My flight being at 5pm meant that I’d arrive in Marrakech after nightfall. A random but nice surprise on leaving the plane was that I’d been sat next to my mates sister, Rebecca. The mood abruptly changed upon witnessing it raining hard out of the window, and having to run to the Airport terminal.Once through to the front I jumped in a taxi over to the old Medina. The taxi price wasn’t to bad, it is what it is I guess, any biggish city and your paying above premium. But the old Mercedes had seen better days, and he didn’t want to take it passed 3rd gear, probably because it sounded like a broken washing machine on full power. He dropped me off on the square of the old Medina and I had to navigate through the closing souks to the lifeless passageways. Thank god I’d managed to get an offline google map of where the hostel was, that thing was a life saver, still managed to go the wrong way, at least twice though.
The next morning I knew I had to be at the station for 11:30am for my train to Asilah and after being woken by some eager backpackers planning their day like 5cm from my brain I was awake and out on the streets by 8. I stopped to get my camera out and the local shop owners whose just opening up for the morning calls me over. He tells me to stick around until the afternoon, as its tradition just before Ramadan for the Berbers of the mountains to come to Marrakech to die the leathers. The pools fill up with overwhelming amounts of colour, well that’s all great but I couldn’t stick around. After being sold on a fairy tale hope that they manage to do it before I get there, in the next twenty minutes,I went over to see them.
They stank like ammonia, with all the pools containing no dye, just different strengths of bleach made from Limestone. I’m a Photographer, I’m not going to not take pictures but I’m not going to be selling any holidays from these shots. Once out I felt accomplished that I’d managed to get out and do one tourist thing, even before I’d ate breakfast. I sat and drank coffee and ate eggs watching the locals set up their stalls in the square around the corner to the hostel.
With regret and a feeling of haste of I headed to the train station, my camera pack on my front and my rucksack strapped to my back. Didn’t take long after arriving to find out that my so called 11:30am train didn’t exist, and I had to wait until 7pm to catch the next one. A long wait had begun.