I remember chatting to someone years ago who who saw visiting places pretty much as a tick-list activity. Spending one day on each continent qualified as real world travel to her, an accomplishment and the end of her interest. Lightyears from how I feel about visiting new places…
Keeping in with this, a day-trip to Africa didn’t sound like something I’d do either. When we headed down there right the second day of our stay in southern Spain, I was going to let the boys take the ferry over by themselves and just mooch about Tarifa, the southernmost tip of Spain. Once I saw the hills of Africa in the distance though, I was not able to resist the pull and went anyway.
I lived two years in Spain, one of them in the South, mere hours away from the African continent, but I was so broke I could never even consider heading down to Tarifa. I remember people saying how on a clear day you can see right across the strait and make out the vast continent beyond, but I could never quite imagine just how close they really were.
Sadly, our day-trip to Tangier, or the scraps of it we managed to visit, didn’t end up being a good experience at all, and we couldn’t wait to get back. We should have done heaps more research, especially on how to get rid of the incredibly persistent tourist scamming fake guides. Within the half an hour we were made so uncomfortable by these stalkers that the rest of our time was completely spoiled by a paranoia that another one might begin following us.
I felt really let down and disappointed and I really regret not having done more research to feel more confident while moving about Tangier’s streets. I know that Morocco, the real Morocco, is a stunning place with kind people, so I want to visit again, a lot more prepared, and ready to go further than just scratching the surface for a couple of hours.