Explore The Blue City Of Morocco

Blue City TN

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Explore The Blue City Of Morocco

VOMIT-ON-ARRIVAL?

Travel photos usually share the high points of an adventure, which is only one part of the story. The plot thickens nicely when you indulge in the meaty backstories.

I am smiling widely and feeling extremely grateful here in a photo for a reason.

Is it because I finally got to explore the Blue Pearl of Morocco? Eventually yes.

I was about to throw up not long before this picture, and my face looked as green as the cart of apples I passed in the alleyway.

The coolness of the stone steps felt good on my prickly hot body, as I forced myself to breathe slowly and deeply.

Out of the corner of my eye I watched a scruffy adolescent kitty steal a fish nearly its same size from a fisherman’s bucket when he turned his back. This brazen little thief struggled to drag its large treasure back to its lair for a good meal.

The local market bustled around me with electric activity and I marveled at the vibrant colors and delicious smells emanating my direction; I finally felt ready to eat! Food had been the last thought on my mind that morning with the avoidance of puking out the car window being the main goal.

Previously, I endured the worst driver of my entire adventuresome life for 4 horrific hours from Fez to Chefchaouen and literally jumped out of the still-moving vehicle upon arrival.

Moroccan adventures Part 2 in 2018 turned out to be another spur-of-the-moment journey, and I’d just explored the magnificent Sahara over Christmas.

Coming out of the desert and moving north, I found all the buses from Fez were fully-booked, and with only 4 more days left and persistent to visit the Blue City, I opted for a private driver.

You start to smell a scam when it’s the one phone call to a ‘cousin’ who isn’t working the next day and will kindly charge you 20x the cost of a bus ticket to drive you one-way.

Hamza was a large, disheveled middle-aged man, who picked me up with an unceremonious wave to get into his car, while his cell phone remained glued to his ear.

When he finally unglued it, we were already out of the city and beginning the horrendous 4-hour trek together, then it dawned on me what I’d gotten myself into.

Hamza was not only an awful driver, he was also dangerous! In between his deal-slinging phone calls, of which his audio level was a constant 11, he’d turn to me in the passenger seat to converse and nearly drive off the highway, swerving the little Kia back to safety in the last moments.

His foot pulsed the accelerator non-stop, creating a herky-jerky movement that irked my stomach and patience. When he received a call, his speed immediately dropped 20kph, allowing all the big vehicles to pass us on the ill-maintained road.

At one point I wanted to stick my leg across the front seat and pushed his foot down hard on the gas! “Yalla! Yalla! Let’s go!”

Finally arriving to Chefchaouen felt like angels parting the clouds to me after my hellish trip, and I realized Hamza had never been there before as I had to give him directions so he wouldn’t get lost. So much for a professional driver, as I was sold hook-line-and-sinker by my AirBnB host. As I leapt from the car, I imagined the 2 of them splitting the commission with a good laugh at my expense.

Some lessons are learned the hard way, which lead to well-earned notches in the belt of travel wisdom. Alas, it did make the view of the valley more amazing with a crisp, cold beer I hunted down that day, taste like nectar from the gods.


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