Marrakech & Taghazout
Two bus rides gets you from Mundaka to Madrid airport. We arrived at 11pm and this is where we dried and aired our wet smoky clothes. The airport started getting busy around 3am so we didn’t get much sleep at all, just tossed and turned on our trusty, now worn out, yoga mats. But the clothes dried out and smelt slightly better and after a packet of soup for brekky on the gaz camping cooker it was time to check in 6am.
Flying south over Morroco was amazing. Our faces stuck to the windows in awe of the contrasting red earth valleys and the deep blue atlantic ocean. As we descended into Marrakech we asked ourselves where’s the city and the buildings? Just before we hit the tarmac, literally moments before, the camouflaged city emerged. Touchdown. It was hot, sunny, and DRY!!!
Doesn’t take you too long to get through customs in Marrakech airport and straight out the front bus 19 takes you directly to the action - Djemaa el Fna. HEYA nothing prepares you for this place. People People People!! Taxis, tourist horse carts, locals riding donkey carts and hooking past on motorbikes WATCH OUT! Then there’s the snake charmers, the out of control monkey men, the persistent henna tattooists, the turbaned potion sellers, some sort of educationalists with locals crowding around them listening silently eyes open, the musicians and the homeless. Throw in the heated up stench of urine combined with wofts of food and there you have it. In all its craziness and chaos we walked through a labyrinth of alleyways to find our hotel thanks to some friendly directions given by a waiter in a café. Hotel Essuairra rooms started from 100Dirhams (1 Ausie daffy duck gets you 7 ding dong dirhams) and a mattress on the roof for 30 each. We took the roof option as we needed some space after being cramped up in a little 2 man tent for 4 weeks.
NOTE: maybe don’t take on the Djemaa el Fna or the surrounding covered market alleys (souk) when you’re tired or have jet lag. We didn’t last long and got ripped big time. Marrakech central medina is off the hook. We bailed back to the hotel roof with a few groceries, had and early dinner and crashed for some well overdue sleep….zzzzzz
The next morning was one of the most beautiful mornings we’d ever experienced. Waking to the sound of Marrakech call to prayer was really something else. Magical even. Sleeping on the roof my first sight was an orange horizon glowing up into the dark starry sky. One mosque would start, then another would join in, randomly at that, then another, then another until we were surrounded by the symphony of prayer. We heard the call to prayer the previous day but we were among hundreds of people in a covered market alley with jet lag so the effect was minimal.
The call to prayer was the only beautiful thing we could find in Marrakech, for the time being during our short 2 day visit. It was WAY too crazy. We went from camping in the bush talking only to ourselves to mixing with hundreds and thousands of souls. The time was right to bail, with a swell on the way and healthy advice from Manuel (met back in Peru, resides just off the Moroccan coast in the Canary Islands) we caught a coach straight to Agadir, then a local bus to Taghazout. On our way we teamed up with Simmo, whom on arrival in Taghazout lead us down some dark alleys to Mohammed’s where he stayed 5 years previous. Simmo got the last room and without hesitation Mohammed laid a mattress out on his huge balcony for us. SWEET we popped our tent up into the air in a couple of seconds. The mattress inside was a snug fit and Mohammed was impressed by these white fellas! And just in the middle of all this excitement, Chris and Anita popped their heads out from one of Mohammed’s rooms and said is that JESS n STEVE? WOOOHOOO we had met up with our old travelling couple buddies (through Mexico Baja if you’ve forgotten!). We stayed in Taghazout for 3 weeks surfing and learning yoga, shopping Agadir souk, and we also celebrated our 2nd year anniversary!
When went back to Marrakech it was beautiful. On the 2nd time round, now knowing how the Moroccans ticked, Marrakesh was a delight. We wandered the meandering narrow alley ways and navigated the medina by chance bumping into all sorts of treasures. Brass knobbed doorways, mud brick riads, mosques, palm treed gardens and toothless men selling delicious sweets. The Bahia palace was truly beautiful in all its ornate glory of fine wood work, geometric tiles and painted designs. We also enjoyed the souk this time round knowing how to avoid the majority of the hassle. The souk is loaded of glass beads, silver jewellery, fine leather work, panelled lanterns, kaftans, spices and even a chameleon if you were after one?
(Sorry only 3 photos the rest won't load no matter how many times I try!!!!)
We were advised ‘DON’T miss Morroco‘ and I’m glad we didn’t. We nearly did mind you. If you are ever travelling the UK or Europe its only a short cheap flight away. Some more photos might help ey...
Fun on the balcony
The surf and sunsets