Saturday, 25 April 2015

Riad, Rooftop, and Victoria's Secret

After a great day at the beach, we decided to try getting brand new directions for the appropriation of a bottle of wine in a country where alcohol consumption is not the norm.
But first, the Surf Star riad:

Views from the roof top terrace-- where yoga happens in the mornings, and for the non-yogi, coffee and sunrise contemplation.

Bright and lovely dining area, lots of seating, computer space, and personal tajines for the tajine night.

Meals were plentiful, delicious, and awesome, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, all kinds of olives, breads, and yummy yummy goodness. It was a real treat not having to 'forage' for ourselves for a couple of days (definitely decadent, but awesome!).
And, we got directions that we had to interpret several times in several ways including u-turns in Agadir, but we did find Victoria's Secret afterall...


Yes, wine!

And apparently Coca Cola...

In our infinite wisdom, we opted for three bottles, because we still had travel days left, and we had a car, and we could enjoy a glass of wine each evening until we had to fly away from Africa. So we picked three cool ones, all remarkably made in Morocco. Not sure how that is OK with the belief system, but who am I to question a bit of vino in the face of all this bounty?

We drove to Tagazhout and got-- literally-- a take-out tajine and fried squid for supper. Promised to being the tajine dishes back the next day. Which we did, btw.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Surf Stars!

Woke up to a great big breakfast, met more new people at the Surf Star riad-- mostly from Europe; the flight for them was about $100... which makes staying at this very well-run, clean, friendly, and excellently-chefed surf school quite reasonable. And off to the beach we went!

Of course there were camels and horses on the beach... with gloriously decorated saddles and bridles... meant for giving rides, or if people weren't interested in having a ride, they could get aborad and get their photos taken for a small sum; I thought I wanted a picture of me with surfboard on the camel, but in the end re-thought that plan when I was there. Now I'm thinking my first instincts for the awesome cheesy surfing in Morocco photo would have been a Good Thing.

We started with beginner lessons, and that was perfect.

Tina caught on very quickly, the water was 'sort of' warm' (warmer than here in January!!), and it was sunny. Although January is usually a good time to surf here in Morocco, the waves were very friendly the first day, sadly almost not there on our second... but still very fun, great to be in the water!

Surf Star!

On the first day, the odd set was very interesting-looking, but generally most tapered off. The pros had a good time no matter what, lots to do if one had a well-rounded quiver of boards.

Something to do while waiting for the waves to maybe pick up a bit.

Camel foot print-- they have these amazing leathery soles.

Besides t-shirts, hats, homemade donuts, rides and photo ops, tea salesmen also made the tours of all the groups of people on the beach. Mint tea-- fresh leaves, a kettle with a stove underneath it, made right in front of one's eyes. How can one survive a day without a bit of traditional mint tea?
All in all, a wonderful sojourn on the beach where everything was taken care of, including lovely bagged lunches, wonderful meals, and very friendly atmosphere.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

To the Sea!

Little Bit at the top of the hill, overlooking the Souss Massa National Park. We were thinking Yay!, trails, hikes, a good walk after so much time in the car traveling westward... but things are different here. The national park is part of where people have lived for centuries, farmland, towns, cities, and so on, and one had to get a guide for this. In case we got lost. So we did. And were guided along the river that runs to the sea through farmlands where we were able to identify quite a number of birds in the flooded farm areas and on the edge of the water. Where we didn't get lost. After a few hours of great heat (!!!) and a nice walk, we returned our guide to his post, and continued onwards.

Flooded farms, all part of the Souss Massa National Park.

And there it was, the ocean! What an amazing sight, couldn't wait to get there! I didn't realise how much I missed the water until we started to get close to the ocean again, and let me tell you it was fantastic to smell the briny air.

Fishermen built their shelters into the rock along the shore-- seasonal shelters, as they lived in these while the fishing was on, then after months of this, back to families in town.

What a view!

So good!

What a fantastic day!!

And we found a surf school... open at some other point in time.

Cattle egret with the donkey.

There were many different flowers in bloom, and we found another Sleeping Berber on the way back to the car, realising that we really should have documented all of them for a series.

Argan trees. It's the pit that the oil comes from. What a lot of work for that magical oil for hair, skin, health.; made right here by hand.
We left our guide and traveled onwards... hoping to get to our next destination with great ease... and to buy a bottle of wine-- we'd heard that there was a larger centre on the way where we could get some, and thought how lovely that would be, once we settle in at our next awesome riad, we will celebrate the arrival to the coast with a nice glass of wine and watch the sunset from the rooftop terrace which we had come to expect.
Gotta tell ya', it was not a straight forward happening can you believe it.

We found our surf town Taghazout, walked around, checked out a few riads, were not so impressed. For such a beautiful location right on the beach, and with obvious surf swells RIGHT THERE, it was more than disappointing to not only smell raw sewage but to see it running along its course through town into the sea. 

We opted to do a bit more driving, and asked a few people we saw with surf boards, and found a beautiful spot in Tamraght. Without wine. We had poor intel with regards to the wine source. (Don't you worry, it was on the list of dreams for this trip, so somehow we would make wine on the roof-top terrace happen).

But we did have a roof top terrace, and we did watch the sun drop over the horizon, what a beautiful sight.
Tell me you know what we had planned for the next day... 
Can't wait!!