Sunday, May 7, 2017

Moroccan Adventures in Marrakesh and the Zagora

Ait Ben Hadou
       I can't put my finger on what drew me to Morocco in spring of 2017, but I did know that it as my list of things I wanted to see grew I wouldn't have enough time to see it all, Morocco is the type of place you can easily do a month in. But we are budget travelers, we don't always have the month off to do what we love to do. That was the bad news, the good news is that Morocco is a beautiful country, with crazy and amazing people, and for the budget traveler you have hit the jack pot. It's pretty damn cheap. Here's my tips for making the best of your journey:
  • I hate to do group tours as much as the next guy, but to really see Morocco you need to do a lot of driving, and as they say TIA, this is Africa, you're going to be much better going with someone that knows the roads or the way around the roads when they randomly close for unknown reasons. Most companies offer the same exact tours, use internet reviews and your budget to suit what best for you.
  • The Zagora dessert is a must see, they try to entice you to do the 3 day tour, but the 2 day tour has so much to offer, it's a lot of driving but well worth it. We camped out under the stars after a great day there.

  • Ouzoud falls is another can't miss. This photo doesn't come close to the beauty of actually being there.

  • Marrakesh is one of those cities that when you enter, you feel it has a bounding pulse. I stayed in Hivernage for night life which was ok, but if you want real Marrakesh immersion you have to stay in the Medina. The night life is a short cab away if you still want. Speaking of the Medina...
  • Spend a day there, check out the street performers and snake charmers, don't make the amatuer move I made and not negotiate a price before they start throwing snakes on you and asking for more money than you planned!
  • $40 for this photo! Worth it?
  • If you like shopping and you like deals, bring extra luggage! With the exception of my shoe size there's was tons of shops that sell everything you'd buy at home for half price, but of course more authentic African style souvenirs and gifts.
  • If you decide to head out for the night life, get ready... For both safety and insanity concerns! TIA, so be on guard, I left my wallet at home and just went out with cash in my pocket and emergency cab fare home in my sock. There are definitely some shady people and if you are single not every woman that smiles at you is smiling because she finds you charming. That's the bad side, the upside is that these people know how to party. The last place I went to closed around 5am, it's foggy, but I remember a scary clown show with acrobatics, scantily cladded women, and a lot of vodka. Good times.
     Africa is the most country dense continent in the world, sad to know I will never get to see all of it but this was my 6th country on the continent and it could not have gone better. Morocco is a blend of Spanish, Muslim, North and sub Sahara African culture. What makes it a great place is looking at a place like Marrakesh, it's a place that keeps it's old world tradition and style but integrates cultures from other countries and races. We are world travelers shaped by our influences of the places we have seen and been bought to, Morocco is shaped by the people who have seen it and has brought in by it's beauty and history. 

Choose the continent!!!!


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