Laayoune (The Hotel of Horrors)

Laayoune is a military town and built to supposedly house the UN presence to finally resolve a solution to the Polisario movement in the Western Sahara that has long made the area a grim location. It’s been more than 15 years and they’ve arrived to no conclusion. 
The arrival, obviously at night, to Laayoune lead us to an immediate for a hotel and there was only one recommended by Routard. We went and was offered 2 rooms seeing as the receptionist, guy by the name of Jaeem, feared imprisonment if ever the police found out that the hotel placed unmarried female and male companions in a single room. I was heading upstairs to view the room when Red asked me if I in my opinion the red brownish color on the floor and walls of the staircase was blood or not… 
As the enthusiastic receptionist took me upstairs, I couldn’t believe my sight of smears on the wall, stair handles and drops every step or 2 until arriving at the first floor and finding a pool of coagulating fresh blood and smashed beer bottles on one side of the passage and more marks of bloody hand smears on 3 sides of this opening to 2 corridors. He told me to come towards a corridor as I was frozen with my mouth open and smiled and encouraged me to follow and watch my step. Then he realized he was going the wrong way and try to lead me to another corridor but by that time I’d already seen the first corridor with more pools of blood. I was gasping for air. 
Room number 4 had a bloodied palm mark in front of it… 
Then he tried to show me the bathroom and assured me that there was hot water… 
I know that a good salesman accentuates the positive features of a product but, for the love of me, I can’t get pass through this man who did not feel the need to immediately explain to me why the hell his hotel looked like a scene from The Shining. Now I feel for Wendy.. In the end, he explained that some guy got drunk and tried to commit suicide and then he tossed some bonuses to the negotiation of a 1 night stay which was that Red and me would sleep in 1 room, plus parking of the 2 motorcycles.. 
I don’t know why the hell I said yes anyway.. 
Jaeem in the meantime organized 2 maids to clean the blood away and Red moved as quickly as he could to take pictures before the crime scene was wiped free.. after they’ve finished I reevaluated the concept of cleanliness in the western sahara.. come to think of it, I’ve never met a Moroccan housecleaner before.
Eating was not the first thing on my mind after admitting ourselves to the hotel of horrors but Red had to fill his stomach and I was not about to stay there alone!
We went to a restaurant called Riad Fez. The entrance was a huge wooden door and met with very wide promising stairs that rose up to a huge open space where one table had a distance of 5 meters from one another, there were gazebos, boutiques, a short of food corners, assorted goods booth, a fountain in the middle with goddess-like statues in different colors framed by elliptic shaped metal platforms that erected… nothing… Super kitsch. Supposedly of the elite. It was the first time we saw women running amok. In fact there were mostly only women. 
The service was definitely unaccountable.. we were waiting for almost an hour to get served and then went away. 
The best places to eat is where all the people of the town go to. In fact after asking a simple fellow at the cyber cafe, we arrived a restaurant that served a menu of meat, chicken or lamb with side dishes you couldn’t choose from. You eat what you get and what we got was great fried chicken and fries, with side of lentil soup and salad. The place was filled with so much oil residue in the air that none of the flies around bothered us as they were already happy with what they found on the ceiling
We slept well nonetheless but I was under my mummy sleeping bag.

Touring Africa on a 50 cc… 


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