Monday, December 3, 2007

Our first morning in Marrakesh - Rainsong

The rain continues through the dreary, cold morning. We select a riad to stay at and grab a taxi. We struggle with French and Arabic to communicate with our cab driver. Ryan knows a little French; I stay focused on the Arabic.
Ryan takes the lead on finding the riad in the rain while I stay with the gear by the cab. Nearly 30 minutes passes and I am beginning to wonder what the deal is! Ryan returns and, of course, that riad is booked. Onto the next place. We get dropped off and meander through the next Moroccan maze. Our packs are heavy with climbing gear. Did I mention the pouring rain? We make to our place after an expensive cab fare ($6USD) and a tip for our guy that shows us to the place) and settle into the small, yet nice lounge area. We are told the room won't be ready until noon. We get some hot coffee and begin to thaw out and start to formulate our plan for the next few hours.
We decide we want to locate the hamman (spa) where we can go to a steam bath with massage for 70 dhirum (ten bucks) and attempt to locate a climbing shop and maybe desert trekking shop.

After multiple hot coffees and some bread and eggs we head back into the maze of the Marrakech medina. The barrage of beggars and shop owners is nearly overwhelming. Asking for directions without someone asking for $ is unheard of. Everyone want our $ and wants to walk with you to show you something so you are obligated to pay. This whole scene is very taxing and we begin to feel the frustration and irritation mount.

Just when we are getting to our limit of exhaustion and irritation we find the hamman! Its 12:00 and it has just closed! Sweet. So we settle in and grab some lunch at a small side shop where we see a bunch of construction workers macking down on some hot tagine. Tagine is like stew that comes in a ceramic pot filled with potatoes, veggies and chicken. Thing are starting to look up! Amazing what a little hot food will do for you.

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