Morocco – Part 3

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The taxi system in Morocco is fascinating. I wish I taken more time to interview drivers and study the economics of it. Basically, you can take a Grand Taxi to all major cities across the country. The system is designed a bit like Southwest Airlines “spoke and wheel” system. Grant Taxies take you to and from big towns, then you switch to a Petit Taxi,which will navigate short distances.

At some point in time several hundred thousand Mercedes Benz diesel sedans invaded Morocco and became the primary mode of travel aside from pedestrian traffic. All of these cars look identical.

Over the course of my time in Morocco I never stepped into a cab that had less than 300,000 kilometers and one had 876,500; one driver claimed his last car survived to 1,500,000.

On our way to Essaouira we had to take two different Grand Taxis. The first from Ouled Tamil to Agadir. Then Agadir up the coast. The transportation hub in Agadir is something to behold. It’s at least 30 acres of nothing but Taxis self-organizing into departure queues; this is mixed with crowds of people weaving between the mass of vehicles. We decided we wanted to make our ride comfortable so we purchased an extra seat in our cab. Every car ride is shared with 6 passengers, not including the driver. If you get any larger folks you’re going to have a bad time. While waiting for our cab to fill up my sister wandered off in the hot sun to get us some fresh juice. The Moroccans have amazing fruits and the juices here are delicious. I’m parched from our morning run so I eagerly await her return. Finally, she comes back — and a few moments later our cab is full so our driver proceeds up the coast at an exceedingly dangerous velocity.

Apparently its very common for people to get car sick since they rarely travel at speed or distance and our compatriot in the back of the car was looking rather green. I prepped our sandwhich bag to intercept any issues but fortunately our friend kept it together. After a three hour twisty, hot, and body odor filled ride we arrived in Essaouira.

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