Marock’n’roll

As you drive into Morocco, it’s all the cliches. Desert, goats, camels, stray dogs, burkas, old Mercedes taxis, heat. Even from first walking onto the tarmac at the airport, you know you’re in Morocco. And the whole time, I cannot stop smiling.

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It is such a nice feeling to be warm again. Bucharest to Edinburgh to London hadn’t been kind to me temperature wise and I am instantly in love. What can I say, I’m an easy to impress gal.

My taxi driver is friendly. The hostel manager is friendly. Everyone is friendly. After six months of travelling, I think it finally takes me less than a week to be friendly back.

I am working here for Stoke Travel. This gig was lined up by a friend of a friend. A friend whom I still owe a drink or 10. I’m doing my time out of the Schengen zone. Wins all round.

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I receive a bed, three amazing meals a day, surf lessons and equipment, laundry, day trips, and massages. I manage seven Facebook pages. Life is pretty good. Integrating into Moroccan life is tough. I kid. Immediately you are transformed by the chilled atmosphere and you can’t help but move at a slower pace. This is the first place I have felt immediately comfortable. Did I mention I’m in love?

Taghazout is a one street hippy town. It is dusty. Rundown. Filled with old cars, surfers, surfboards, and surf shops. A wonderful kind of place to stroll along with an avocado smoothie on your way to sunset yoga.

All up I spend two months in Taghazout, interspersed with an overnighter to check out Marrakesh. My days are filled with surfing, eating tasty tajines, excitement over egg day, even more excitement over a sneaky bacon sandwich, Stork beer, cheap vodka sessions, and amazing days spent in Paradise Valley.

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One evening, I finally caved and went out for an “Agadir Mega Party”. The night started with the usual drunken terrace antics, dancing on tables, and plenty of shit talk. Like a bad 90s band’s farewell concert I dress up for one night only. My choice to don my stilettos turns around to bite me in the heel. Just out of town the Land Rover engine comes to a complete stop and so too does any decline in the road left to keep us in motion. Jumping out of a moving vehicle, despite how slow, in teetering boots is no mean feat. The proceeding vehicle pushing in said footwear next to a squealing drunken Moroccan (male despite the noises coming out of his mouth) is also up there. We make it to the (closed) service station and the resident dealer saves the day driving past at the right time. Four of us squeeze into the back and make it to a hot Agadir night spot. The order of the night is dancing, bottle service and locals harassment. The boys may love us but the ladies of the night don’t appreciate us being anywhere near potential business. Danced out, we return in one piece, minus a few dirhams thanks to the exxy booze.

IMG_1411Most of the time we stick to partying on the terrace. Australia Day in Taghazout consisted of an afternoon BBQ, listening to the Triple J countdown, and playing drinking games with the Dutch boys. We represented Australia well, getting them hammered and early to bed. Another night we determine it’s been far too long between washes for the surf instructor. We get the wetsuit bucket upstairs, Monty strips off and into the bubbles. The cold water does himno favours.

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Sunsets over Hash Point never get old. Moroccan belly does. I manage to last a month before swift exits begin. My recommendations are probiotics and not surfing Hash Point. The other spots like Panoramas and K17 (beginners) and Anchors and Mysteries (experienced) will be more than enough. Me, I stick to the former and continue my one-sided unrequited love affair with surfing. While I should be better at this by now, it doesn’t matter, no love lost.

IMG_1453I meet friends from all over the world in Taghazout. No doubt about it, the Dutchies, Germans, Swiss, Swedes, and Austrians love to surf. Throw in your usual Aussies, Kiwis, Yanks, Canucks and locals, and you’ve got a got a pretty good mix to get amongst it on the terrace.

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Want to get in on the good times? Stoke Travel is your passport to ridiculousness in Morocco and Europe at all the surf camps and festivals. You want to book? You want free stuff? You want unlimited booze? Use the promo code SHARKWEEK. See what that gets you.

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