320. Morocco's Poorest City (Mor 153--new)

Si Mokhtar Travel Blog

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I wasn’t even planning to parkbench Sidi Mokhtar—it’s barely even on the map.  But as my bus stopped here, I knew the town was way to big to just pass up… So I got off the bus…

Once I left the line of butcher shops and grill joints along the highway, I quickly started getting an odd feeling about Sidi Mokhtar.   The town is huge—it’s more of a small city… yet it doesn’t have a single paved road.  And no sewage system—just little drainage canals coming out into the middle of the street from each house.  It feels much more like a sub-Saharan town than a Moroccan town…  As I walked on and on down its narrow dusty, rutted streets past long mud walls enclosing people’s homes, I wonder how this town ended up like this—even though it’s right smack in between two of Morocco’s most popular tourist destinations: Essaouira and Marrakech…

Ironically, right at the edge of town, there’s a new development, with all the utilities, paved streets, streetlights—the whole works… but not a single house built on it yet…

As it gets later and later, I start to have doubts that I’ll ever find a decent spot to parkbench it this ugly, flea bitten town… Finally I find a quiet clump of trees…

Kind of an uneasy feeling about the whole place—a real contrast to the other towns I’ve parkbenched over these last two days…


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photo by: nathanphil
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