Travel In Morocco - Pure Magic

Tichka mountain pass, Morocco

Our travel in Morocco continues at the point where we left the wonderful High Atlas mountain range and started heading south towards the Atlantic coast. The scenic road to Marrakesh takes us over the highest mountain pass in the High Atlas mountains, the Tizi n' Tichka at an altitude of 2260/m above the sea level. Pure wilderness and the mother of great outdoors...don't miss it!

Marrakesh is a bizarre red fairytale like city with a great Medina and market place with the wildest and famous square, the Jamaa el-Fna. A name I'll never forget!

Fresh fruit juice wagon at Jamaa el-Fna square - Marakesh, Morocco
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On top of all that you can also add the best camping site in Morocco, the Relais de Marrakesh, which is operated by a french couple, and has clean facilities, a swimming pool and much more. When you travel in Morocco, one thing you will certainly do is you learn to appreciate a clean toilet.

My wife and I usually make a large detour around large cities and the crowds that live there. But Marrakesh just had all the right ingredients for us.

Fresh grilled meat & fish at Jamaa el-Fna square - Marrakesh, Morocco.
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In late afternoon the Jamaa el-Fna fills up with grilled food stands, fresh juice wagons and all kinds of actors, performers and other cheaters. It's a dreamworld!

The Medina, or the market place is something else. Great colors, aromas, lights and bargaining all the time. But you have lot's of great things to buy here and you can get to the point when you might start considering a complete re-design of your home.


Spices, nuts and other local foods at the Marrakesh Medina, Morocco
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Think of camel wool, camel leather, pottery, steel and wood products and homegrown spices. My family uses slippers from Marrakesh all year round and they're in their fourth year now. They're slowly wearing off, but talk about quality here...phew.

And the camel-wool clothing that I bought, beats the "labeled" plastic materials in quality we get to wear today any time of the day.

Marrakesh was once a hub-trading place for the Berbers, in the 1960's and 1970's it became a popular place for the hippies to hang out and the nearby waterfalls of Ouzoud were a great place to stay and get "stoned."

Quality made leather products and lanterns at the Marrakesh Medina, Morocco.
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Ouzoud waterfall are just a short drive from Marrakesh, so we payed them a visit.

In a glance , the waterfalls are beautiful and there are many camping sites on the road. But there is a lot of dirt around that kind of spoils the beauty of the nature. We stayed here for the night and left for Agadir early in the morning.

When you travel in Morocco a trek on the Jbel Toubkal mountain is almost a must. Unfortunately we had lots of clouds, so we kept on driving to the Tizi n'Test mountain pass and then through Taurodant to Agadir.

Ouzoud waterfall are just a short drive from Marrakesh, Morocco.

At the outskirts of Taroudant we get to see the goats climbing on Argan trees. Argan oil is believed to be even better than olive oil. The old way of getting Argan oil was picking out the seeds from the fruit that has been digested by the goats...seeding from goat pooh!

It was a woman's job once, but it's becoming modernized now...whatever that means.


Travel In Morocco - The Atlantic Coast

Volkswagen camper van and a 4x4 Mercedes Unimog conversion on the south Atlantic beach in Morocco.
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Agadir greeted us with a sand storm. It was a beautiful sunny day, the wind was high and all of the sudden a gust of wind blew the sand around with such force, that I wasn't able to see the front of my camper van. All you can do is hit the hazard lights, drive at snail speed and try to figure out where everyone else is.

We had no business in this town, so we drove just a little bit up to the north to Atlantica-Beach camping club. We needed a couple of days of on the beach. In mid October the place was quiet and we had the beach all to ourselves.

Plage Legzira, Morocco.

The next plan was to drive all the way down to the Western Sahara in the south. But do to our timetable we only made it to the town of Sidi Ifni.

Back in history, Sidi Ifni was a Spanish hub port for transporting slaves. A sad and cruel story. Today this is a pretty large fishing port, but the young locals I talked to say, that there is nothing to do here and many dream of going to Italy. But the town has a sandy beach and a camping site, where some Europeans enjoyed the tranquility of this place.

A camping site in Sidi Ifni, Morocco.
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There are a lot of beaches here on the Atlantic coast. You'll not exactly swim in them in mid October, but they're just great for a walk or a hike. My favorite on our travel in Morocco?...Plage Legzira just north of Sidi Ifni.

Plage Legzira with the locals having a day at the beach, Morocco.
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From here on it was back up north on the Atlantic coast. We kind of skipped the large cities, slept on a couple of beaches and stopped only at Essaouira where history and art go hand by hand.

The picturesque town of Essouira, Morocco

Apart from being very artistic and having great shops where we actually had an urge to redesign our home for a brief moment (common sense prevailed!), Essaouira also has a great fisherman port and grilled fish on the spot and out in the open. Most of the "local chefs were stoned" on weed or hash, but the grilled sardines were always delicious.

Our last stop on the Atlantic coast was ment to be on a camper-stop on the beach at the town of Asilah. It was a nice place in a sandy lagoon and a beautiful Medina.

The streets of Essouira, Morocco.

But within the minute we arrived there, local kids desperately tried to sell us something. As much as we tried, we couldn't get rid of them. So we quickly packed up and left for Chefchaouen again.

We performed our last shopping/bargain acts here and traveled on the Mediterranean sea near Tetouan. It was a horrible town, similar to the Spanish and Portugese towns that bowed on their knees to incoming capital and sold their property and souls to mass tourism.

It was time for the "customs guys" to have fun with us upon passing the border, the Moroccans were hitting the panels of my camper van with a screw driver in order to find drugs and the Spanish customs had a dog sniffing around us a couple of times for the same reason.

Spices, herbs and anything else you might need at a local shop in Morocco.
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We then slept in a parking space near a tourist agency at Algeciras and a couple of times on the coast of Spain, before we finally got back home after 35 days.

The best reasons for our travel in Morocco? Because it's there, far away and so different, medieval and controversial and because It's so beautiful and strange. And the colors, the spices and the food is something I'll never forget.

Morocco seems to have skipped the second industrial revolution and in some ways only to their benefit. The food is grown using the old ways, which in many cases means no fertilizers and pesticides and the nature is still very pure and untouched in many parts.

The camping sites are cheap, the facilities outdated and sometimes in horrible condition. On the coast you can find a few camper stops, where you can stay with your camper van for a minimal fee.

We were glad for not having any medical problems for the exception of a couple of diarrhea-s I had, and only lasted for a day or so. It's something you can expect if you travel in Morocco anyway. A camping water purifier might be a good idea to stay out of trouble.

Drink bottled water and check if it's factory closed before you buy it. Some of the locals will try to sell you tap water in bottles. Stay away from salads and fresh fruit that might have been washed. Grilled and cooked food is what you eat here to avoid any problems. And keep your mouth shut while you take a shower.

As the native Berber in Morocco told me, discussing their local water over a smoking shisha (water-pipe); Our water contains different bacteria then yours, that's why you can't drink it.
And I do have a sensitive stomach...

It's not so complicated to travel in Morocco, but just in case you need a nice printable map you can get one here.



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