MOROCCO I


July 2019

We chose the beautiful country of Morocco as our first adventure for many reasons: it's close to Spain, it’s inexpensive and has a very different culture from ours. Also to make one of Manuel's dreams come true: learn to surf. We went with the idea of spending 2-3 months, without a fixed plan.



We landed in Marrakech on the 4th of July and we went straight to the Medina where our Airbnb host and her lovely little daughter were waiting for us. The next morning she prepared a typical moroccan breakfast for us. After breakfast we said goodbye and went for a quick walk to Jemaa El Fna (the main square that becomes a crazy place at night) and the famous Mosque Ben Youssef.





Then we took a taxi to the bus station for our next destination. We only had a few hours in Marrakech, but we knew we were going back, it's a very charming city!


The recommended bus companies are Supratours and CTM, both have new and confortable buses with a/c, and: they leave on time! Yes, on time in Morocco!


Tamraght
We arrived to Agadir bus station at night and we took a taxi to our new home, Tamraght. We went there to work in a surf and yoga camp, Manuel as social media assistant and me as the Yoga Teacher, and both as receptionists and hosts. We could write a whole blog about that experience! We stayed there for about two months, but we had so many adventures.






The surf camp was located on the hill of a tiny and dusty village and had beautiful views of the mountains, ocean and sunset. It's the only vegan surf camp in the area, so we were very happy with the food! The cook was a very talented young local woman called Houria who prepared delicious vegan meals and desserts with love, we ate so much! We became very good friends with her, and she always saved extra pieces of cake for us :)
                      







Summer is low season for surf in Morocco and the waves are very small, so is perfect for beginners (like us). The first weeks there we didn't have that many guests and the village was very quiet. This can be positive or negative, depending on your point of view :) We learned to surf (Manuel has a natural talent for it, me not so much) and enjoyed the wavy Atlantic Ocean, which felt so different from the Mediterranean Sea!



If you are a professional surfer or have a more experience than us, it's better to go during another season rather than summer. Winter has the biggest waves. 

"The tide is high but I'm holding on..."


For me the very best part of working in Tamraght were the Yoga classes. I was very grateful for the opportunity of sharing my passion every day with guests from all parts of the world, on the rooftop with stunning views. During the sunrise Yoga classes we were usually surrounded by a heavy morning fog, which felt like being inside a cloud (both literally and figuratively speaking).











But not all was good in Tamraght. We had many moments of frustration and stress... Working with Moroccans is not easy, they have a very different mindset ("why should I do it if someone else will do it for me" or "why do it today if I can leave it for tomorrow" and their favorite: "it's not my problem" along with the famous arabic quote mashi mushkil ("no problem"); they usually take things veeeery easy, plans change every five minutes and decisions are taken at the last minute; and that can be too much, even for someone from Spain!



But inside this craziness we tried to stay positive, enjoy and focus on the good things: the yummy food, free surf lessons and equipment, my Yoga classes, colorful sunsets, meeting people from all around the world...
If you want to read more about the crazy moroccan lifestyle, the blogs Off to Rabat and NOSADE have interesting posts about it.


The stunning view from the rooftop
Bonfire on the beach


And if you happen to be in Tamraght, here are the best places to eat and chill:

Let's Be. The most beautiful decoration you will ever see and delicious food and drinks (although they had european prices). Visit the Happy Cow page to see the reviews and amazing photos. I don't have good photos of the place because we had dinner only once there.



Adam's Cafe. Veggie options on the menu, fresh juices and live music on Fridays. Better to book a table if you want to go for dinner, especially on Friday. The staff is very friendly.

Juicing and journaling at Adam's

Vegan burger and juice


Friday live music

Sunset burger. There is a vegan burger on the menu, and they have plenty of fresh juices. There is another Sunset restaurant in the neighbor village of Taghazout.



Agadir
We visited the city of Agadir a couple of times, to go to our favorite place there: the Souk (market). It's one of the biggest souks in Morocco. It's open every day except Monday. You can find everything you need: fruits and vegetables, tea, sweets, nuts, argan oil, bread, clothes and shoes (new and second hand), household, pottery... I love it! Even if you don't need anything, it's fun to go around all the places, smell the aromas, enjoy the colors... 










Our favorite spot in the Souk: second hand clothes!





'Taxi collectif' from Tamraght to Agadir, they fit 7 people in a small car no problem!
The taxi costs about 10 Dirhams per person.
Agadir at night, like traveling back in time...



Taghazout
Friday night we had dinner out of the surf camp, and we usually went to the neighbor village of Taghazout. Busier and more interesting than Tamraght, there are many surf camps and cool things going on. We tried a different place every week, but we found that the food is not as cool as the village. The best part of our Fridays was the open mic in Mouja (which means wave in Darija) where local musicians were playing traditional and modern songs until 11pm. It was the highlight of the week, escaping from the boring and dusty village of Tamraght to visit the hipster Taghazout!


The view from the restaurant Rastapasta




Open mic in Cafe Mouja

Don't miss the homemade Ginger beer at Cafe Mouja












   
  
Dinner at Le Spot


Restaurant La Paix

The 'Taxi collectif' from Tamraght to Taghazout costs 5 dirhams and it takes 10 minutes. 

Aourir
The other neighbor village is better known as Banana Village because it's where you can find all the yummy local bananas hanging on the outside of the shops. There is a very big souk every Wednesday, dusty, busy and fun like all the souks! And regular street market every day in the main road. 


Banana Village
Spices at the Souk

Daily street market in Aourir



And there is a local Hammam (public bath); if you have never experienced it, don't miss the opportunity to clean yourself like in the ancient times. You will leave the place happy and shiny! The entrance was only 12 Dirhams.


The Hammam! You will need a glove to scrub your skin and black moroccan soap, 
there is usually someone outside selling them


After almost two months in the crazy & dusty village, exploring the surroundings, learning to surf and doing Yoga, we felt it was time to move on. So we said goodbye to our hosts and took the bus from Agadir to our next destination.






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