The lovely Pippa at A Mothers Ramblings. Tagged me in this meme and the opportunity was far to great to miss. I mean, lets face it, if you have read this blog for the past three years, you will be fully aware of our uncanny ability to have disastrous things happen on holiday. This year we managed to go on holiday to Dorset and have a crime scene at the bottom of the road, policemen were stationed there for the duration of our holiday, as were several television crews. It also rained and was cold. Then we went to Norfolk and had to abandon the trip due to chickenpox. However, these paled into nothing compared to the last trip we had to Morocco.
Yes, that was Morocco, somewhere that is easy to travel to, a popular destination since the 1960’s. For the first time ever, we decided to go on a tour. This was a mistake in itself as we are both fairly seasoned independent travellers. We just thought it would be easier. Do not ever think this. When we arrived it turned out the the tour guide had only been in the country for 3 days and had no idea what she was doing. This was a joke to her. I was a little bit annoyed as I had payed for her knowledge. Still, we muddled through visiting archaeological sites which she had no idea about whatsoever. On one visit she told us to wander about and meet her at a particular place at a specific time (or we would miss the coach). Unfortunately this was supposed to occur in the mid-day sun. Most of the party (except me, cos I’m a hardy outdoor type) got sun stroke.
The funny thing about a coach trip is the sort of herd mentality that occurs, the guide was clearly taking money from restaurant owners to take us to the worst restaurants. I could tell, because there was no-one in them apart from us plebs. However, we all blindly followed. At one place I saw the chief picking his nose in full view of us. It was lucky that I was vegetarian at this point and also had my own supply of cereal bars. Thus we toured the empty restaurants of Rabat and most of the other villages of the western Saharan region.
We had paid for en suite accommodation, although apparently the hotels did not all provide this or have enough. I think it was another fiddle to make a bit of spare cash. Thus we seemed to draw the short straw most days and had to use the communal loo, whilst other people got en suite. This was horrible, I cannot begin to tell you what Moroccan toilets are like. I think for me the final straw came the night we stayed in a hotel in the red light district of one of the cities, I spent the whole night listening to the prostitutes and drug dealers outside, worried that I was going to get murdered as the lack of air conditioning meant I had to keep the window open. I cried at this point. I have never done this on a holiday, even when I ended up wandering around the South of France with no money, a tent and an air ticket that was for 15 days time.
Anyhow, we got to Fez and were actually in a rather posh hotel. We had eaten in some dodgy looking places. I say we, I actually mean the hubby, as I wasn’t going to risk it. Outside the local leper population were begging. It was rather like the third world. The sight of swallows flying across the rooftops at night was the highlight of the trip and a sight that I still remember as if it was yesterday.The hubby got dysentery, we were en suite. That was lucky. We had air conditioning.That was lucky. The hubby couldn’t sit on the loo and close the bathroom door. That was un-lucky. I spoke to the halfwit guide. She was worse than useless. Hubby was very poorly indeed and we had a long trek through the desert to look forward to. We made the decision to go home. No help was offered. We found ourselves sorting it all out independently and the only tickets available were rather posh British Airways ones at £800 a pop. We snapped them up and made our way independently to the airport etc etc. Meeting interesting characters along the way. The hubby clenched, a lot.
When we got home we attempted to claim some insurance money back. Because we had not called out a doctor in Morocco we were told we could not claim. We had been advised by the tour guide it was not necessary. Thus resulting in the most expensive, rubbish holiday anyone has ever had. No one can say we haven’t lived!
It was an experience, I would never ever go on a tour or package holiday again. Independent travel all the way, then you can select your hotels yourself, go where you want, eat where you want and experience a country. Its also a lot lot cheaper! Feel free to email me if you want to know the company that we used.