We had visited Chefchaouen with its blue washed buildings many times. We stayed at Camping Azilan set high on a hill overlooking the city, 1,000 metres above sea level. Chefchaouen was a popular tourist destination and we had expected the camp site to be full – but the guardian told us that they had had very few visitors over the last two years due to Covid and the suspension of the Spain to Morocco ferry service. The only travellers we saw at Azilan were two tour groups, one German and the other Polish – we recognised both groups from the Genoa ferry. The Polish driver introduced himself as Roland; he told us he was from Poznań and was extremely excited to discover our truck had been converted in his home town. Roland from Poland ha ha!
Whilst out walking we fell into conversation with a man who told us he worked in a factory further up in the mountain. We wondered what sort of factory that would be. Hashish, we were told, best marijuana in the world – would we like some?
It was a twenty minute walk down the steep steps and narrow lanes to the town. We noticed there were far fewer tourists than on previous visits. There appeared to be very few Covid rules, the occasional elderly person wore a mask, but often slung under the chin. The exception was the Maroc Telecom office where we went to buy a wifi data card. The manager was at the door, preventing our entering until we had a mask in place and showed him proof of our vaccinations.
We bought fresh vegetables in an undercover market that also had fresh fish stalls, butchers and sellers of groceries and fragrant spices. When we had finished our shopping we took a ten minute taxi ride back up the steep hill to Azilan – the taxi cost 80p to £1 depending how many other people shared your ride.