kamila

Can’t live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

The most terrifying bus journey of my life

I’m not a big fan of bus/car journeys. I don’t have a driver’s licence (and I don’t think I’ll need one anytime soon), I travel by train wherever I can, I also don’t mind flying. Taking the bus or car is the last possibility for me, only if I don’t have any other options. Not to mention I’m car-sick and  before every journey I have to take the medicine that makes me feel sooo sleepy.

Unfortunately Morocco isn’t a place with the well developed rail system. There’re only two main railway lines connecting major cities, the rest of the country is well served by buses. There’re at least two major companies, the routes and prices are similar, the only reason why I always ended up with one was their schedule. Their buses were really clean, comfortable and safe. I was really fine taking them except for the fact that I hate buses (just wanted to stress it out again;)).

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I took couple of buses in Morocco: Marrakesh-Essaouria and back, overnight Fez to Merzouga and Merzouga to Ouarzazate. By the time I had to leave from Ouarzazate towards Marrakesh I was used to them and knew more or less what to expect. I heard this journey is known for its incredible views when the bus passes High Atlas mountains but the way from Merzouga on the previous day was pretty amazing too so I didn’t think too much about what’s waiting for me. I spent a pretty nice day in Ouarzazate, exploring the kasbah and the Berber village nearby, wandering around the city and trying to get rid of the amourous guy in my hotel and by the afternoon I was ready to go back to Marrakesh. The journey was supposed to take 4.5 hours and I was really hoping to relax a little bit and maybe to take a nap too.

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It was the same bus that I arrived from Merzouga on the previous day, again perfectly on time. My seat was taken by a young guy who wanted to hang out with his friend so I took his place instead, next to a teenager Moroccan girl who spoke a perfect English. I could see orange mountains in the skyline but my eyes were getting heavier and heavier after the travelsickness medicine and I didn’t have the energy to fight with the nap. 10 minutes later I was woken up by the weird feeling in my head, like I was on a huge roller coaster. When I opened my eyes the amazing mountains weren’t that far away, we were in the middle of them, passing orange villages that seemed to be sticked to the mountainsides. I quickly discovered my dizziness – we were constantly going uphill and downhill, taking one turn after another, some of them being almost as sharp as 350 degrees…

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The road was really narrow, often without the safety gates. All I could see when I looked outside of the window was either a high mountain or a deep valley. And yet another sharp turn. The drivers were honking before each turn but never slowed down. I tried to explain myself that they are well trained for that road, they pass it on daily basis and they know very well what they do but it didn’t help me feel safer. Then I’ve notticed we’re driving through Col du Tichka pass at 2260 meters above the sea level and I was terrified all over again…

The speed limit high in the mountains was 80 kms per hour, way too fast for me. I was seriously horrified and I was actually glad I changed seats with this young guy, otherwise I’d have been in a very front row, just behind the driver and that, no matter how awesome the views were, would have been pretty traumatic experience for me. Still I was holding the head-rest of the seat in front of me almost as strong as I was holding the harness of the camel couple of days before (yet another horrifying experience in Morocco I still have to write about). The bus was rolling on the road and I could feel every muscle in my body was so tense…

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When I looked around everyone seemed to be relaxed, enjoying the ride. People were talking, playing cards, some were sleeping and snoring loudly. And I, even if I took my travel sickness medicine, felt more and more nauseous (someone in the back of the bus felt even worse…). Things were falling down from the overhead shelves but no one seemed to mind that.

Finally it got darker outside and that made me feel slightly safer, after all I couldn’t see these deep valleys below us, so very close from the edge of the road. But then we started going downhill, really fast and that was not fun at all! My ears were constantly blocked and I really wished we were already in Marrakesh! After 3 hours of driving through High Atlas on constant crazy turns we finally were on the flat road, heading towards our destination. When I finally left the bus (that arrived to Marrakesh ahead of schedule anyway) I could feel my legs were still shaking and I was overexcited not to spend more time in the bus…

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Now, when I look at this whole journey from the time’s perspective it was actually pretty fun and interesting. Not to mention the views were breathtaking and not to be forgotten! Still it was the most terrifying bus journey I’ve ever took and I don’t think I’d like to repeat it anytime soon!

What are your worse journey experiences?


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The most terrifying bus journey


If you think of visiting Morocco or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!

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6 Sie '13

There are 4 Comments.

  1. Good essay..
    Pretty much interesting.

  2. Rahimah
    04:52 06/01/2017

    I’m laughing while reading this..no offence, I would freak out too if I were there..and I’m going there in a couple of weeks time!. And I’m already freaking scared. Thanks for sharing this. Btw, since it’s winter, was it really cold when u were in ouzazarte and merzouga? Did u go to midelt?

    • kami
      21:41 28/01/2017

      no worries, I’m now laughing at this whole situation too ;)
      Actually it seems as I was really lucky with the weather as it was rather warm. But apparently this winter was especially hard in Morocco so far so you never know. I haven’t been to Midelt, but noth Merzouga and Ouarzazate were really great!

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