This morning we left the rain of Ifrane behind. After 10 days of training in the fresh air it was time to travel back to London. Just a short trip to Fez, and another leg of the journey would be over. Though I'm disappointed to be heading home, I've had a huge smile on my face all day today. Usually when I come to the end of a trip I'm ready to go home; ready to get on with the rest of my life. This time around, another week would have been greatly appreciated. As hard as I wished though, it was not to be.
And so why do I have a smile on my face? Well because I'm really enjoying my last day in Morocco I suppose.
This morning after inadvertently bargaining with a taxi driver (the jist of the story is I walked away from taxi driver because I couldn't understand what he was saying, he thought I thought the price was too high, he gave us the ride for a song), we headed down the hill towards Fez. It was nice to see the country in daylight, even if it was through the pouring rain. As we approached the city the rain stopped and I knew then it was going to be a great day.
We got a mini taxi from the new town to the gates of the medina in the old town and then stepped into what can only be described as a dream. Along the narrow winding streets were tiny shops which sold everything from colourful pottery, wooden carvings and intricate silverwork to tacky plastic toys and big cotton knickers. The smell of food from the small restaurants and stalls was divine, and the sight of a fully laden donkey trotting down steps in alleyways barely wide enough for two people to meet only added to the feeling that we were in a different world.
As we're are flying later today, both AnnMarie and myself had our small trolley suitcases with us, something which brought us a lot of attention. We were offered all manner of accommodation for the night, and one guy even promised the luxury of an indoor shower. Such a shame we couldn't take up on the offer. We soon warmed to all the attention, and it was nice to hear English been spoken again - the perfect reintroduction to out everyday lives. In fact we really got into the swing of it, and smiled as we said 'no hotel required' and made an areoplane imitation before the friendly locals could even get the word 'hotel' out of their mouths.
And it wasn't just hotels that we were offered. One young man seemed particularly obliging. 'What is it you're looking for?' he said. 'Hotel? Food? Husband perhaps?' Alas the thousand camel I thought he was offering turned out to be just a cow and camel. Beggars can't be choosers I suppose, but for some reason I didn't even think that offer was completely genuine, and passed on this occasion.
We seem to be getting the hang of the 'point-and-hope-for-the-best' approach to ordering food. For 10 dirhim (about 80p) we managed to get a large selection of cookies and pastries from a small bakery where nobody spoke English. And before we left the medina we had a delicious £6 3-course meal which will hopefully see us through to home.
And just like that our few hours in Fez was over. Time to go to the airport and board a plane back to London.
This has been one of the most enjoyable trips so far. Morocco may not have been how I expected, but it was definitely what I needed. I'm sad to leave, but already excited because I know that some day I'll be back. Let's just hope that it rains a little less next time round.