Friday, 4 March 2016

And All The Colored Girls Said...

To start on a more emotional note, a few days ago I was saddened to learn my uncle, Doug, had passed on the 29th of February, 2016. What I'm equally upset about is that I cannot attend the funeral on account of having a week and a half remaining of backpacking. So, with that said I'm dedicating this cyber postcard to him. You will forever be loved for your humour and crazy faces and I'm all to certain that you'll find that Subway on the other side that sells soup. Rest peacefully.
The Sahara, Merzouga, Morocco (taken 2016)

Yes, I have titled this one with a lyric from Lou Reed's Walk On The Wild Side and yes, there is a reason. In one of my anxious moments, this one being in Tangier before a train ride, it got me to shut the hell up! Yep, that's it, so let's move on yeah?

Instead of traveling to one continent I decided to add on another, simply because I can, and that's how I wound up in the very African Morocco. Getting here was a pain (never catching the ferry to Tangier again), putting up with the shamsters and second lot of hostel staff was a pain (should've given them the finger!) and enduring THE worst camel saddle EVER was a pain (literally). That, however, is where all the negativos began to lessen.

Morocco, this strange and crazy place I've spent months believing is the Thailand of Africa, has been very good to me. I was once told of how easy it can be to get here when in Europe (Spain to be exact) which is how all of this came to be. It started out rocky and intimidating (just crossing the streets here is a blood sport of its own calibre) but it only got better. I've climbed a few dunes at sunset, let a wild monkey climb on my back and drunk my weight in mint tea which has been THE most unexpected of surprises (up until two weeks ago I avoided the flavour with a passion).
Place Jemaa El Fna, Marrakech, Morocco (taken 2016)

Marrakech itself has been a most unique experience; I've never been to a city like it before. The souks and fresh orange juice of Place Jemaa El Fna are more than enough to leave an impression and the alleys tell you easily enough that you're a long way from home. The food scene is easy enough to navigate, especially for a non foodie (the strawberries are a superior fruit here) and the people are so genuine and kind. I had a few run-ins with some idiots in my first twelve hours, a torment we're all like to endure, but don't let the bullshit of a few shape your perception of the many. There are true smiles in this country, as well as stalks soaring over its rooftops.

I've had a few stints all over which I've enjoyed immensely. Ourika Valley, Cascade D'Ozoud (THE second highest waterfall in Africa I might add) and Ksar Ait Benhaddou (another Game of Thrones filming location) just to name a few. The Atlas Mountains were bused through and the snow coating them reminded me of the stripes of zebra foals.
The Atlas Mountains, Morocco (taken 2016)

I was intending to go to Essouira to see the Atlantic Ocean one last time but I wasn't up for an even longer drive. My legs were going to end me if I did. I thus settled for D'Ozoud and I regret nothing. Hell, seeing the falcons of Essaoira is reason enough to come back one day.
Cascade D'Ozoud, Morocco (taken 2016)

Of course though, when one thinks of Morocco you're almost guaranteed to picture a desert in your mind. Upon learning of how easy it can be to do a three day tour to the Sahara I thought, what's wrong with four? I had the extra time afterall.

There was a lot of road, a lack of information in some departments (had I known I had to tip my Berbers I would've brought the extra money and there'd be a few happier Berbers out there) but most certainly some memories to carry with you forever. I've done the Little Sahara on Kangaroo Island and now I've done the motherload. IT. WAS. EPIC!!!
The Sahara, Merzouga, Morocco (taken 2016)

I travel for nature, that now being a decision I will live by until my final chapter, but meeting others on the road will always hold prominance. I'm an introverted asocial freak, which is no secret, and of course talking to others has always been really difficult for me. In Morocco, talking to everyone else has never been easier! Never been more natural for me. I've Facebooked with so many I find myself wondering when the catch will present itself. These two weeks started out with some shit attached but they're ending better than I ever could've predicted.

Some I've met don't consider Morocco a part of Africa, but I will fiercely disagree. I'm proud of myself for venturing to a fourth continent, and now I want to see more; South Africa, Uganda, Kenya etc. The people have been amazing (except for some bastards who will remain hated) and the sights and sounds will last forever. The call for Islamic prayer is something I might just miss.

I'm writing this down on my last day. My gut is stuffed from the chwarmer I ate for lunch (the Avengers had it after saving New York) and my legs are dead from walking around looking for the Jardine Menara and a wooden cobra for my Burnables Collection (I haggled and I won!) With all of this out in the open, I couldn't be more sure that this will go down as one of the greatest experiences I've ever had.


  The Sahara, Merzouga, Morocco (taken 2016)


  1. Very spontaneous way to describe your adventures!!

    1. If you're referring to the title the song played a part in keeping me calm. I've always identified the song better and easily thanks to those lyrics so I felt it would leave a better impression.

  2. Many of us should sing that song, Brian ;-) and why not start something from it, us you did. do do do do do IT!!!! do do do do do DO IT.