back of your chair. The fact that the bus’s top speed is only marginally better than a quick jog… Still, we did make it to the next stop on our grand trip of Morocco!
When we arrived, we were surprised to see that the bus station had more in common with a side street than a station! Guercif must not get that many tourists, as there was no one here to greet us. This is a good thing though, and we could take our time to get bearings and work out what we want to do. The first this is always finding a place to stay. No point in dragging bags around a strange town after all. There had been a hotel on the way in, but we decided on trying the town centre. Walking up there, we were a bit worried, as there are no tall buildings, and so far, every hotel has been on the second or third floor. Walking around the centre, we did see a taller building, and there was even the word “Hotel” painted on it. We made our way over, down another street, across, and back up to the building we thought was it. There was no sign of the hotel. Just a mattress shop. On asking, we were in the right place, as the door next to the shop was the hotel. There just wasn’t anyone there at the moment.
We waited for a bit for the person to arrive. This was no problem, as very quickly a car pulled up and a person got out. He showed us the rooms. Basic, but with everything we needed. However our room had no key, and we had to move to another.
We forgot to check if there was a power point! Still, it won’t hurt us for a night. Leaving the passports, we headed off to see the fine town of Guercif. The most interesting feature in town is its main fountain. This is made of volcanic rock, and graces the central roundabout. Unfortunately for us, it was not running at the time, but was still an impressive landmark. This also would make it easier to find the hotel if we got lost.
The guy from the hotel had said it was worth having a look at the river, so we walked that way. As we were going there, we came across a souk. Most of this was second hand clothing, and needed things for daily life. It was set up along the walls of the river. There was a sheltered section that was also mainly clothing. Popping out the other side of this, we came to a bridge across the river. It is a small one lane bridge that was swarming with students on their way home. The occasional car trying to drive over as well. The river is not that interesting, and there is only the one tree on it. Right next to the bridge. We found out later that the bridge is the only bridge for a few kilometres and should go both ways. It is incredibly congested. The government has realised this though, and are in the process of building another bridge next to it.
Walking along the river for a bit, the town disappeared. One minute there were buildings. The next, goats. It is arid on this side, and although there is places under cultivation, nothing is growing at the moment. This gives the entire area a dry and dusty feel.
We sat there watching people across the river try their luck at fishing. Not sure if this was for the fun of it, or if they expected to catch anything other than the plastic bags and nappies floating downstream.
A quick feed, and back to the hotel. Its saving grace is that there are really nice tiles on the floor. Morocco does a lot with tiles, and most are very decorative. However the majority of hotels we have stayed in have not paid much attention to it. They have been miss-matched, broken, or grimy. These were nice tiles, and gave a bit of flair to an otherwise uninspiring hotel.