“Nous faisons l’autostop au Maroc pour un organisation benevole” I ineloquently announced to a burly trucker with my GCSE French spluttering back into life. All the truck drivers on board fitted the stereotype neatly yet, despite their tattoo-ridden, bearded, meaty, brink-of-violence appearance, they were all incredibly friendly and sympathetic. Interrupting myself part way through the next line of my inarticulate appeal, I realised my first victim was blatantly British. He laughed and said he was going to Germany . This was not good. Along with my gap year buddy Dave we were meant to be hitch-hiking to Morocco for ‘Link’, an African development charity, but found that most people on our 5-hour ferry to Le Havre were headed East or twenty minutes down the road. We pondered the progress of the 400 other sponsored hitchers (including dozens from Leeds University) and began to plan a night on the streets to await the next influx of passengers from Portsmouth .
Although cheap UK-based airlines are now flying to Morocco, look into flights to Malaga in Spain, as it’s easy to get a bus to the port town of Algeciras and a ferry across to Morocco (one could also visit Gibraltar!). The ferry was about 30 euros when I went in 2004. When you arrive in Tangiers, negotiate for a taxi to the ‘palace-like’ train station and probably don’t waste too much time in the town – it’s a tourist trap, and there’s little to see. Trains are a great, cheap way to get around the country – by arranging an overnight train, you also save on accommodation.
…is marvellous. ‘The red city’ is full of fantastic sights and sounds – everything is centred around a big square which comes to life at night with food vendors, entertainers, musicians, storytellers and dancers. Calls to prayer, music, snake charmers and drumming can be heard everywhere. Small streets lead off from the central medina to endless rows of shops selling a splendid selection of jingles, jangles, tourist crap and some real treasures. Consider the Hotel Ali – very cheap, trustworthy, overlooks the central square and they do great tours.