Author: Ramón Díaz Miguel
Content by courtesy of : Mineralogia-independiente http://www.elistas.net/lista/mineralogia-independiente
Translation by MineralTown.com
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Ever since we began to prepare the trip that would lead us to Morocco, we always have been with the doubt that, perhaps, the moment was not most suitable. The threat of a probable warlike conflict with an Arab country and that Spain is one of the main countries that have supported that armed intervention more, have caused that the decision to go to Morocco has been very meditated. A decision that caused that some lay down back in the last moment. The conflict was not made wait and at dawn of day 20 the war exploded. A war with a Muslim country and in which Spain participates actively. Even so, with the conflict to the door of the house, we decided to make the travel.
The components of the group, six altogether, started up and at dawn Saturday day 11 of April we left Granada course to Algeciras Ramón Díaz, Paco López, Alejandro and Javier Subirán. By the way we gathered to David Montesinos and Fernando Mancilla that waited us in Marbella. With the eyes reddened by the dream and with the added emotion we continued the trip until arriving at Algeciras. We embarked in the morning in ferry at six o'clock and, after a delay of two hours in the border, we entered Moroccan territory.
When we arrive Tetuan we were mistaken of highway and by the freeway we arrived at Kénitra, from that point, direct to Meknés. Although the route was a little more length, was compensated by the good state, in inverted commas, of the highway. We passed Meknés and when arriving at the Paysage D´Itos we stopped to throw a look to the numerous positions of sale of minerals. Some made his first purchases and, using the best arts in the bargaining, we could acquire some lots of minerals. We continued the way until arriving at the forest of cedars to half of way between Meknés and Midelt, and, once again, the bargaining was an infallible weapon. New lots were filling the trunk space of the cars.
Finally we arrived at Midelt and direct to the hotel. Surprise, No rooms !!!. Nevertheless, its proprietor, a man of most amiable, offered us a house to be able to spend the night during the days of stay in Midelt. It was really better, because we were completely single, without bothering to anybody and with sufficient space to keep all the material that we were acquiring.
Rested of the trip and after a good breakfast, we were to the door of the hotel and without nobody know a 4x4 vehicle was to our disposition, completely free and including a guide. With the 4x4 we went to visit some warehouses of retailers. In the first warehouse that we visited we acquired good lots of vanadinite, aragonites of Sefrou and units to very good price. Paco López, our friend from Granada, was dedicated exclusively to the hunting of micros, although it took some good lots of minerals of greater size to trade. The others preferred a big size.
At the exit of Midelt, Ar-Rachidia direction, we visited Africa-Minerals, where the majority bought lots to very good price again.
The bargaining is forced. Sometimes, the struggle between both parts takes hours, but in the end you are accustomed to get what you want. That way they say that the "muslims" are not idiot and know perfectly the value that their stones have in the market. We, those that we were of trip, could verify that indeed of idiots they do not have anything, but the money in hand as it says to "cash" calling to the doors of his house makes miracles at the time of acquiring good ejemplares.
For example, a good specimen of vanadinite that in Spain some retailers sell for 600 Euros, you can obtain it in Midelt for 150 Euros, 75% more cheap. Buying by lots it's even more economic.
I believe that to travel to Morocco it is good. After visiting several retailers, we went to see the swap-meet bereber. Horror! What disorder. Everybody installs its position where it comes to him in desire: a lot of people, disorder, noise, give an exotic touch to so peculiar swap-meet. I believe that we were only the European that we were visiting it. Nevertheless, we did not have any problem. Everything was attentions and very good treatment. They said to us that most of the inhabitants of that zones they are bereberes, very simple people and with a great sense of the hospitality. We give faith that this is true.
As soon as we returned to the house and we arranged ourselves to eat meals that we brought of Spain, to the time which we took advantage of to order all the material that we had obtained. Paco López, always with his magnifying glass hunging to the neck, looks until the last corner of each stone, while Javier Subirán reviewed with critical eye the material that was buying. Alejandro, Fernando and David dedicated themselves to the same. All we took advantage of the free time to be ordering the pieces surrounding them in smooth paper. The rolls of hygienic paper disappeared of the service like by magical art.
We eat quickly and, again, "atac". We went to visit the store of the "mudo". the bargaining was forced Here and, after several hours battle, lots were changing of owner. A wonderful lot of eritrines from Bou-Azzer was acquired between several of the group. Vanadinites, quartzes, wulfenites, etc, were taken leave of the "mudo". All the day we were visiting different warehouses and particular houses. In Midelt everybody has something to offer.
We finished debilitated but contentments. Once in the house, to prepare the material again. David, desperate, came to sleep to my room since his companion remained until so many of the dawn ordering the material.
Morning call, breakfast in the hotel and direct to Mibladen. Before arriving at the mining town we made a visit to a old mine where still continues producing good specimens. For the inhabitants of that zone the work in those mines constitutes their only source of income. In precarious conditions and with a poor equipment, they are able to obtain magnificent specimens, many of which have passed to our hands for "bon prix". Then, our guide "Mustafa" a boy of the zone that gains the life accompanying expeditions, took us to a lead mine of Mibladen.
Spectacular, without helmets, without lights, solely with a lamp, the "Jurasik Park" and a small lantern, we entered ourselves more of one km by the narrow galleries of the immense mine. The emotion did not take in arriving. Soon they appeared great fissures filled with crystals. Pity not to take any hammer, although better it not to have taken by respect to the villagers, because since we are saying, for them the mines are the only resources to be able to live.
Again in the surface, we went to the mining town, formed by small constructed houses of mud and metallic plates by ceiling. Old furniture completed their furniture. Much misery is breathed by all the sites to where we went, in spite of having in its power impressive pieces of vanadinita, wulfenites, cerussites, etc. Pieces that can be obtained less easily than half of their price of which request to you in Spain. This gives us an idea of the expensive prices that some national retailers sells. Bargaining during hours caused that the morning passed quickly.
Here, in Mibladen, everybody has something to offer. Bereber, with one more a beard thicker than the one of taliban, between signs and means secretly it made gestures us to offer us wonderful cerussites on matrix to prices of laughter. One or several teas closed the treatments. In a matter of a pair of hours, we drank more than 20 teas, nice but, perhaps due to the excess of theine in so little space of time, our bodies were at one hundred.
Thus, all the day dedicated to the bargaining, we finished to five of afternoon and we went to Midelt, to the house, where we prepared appetizers and with our guide Mustafá we eat it. With the food still in the mouth, we went directly to house of retailers where it offered good lots again to us and the tea of rigor.
Others of the group we preferred to take advantage of the time to send messages to the family and friends in ciber near. To ten at night we met in the hotel and, after an abundant supper, we returned to house to prepare the return trip.
With the chassis almost grazing the ground due to as much bulk that we took, we started up. The strong snow accompanied to us from Col Du Zad to near Azrou, the snow was our beautiful companion. In the Forest of Cedars we could observe the famous monkeys of the Atlas. Perhaps, due to cold ruling and the difficulty to obtain food, it caused that they approached the vehicles that happened that way. Trusted, they approached us to take the food that we offered with our hands.
A the six at afternoon we arrived at the border and, after the rigor proceedings, we entered, finally, in Ceuta. Direct to the zone of boarding of ferry and it waited for the control to us of the Civil Guard there. A likeable one cooquer gave to the welcome smelling the car in case we took to something "sospicious". Nothing, all correct, quickly direct to ferry. To ten at night we stepped on peninsular territory and to two of the dawn we were all in our houses with our treasures.
Great field trip this one to Morocco. I recommend it by the amount of surprises that one can take and the exquisite treatment received at any moment.
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