This was our last full day in Morocco. We could easily have spent a month or more here in this wonderful country. Not only would we have spent more time in the dessert, but we did not venture into the mountains or up to the Mediterranean coast. We will be going back.
The day didn’t start well; we both had bad dreams, and woke up before 7am. We had OJ and coffee on the terrace, but skipped out on breakfast in order to try our luck elsewhere. One of the only places open that early was Cafe L’Horloge, where we had a typical breakfast, but better than what we could get at our riad. While we were there, they got their daily mint delivery. We knew that the national drink was mint tea, but his blew us away. A man showed up pulling a 4x6x2 cart filled with mint.
Afterwards, we went back to the riad for the final time, to pack up and head out. We walked to the bus station to drop our bags until the evening, and then walked through the medina stopping to visit our music seller and have a pot of tea. We stopped at the fish market and had some grilled fish, and then walked along the beach, and found a nice place to lie down and take a nap. We relaxed on the beach, and watched the sun get lower and lower, finally setting behind a lighthouse.
Then we saw something completely unexpected; a camel in the ocean. From a distance we saw a lone rider, going for a sunset stroll through the surf. Finally, we packed up and made our way back slowly towards the bus station. We found our way back to the scarf shop and chatted with our friend Rachid, where we saw this absolutely beautiful purple blanket. Our funds were dwindling, and we were determined not to take out any more cash. We bargained hard, and got the blanket for a steal. We could tell that he was pained to let it go, but at the same time, there was a respect for how well we negotiated. More than that, we made yet another friend whom we are still in contact with. Our very final purchase was a beautiful ceramic bowl as a gift, and a spice cellar that has room for salt, pepper, and cumin. After 10 days, we had finally learned how to haggle the Moroccan way. To be willing to get up and walk out, being dragged back in for that “final” price. We would more frequently be called ‘Berbere’ for our shrewdness, and we took that as a compliment. It seems that feigning pain at seeing their wares go for a low price is all part of the game.
As we left, we also met our last street haggler; a boy, about 5 or 6, selling packets of kleenex. We bought one for 2 dirhams, and then relaxed in a deserted plaza having tea before heading off to the bus station. Our last bus took us up the coast back to Casablanca, where we then caught a cab to the airport, and back home.
Morocco was one of the most amazing places that we have been. It is a country as varied in landscape as it is in its people.