My Western Christian views of the world is the biggest hindrance of my travels, because I look to western culture to find answers, but the western culture can only explain western culture, and to learn about other cultures of the world I need to ask them. It is difficult to leave the box I am inside, which would be defined as my culture.
I am trying to figure out how to go to Egypt by land from Morocco, and this is interesting, there is reason why a person goes from Morocco to Egypt or better, to MECCA. I had not thought of this, but according to the Islamic religious, they should make a Pilgrimage or Hajj to Mecca once in their life if they have the money and physical ability.
So according to this concept, and being that I am in an Islamic country, there should be some people here that have made the LAND TRIP! Plus being that the land border of Algeria may be closed, there is are two alternative routes, one by water and the other by going to further south to Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, Egypt, and then to Israel.
I was adding Daniel Boone to my list of explorers on this page.
When doing some more miscellaneous research I discovered this very adventurous explorer from TANGIERS. He started on his Mecca it looks like and went astray.
Everyone ask me how I have enough money to travel, ask yourself how people like this had enough to travel? This is the million dollar question and more difficult for him to travel than for me.
I have a map.
FROM ENCYCLOPEDIA ENCARTA
Ibn Battutah (1304-1369?), Arab traveler and author, whose book Rihlah (Travels) is an important source for the history and geography of the medieval Muslim world. Battútah was a Berber born in Tangiers. His full name was Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Battutah. Beginning with his first journey in 1325, a religious pilgrimage to Mecca, he covered some 120,700 km (some 75,000 mi), extending from Spain in the West to China in the East; from Tombouctou in West Africa to the steppes of Russia. His book includes descriptions of the Byzantine court of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) and the Black Death of Baghdad (1348).
5:20 OR 6:20 AM MORNING PRAYER IN TANGER
I am not sure what time it is, because there appears there could have been a time change, but the Islamic morning prayers has started and I can hear in the distance a loud speaker system, this is not melodic like the southern Thailand version, more like the Iraq version. Like a raspy talking song, and not a soothing song.
MY PREDICTION ON ARAFAT
Yesterday they shot off some guns or maybe tried to scare the newly appointed or some type of new leader of Palestine. I said or predicted in my inference that there would be a civil war of sorts as they fight over who will be the next Mafia Boss.
OOPS in KICKS THE CLOSE LOUD SPEAKERS
Blaring and very loud just outside my window are very loud speakers, sort of guarantees you feel guilty in the morning, similar to the Buddhist walking around and wanting food or money every morning, or the church bells on Sunday in the Christian religion.
I was going to take the night train to Marrakech, but maybe I take the Marrakech Express if it starts in Tangiers. That means I am staying another night or so, and I do not know where the Marrakech Express starts, I wonder if Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young took this train? Or they just sang a song about the train?
I shall go look up the words on the internet! Maybe there are clues to what was going on in the 60’s, which I am too young to understand.
People tease me, but I like a hot shower, so I carry my own.
Receiving the blessing upon leaving the port
Lighthouse on the point of Tarifa Spain:
View of Spain from my window in the Muniria Hotel in Tangiers, Morocco
Hotel Muniria where it is said that William Burroughs wrote the book THE NAKED LUNCH.
Brave moments in Tangiers, Morocco, not what you think!
12:16 Tuesday November 16, 2004
I have settled into the Muniria Hotel in Tangiers, Morocco, which has an eerie feeling of memories. Whose memories I am not sure, but somebody surely remembers this place.
My brave moment came when I plugged in my one-cup coffee cooker and waited….
? Will it blow a fuse or not?
I believe the electricity in this country is ok, but the guidebook has me afraid to move, I am 95 percent sure the guidebooks writers have never been in a dodgy country in their life, but to be on the safe side I must trust him or her until I am sure my instincts are correct, this is modern.
Success, no fuses blown, no breakers broke, no little fuse wire melted, I have electricity for my computer and one cup coffee cooker. So I am sitting here typing away drinking instant coffee and freezing. This place is not warm, but the room is big and spacious, has a douche and no toilet, but has a shower. For some reason the toilet is down the hall, but there is a douche in the room, I am not sure I understand and will need the help of the French to unravel this mystery.
So I am one douche ahead of my room in Tarifa, Spain.
So why memories here?
THE BEAT GENERATION
William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac stayed in this Hotel; I am splurging and lying around soaking up the vibes, hoping I catch some form of literary fever.
Both these boys are famous or infamous writers of the Beat Generation and probably drunks and drug addicts hanging around in Morocco to save on cash as opposed to Europe, complicated and confusing, but then again they were here maybe in the 60’s, and this is 2004. I am ex-drunk so maybe I am in the right place, however who knows for sure?
More information on Jack and Bill.
I am disappointed I was expecting some form of voyeuristic pleasure of seeing the down and out, and so far, I have just had very well mannered taxi drives and those nice Islamic guys in long skirts helping me, of course, they are all trying to give me expensive advice, but so what? Same as Europe and they make you feel guilty when you think the prices are out of whack. My taxi cost me three Euros to the Hotel and I am very glad I did not walk, as it was not a short walk, it was a trek. So I am in the Hotel, have gone back to my leisure life of Taxis and cheap hotels, and am officially I believe in Africa for the first time.
I am so glad to know I do not have to exercise any more in Europe. My backpack weighs 35 kilos, about 70 U.S. pounds, or maybe more really, and is not something you want to carry, and Europe is the worst place on the planet for luggage, you are walking 80 percent of the time…
To the bus.
To the Hostel.
To the train.
To anywhere and anything you want to see, you have to walk. I like the taxi for 1 or 3 dollars the rest of world has. Europe, USA, and the other expensive countries are too much exercise. I will admit in the USA you do not have to walk, but the USA is impossible to travel enjoyably without a car, you NEED a car. But I am getting 99.99 percent sure you need a car in Europe if you really want to see the place.
Lots of cars were on the ferry from Tarifa to Tangiers and it looks like it is possible to drive through Morocco. However, Tangiers may really be part of Europe culture and I need to go south to see where one culture stops and the other starts.
I am safe and confused.
This place is modern and the touts have good manners.
Not anything difficult to handle or nogotiate.
The computer is difficult to use because of some Frenchie keyboard.
will write offline and cut and paste.
TOWEL RECOVERED FROM HOSTAL FECUNDO
Last moment retrieval of my towel ... Sucess
Reader with good sense of humor.
For got this, the recon was not successful of finding the towel.
Mission faild to execute towel, MIA the towel is listed on the great wall of
Steve in Canada
The Road to Morocco! Translated to Spanish... EL CAMINO A MARRUECOS
The road leading down to the pier for a boat from Tarifa, Spain to Tangier Morocco!
Surfer boys, playing in the road for the camera. This is a typical surf van set up and he caught me taking the photo so helped with the photo. Tarifa is a go place to buy a van.
Yo me voy manaña,
Gracias por todo Tarifa España.
I go tomorrow.
Thank you Tarifa Spain for all!
I have finally made up my mind on what to do or where to start my Morocco trip, I am going to spend a couple of nights in Tanger or Tangiers and the spelling changes according the language. The main reason is because all of the traveler and the guidebook more or less says not to go, and that means to me this place is unique and the culture is maybe off the wall. It is a border town in a way and I like the clash of culture, plus it is suppose to be full of African waiting to jump to Europe. All this together makes for a fun time, I am only looking or trying to figure out how to get a shower because the guidebook is terrible and it does not seem to be standard that there is a shower in the Hotel. If the guidebook had standard listing of sort that sa id, with or without shower then I could be sure, but the guidebook writer I am reading in the Lonely Planet seems to be out to lunch. Funny how the writer will vary from country to country, my gut reaction is this rented a car and stayed in nice places, not a budget traveler, and is clueless, but that is my thought and I have no proof, but I have read the Lonely Planet for a lot of countries and this one is off the mark.
A CHOICE OF CHEESE
I do not like to eat a restaurants when traveling, but not because of the money, but for sure in Europe I would avoid any restaurant unless the food is uniquely special. The reason I do no like to eat in restaurants is because they make it difficult to figure out what you are eating or you can eat what you know or some Americanized version of something, a.k.a. tourist food like Pizza or just play the lottery food choices, and pretend you like what you are eating. Since I am not one to fake it, better for me to avoid restaurants. What the solution would be for these tourist type restaurants to have nice complete and well explained menus that tell you what is typical, why it is typical, and what is the fashion like vegetarian foods.
What made me realize I do not like the choice is I have been trying to buy cheese here in Tarifa for the last few days, and I have no idea of what type of cheese I am buying. I could pretend I am smart, but why fake it, I am pretty sure I am ten time more aware of the difference of food than the average tourist, and could talk for hours on small subtle difference between cultures, but that is not the point. I try to enjoy my food, know what am eating and only eat in restaurants that are local or serving normal meals of the culture and stay away from theme or fashionably recommended places and try to learn the culture and eat their food. This is very difficult to do as most places are trying to be fashionable because this sells. Beer is the reason people travel and not culture, although beer culture is a type of culture, but I suppose I am talking about customs and habits, architecture and not beer.
This is the name of a beach city in Morocco, it is the only clear place anyone has recommended to visit in Morocco and many people have recommended I not go to Morocco.
It does not help that two Finland girls went to Morocco a couple of days ago and only stayed one night, then returned to say in the Hostal Facundo. I am not sure what happened, and as normal they will not tell because in my opinion they do not want to appear stupid. Something happened where they thought a man or men were trying to help them and instead it was some form of scam or the men were aggressive to them in a man / woman way.
I am positive they are not happy with the men of Morocco, but I have tried in about six different ways to get them to explain and they are quiet.
I have found that people will not admit or explain when…
1. Their vacation was bad because they spent a lot of money and they will not say they wasted the money.
2. They was scammed or robbed, because they believe only stupid people are robbed. (This tells me they are extremely stupid when they believe this.)
3. They was raped by a man or date raped more likely.
4. They will tell you they was robbed when really they go drunk and lost their bags or money belt, and cannot remember.
So what happens is everything is very great or very bad, some people say how wonderful a place is and other say how poor the place is, and both are exaggerating normally.
I am ready to go and will leave for Tanger tomorrow, but am not sure if I will stay in Tanger or Tangier or catch a bus or train south to warmer weather. I am tempted to go straight to Essaouira so I have a better chance of a good impression so I do not want to leave in two day as winter is just starting and I have no place to go except Morocco.
IF I find a flight to Egypt, Tunisia or Israel that is cheap I may take the easy way out and leave, as so far the route to Algeria seems closed according to friends and the guidebook, but then again they have a 50 / 50 chance of being wrong. It is time to go and stop listening to people, my instincts tell me after reading the Lonely Planet guidebook is that the place is very nice, and the Europe type travelers cannot deal with the normal 80 percent of the planet and require a 5 star hotel to be happy. European backpackers and tourist are not the hardy types, like the South American ones, more of the type that spend all their times worrying about which restaurant to visit and feeling guilty because they feel rich and they believe, (although I would disagree) that the people are poor.