The plane lands in Tangier at 8.45pm and it’s raining cats and dogs outside. Another passenger, a Moroccan Londoner with a broad cockney accent, says he works for the airline. He brightly tells me they arranged the rain especially to make us feel at home in Morocco, he warmed it up for us. He is hilarious and continues with the banter until he gets in trouble with his wife for not helping.
Health Check Troubles
We politely give way to the people travelling with children and anyone who is desperate to get off the plane, which is everyone. So we miss the first shuttle and end up right at the back of the line for security and health checks. There is little in the way of actual checks. I just hand over the health forms, show evidence of a negative covid test and an up to date vaccine.
We printed our documents before we left, so it is smooth going. One woman is held up in the health check area. She is obviously upset and I’m gutted on her behalf. What a horrible situation, to get this far and not get through.
Meeting synchronicity in Tangier Airport.
Eventually, she comes and joins us in the line, relieved. I ask what happened and she tells me she couldn’t show her test results because her phone had run out of charge. Fortunately, the airport security let her charge her phone to get the information they needed.
We have a good chat and she tells me where she lives in London. It’s the same area I grew up in and where my family still live. She went to the school just down the road, everyone knew the school; it was where we did our swimming galas. Would you believe, she is also an English teacher and a poet? She has a little house in Larache on the coast and she kindly invites us to visit.
Her dream is to have a little house, a goat and be self sufficient living on a mountain in Morocco. She says her friends laugh at her and think she is mad. I tell her I think it’s a worthy dream and not to let her friends laughter stop her following it.
We get through passport control and leave the airport into the wet inky night of Tangier. Just to the right of the airport is a taxi stop, it costs us 200MAD to get from the airport to the city. The taxi man tells us it will cost180MAD, but the driver asks for more when we arrive. It works out about £16.
Tangier Port, it is raining hard and there’s a man with a stick shouting at tourists. Living in glastonbury, I know something about shouty men with sticks, and I am not up for it tonight. 11pm in the wet orange hue of a new city is not the place to debate a taxi price, especially if you are likely the next target of an angry man waving a stick. I’m pretty sure we are paying more than we should, but it is worth it to get somewhere safe and dry after such a long journey.
Rome to Rio shows the average price of a taxi almost anywhere in the world. The taxi from Tangier Airport to Mamora Bay costs 150 to 190 MAD. Maybe we got a good price after all.
Tomorrow, we will explore Tangier medina and ‘Rock the Kasbah!’