Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Surfing in Morocco!

View from the apartment
Yay! Spring break has started. As you know, I started it with a Moroccan wedding which was pretty amazing - once in a lifetime experience. On Sunday, Jennifer went to pick Anthony (her friend from England, coolest accent ever!) up from Fes and they had quite an adventure with the grand taxi. The taxi's windshield wipers apparently didn't work and the driver had to break off a wiper blade and use his arm with the blade to see because it was pouring. What an adventure for those two. Then on Monday at three in the morning we (Jennifer, Don, Anthony, and I) left Meknes to go to Marrakesh and spent seven hours on the train. I tried to get sleep but it was hard. We arrived in Marrakesh around 10-ish and found our way to the medina. The medina is wonderful! Shops, snake charmers, monkeys, henna ladies, and snack stands everywhere! I would have taken pictures but they chase after you and ask for money so the next time I'm in Marrakesh I will try from afar and hopefully get away with it. We got breakfast in the medina square and then met up with five American ISA students. We walked around the medina while we sent two people to buy the bus tickets. Good thing because the first couple buses out of Marrakesh to Agadir were sold out. We finally found one that left at three in the afternoon (there are no trains connecting Marrakesh and Agadir, only bus) We got on the bus and went on our way. The route to Agadir was spectacular. We were able to see the South Atlas Mountains, highways that literally led to no-where, wild camels (at least I think they were wild), and bodies of water. It was a very scenic bus ride. We booked an apartment through a couchsurfer (great idea to do). The couchsurfer, named Ali, and his American girlfriend, named Jamie, picked us up from the bus station. Jamie had to flag us to them because in Moroccan law, Moroccans are not allowed to bug/follow/kind of be around Americans because some strange reasons that I do not know. The Moroccans can get into serious trouble with the law. There are so many police around that we had to kind of hide ourselves from them. They took us to the apartment and let us settle in. Around ten at night we headed out to get dinner at a restaurant called Tanit. Tanit is a great place to eat and they had a live band - not American style band, I mean the tribal-style, out-of-the-desert type of band. It was an awesome experience. We finally settled in for the night and had a great night of sleep after a lot of traveling.

On the beach

After taking a cold shower (this apartment doesn't really have warm water) in the morning, Jamie, Ali and I headed out to find the others to pick them up to go surfing - the others (Jennifer, Don and Anthony) were out exploring the coast. After picking them up, Ali took us to a great beach, dropped us off and then picked up the surf board along with the other four Americans. Once everyone was together and all the surf boards were there, we went surfing!!! None of us had any experience what so ever so Ali showed us the basics and then sent us out in the water with him to surf. I was actually getting the hang of it - I stood up like three/four times!! Crazy - I actually surfed in Morocco! It was hard because you have to time yourself with the wave, paddle like crazy, make sure you are on the wave when it comes and then trying to keep your balance, stand up and stay there. I would most definitely do it again without question.
Me surfing!!
So far this has been a wonderful spring break. More updates to come later on in the week. Tomorrow I am heading to Agadir and having lunch with Sarah (my boss's friend, she's in the peacecorp just outside of Marrakesh but working at a kids camp during this week in Agadir), Thursday I am going to Essaouira and then Friday I am having a relaxing day at the beach or if the waves are right, getting my surf on.

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