Wednesday, March 19, 2014
3/8/14 Day 51 Gibraltar to Morocco
We spent the morning packing our bags down as small as possible before saying farewell to Nicky and the chill atmosphere we have enjoyed so much. A big travel day for us today, first we walk out of Gibraltar to La Linea de Concepcion, the first city on the Spain side of the border. Next step us to catch a bus to Algeciras, 2.50 euros each and 45 minutes away, we reach the port for the Tangier ferry connection. The 4:00 is delayed so we have almost two hours to kill before it is time to leave, but the ferry was only 33.00 each for a round trip instead of 39.00 like I expected, bonus! The ferry that we were under the impression would be like 45 minutes turned into a drawn out 2 hours or so. At least we found our way into the swanky VIP area in the back of the boat to enjoy ourselves for the rolling waves. Finally touching ground on Morocco soil we go to head out of the ferry terminal to the train station just a quick 15 minute walk away. As we try to walk out the front door though a very insistent Moroccan man persuades us to take a bus to a different place, so confused already. As we pull away the realization we must need to bus out of the actual terminal, ok easy enough. Not so fast upon arrival away from the terminal we are told we need to get on another bus to Tangier, and finally it dawns on me why the tickets were so cheap. The ferry tickets brought us to Tangier MED, a new station that is 50 kilometers from the city. If I had known this we would have taken the more expensive ferry, oh well. Worst of all it is 25 dirhams each, 2.50 euros or so, but we only have 45 dirhams ughhh, after bartering with the driver for five minutes he finally lets us on, not pleased with us. Feeling stressed out we exit the bus and beeline it for the bus station another twenty minute walk from th bus stop. We buy our tickets for the night train to Marrakesh leaving at 21:00 and arriving at 8:00 the next morning, on the way grabbing a chwarma wrap as we haven't eaten all day. Luckily we end up with a whole train car to ourselves, time for some sleep. Before we can doze off though we are interrupted by someone being chased through the train cars, followed outside and fought to the ground, perhaps trying to sneak on...lot of yelling in Arabic. Really wish the train would just start on, what a stressful day of introduction to Morocco. Fitful sleep as the train rolls on through the country and unexpectedly cold in the early morning hours.