Tango in Tangier

From Chaouen I was off to Tangier, a city of old and new and sun and sand and tangos and hangovers. Before I even reached the door my host had piled my bags in his car, introduced me to his two friends, and whisked me away to a free concert held at the local branch of the French Institute.

The band was a cool rock-jazz fusion, and my host danced his way through it. His enthusiasm was infectious and I caught myself getting back in the groove of life. He was hosting another couchsurfer from the Czech Republic, who was really nice. She and I chatted long into the evening as the only non-French speakers in the group, although the rest did their best to make us feel welcome.

The evening was spent dancing at a local salsa club, which was really fun! I was pretty tired, though, and deeply relished my luxurious couch that night.

My last full day in Tangier was spent rock climbing! Now that’s sure to put a pep in my step. My host had a friend who was an accomplished climber, and we picked up a hearty troupe of international friends along the way. There was also wine, and sammiches. Recipe for success!

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We headed to the ocean, near the Straits of Gibraltar. Gorgeous! The climbing was fun and easy, and I enjoyed being in the sun. The wine helped, too 🙂

That night was spent at a party in the old part of Tangier, in a house that I will envy probably for the rest of my life. It was full of artwork and was tall and narrow, with a great rooftop from which you could see the whole of Tangier and Spain across the water on a clear day. There were drinks, snacks and dancing.

The next morning I took a jaunt around the city, and walked along the beach to the old town. Kids played football, families picnicked and I saw no less than 5 dead rats washed up on the beach. Eeeeeww.

Rats aside, the city is vibrant and I really like it!

I learned a lot of things in Morocco. I learned that, while Couchsurfing is an amazing community of people, sometimes it backfires. You don’t always get the experience you want, but when you do it is really worth it. People are incredibly kind and generous. Sometimes it is worth it, however, to pay a bit more money to get the experience you want out of your short time in a country. Basically, do what you need to do to keep yourself happy, comfortable and sane. You will never regret that.

Then it was time for Spain… More adventures to come!

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