Well hello there! Welcome to yet another episode of Ryan on the Run. Or Ryan at Large. Or Ryan Meets World.
Today was a good day in Marrakech! I booked a tour to see some waterfalls, and it went really well. I joined a couple of ladies who had also booked the same tour to cut down on cost – it cost me 250 moroccan dirhams, which equals about 25 euro, quite decent for what was essentially a full day tour.
Driver came around 9am, he took one look at the ladies shoes and suggested a change… they did, but still not exactly hiking shoes lol. Anyway, we hopped in the car. He started by taking us to a nearby market that is only open on Friday’s… it’s a local market, and is basically where all the people who live up in the mountains, all the farmers, etc come down to sell their stuff.
So… talk about overwhelming your senses. There was just… everything. Livestock. Fresh vegetables. Meat. Spices (oh the spices…). Umm, electronics, locks, random tools, just… like everything. Being the bleeding hearted animal lover that I am I had to look away several times. A little kitten almost got run over right in front of me – I almost had a heart attack. Luckily it ran away at the last second – it was SO TINY. If that happened I think that would have been it for me, bye bye Marrakech lol.
Anyway, yeah, rabbits, chickens, live…. a little blah. But it was good. Just so much stuff. We spent about 20 mins there going through the market, absolutely massive. Maybe 2 acres? Just a guess… actually probably more. I think they call them a Sukh here? Something like that. It was certainly interesting, a little mind blowing. Very cheap everything – like very cheap. 1 kilo of meat was about 20 dirhams I think. So.. 2 euro. Very crazy.
Hopped back in the car and away we go… had a few little stops. We were en route to the waterfalls, we stopped at his brothers shop on the side of the road, the ladies picked up some necklaces. We stopped a few times for some pictures as we got into the mountains – very pretty, but different scenery. The buildings are all a red sort of concrete, new and old – so that’s a bit of a contrast. A lot of the surrounding is dirt, red dirt for the most part. There isn’t a lot of greenery (there isn’t a lot of rain) so it’s very… well… not green. Which is different for me. That and just how uniform the buildings are. They may be different structures, but they all look roughly the same.
We also stopped at a traditional moroccan home… basically a family that’s opened their house up for people to visit for some extra income. So that was very interesting. We went through the whole house, very minimal, and a lot of people live there. They don’t sell their houses, ever pretty much – they’re just passed down. You don’t go buy a new house if you’ve got another kid on the way – make room. They had kind of an indoor but outdoor room – so basically it was inside, but the roof was open, or just covered with straw. So it would get cold in there during the winter, wet if it rained etc, but it was still covered partially.
So that’s where they would entertain if it was nice. Then there’s an inner room which is fully enclosed and much smaller, and that’s where you’d go if it wasn’t so nice. Everyone sleeps in the same room – and it’s tiny. Very small single beds piled in any which way to fit. The kitchen is very large, and well used. They have a terrace on the roof, and this particular house had a spectacular view.
They served us some tea, which they make themselves… they load it up with sugar and mint leaves and everything. It was very nice. As well as some freshly baked bread, also very nice. I was quite impressed, it was well worth the trip and the time, and really nice to meet the family. We met the mother, father and two daughters. They also had a little adorable kitten hanging around, but he wouldn’t say hi.
Speaking of that, their showers are very interesting… kind of like a hut you go into, and they’re steamed up. So not really poured water, but steam…. not entirely clear on how they work, but they have public showers in some of the squares, just these enclosed huts. Quite interesting. Very minimalist. No running water, you have to get that from the well and carry it back by donkey.
After that we had a couple more photo stops before we hit the town where the waterfall was. It was about noon, but we weren’t really hungry so we decided to do the waterfall first and then food after.
We got a guide… it was actually not that easy to find so it was worth it, but it was more for the other two. They weren’t wearing hiking shoes, so they kind of held on for dear life, or at least one of them did. He was a very nice guy. Not to sound all snotty here, but I kinda just climbed a “real” mountain, so this one didn’t have much of an effect on me 😛 That being said, the end result was nice, very pretty waterfalls, we sat there and had a drink.
The entire route was pretty much full of shops, or if not shops, people trying to sell you stuff. This is another one of those places where you avoid eye contact and move on. And this was the whole day – no matter where we stopped. People shoving stuff in my face, in the window of the car, everything. Experienced it before, didn’t really enjoy it, not really fond of it now, but I get it.
Made it down from the water falls without incident and went to grab lunch. Nice lunch, I had kebabs, they had cus cus. Everything was very good, the meat is pretty quality here, but I especially like the chicken. I wasn’t a huge fan of the pork for some reason. Maybe just the way it was spiced. It was cooked well. I’ve decided not to drink the water here – the reviews online are seriously mixed. Some say it’s the best water ever, some day you’ll get sick… whatever, I’ll play it safe. Bottled water is quite cheap. Well, everything is cheap.
Our guide cost us 200, we tipped an extra 100. Our driver cost 250 each, we tipped an extra 50 each.
After the waterfalls we made our way back, did a stop at a pottery place which was pretty stunning… like…. stunning. They’ve been open 13 years with 10 people working there, and there are just thousands of pieces of amazing pottery. Everywhere. Three levels. Piled up, like just piles and piles and piles and piles. It’s insane. The ladies bought some stuff for home – very cheap compared to what you’d spend there. It was very nice.
Made our way back after that, I think only one more stop for pictures. We were back around 5pm, so a good full day. I vegged out for a bit before heading off for a dinner in the little town about 15 mins walk from here, returned for the FIFA match (which France just whooped ass at – sorry Switzerland! Clearly I’m the good luck charm), watched with a few of the guys from here, booked myself a walking tour for tomorrow (400 dirhams), and settled in for some quality internet time!
So that was my day 🙂 Lots of fun! Oh, there is a new start2finish video out of Chloe, one of the kids from my school, running the 5k race. Fun to watch! (took me 45 mins to download…)
So check that out if you feel like it 🙂 I’m sure it will take you considerably less time to do so. The internet here really sucks. The director of the Riad is going to yell at the internet company tomorrow, but I’m not too sure that will make a difference here.
Anyway that’s it, tomorrow we’ve got the walking tour, and maybe a swim – haven’t been able to go in yet, they close the pool at 6pm. Sunday I’m outta here at 8pm, not yet sure what I’m going to do for the majority of the day. I’m in Amsterdam at midnight, but there’s no trains running to The Hague so I might just nap in the airport (read up on it – quite easy to do at Schiphol!) and catch an early train to meet Laura in The Hague. Another one of my cousins is in Brussels at the moment, so it would be fun if we can meet up and say hello sometime! We’ll see if that works. Monday is also the Dutch match, so I’m super excited to be in a bar for that – a sea of Orange I’ve been told.
OK that’s IT, I’m off to bed shortly. Have a good whatever 🙂