Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chefchaouen - Blue and White town

 Remember when I said that would stay one month in Morocco? With 300€ I could actually stay at least 6 weeks. Moroccans (especially from the South) invite you to sleep in their houses, feed you and even give you money (!!!) but we don't accept, that's not the point. When you hitch hike and Couch Surf you save so much, enough to travel much more.
But I'm tired of Morocco to be honest. I mean, I'm having a great time but there's no fix price, you even bargain for food, seriously! Also there are many moroccans out there that seem to be your friends but in the end all they want is to sell you something. Worst! They can give you something as a gift and in the end they ask money for that. Very important: Not everybody is like this, we met many many nice, kind and friendly moroccans. Feels that in the South people are nicer maybe because is far from big cities?
 We just arrived in Chefchaouen, our last stop in this Morocco adventure. From Fes to here, you watch the most beautiful landscape of greenish mountains everwhere, I love it so much!
And when you see this town closer, you only see white and blue houses in a hill, so pretty. Tons of people told us about this place, either moroccans and travellers, but I try not to make expectations because of the disappointments you can get. My travel experience says: always go and look with your eyes. Sometimes people didn't like a place because they got stolen, bad experiences or other negative feelings. But doesn't mean that you will feel the same way.
 This town is picturesque and funky, can't wait to explore tomorrow. It's definitly the best place for shopping handmade, the sellers aren't that annoying and you find unique and creative items in every corner of the Old City.
And the surroundings seem fascinating, want to go on a hike every day! Sounds like a great spot to finish this beautiful trip. (another ride in the desert would be also a great choice! hehe)
And for the first time we are staying in a Riad which is a traditional moroccan house with an interior garden. Nowadays staying in a Riad means 50€ a night, it's the trend place to stay in Morocco but we are staying in the terrace for only 2€. So we can watch the stars and the sunrise in a matress and blanket and all Riad acess free, weeeee! We are pround backpackers and I love this family houses style hotel.

Now I dream about building my own Riad :) Do you have a dream house? In the city or countryside?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sahara Desert Experience

Being in the Sahara Desert was, without any doubt, one of the best moments of my life. The feeling of silence, of non life, far away from any electronics and the busy life out there was speechless.

We decided to go to Erg Chebbi Dunes in Merzouga to enter the desert. We knew we had to book a tour and be a tourist for few hours :D The agency we found was asking 400 DH (around 40€)
for the pack: riding a camel one hour in the desert until the camping site, watch the sunset from the top of the dune, have moroccan dinner, sleep with the stars and come back in the morning riding a
camel and at the same time enjoy the sunrise and breakfast in the hotel where we leave our backpacks. We bargained so hard that we paid 500 DH for both. It's crazy that we are spending around 5€/day and
suddenly 40€ in one click. 25€ sounded resonable. Common! Being in the South of Morocco and not experience the desert? We'd miss something.

It was my first time riding a camel and going to the desert and my heart was exploding of happiness. The sand of desert is actually orange and so soft, I was feeling like jumping to the sand all the time and play.

 The Desert is actually inspirating to take pictures, especially during the sunset. I took zillions of them and again, so hard to choose only few to share with you!

  You can see me smiling all the time in the pictures :) We didn't sleep inside the tents, we brought the blankets outside and slept looking at the stars in this huge black sky. How I wish it was full moon! And the silence. But it's a positive silence that brings you peace of mind, harmony and serenity to your life. In the morning time the vision of the camels in the horizon with the sun rising, speachless!

I hope you are enjoying this trip. Thanks so much all the comments you've been sending, I really appreciate your feedback, means there are people out there who are enjoying what I write about.

Much love and light
Marta x

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Rocks Heaven

Asking locals or people who host you is always the best way to go to this treasure places you couldn’t find in Travel Guide Books. Tinghir was in our route but as soon as some moroccans said that Gorges du Todra (15 km from Tinghir) is a better spot to stay we changed our mind. And did pretty good.
Gorges du Todra is basically a trench of gigantic rock walls and mountains, perfect for climbing activities. You can also find a river, palmeries and small berber villages. The way from Tinghir to Gorges is spectacular, with a mix of desert feeling, green zones with palmeries and villages.  

As you hike in these huge rocks you will find nothing but goats trying to eat some vegetation left and silence. A kind of silence I never experienced before. Literally silence. Nomads that locals seldom see, only when they come down to get water from the river. They live in caves in the rocks and the goats we saw belong to them. They never went to school, they don’t speak, read or write. They have no clue about the Technology Era we are living right now. I kinda envy these nomads, who live with so less and still are happy in their simple lifestyle. These are the real nomads like Samed said.

Talking about Samed, one of the workers in the hotel we are staying, we were lucky to find these people. Really. All the hotels were pricey for our budget and this guy just asked how much can we pay and then showed us a Moroccan style living room with table, chairs, a big carpet, mattresses, pillows. Just in front is the kitchen and the bathroom. We even have Wifi. And all the staff are so kind, every night we go to the roof top of the hotel and share cultures, stories and opinions while watching the shadows of the big rocks, the stars and the moon.
If you come this way I highly recommend you to stay at Maison La BelleEtoile.
This is the view from Maison La Belle Etoile Roof Top
Three days here and we feel like home. When we walk around we say Hello to the lady who sells the bread, to the guy who stayed with us in the roof top the last night, to the kids always smiling and shaking hands. This spirit of community nourish my soul. Everybody knows everybody here. I understand that is probably a good spot to live, quiet, serene, safe, protected by mother nature but could I actually live here? I think we are so used to go to the movies or theater, learn something new in a course or workshop, go to post office or library or cultural house, etc. etc. that we would be bored here. For the locals, it’s the best life you can get.     


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