Sunday, 9 March 2014


Morocco has been a journey in more ways than one.
I have never before been to a third world country and have never seen poverty on the scale that I have seen in the last month.......I have never seen so many donkeys  loaded with unbelievable burdens or people walking along the road miles from anywhere......the utter squalor of shanty towns and beggars everywhere.... the filth and stench of rubbish rotting where it's thrown and, most of all, the total neglect of even recent projects......
I would love to say now that there is a but.....but I can't.
I can't see any ' charm ' in what we've seen. Its been fascinating, the people are friendly but generally want to be paid for that very 'friendliness' and everything has to be haggled over, in some cases to an obnoxious degree.
We've never felt threatened anywhere, even deep in the souks, off the beaten track, but always felt that we were being noted as potential sources of income.
The roads apart from the toll motorways, are horrendous..especially the ring road round Rabat ( the capital) which is a disgrace, and driving in any built up area is chaotic with no order or discipline.
The food quarters of the souks are disgustingly unhygienic by any standards and best avoided before having a meal
The majority of campsites are disgusting by European standards, their only redeeming feature being that they are also cheap by comparison. Most of the ones we stayed in had had mony spent on them once and been allowed to decay almost immediately.
I have enjoyed the experience, you have to see these things in order to be able to talk about them, and I have spoken to people who love the country and have been wintering down here for 15 years or more but I doubt we shall come this way again, even though I have a bagful of tales to bore everyone senseless with.
Marrakech is nothing more than a tourist trap and Agadir is trying to be the French Riviera. In between is great scenery, good weather, poverty and a begging bowl.
So what do I like ?. Oranges for one. Great big juicy ones available at every corner from stalls, carts or off the backs of a donkey, for a few pence. Bananas are on sale everywhere by the ton, and are delicious. Smaller than usual in the uk, some like big fat fingers but very sweet and we eat 2-3 at a time. Living is cheap, prices low. I love the way children wave to us and the variety of road side stalls selling everything imaginable as and lots of things we can only guess at. We have laughed at the sights of animals on trucks, live chickens being sold off the back of vans, and shaken our heads at donkeys ploughing fields as we try to overtake a tractor whilst avoiding pot holes the size of a dustbin. Loved the spring flowers that carpet the verges and marigolds will now always remind me of Morocco.
We've had a great trip with good company and had a great many laughs and enjoyable moments even without a great deal of alcohol. If you're reading this Jackie, thanks a lot

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