As I am living in Porto last half a year, our trip to Morocco started with a long drive towards Madrid to catch a plane there. We stoped for a picnic near the border of Spain, in beautiful Fraga do Puio - Picote. It is the Douro river what borders Spain and Portugal in this side.
I swear, we were driving with 160 to get to the airport on time. We were really late but of course, the plane was also late. So we had some snacks at the airport and waited for our departure.We decided not to stay at the hostel but rather find some locals and stay at their house, to get the real Moroccoan life feeling. So this is the amazing Sigou family. They took us into their home and treated us like part of their family.
Our first day in Morocco started very early. We woke up around 6.30 to get to the meeting point for our 2-day camel trip to the desert. As we stayed in the middle of town, the meeting point was quite close but already with this 12min walk I experienced a lot new.
Marrakech streets in the morning..
The local bakery and bread
On our 6-hour drive we stopped in small places to have a coffee or some snacks. Usually the people didnt want me to take photos of them, I had to do it secretly or not to do at all, many times happened that they came to me and insisted me to delete the photo. But some people were different :-)
Another funny fact about Morocco is that you cant use bathroom for free and you are not paying for the water but for the toilet paper. There are ladies or guys sitting in front of the toilets, asking money and even if you have your own paper, they just dont let you in.
To Sahara we were driving with a small bus with a lot of different people from all over the world. The worst thing was that this bus was shaking horribly so sleeping was quite impossible. Every time you got to fall asleep there was some bigger hole on the way and you were flying again somewhere above the ceiling of the bus.
Our first real stop and lunch included was in a place called Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. This is actually a name of the city Kasbah (castle) Ait (family) Ben (son) and Haddou (the meer of the city). And this was our tour guide.
This city is actually very famous. They have filmed many well-known movies there, such as Gladiator and Game of Thrones (3rd episode).
We made a round over the city, at first crossed the river, using the old way (just stepping on the potato bags) and before we even had started we were surrounded by local children who wanted to take all our money..
The city was full of little shops and markets with people selling amazing things, you sure had to bargain a lot and ask at least 3 times less the actual price because they put a lot more to the price when they see you are not local.
We went back to the place we started crossing the new bridge what they had built 4 years ago because during spring water level goes really high and its hard to cross the river. Many families have moved out of this town because of this reason and they stay now in the town in front of river.
Our amazing tour guide asked for this small trip extra 25 dirhams from each person which is approximately 2,5 eur (I guess he was his extra earning because as our trip was fully payed already) Before we left, we had a lunch there. W tried local tajine, which was amazing, specially with the special spicy sauce we asked.
After few hour drive to the destination where we started our camel ride, we met these local children again. May say they were everywhere, begging for food and when they got something, they didnt share it with others. It was obvious that they didnt get enough to eat there so we gave them what we had - date fruits.
... and the camel ride started. We had been warned that for girls its okey but for guys, a bit more uncomfortable, this was right. Around one hour we were sloping on those camels before we get to the Sahara, where we stayed in campings for the night. And the faces of the guys, it was hilarious. The next day many of them decided to walk back.
We arrived to the destination when it was dark already, had tea (really strong green tea with lots of sugar, they are used to make this a lot there) and dinner, which was local soup and tajine again. During thw evening we had more time to talk with others and get to know each other better. What was cool, was the fact that we were sharing the tents with 4 people, so we got the AUSTRALIANS whoop, of course we decided to do some acro yoga on our beds.
So we woke up again 6.30, had the breakfast, which was local bread with butter and jam and again, this super strong green tea.
We had some moments before leaving, so we decided to do acro yoga in the desert.
And not even noticing we were back on the saddles of camels, riding in the desert.
The next stops were quite short, we visited local museum, of course they wanted to sell everything for you with "very good price". The funniest thing was that this one guy could even speak Portuguese so this is what I was doing, speaking Portuguese in Morocco.
After the best break "ice-cream brake" we had lunch (3 times you could guess, we had tajine again) after what we continued our way back to Marrakech.
As usual, locals were trying to sell us everything. Here, for example, they tried to sell STONES, yes, stones for 5 euros.
After arriving to Marrakech, we sayed good-bye to everybody we met during this time. It was a little bit heart braking because we got actually pretty close with this super short time. And we went to discover nightlife in Marrakech, also trying to find some fountains or any moving water to wash ourselves because during last 5 days we had not seen any water or bathrooms. My face was so brown that I didnt know anymore if it was because of the sun or because I was just so dirty.
We tried different local street food and even snails (on the picture spice cake, made of different spices). Actually it was pretty annoying, everywhere we went, there were local sellers trying to crab us and get us eat in their booths.
I really loved the local sweets, made of different nuts, date fruit and loads of sugar. After 3 of them, it was actually hard to eat anything else.
So, during the evening we had lots of different local foods and sweets and when we decided to go back to home, our wonderful host informed us that he had cooked dinner. So we went to home and had another dinner (I guess it was like third or forth dinner already this evening). Which was amazing! The best Tajine for sure :-)
With the permisson of our host, I share a bit about their home, which was really different than we are used here. They usually dont have bathrooms in the houses and toilet is just a hole.
So the next day we started with the visit to local hamam (a public place where people wash themselves). FINALLY we could wash ourselves. Unfortunately I dont have pictures od this place because taking a camera wasnt just allowed there. But it looked something like..
Man and women were separated. Girls got to be naked but guys never, they had to wear swimming pants. When I went inside, I took all my washing things and one really big and strong lady started scrubbing me, she was SUPER strong. I guess she took half of my skin with her. Even the hair, she wasnt very sensible but at least I got clean. After half an hour we were fresh and free to discover Marrakech during daytime.
I went and sit down in a place called Cafe de France, where we got to use the wifi. I was waiting for others when this homeless boy came to me, trying to sell me napkins. And of course I bought them, I just couldnt resist. And then, there was this British man, sitting with his wife next to me and he started talking a story about similar girl he met in Egypt and this story just moved my heart a lot but what moved my heart even more was their story. 10 years ago they got married and spent their honeymoon in Morocco, now, 10 years later they came back, stayed in the same hotels, visited the same places and were just very happy!
"I had all the pockets full of change but now I dont have anything because she giver everything to poor children and homeless woman, which I dont mind of course haha"
After a while waiiting, we met our Australian friends, had some good lunch and loads of good talks, did some acro yoga and danced on the streets of Marrakech.
Meeting different people from all over the world was the highlight of this all I guess. The fact that we could share our views of the world, listen theirs and just get to know other cultures, wouldnt change these conversations and experiences with anything.
Our last night we spent teaching acro yoga and latin dances to some local people at our hosts friends airbnb house. We also practiced some fire dancing and had a dinner with our host family. In the morning, what woke us up was the sound of rain, which was raining inside of the room next to ours because this room didnt have a roof. The day was colder than usually, but still okey to wear shorts. We left Marrakech with lots of good memories, love in our heart, being very grateful to everybody we met!