morocco prices may 1997

Sun, Aug 24, 2008

Following on from my Toubkal post, I thought I’d post some comments on prices I’d made at the time, May 1997. Prices are in Dirham (DH). The exchange rate at the time was around 12DH = 1 pound.

Dawn with oldest guide in Marrakech

We flew Glasgow - Amsterdam - Casablanca and then took the train to the main station at Casablanca (where photography was forbidden incidentally).

Casablanca Mohammed V Airport - Casa Voyageurs station 25DH each

We then took the train to Marrakech:

Casa Voyageurs - Marrakech    73DH

To get to Toubkal we took a taxi from Marrakech (Bab er-Rob) to the road end at Asni:

Grand Taxi Marrakech - Asni 50DH each way for two people

We got a lift with a local to his house then walked the rest of the way to Imlil but on the way back, we used the services of a local truck to get back to Asni:

Truck Imlil - Asni 20DH for two

Back in Marrakech now:

Hotel de la Menara 414DH for two B&B

Hotel Islane (around £18 per night B&B for double room)

Official guide - 120DH The Tourist office offered us a guide for 3 hours. Hotel Islane said we could have one for between 5 and 8 hours but we were introduced to the oldest guide in Marrakech who said, till you are too tired! There were LOTS of unofficial guides, but you ran the risk of being taken to a “Berber auction” ie carpet shop! Our guide remembered fighting the French!

We were fleeced by the taxi driver on the way from the train station in Marrakech to our hotel. He told us the charge and when we arrived he calmly announced the extrac charge for the luggage!

Petit Taxi - Best tactic is to wait at the station until they’ve all left. It’s always the most expensive that meet the train and grab you for their taxi. Tell them no and sit down ‘til the rush has died down. Then calmly walk outside and hail the first taxi you see on the main road. Tourist prices - 20DH EACH!, 30DH  plus 10DH for the luggage for two. Normal prices  - 10DH for two.

Bread loaves in Imlil - 1DH, about 7p

Tin of Tuna - 50p

1.5L of mineral water - 50p

CAF refuge at Imlil - 40DH for non members + 5DH per hour for using the gas

CAF refuge Neltner\Toubkal - Crowded and completely booked up all the time by the look of it. Same rates as Imlil, but with more guides around, looking for more money. Guides may try to charge you 10DH for the gas, plus 10DH for using the table, if you’re camping, which is the best way. You could always point to the charges on display in the hut but it’s peanuts compared to the Alps and helps them out.

Glass bottle of Coke at Sidi Chamarouch - 8DH, around 60p Can of Fanta at same place - 10DH Headscarf at same place - 60DH They said they had transport costs, mules etc. and stuff comes from Casablanca.

Mule ride across the river at Aroumd - around 20DH for two. Be prepared to part with first aid stuff as the locals have a high incidence of tooth ache! It’s the kids who give you a lift on the mules. They’re poor but very happy, so just cough up. It’s worth it for the patter!

Museum in Marrakech - 10DH each, though you may have to pay someone to find it and get you back to the square! We paid a small kid to take us there and eventually found our way back to the main square.

Saadiam Tombs in Marrakech - 10DH each but absolutely packed solid with tourists! Watch the water sellers at the door. If you take their picture, offer them money for their time.

The road from Asni to Imlil as it was in May 1997

The above picture is what the road between Asni and Imlil looked like in May 1997. It’s a postcard sent to us by Hamish Brown. While we were planning the trip, I wrote to Hamish for advice as he’s an authority on the area but he was out of the country and couldn’t reply until he got back, from Morocco!

We went to Morocco for our honeymoon and as the cards at our wedding were being read out, I got a real surprise. One from Tom Weir and another from Patrick Moore. Two of my heros and whom Dawn had secretly contacted asking for a card!