Fortunately due to research the night before, we managed to find our way out of Fez easily and were soon on the road over the Rif mountains. They are lovely but........the 6 hour drive did not really offer any great variety. The mountains and villages looked much the same the whole way.
The road was in much poorer condition than the roads we had driven on so far. Full of potholes, narrow, and of course windy. The hills were bright green with large patches of cannabis openly grown right down to the road.side Cannabis or Kif as it is known in Morocco is illegal……but it couldn’t be more visible in the Rif Mountains if you tried.
Rif Mountain Views
Ketama - the Wild West of Morocco?
As warned, the locals were trying to sell. In Ketama which is smack bang in the middle of cannabis country it was market day and the locals are a different breed to the generally friendly Moroccans we had met further south........it really was like the wild west and most unpleasant trying to get through the cars and people, all doing crazy manoeuvres, banging your car, walking or driving in front of you cutting you off from getting thorough the melee. We felt really uncomfortable.
We stopped at a petrol station with dodgy looking men in a restaurant trying to attract our attention, clearly indicating they were selling cannabis. After a brief wait Brian was reluctant to get out, and fortunately we were able to leave without being desperate to fill up .
Leaving Ketama it was a pretty drive through the cedar and pine forests for some relief from the more barren cannabis scenery. But you would see men meeting in the trees....it all looked slightly sinister!
We didn't find Bab Berret and Bab Taza the other bigger towns en route to Chefchouen any more attractive and .....market day seems to be Thursday. We did manage to fill up with petrol in Bob Taza.
It is really strange that cannabis is illegal and specially tourists can be apparently even jailed for buying.....yet it is grown so openly. It is the main crop in the area.
We were very happy to round a hill and see the beautiful blue hue of Chefchouen spread out below.