Kenifra to Midelt
We slept in a bit today. The night was quite noisy as our hotel is right next to the bus station. The buses honk their horns all through the night… We were planning to spend another day here, but decided to move on to Midelt. After coffee and a quick walk around, we grabbed our bags and bought a ticket for the 13.00 bus. We had to hang around for an hour, but that is not too bad. The bus for Midelt was already there, but we were not allowed in yet.
We started to get a bit worried, when by 12.50 we were still not allowed in. And when we asked the driver, he seemed to be saying that this bus would not go to Midelt.
We checked back with the ticket office, hoping to find out which bus to get on. Here things got confusing. The ticket man does not speak much French (and neither do we) but he started yelling “Money, money, give me money” We had already bought the tickets, and when we showed him, he took them off us.. (?) What is going on?
Luckily another customer, in line behind us, jumped in and translated what was happening. His English was close to perfect. As it turns out, the 13.00 bus was cancelled. (Don’t know why nobody told us..) If we gave our tickets back, plus some extra money, the ticket guy was going to give us a refund. (the extra money was just because he did not have the exact change.) We did not have the exact change either, so our friendly helper chipped in 10 Dirham.
This was really nice, but we still weren’t going anywhere. The next bus was not until 15.00 and we could not buy tickets for that one yet. Sigh. Public transport can be fun, but mostly it is just slow..
Back to a cafe for more coffee and a bakery for pastries. Then back to the bus station for the 15.00 bus. We debated taking a grand taxi, but couldn’t be bothered. If the 15.00 bus also gets cancelled we will just stay another night.
This one was easy though. Got ticket, found bus, got in. Unfortunately due to all the delays we would now not arrive in Midelt till after dark. Oh, well.
We settled in for the drive and nibbled away at the baked goods. We love the bakeries here. For a Dirham or two you can get really nice pastries, filled with custard or cream and covered in chocolate!
Again the landscape is beautiful. All of Morocco seems to be stunning in different ways. We make our way out of the mid Atlas and start to see the snow covered peaks of the high Atlas in front. The terrain goes from green hills to a more arid, brown dusty landscape. Agriculture and small towns in between.
Arriving in Midelt, we got a guy wanting to take us to “a Berber family” to stay with. We are still skeptical (and slightly scared) of people instantly and over proudly stating that they are Berber. We declined, as we preferred to stay in a hotel with showers..
Off course this was not a problem either, as his family runs a hotel “only two minutes away.” Again we declined. We can find our own hotel.
We had already seen a big lit up sign for hotel just around the corner. At arriving there, a new tout picked us up two meters before the entrance and the guy from before, came out of the front door. If we are staying here, it looks like we will be paying for two peoples commission. We ask the price anyway, and it does turn out to be too expensive. 200 Dirham for a double room, or 80 Dirham a person in a simple room, but then we are not allowed to have showers.. (?!?)
We ditched all helpful people and stoically followed the signs for downtown. The next hotel certainly looked cheap, but the bed was so bad, that we didn’t even ask for the price. Keep on going..
By now it is dark, getting cold, and there don’t seem to be many hotels in this town. We go down the busiest streets and eventually do see another hotel. We are shown a beautiful room, Double bed, sofa’s, TV, en suite, heating (!) beautifully decorated. Obviously above our price range. We asked if they might have a smaller room for a bit less.. One more floor up, and we find simple heaven. A basic room, but still en suite and heating! We haggle for a good price (130 a night) and after popping out for a quick dinner, settle in. We could stay here for a week. The shower is scorching hot, the room is warm, there is even heating in the bathroom. The only downside was that there was no decent movie on our cable TV 🙂 Luxury!