2011 Morocco – Day 6 – Sidi Ifni / Legzira

This time I woke up before sunrise. In the night it had become quite cold and I woke up from the eternal cough of a man, who would not make it much longer judging by the cough. I was content with a meager laundry and went with my stuff one floor down into an already opened cafe. Here I could enjoy again the decent Moroccan coffee which has a decent caffeine content. I was with my winter clothing on the way and nevertheless it was already quite cold. After the coffee I went to a shop and got some flat bread and cheese for the trip to Tiznit and on to Sidi Ifni.

The nearby bus station was full of busses and taxis and by far the biggest of the trip so far and should remain so. This was the hub between north-south and east-west in the south of Morocco. After a short search I found a suitable bus to Tiznit for little money. Tiznit is another hub even further south. The windows of the bus were steamed up at the beginning by humidity. After sunrise it became however fast quite warm. After about 2 hours we arrived in Tiznit. I was let out at the main road to the first larger crossing. To the right of it was the Medina. In T. there should be also after the planet nothing special and so it looked also. I orientated myself at the map available in the LP and went to the taxi stand. To Sidi Ifni one should come only with the taxi.

At the taxi stand there were about 20 taxis. I asked one, but he just shook his head. I asked a second one who also shook his head. But one of them finally came to me and said for 300 dh it goes to Sidi ifni. That was far too much for me to drive and I refused. Then another one finally came and said I was at the wrong taxi stand. The taxis to Sidi Ifni depart further south. So I went to the stand described to me. On the way I wanted to get money at the machine. From time to time my memory stops after my secret number, also here. I somehow twisted the numbers and the machine had already eaten my card. That was a really big evil. Fortunately the bank was open and I could understand that the machine had just eaten my card.

After some forms I got my card back and could finally get some money. The whole small place was full with travellers. There was nothing else to see outside the medina. It was however remarkable that the buildings and roads were in relatively new condition. In general I saw building activities in every place. I finally reached the right taxi place under already stronger sun. After a short question I finally landed at the right taxi. The driver wanted to wait as it is usual still until enough people with ride along. That means then with the old Benz three people in front and four people behind. After approx. 1h wait then also started. The sun became warmer and warmer and the ride went up and down hills through villages to the south.

At each corner one saw cacti, which took whole slopes and were probably raised for cactus figs. After approx. 3h drive we reached Sidi Ifni at the central taxi place, which consisted of a few taxis. I photographed the taxi rank, but I had not seen the camouflaged person at that time yet. I only noticed him afterwards. I walked towards the sea through the small town. There were only few roads and everything was very small. Within a short time I reached the beach promenade, which was high above the water. Here there were no shops and only few locals. Below I could see the parking lot of the campers with their camper vans. Nobody was at the beach. The area of the campers was toothed and in addition some had thought to fence in their 2 m² before the camper. The vehicles were almost all French mobile with pensioners.

At the promenade a young person spoke to me whether I would need an accommodation. I needed this, wanted it however in no case from him to have. Nevertheless I wanted to have a look at what he has to offer. He had a house to rent for about 5€ a day. The house was actually a typical Arabic apartment in the center of the city. Not badly situated, but was too crazy for me in that moment to times I wanted to go to Legzira. The small brick house was extremely low and absolutely narrow. But nevertheless equipped with everything one needs, only not new and certainly not western. I thanked them and went north on the beach towards Legzira. After the LP it should be a distance of 15 km. At the edge of the city on the beach a foul-smelling soup ran out of a pipe into the sea. The true probably the drain pipe dar city. Now it went through stones, on the right the approx. 20 m high steep walls of the cliffs and on the left the sea.

After some time I reached an old man who was floating in the sea. I approached, greeted and stared at what he was doing. He explained to me without knowing the language that he was looking for worms to catch fish. I asked him if this was the way to Legzira. He said that it already is, but the tide is just starting and then the road is blocked and I should beware because of the tide. I said goodbye and went on anyway. After some time I saw a fire in the sand on the right. The fire consisted of a few sticks. Since approx. 20 min I had seen no more humans and before was also nobody to be seen. On the right the steep cliffs and on the left the sea.

I went further to I over large stones rise had around at the narrow beach further to come. After some time it did not go however no more further. Before me lay the sea and on the right you rock. The sea was not very deep and I had however some doubts, straight also because of the return possibilities with the rising tide. I saw on the right a steep ascent to the plateau on the cliffs and used the chance, because I thought to be with Legzira. The ascent was a trampled path, one on each side of a wadi. I went up the more northerly path where there was a great view of the sea below. After a few minutes I reached some houses that were being built, but were already partly inhabited. Everything seemed very deserted and lonely. I asked the first person about the way, but could not make myself understood.

I knew that there should be a hotel in Legzira, but it didn’t look that way here. I wandered through the long ways between the houses when someone from a house shouted something to me in German. That was a younger guy whom I asked for directions after a short talk. I had misjudged myself thoroughly in my running activity on the beach and had come only approx. 2km in a few hours. I was also told that a bus should leave from the settlement right away. So I spat to get to the bus, but I couldn’t find a stop and decided to get to the main road we had arrived on a few hours ago. I waited about 30 min. Hardly a car came by and I chilled comfortably in the sun. Someday something has to come by. However, a bus did not pass anywhere, although I could see also the settlement well. Sometime a full taxi came by and I thought it would not be a bad idea to take a taxi. The few that came by were all full. One however still had a place. Here I made the mistake not to negotiate the price.

The 10 min drive cost 10 ie, which would have been half to Tiznit. But no matter, it wasn’t that expensive. I was let out in an even more deserted area. I saw similar houses under construction high above the sea, but much less. No one was to be seen here from the road. I went as towards the beach and thought already the LP had lied to me. As I stood quite close to the slope I recognized the sandy beach below me and buildings with parked cars in front of it. Only 1 minute before I had not seen anything at all. The lagoon is so hidden that one does not recognize it even if one stands directly before it. I went down to the beach to look at it from the other side. There were three different hotels glued to the slope. Altogether there was not much going on here, but much more than I expected. The first hotel was closed.

I looked at the other two and decided for the one on the very left because the receptionist let me deal with him and I came to 200 ie per night. That was at least five times as much as the night before, but with a much better view, location and room comfort. The room was very clean, quite small and had nothing else to have in hotels. No television. What for? No fridge, no climate. Nothing except a bed and a cupboard. Yes, the cupboard was the difference to the accommodation of the night before. I had learned from two mistakes and had asked for electricity and a warm shower. Electricity was only available from a generator after dark until 23.00 hrs. This should be enough to recharge the batteries. The room had a small terrace with view to the sea. In the ground floor was a larger terrace of the restaurant.

I unloaded my luggage and went as first left hand from the hotel by the in the slowly setting sun red shimmering rock arches through. Although the hotels seemed to be completely abandoned, there were some tourists and some fishermen at the beach. There were also some dogs running free on the beach. I went through the first of the arches and finally reached the second of the arches. Against the setting sun of the swirled up water of the sea one could not see at all what was behind it. The sea was also quite loud, since there were some rocks in the sea directly before the hotel and also some places farther again and again. But in the whole continuance the beach was made of sand with some bigger islands of medium sized round stones. Through the last arch I reached a cave. Here I recognized that I would never have come here with the flood, since everything was enclosed by the water.

When I saw the cave I first thought of a great party location. It was big enough to accommodate dozens of people and then the beach. The sun began to set now and I went back the way again. Some hippies placed pointed stones on other stones until they stood and looked as if they were floating. I walked on past the hotels to some rocks by the water to watch the sunset. Contrary to the penultimate night in Essaouira it was here not in the slightest windy and pleasantly warmly with approx. 28 °C. Further around the rocks there was another small lagoon where there was a tent above the water. Shortly after sunset it became dark quite fast and the generator began its unmistakable work. Everywhere lights and chains of lights went on. But there were only about 8 visitors of the whole area. What would that be for a great party location? But unfortunately there was no music here and we all met at a small, cheaper snack bar right next to the hotels.

Once again I had a hard time with the map and decided for the worst you can choose. I wanted grilled chicken with salad and chips and various other salads. While I was sitting there (I can always get upset that I prefer to write a detailed travel report, which I lost somewhere in Berlin and had not dedicated myself to the conversations at the next table) in the dark around the corner a barbecue was set up and specially for me about it a chicken was grilled. At that time I thought to myself that it really didn’t have to be. (At that time I wasn’t a vegetarian yet, but I certainly contributed to it). When I had half eaten the tasty food I remembered the thing with the electricity. Without electricity no cooling of the meat. At that moment it was in my stomach. I thought they were hallucinations and ate everything completely. Legzira, by the way, is not cheap, but really not expensive. You should be there at least one night, that is unforgettable. The food did not cost more than 10€. I guess there were 6 with drinks because I was always very stingy. But in comparison to the further course of the trip it was nice.

On the snack terrace I could not see much. Next door sat some Italians who played something and that was it. In the candlelight and the removed lamps I could hardly see my food. I also didn’t know if the chicken was through. It certainly didn’t feel that way. After I spilled my Coke on it, it was back in my stomach. I must think in such moments always of 2^x and the division speed of 20 min for Salmonella. I decided not to burn anything and went back to my room. From Marrakech I still had a bottle of vodka with me and I took some vodka cola medically against the suspected salmonella attack on the terrace in front of the room.

Here I could see the unbelievable starry sky, which I could not see before under the parasols. There was light only gloomily from below, otherwise there was no light which could disturb the sky. The stars here at the edge of Western Sahara were so incredibly bright that I could see formations I had never seen before. Luckily the moon didn’t shine, so I could enjoy the whole thing. In addition there was the sea, which kept rising in the tide and came dangerously close to the hotel. The sea was incredibly loud because of the rocks in front of it and the waves broke with loud tones.

When I finally went to bed, I noticed how the whole house trembled when the waves hit the rocks. I had to open the window again and again and look at the stars, as well as the sea in which the stars were reflected. The next morning I should see that the sea had actually reached the hotel by the tide.