Getting to the bus station is usually easy, you just look for signs to "Gare routiere". But in Morocco, in many cities, there seem to be at least two different bus stations. One for stupid people and one for just a bit smarter ones. Or okay, I could say that one is for poor people and the other is for rich people, but that would be a plain lie. The main difference there is – the busses in one station are old, ugly and if it catches fire, I guess it’s a normal thing. And in the same bus station, everyone are trying to rip you off. The other bus station is clean, with better bus companies – such as CTM, SupraTours and SATAS (you’ll want to keep them in mind).
As we had just arrived in Morocco
the day before and wasn’t really used to it all, we ended up in the „wrong” bus station (if there is a such thing as wrong – maybe rather just a stupid choice). Before we could even go inside the station, the sales forces tried to get a piece of us and while we said no and kind of were going to the right direction, we still got tied up with one of the guys and when we finally reached the ticket office, it looked like he is their own man and really just wants to help. He sold us the ticket and guided us to the place where the bus was supposed to leave in 30 minutes. And then asked 25 Dirhams per face in addition to the bus ticket which was 90 Dirhams. The 25 Dirhams were meant to pay for his services in guiding us. We didn’t really agree and managed to negotiate the price down to around 10 per face.
Fortunately he did manage to be at least a bit useful to us. As it happened, the bus didn’t leave from where it was supposed to and about 15 minutes after the departure-on-paper-time he came to us and sent us to the new location (which was in the middle of the bus station). Another guy took our bags and put them to the luggage room. And of course, later on, inside the bus, he asked us both 20 Dirhams for luggage protection fee. And as weird as this might sound, it looked like this was a regular fee as everyone had to pay it, including locals.
The bus finally left 30 minutes after its official (if there is such thing at all) departure time and from the time we had bought the bus ticket and paid 90 Dirhams for it, we had managed to pay 30 Dirhams extra to actually get to the bus. So 120 Dirhams total. When you think that it’s just around 11 EUR for a 300 km 5-hour ride then it isn’t too much. But I think it’s the principle – if the ticket costs 90 then it shouldn’t cost 120. Just to rush a bit ahead of myself – when we finally got back from Agadir, we bought a ticket for a good bus company (CTM) for 90 Dirhams plus 2.50 Dirhams luggage fee, so 92.5 Dirhams total.
Be aware that travelling through the mountains might be quite cold, so if you do take such a trip, be sure to keep some more clothes with you as they don’t seem to like warmth in buses in Morocco
much. If it gets cold outside, it usually gets cold inside as well.
About 5 hours later we reached Agadir....or at least so we thought.
Continued in next post...