Faux Tourguides: Where and When They CAN Be Useful
Although people are generally advised to steer clear of these unemployed faux guides, they can prove useful for quick excursions, especially if you're arriving in Ceuta by ferry. The ferry station in Ceuta is where these faux guides tend to hang out. The ferry station is about a 5 minute taxi drive from the border, where you must cross by foot, and then must take another 20 minute taxi drive into Tetouan. All that can be a bit intimidating for a traveler unfamiliar with the language and culture...and while I speak both English and French, the taxi driver across the border spoke only Arabic (and Moroccan Colloquial Arabic is also somewhat difficult to understand for other Arabic speakers).
We decided to accept an offer from one of these guides, and it proved a GREAT decision for several reasons:
-The commute was hassle-free.
-He took us directly to the medina of the city, and was able to guide us effortlessly through what would have otherwise been a labyrinth of narrow streets.
-He took us to market vendors that he knew, and thus we were able to barter for some good deals on things like hijabs (headscarves) and other unique items --- even better yet, he had some of the vendors let us sample their WONDERFUL food and produce (let me tell you, there is nothing like fresh, homemade goat cheese).
-He took us to his HOME, where we were able to sit down for that world-renowned Moroccan tea, and saw an amazing panoramic view of the city at sunset from the roof of his house.
While acting as a tourguide without proper licensing is illegal in Morocco (only for the guide, no worries for the tourist), I don't feel that my trip would have been nearly as amazing as it was without him!
Moral of the story: I'm not encouraging using a fake guide...but if you really need someone to show you around quickly, you won't be condemned for it!
Loosing the crowds for a while, and wandering off alone, through the narrow passage ways and streets. Is a wonderful way of exploring. Its very easy to get lost, but we found the people more than helpful to get you back on the right track. Al Beb means the door.
- Hiking and Walking
Ride a camel
Off the highway in once you get into Morocco coming from Ceuta to Tetouan, there is a stop where you can ride a camel for a little price. It was very cool.
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