Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
It was time to move on, so we strapped on our bags and went uphill (phew..!) to the road where we hopefully would catch a ride of some sort. It didn’t take long until a nice man stopped and gave us a lift to Mirleft. Once there we were once again approached by a money hunting local who showed us a studio for about half the price of what we would have payed in one of the budget hotels.
Mirleft has an atmosphere that is hard to compare with anything else I’ve experienced in Morocco so far. It’s off season and the place hasn’t been discovered by gold hunters and hotel chains yet so I think that for the first time I felt that I was in a village that were truly ”local”. There are apparently some expats living here and there were definitely some very nice and expensive villas down towards the beach, but the centre of the village, the eateries and the bar we went to was all authentic. I could stay here longer and just enjoy the village, but Taghazout is calling and tomorrow we’ll head back home. Maybe we’ll go for a short trip to Sidi Ifni before taking the bus/taxi to Agadir. Depends when we wake up I suppose. I’ll try my very best to hear the alarm without turning it off in the morning. I promise.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Well back at the grande taxi station we decided to head out to Legzira, a beach south of Mirleft and just north of Sidi Ifnit. The taxi stopped in the middle of nowhere and we had to walk down a very muddy road down to the beach to reach Legzira. All I wanted was a nice place for the night where we could warm up, get our moods up and take a walk down the beach where the magnificent rock formations are for some nice photos. So, Rachid met a friend who gave us a room for 120DH, which is an ok price. But when we got there it was not what I had expected. Ok, I’m by no means a person of high standards and can sleep on a mattress on a floor amongst cokroaches if necessary, but for one night – just one night – I wanted a cool place with a little more luxury than a battered bed. Legzira is not blessed (or cursed, depending on how you see it) with electricity yet so the generators are only on for about 3 hours from about 7PM. Great. Now I was in an even pissier mood; muddy and with a headache and still frozen into my marrow.
Despite of some disappointments (like the cold) the trip has been fantastic so far, but I have to admit that I miss the climate of dear old Taghazout where your blood doesn’t freeze as soon as you get out of bed. Hopefully it will be warmer tomorrow and I’ll have more interesting stuff to write about then.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
We walked the valley for some time, admiring the ancient villages on the mountainside which there was no road access to. Amongst palms and almondtrees we lingered and soaked up the atmosphere that surely as the earth is spinning, was curing my soul from any bad thoughts. How wonderful it was! Ameln Valley… I had read about it, seen pictures of it, heard about it, but there’s no way on earth that I would expect the beauty of this place. It was simply magnificent, so despite the bitter cold that were freezing my marrow and bones that night, I slept like a baby, just to wake up to the day when it was time to leave Tafraout.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The day was spent checking out the town, which Rachid explained to be an authentic Berber village despite of the touristic influences. A stroll in any direction was a blessing for the eye. Golden rock formation and respectfully rough mountains surrounded the whole village. We took a stroll through the small souq and did some shopping. I found a nice pair of traditional Ameln Valley shoes which I’m very happy for.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The road took us further into the impressive wall-liked hills that made me expect a clan of native Americans with feathers and bows suspicially and readily looking down on you. But of course there wasn’t. This is Morocco, and it’s 2010.
Then the serious ride started – and oh my god what a ride. The narrow and very windy road took us through curves and bends not made for a vehicle to drive. But there we were and darkness crept upon us. I was amazed to see the little lights from houses scattered along the mountain sides, far from just about anything. The further inland we got, the higher it got and the more magnifiscent the scenery became. Then my ears started to pop. To anyone planning to travel this road; prepare for a roller coaster drive without rails. Just as I thought that ”this is it, now I’m going to die”, the road straightened out a bit, like an answer to a prayer. The side effect: the driver speeds up and I was once again friends with Sir Death.
After about three hours we finally arrived in the safe haven of Tafraout, which was all that I expected except for the bitter cold that I wasn’t prepared for at all. We checked in to a ”hotel” (more like a battered hoste, but it was cheap and clean enough), went for dinner and got to bed pretty early. It was absolutely freezing in the room, but thanks to a long day we both fell asleep and woke up even colder in the morning.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Anyways, congratulations to Linda and to Emil and Alex who got themselves a baby brother! I'm so looking forward to see them all in June when I'm back for the summer and for Anna's wedding in Oslo.
Oh, and happy birthday to my mini brother Anton too, who turned 4 yesterday!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The first village we came to was called Alma, a tiny place that mostly resembled a ghost town with its unfinished buildings, dark glassless windows and almost no people in sight. Small stalls with fruit, potteries and giant fossiles were scattered along the road. Outside the village the scene opened up to higher mountains and deeper valleys.
The second village, called something like Tamzergant, was another small one, but this one was surrounded by a jungle of tall palmtrees, nourished by the green/turquoise waters of the river that ran through it.
A little further outside the second village the road side was covered in dark mud, small stones and rocks that had fallen from the mountains during the heavy rainings this past couple of weeks. Apparently this happens every rain season which can't be too encouraging if you live around the place. I wouldn't want to be the one who got a rock in my head.
Our destination was marked with Sentier Pédistre, Taghrat - Valleé du Paradis some 50 minutes after we had left Aourir. We walked down a rough path until we reached the river - which we of course crossed with our shoes off and bare legs. I felt a bit like Indiana Jones. So, once across the river (which at that part wasn't deep at all really, I just wanted it to sound more exciting than it was) we walked upstream through a forest of palm trees and olive trees. Here and there we encountered a tiny farm with a tiny banana plantage.
We followed the nearly invisible paths until we saw the terrain open up on the other side of the river. This one would be more difficult, I decided, and took my shoes off once again. The current was stronger here, the water deeper and the bottom covered with slippery stones. But at that time I feelt invincible, like Tarzan's Jane, and I plunged into the river - carefully mind you - and found myself unhurt and pretty dry on the onther side.
Eventually, after having walked through the gorgeous forest with the mountains towering above us and a couple of more tiny streams to cross, we ended up in a clearing on the riverside rocks (which we had to climb down, but then again, Super-Maria can do anything, anything!). We rested there then, on the cliffs right by a pool where the river water was resting after its long journey from the mountains. The water was clear greenish/turquoise and there were a few other people enjoying this wonderful place. I was going to swim, but then the sun went behind the clouds for a few minutes and the water looked just freezing, so I decided against it - this time.
Then the sun started to set behind the mountains and it was time to head back to the road. With a few arguments along the way we of course got lost in the hillsides and reached the road just as the last transport left the parking. Great - now we were in the middle of nowhere, it was getting dark and we had no idea how to get back to Aourir. We decided to start walking and hope to get a lift by someone that would drive by, but the traffic was close to non existent in this part of the country. Eventually a nice French dopehead and his dog spotted our desperate outstretched thumbs and picked us up. We got a lift to a small camping where he was going to meet up with his other nice French dopeheads. So there we were on the roadside with our thumbs sticking out again.
Next truck that stopped was driven by a nice local and his friend that took us all the way to Aourir where we could then get a taxi back to Taghazout. It was pitch black by then, my thighs were sore from the climbings, my feet, head and tooth hurt and I was in a mighty bad mood. But all in all, it was a wonderful day!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
We strolled around the ruins, enjoying the view and clear air. It's sad what happened in 1960. Some 15-20,000 people were killed and all off Agadir was destroyed. The kasbah is one of the few remains from the disaster. Today Agadir is acompletely different city, clearly built to satisfy sun worshiping westerners. The buildings resembles more those from a south European holiday destination than the "mystic" oriental of Morocco. It's all white and clean, all so superficial, and it makes me sad. Still, it's a nice place to linger for a few hours and do some shopping.
When the sun started to become less warming we decided for our descent from the hill, which was made on a half paved path that criss-crossed down the hill. The shadows formed fantastic patterns on the hills and mountains around us and I wished I was a better photographer. I think I will study the art on my free time. Morocco is after all, a photographer's dream destination. It would be stupid to waste the oportunities presented to me when they come, just because I've been too lazy to learn my own camera.
I still haven't ridden a Moroccan camel yet. God knows I've had plenty opportunities. The poor camels are being led around the beaches and other touristy places to offer rides. They are wonderful creatures really. I mean, what other animal can you compare it with? They're stubborn as hell too, and quite uncomfortable until you get the hang of it. One day I think I'll have my own camel. How cool would that be!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Stupid me got my wallet stolen on the bus. I didn’t keep my bad tight enough and then suddenly it was gone. Great, VISA-card, driving licence, money, gone. Luckily we got to borrow some money from Muhammed until mum could send what was left on my account via Western Union. So now I'm waiting for my new VISA-card, although I'm not sure how I will recieve it since it seems nearly impossibleto get a P.O. Box around here. The "misfortune" put me down for a couple of days, but what can you do eh.
And then New Year was upon us. There was some kinda big party at a camping not too far from here, but neither of us was too thrilled to go, so instead we went with Mustafa and Elena to Agadir where we had a few beers and watched the fireworks from the beach. It was a nice enough evening.
I haven't made any New Year Resolution yet, and I don't think I will. I keep tending on breaking them anyways, so I will simply make the best out of 2010; pass my exams, travel some, get to my dear Anna's wedding in June, go to Sweden for the summer and hopefully get married (one way or another) to the best man in the world.
Mustafa, Rachid, Elena and me.