I’m off on the road to Morocco

A long trip, but so happy I chose to go. Other solo female travel bloggers almost convinced me not to. They are idiots. 

Still with the bad ankles, I arrange the handicapped services at the airports. My flight path will be joburg to Doha to Casablanca, then to Marrakesh. I’ll catch a bus to Agadir from the bus station, which I’ll get to my local bus (19) from the airport. It’s going to be a long couple of days.
Since M was heading to Harare for the weekend, we went to the airport together and had some lunch. There was a group next to our table that was heading to S. Korea, and so excited. What I loved was this guy- easily 6 foot tall in his stocking feet, and rocking those heels. 

 

I get to Marrakesh, and need to get myself to the bus station for the trip to Agadir. I knew in advance that the bus station is located behind the train station, and that local bus 19 will take me to the train. 

Walking out of the airport I am greeted by the taxi cartel. I also was warned about this. Large men trying to get me into a car. “How much to bus station?”, I’d ask, the lead man  would shuffle me down the line- “here, he take you”. “How much?” I ask again… The whole time I’m actually just making my way down the line to where the bus waits. At least 4 times I’m told to “get in”, but will not be given a price. So I get to the bus, and for 30 dirhams, I’m seated and ready to go. The bus driver gives me a route map and lets me know he’ll tell me when I’m there. The taxi drivers look at me incredulously, that they couldn’t persuade me to take a cab without a quote. 

n.b. MAD (Moroccan dirhams) are about 10:1 with US dollar, making value calculations pretty simple.

The great thing about the bus is that it weaves all across town, so you get a mini tour of Marrakesh for cheap. When we get to the train, the driver tells me how to find the bus station behind it, and off I toddle. Lovely train station- compete with a McDonalds (halal, of course). 

I bought my ticket, and with a couple of hours to wait, popped into the Hotel Ibis for my first tagine in Morroco. Chicken with preserved lemon and olive. Bright, delicious, and piping hot! Lovely bread accompanied, and I got a half bottle of Moroccan Vin Gris for 90 dirham.

  
After 36 hours of travel, I finally arrive at the yoga retreat 12k north of Agadir, just up from Taghazout. It’s across from Paradise Beach. It’s quite laid back where we are, quiet, and the stars at night are amazing. There is also a hot tub up there, and you can see the camels down on the beach. It looks like there’s a wall, but that’s just the railing. It’s a bad iPhone zoom picture.  

 

I’ll be here a week, hopefully getting some strength and flexibility back in my ankles, and a little peace of mind. Also, this area of Morocco is dry, so no alcohol for a week, and the food at the retreat is vegetarian, primarily. One night Hassan made a beautiful mackerel tagine, but in general, good clean living. My Scottish roommate was a bit of a pain, not wanting to pay for a private room, but constantly complaining about having to share.. just one of her other, many whines. Several nights I took myself up top and slept on the cot, and it was glorious.

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