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Storks and trains

A bright and early start breakfast provided by a very sleepy host. He has been very helpful and accommodating and we have managed to communicate with a mixture of English Spanish and French. It was a beautiful Moroccan home and a privilege to have been able too experience it.

We walked the 5 kms to the station in slightly over an hour. On the way we looked up and saw not one but a flock of Storks a few of them came to rest on top of the disguised mobile phone pole. Never seen stork before let alone a flock of them.

We arrived in good time for the train and found our first class seats.

Not luxurious but the advantage of having a nominated seat was a massive bonus as it was standing room only.

The journey itself took us first to Rabat and then to Casablanca the capital and the economic hub respectively. It was %99 farmland and as we were told Morocco is self sufficient for food and is a major exporter of food.

The beauty of train travel is that you meet some amazing people. We met a 21 year old marketing consultant who had just left home to set up a business in Casablanca he gave us some great tips and gave us his number should we need anything. He was a truly inspirational young man and we wish him all that he deserves in the future. He left the train in Casablanca and an American Mauritanian and Moroccan fighter jet pilot joined us on the carriage. The 6.5 hours flew by with an incredible insight into Moroccan life in all its amazing variety. We met our very own top gun!!!! He started off as one of 2000 applicants and by the end he and one other are now flying fighters. Incredibly he is stationed on the disputed border with Mauritania which led to an interesting conversation between our travel companions. All very good natured. The conversation ranged from gun control to Trump, the Moslem faith and family values and everything in between. Needless to say it was carried out in faultless English on there behalf!

We said our farewells as we arrived in Marreqesh.

Initially very European and completely hassle free. But as we walked towards our hotel it became increasingly busy and much more like the Morocco we had been used to.

Which strangely was quite reassuring.

We entered the medina on the others side of these walls to a raucous mixture of cars motorcycles and donkeys and carts.

We found the hotel on the first attempt and were very pleasantly surprised by our first sight.

Our rooms on the second floor. There's a roof terrace with views of the snow covered mountains in one direction.

And the underwhelming Maraquesh city scape in the other.

The cockerel has made an unwelcome return but our window faces the other way so fingers crossed we won't have the pleasure of waking to his dulcet tones.

We are off to explore the local ares and orinatate ourselves as best we can.

Tomorrow we will have look around and work out where to from here.

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