From Snow To Sahara – I’m Travelling In Morocco! As you may have already figured out from Mondays Photo of the Week I’ve said good bye to Switzerland (for now!) and I’ve headed off on the next leg of my RTW2012 adventure. I left Switzerland as I found it – covered in snow – and have swopped the snowy mountains for dusty roads, winding souks and the ocean. I’ve now landed in Morocco! Back to A Favourite I’ve long been a fan of Morocco since I first came here in 2008 and have ventured to North of Africa a few times in search of some surf and sun. And this time around my motives are no different! Although I’ve spent heaps of time in the ocean all year my time in Asia was pretty dominated by being under it – scuba diving on Phi Phi. In fact I came to the horrible realization that I haven’t actually surfed since Bali – and that was back in August! Surprisingly though I’ve coped heaps better than I thought I would, but it’s no longer an issue as I shall be finishing off 2012 how I started it – with a huge daily does of vitamin sea working as a surf coach. This time around though I’m joining the Surf Berbere team in Taghazout in southern Morocco, a bustling coastal village which is famed for it’s pumping winter swell and a favourite for surfers in Europe looking for some warmer waves during the colder months. Escape From the City Before heading to the coast though I flew into Marrakech to tick yet another item off my bucket list, photographing the famous souks and markets. The Winding Souk Streets This however didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped and I got lost in the crazy winding streets – for no less than 3 hours! I genuinely thought I was in serious trouble! A guy from my hostel offered to show me the route to the main square – however paying attention is not one of my strong points and easily distracted through the lens of my camera I soon realised I actually had no clue how to navigate my way back to my bed! Everyone “knew the way” back to the hostel but everyone kept pointing me in different directions or referring me to a friend who conveniently owned a shop and simply tried to sell me stuff. A friendly looking chap offered to help me locate it on a map, however he soon grabbed my arm and started putting a henna design on it, after heaps of objections from me he still tried to charge me 30 quid for it! Fucking cheek of it! In the end I fobbed him off with about £2 of change and made fast into a crowd of people! After FINALLY finding some wifi and going to the hostels homepage I got a map, got pointed in the right direction and found my way back to Equity Point Hostel. Which in actual fact was super easy – and I realised I’d walked past the turning nearly 10 times in my lost haze! Typical! And then on top of that I got right royally ripped off by a taxi driver taking me to the bus station to by my ticket to the coast! Seems I’ve lost all the bartering skills and wariness I developed during my time in Asia. Switzerland has ruined my backpacking 6th sense! Needless to say I left Marrakech with a slightly bitter taste in my mouth and wondering if I’d made the right decision heading this way to work… Salt Water Therapy I bolted from the city early in the morning after a great night of awesome food and sleep and made for the ocean. Not A Bad Office View?! I was still a bit on edge after my Marrakech experience, but it soon faded away. The guys at Surf Berbere were super welcoming and within an hour of arriving I was in a wetsuit, board under arm and paddling out into near perfect longboarding surf. That first wave washed away my worries and they were dissolved in the salty air of a Moroccan sunset. And that first surf taught me 3 things. Firstly surfing is definitely the best way to relax. Secondly I can still surf! But the final lesson it taught me was that I’m completely out of shape! 2 hours in the waves and I was spent. Jelly arms, aching back – the works! However chilling overlooking the ocean from the surf camp, steaming mint tea in my hand and the sun sinking into the ocean I felt completely at ease and with a beaming smile on my face. My stoke has returned. I like my new office – roll on the next 4 months of surfing fun! 8 Responses Oceana | Barefoot Beach Blonde December 6, 2012 Whew! What a change. How’s the acclimatisation? Morocco sounds less welcoming that I had expected (read: crazy), although exploring the markets would have been totally AWESOME! Oceana | Barefoot Beach Blonde recently posted..Recollections of a Gypsy Caravan Reply Chris December 6, 2012 yeah it’s going good! anything is warmer than Switzerland!haha! Yes Marrakech was totally mental, but to be honest I didn’t expect anything less! Taghazout on the other hand is a chilled surf village, totally up my street! Reply Tom - Active Backpacker December 6, 2012 Nice one dude! Looks like a great change and an awesome base for the next 4 months. That’s really not a bad office view at all :D Tom – Active Backpacker recently posted..Travel Cinemagraph Series: Amsterdam, Part I – The Map Man Reply Chris December 6, 2012 Yeah can’t complain much can I Tom?! Reply Seattle Dredge December 30, 2012 Hah–those taxi drivers are the worst and the souk can put anyone in a lost haze. I just did the opposite of this.. Sahara to snow (Norway), which is a more difficult transition brrr.. Seattle Dredge recently posted..2012 : My Year in Travel Reply Chris December 31, 2012 I did the same over xmas – went to Switzerland snowboarding! You get some odd looks landing at 10pm in shorts and tshirt!hahaha! Reply Dale August 23, 2013 I hate loosing that 6th sense. After spending a month in one place we went back on the road and within a few days I let my senses drop and we accidentally left some money in our backpacks which be put beneath the coach we were using. You guess it, gone gone gone. Hope your new tattoo didn’t wash away in the surf! :P Dale recently posted..The Slow Bus Alternative to the Laos Slow Boat Reply Chris August 24, 2013 Sucks hey Dale – the whole incident quickly kicked me back into obnoxious, anti social backpacker mode!hahaha! I scrubbed that thing off as soon as I got back to the hostel…still can’t believe I fell for the whole thing! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. 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