Can I be honest with you and tell you what really messes with unemployment? Early morning construction workers, that’s what! Making a racket outside, a noise so loud that is impossible to sleep through. Dejectedly I crawl out of bed at an ungodly hour, 8:30am or something equally as hideous. I don’t have anyone to complain to about it either, because they’re all at work. If I had a baby that could be my excuse, I could scream “THERE’S A SMALL HUMAN HERE AND I’VE BEEN UP ALL NIGHT” but that would be opening a whole other can of worms as A) I would have a small human to look after and B) I would be up all night. Silver lining? Those construction workers have encouraged me to start writing about our Moroccan escape and I’m listening to Angus and Julia Stone mixed with The National while I write to combat the noise outside. Together they are easing the throbbing in my head while making sure I have all the lyrics fresh in my mind. Hugh and I are euro-starring (that’s a verb) across to London next week to watch The National live at the O2 and then my ears will explode with happiness, well hopefully not literally, when I hear the dulcet tones of the best sibling act since The Jackson 5, Angus & Julia Stone. They are performing in Paris in early December and I am TERRIBLY excited as I love both of these acts enormously. I would like to thank Hugh’s lovely mother and A+J’s lovely mother for organising tickets to watch the talented due perform. I promise not to embarrass either of you by greeting Angus with “hello mister… pleased to meet ya…” but that’s all I can promise, because I have a history of embarrassing myself…
All right let’s talk Maroc, yo. I have purchased a world map in French following my two weeks of French lessons. All countries are labelled with their French names e.g. Allemagne = Germany and Maroc = Morocco so I hope that I don’t confuse you, or myself, with working out where I’ve been. I’m going to break these posts up into different posts because I took over a bazillion photos. Starting with Oualidia (pronounced walidia). It was suggested that we spend time in a busy city such as Marrakesh or Fez and then some time on the coast to make sure we had some time to relax over the week. Morocco has incredible surf and beaches. So with a little help from trip adviser and a lot of eeny meeny miney tactics we decided on Oualidia for three nights and Marrakesh for four.
Our journey from Paris to Marrakesh airport was a drawn out process. The sort of journey where you approach the baggage carousel to find your lone bag, the last of its kind that has looped at least ten times on the belt before coming to a halt. We emerged to the arrivals section of Marrakesh airport looking around for directions to a taxi when Hugh happened to glance at a friendly man holding a ‘Mr Pyle’ sign by the exit. I’d managed to book and pay for airport transfers and then had promptly forgotten about it. A great omen for the start of the trip, apart from the forgetting bit.
We arrived at our hotel, slept, breakfasted and waited outside for a taxi to take us to Hertz car rentals. The taxi pulled up while we were taking photos and fiddling with Hugh’s go-pro, seriously all we were missing were bum bags and Hawaiian shirts. Before climbing in the back of the taxi we asked the driver “are our bags in the back?” “Yes!” he exclaimed keen to hit the road. Deciding it was important to double-check I turned to the three hotel staff lined up at the door, “um our bags are in the back?” “Yes, yes,yes” they all replied grinning and waving. Asking a third time would be rude so we jumped in and headed through the crazy streets to the car rental office. Our driver was a colourful character, all horn, swerving and laughter. He started a conversation which would become very familiar during our week stay. “What do you do brother? Basketball?” After finding out Hugh played rugby he threw his head back and laughed; “Rugby? You’re a Rugby-man? CRAZY! CRAZY GAME! That is a CRAZY CRAZY GAME BROTHER!” Finally we arrived at the car rental office and found that the taxi boot was empty, sans bags. Our driver offered to take us on a round trip to collect our bags, at a fee of course, and we decided it was the best option. On our drive back to the hotel Hugh and I began to laugh at how ‘green’ we were as travelers when suddenly our driver pulled over in a u-turn bay in the middle of a busy road and called “one minute” as we saw him leap from the car, across the street and out of sight.
At Hertz the manager of the office sized Hugh up and offered us a larger vehicle at no extra cost, we were thrilled, and we gladly paid for a GPS device that we thought would be our guiding light to Oualidia. Turns out the car was already fitted with a GPS. Ah well! The drive took 3.5 hours and we did get lost, more than once. I have never experienced a drive quite like it. Donkeys, women with children, stray dogs, cats, small villages, large villages, faded coca cola signs, dessert scenery and a road that was made for two average sized cars dropping off to each side. Not so good when we had a ‘who will sacrifice their suspension for their lives’ competition with a large truck. The drive will be forever etched in my memory due to the amount of ‘daily life’ we witnessed just off to the side of the road. Arriving to our accommodation at La Sultana in Oualidia was the best feeling after the sensory overload of our drive. We were greeted by a friendly staff member who told Hugh he was a big rugby fan and had watched him play. We spent the most amazing three nights relaxing and exploring the lagoon and rugged coast beyond.
Here’s a small sample of the shots I took. Beginning with the arrival at our pitstop hotel in Marrakesh before our drive down to Oualidia
Our first night and we were privy to the most glorious sunset. Hugh spent the remainder of the holiday obsessed with sunrise and sunset but alas nothing could match the spectacle on the first night..
And now, to open the discussion of breakfast, or petit dejeuner (small lunch) in French. You are either a breakfast person, or you’re not. You’re either someone who talks about potential breakfast options before they’ve eaten dinner, or you’re not. You’re either someone who dreams about a world where the breakfast menu was available at dinner time, or you’re not. You’re either someone who sets an alarm to really make good use of a buffet, or you’re not. To those Big Time Breakfasters out there, you know who you are, make sure you plan to come to Morocco.. I’m going to say it.. Morocco IS breakfast. (did that even make sense)
We were game enough to go swimming, it was one of those “should we, shouldn’t we moments” because it was chilly
From outdoor pool, to salt water jacuzzi, to indoor heated pool. Pool life.
And then drinks outside, on that sunset hunt with the sunset hunter himself
Another day, another breakfast..
A quick boat trip across the lagoon, all aboard time to cliff walk…
And, just like that time had run out and we were packing our bags for Marrakech. This time taking the correct route along the coast – thank you GPS for finally getting something right…