Wind of Life. Morocco.

Wind of Life. Morocco.

...he was staying on the road with his car broken, stopped me and asked to give him a lift to Oarzazate. I said yes and it changed my route. I was driving to Merzouga desert and going to find the local guy with two camels and ask him to go in a desert for two days. Ibrahim, that was the name of the man I picked up, said, that Mhamid desert is much better and that he has a family there, definitely, from today I'm a part of it, because I helped him and it's gonna be a really good-good price...He also said that it's a destiny, that we've met, and they call it a Wind of Life in Sahara...

That wind of life not only changed my route but changed my trust to Morrocan people at all....but...it started straight on the first day...Here is the story.

 

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                                                        "It's important who you are travelling with. The people influence on your world perception." 

Let's tell the truth...

Donkey.

I got used to trust people everywhere I've been. I got out of my plane and took a bus to Marrakech medina. I got off and straight when I was about to put my backpack on, one moroccan man with the nice smile came up to me and asked whether I've booked a hotel or no. I said Yes, I do and he asked its name. It was Cactus hostel. 

With the nice smile, bright eyes and a warm hospitality he said that he can show me the way and I didn't recognise anything. I just thought that he is simply going to help like another people do...

Marrakech. Travel morocco....We took a lot of turns, went left and right through the narrow medina streets and I thought that time: "I definitely wouldn't find my hostel without him. This streets are so complicated. As it appeared later, there is the 4 times shorter way through the main square..ahaha...

We came to the dead end street and the man opened his palm and asked for unbelievable money to pay him for his help. That was a moment that I was proud that I have some tough Russian molecules in my blood and switched it on. I said that it's not honest and that he should tell me about it in advance, I also said that I didn't sign the contract to pay and that it's not fricking Moroccan "Welcome hospitality". I said that I can give him some coins, otherwise he is free.

He didn't expect it...He was upset, took that coins and with angry looking face disappeared..

I thought it happened by chance and knocked on a green hostel's door.

City tax, Leather and Figs.

The hostel was nice and was filled up with interesting travellers. The price was attractive: 3 Euros a night that's why I booked it with Hostelworld. When I was about to pay, it appeared that I have to pay two times more, because there is some Marrakech city taxes. I agreed, because even the doubled price was cheap. Well, I thought, that's a hidden extras...But, there is no information about it on the web...

So, they won 2:0 just in two hours of my presence in Marrakech. 

I went for a walk...

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The street market on the main square was huge. I came up to one of the lots and asked one guy about the price for the dried figs. He insisted that I have to try one. Cool, I did. He asked about of how many of them do I want to buy. I said, that I'm not going to buy one now, but If I decide to buy some and if I don't find something cheaper and better I would definitely come back and get some.

He became more angry and said, that in this case I have to pay six dirhams for the small dried fig that he gave me to taste. I said, f*ck no! I'm not gonna pay for it. He came up close face to face to me and started to scream with spitting saliva, that I'm gonna get in trouble. I wasn't scared at all and was patient that's what stopped him from fighting I think. I turned round, started to walk slowly away with the bad screaming behind my back.

Oh, well, I thought...Sometimes it happens. I'm not exaggerating, I just want to warn travellers about this things in Morocco and If this story help anybody it's awesome. 

Actually, the nature here is awesome and equalise this 5 stars swindle staff.

I came back to the hostel and met a couple who nearly were robbed half an hour ago in the centre of Marrakech. They were so upset and said to me that I shouldn't trust anyone here. They were walking and looking for a leather tannery. On one of the intersections one local guy asked them of what they were looking for, said to them that he knows where it is, that it's so close and that he is happy to show them where it is. Do you know what happened next?

The same story. He led them to his leather fiends, asked to pay for his excursion and when they refused to do so, the berbers became angry, surrounded poor couple (there were four of locals), told that they don't let them to go out until they pay and one man started to reach in a scared boys pocket to get his wallet. Thanks that there was somebody else passing by who noticed it and stopped it saying something to the robbers in a local language. Huh...

The couple said to me, that it's gonna be better with me in relation to all this Moroccan fraud because I look more dangerous....I laughed...

Let's mix it with positive vibrations. I really don't like to wright a lot of this not pleasant things but I feel I have to...

Tagine, Bread & Atlas Mountains.

Tagine was my favourite local food in Marrakech...oh, I forgot the olives.

olives MarrakechThere are lots of them, they are cheap and tasty.

Tagine is a stew of veggies and meat. You can order it without the meat too. It's coocked in a closed clay dish with the pyramyd lid and it's delicious. Normally they serve it with the local bread "Khobz" and it's tasty too.

After I filled up my stomach I decided to go to Imlil where I was going to do the short tracks in the Atlas mountains. I didn't manage to see the peaks but I walked in a clouds. I got off the bus and went in a toilet to pee. Straight when I went out from the local toilet one man who appeared was watching me all the way from the bus stop run up to me and said that it's his toilet (it was) and I have to pay. Definitely I would go in a bush if I new, a haha...I've paid again...

There were no hidden extra pays in a cloudy mountains and I freely walked with 15 meters visibility by using maps.me android application with all the tracks. It was really handy! 

Atlas Mountains. Morocco.

There are no timetables for a local buses especially in Ramadan. You may risk to stay overnight or you have always a choice to take a taxi. I was lucky and got a bus. You should always find out about the local bus fares and don't pay more. They told me that the bus goes straight to Marrackech and asked to pay 50 dirhams. I dropped it off to forty cause I was happy to get back at the same day. What happened, they lied. They took me to Asni, said that it's a final stop, found another bus for me, paid another driver from what I've paid to them and had a profit. I started to get used to it, became more conscious and not to trust locals more and more...

Baby did a bad bad things. 

I don't want to describe here all those funny professional money cheating stories. To be short, It seems to me, that's the way Moroccan people live. Be careful, don't trust locals (it was the hardest thing for me in Morocco) and enjoy the ride. Anyway, next ten days they managed to charge me four times more for a desert trip, jumped in front of my fast going car on a highway to stop me to give them a lift, tried to fool me and make to park the car in expensive car park, sell fish for gold, grab and pull me to buy some juice and even pay for the toilet in international airport. They have full country of this cheating staff but the country itself is so beautiful, what equalise it on scales.

The rest is about the beautiful nature.

Mhamid Desert.

Mhamid desert. Morocco.

If I ever do it again I would go to Chigaga desert. It's located west from Mhamid and the best way to go there is by 4WD . You may find a local guy with  a car or what I would do, I would hire it and go there full equipped with tent, stove food etc. It's the most interesting wild way to explore Morocco. I don't say about the camels, because they are so slow. It's authentic for a couple of hours to ride on a camel during the sunset upon the dunes and it's not so difficult to find them straight on place even in Erg Chigaga camp.

I hired a car in Marrakech, went to the local supermarket to fill it up with food and some water and was fully equipped to travel independently. I had a portable multiple fuel burner to cook and it burned even on diesel. I stopped everywhere I wanted, found interesting spots to camp and had a stars over my head every day. There is always the water on the fuel stations and a lot of dirt road turns from the highway to explore and find the nice overnight camp spot.

Toudra Gorge.

I went to a couple of gorges on the way to Agadir. It's nice to go there on a car, explore surroundings and find some spots to camp. Todra Gorge ends up in Tinghir. So I went up on the bottom of Toudra gorge and found the small oasis to stay overnight. 

Tinghir

Dades Gorges are not so far from Tinghir and I went there next morning through Boumalne Dades. 

Dades gorges, MoroccoThe way to the lookout was awesome and you can find some photos from it in the gallery down below.

Next overnight stay was in Takhochet. There is really nice camp place with lots of shade. You need to turn right straight after you cross the river and follow the signs. 

The closer you are driving to Agadir the more bushy it gets and it's easy to find the free camping.

One of my favourite free camp spots was close to Sidi Kaouki, which is close to Essaouira. If you are driving from Agadir, you need to turn left straight before you're crossing the creek before Sidi Kaouki. This spot is on the coast, you have a nice beach and magnificent sunsets. What can be better?

Sidi Kaouki camp spotSidi Kaouki is a small village and it's great for a Kite surfing because it's always windy. I went to the fisherman village 1 km north and bought some fresh mackerel for a sup. It was delicious!

Essaouira.

I spent here a couple of nights and lived in a cheap empty hostel in the medina straight near the fortress wall so I could hear the surf and the seagulls. Nearly all of them have a nice rooftops where you can chill out at any time of the day and night. I love all this fortress forts which I visited during my long travel with their cannons and thick walls which can tell you the stories from the past when you touch them. You feel that ancient spirit straight when you get in the medinas.

There is a really nice fish market in Essaouira where you can buy a lot of different sea food to cook or they can cook it for you in the nearest cafes.

Essaouira fish market. Morocco.

Different cultures give us a different experience and the way of life they got used to live.

It's our choice to be more flexible, go with the cultural flow, feel, understand and become a part of the process or to stay still and observe it from the distance.      

The Planet Earth is so different and beautiful...The countries and their cultures make it look even more beautiful and interesting by their people and their creations. Sometimes it's difficult, sometimes it's easy.

Moroccan wind of life was pushing me down to the ground and lifting me up to the sky, playing with me in a magic dance. I loved it. Looking back, I wouldn't change anything but put some more friends around the campfire. That's what I did in my next country. 

 

 

 

 

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