On the way to the desert – Morocco part 2

We arrived in Zagora at 9am. Beautiful morning. During the last hour on the bus I admired the view outside. We seemed to be driving along river which banks were covered with green palm trees and sand buildings. Something I never have seen before.  In Zagora the bus station is located outside the town center and we didn’t really know what to do when we got off the bus. Take another bus, wander around and if so in which direction? Finally a man standing outside the building asked us if we need any help and told us to follow him along board but empty street. We wanted to make sure it leads towards center but English didn’t help much. Uncertain we followed the gentleman down the street. As you can expect he lead us straight to a tourist agency which wasn’t even open yet. January is not a peak season in Morocco so there wasn’t many people around. They opened the shop for us and presented a thick and well used notebook of testimonials. Clients who wrote their comments and recommendations came from all over the world. We bargained over the price of overnight stay in the desert and paid deposit in advance.  We arranged time when somebody would pick us up and drive to a place where we could mount the camels. You can choose from multiple tour options from means of transport like: camels, quads, jeeps; time: one day, two day, seven day; group or individual; sleeping in the desert or in a hotel anything that can be customised – is.

In the meantime we decided to walk around Zagora and eat some breakfast. Sitting in the cheapest place we could find, just off the main street we observed everyday life. Kids playing ball, adults walking about their business, men drinking mint tea. Now, when I think about it everything was so quiet and the air was so clear. The narrow streets were sandy and some times muddy, we saw a couple of carts with donkeys carrying cargo, people and food. On the way back we walked into a souk (shop) with all the tourist treasures you can imagine: lamps, clothes, jewelry, daggers, carpets, jars, pots, pictures and many, many more.  We made our mind and sat down to bargain. We were offered traditional tea and while drinking the owner of the shop ensured us we don’t have to do the business “If buy it’s good, if not buy it’s good”. If you have ever been bargaining you know the whole dance: we sat down, just to get up to leave, wanting to take something just to change our mind in the next minute, choosing different objects and exchanging one for another as the price was going down, to finally to close the deal with a pen and aspirine.

Tip2: For bargaining purposes take with you something you can leave without regret (a small souvenir you can seal the deal with) depending on how much you want to buy you may wish to take more than one.

We bought among others clothes in blue and white to cover our heads while riding the camels. Before it was time we went back to the agency and used their bathroom to wash ourselves after the night on the bus.  Our cab arrived. It was a really old Mercedes with windows covered with clothes not to let the sun in. Our driver was chatting and smiling all the way to Tagounite and stopped at one point to allow us to take first pictures of the rocky desert and oasis. We were listening to Berber music and looked around with our jaws open.

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