Lost in the Moroccan desert… My boyfriend and I had just landed at the Tangier airport and went straight to the Information Booth because neither of us spoke Moroccan. Closed. Uh oh. How were we going to find out transportation to Tangier city?
Most airports have a bus to the city center so we headed for the exit with our fingers crossed. We waited at the curb for about 10 minutes until - yes! - a bus pulled up. Ah, just what we needed. Or, maybe not. This was the most dilapidated, rusty, crikity bus I had ever seen. People were hanging out all over it. I could see (and hear and smell) various animal “passengers” as well. We decided to take our chances with the next bus.
Another 10 minutes and our prayers were answered. A lovely, brand new, air conditioned shining in the sun bus pulled up. The doors opened and from somewhere in the airport, dozens of tourists queued up and entered the bus. We figured, hey, they won’t mind if we joined them - right?
We got all comfy in our seats as the rest of the passengers trooped on when the guy in front of us turned around, pointed to the window between us and started talking - IN GERMAN! We had gotten on a German tour bus and, of course, we didn’t know a word of German. Smiling and nodding got the window up and the bus pulled out of the airport. We were committed.
At the front of the bus, a Moroccan gentleman in full Moroccan garb got up, grabbed a microphone, gave everyone a big smile and started speaking in German! We could not take it any more. We started giggling then outright laughing. It was just such an odd sight we couldn’t help it. The Moroccan guy thought we were laughing at his jokes and just beamed which made us laugh even harder.
This was turning out to be an adventure that’s for sure.
About 15 minutes into the journey, the bus stops. IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Literally, there was nothing to see 360 but Moroccan desert. The doors opened and all the tourists trooped out of the bus. We followed, clueless.
The tourists disappeared down in hole in the middle of the desert. We decided not to follow, turned and started walking back down the road. Smart move? Probably not. Lucky for us, the road was near the ocean and, perched on the cliff side was a beautiful hotel. We felt lucky indeed.
At the hotel desk, we asked if there was a way into town. He said we could call for a taxi. Perfect! Except their phone only worked with incoming calls - we couldn’t call out. Then, seeing the crestfallen looks on our faces, he suggested we hike back up to the road. There should be a bus that comes by at 1 PM.
There we stood on the roadside. Me in a hot pink short dress and heels, looking out across basically nothing. We couldn’t even see the hotel up there and the German bus was long gone. Stranded, lost in the Moroccan desert. No food. No water. No clue. What a pair.
We’d probably still be there if a goat herder hadn’t happened along. So, while the goats were nibbling at my skirt, we started a literal United Nations conversation. I asked the goat herder in French if there was going to be a bus coming by here.l He answered to my boyfriend in Spanish (because I couldn’t understand his Moroccan French accent) who translated it to me in English. Get the picture?
Turns out that there was a bus supposed to come by, so we waited. And waited. And waited. Just when we were about to despair, we saw a vehicle in the distance headed our way. Not a bus, but, amazingly enough, a taxi! It stopped, the driver stuck his head out the window and asked if we had called for a taxi. I looked at my boyfriend. He looked at me. We both looked at the driver and said, “YES!”