Morocco

Published on April 4th, 2014

9

Catching Up: Morocco 1 of 8

Yes, yes, I know – you’re no doubt thinking “Morocco??? WTF?” And YOU thought I’d moved to Ecuador – so you’re probably thinking “What’s with this green star thingy on a red flag?”

Yes, I’ve got p.l.e.n.t.y. to share about my new home here at the top of that “g-forsaken mountain in the Andes”. Not to mention STILL hope to share the details of my Borneo adventures (can you spell P-Y-G-M-Yx E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T-S?), but… I seriously want to catch up on some of my early travels. Indeed, no less than *8* separate posts (including a VIDEO!) on yet another idyllic “Catching Up” destination.

This from my 2009 trip to – what turned out to be – perhaps by most FAVORITE country on earth: MOROCCO. Originally pecked in my ancient travelpod.com blog, here we have my first two entries as I prepped for the trip.


GaryCooper350x522Date: 19 September 2009

Pecked from: Seattle

Desperately Seeking Gary Cooper

Though I surely ain’t no Marlene Dietrich, nonetheless I’m soon off on another African adventure – this time to Morocco!

Yup, I’ve always dreamed of riding a camel in the Sahara and somewhere in Morocco there’s bound to be a dromedary w/ my name on it.

And while I’m not at all sure I’ll be able to diligently pop in here whilst skipping about Morocco, leastwise this little blog may serve as a handy place for me to jot down a trip diary as I go along.


 

Date: 19 September 2009
Pecked from: Seattle

Packing LIGHT!

As every intrepid off-the-beaten-path traveler knows: When it come to packing – LESS is BEST!!! And thus normally I travel with but one carry-on size pack. But for this 18 day trip to Morocco (including widely varying climates – from the Saharan desert to the High Atlas mountains to Medieval cities to a seaside village along the windswept Atlantic), I’ve challenge myself to take packing light to an even more minimalist level – it all fits into but a small rucksack!

PackingLight678x509

xxxxxx
Fast-forward 5 years:

I’ve since made camel encounters a quest in my travels to other lands (the two-humped variety in Mongolia springs to mind), but I will never forget the thrill of that first (painful!) galumphing meander deep amid the (surprisingly crismon) Saraha dunes.

Note also a few of the stray items in my (admittedly ultra light, even for me!) rucksack:

  • My beloved blue Sawyer filtered water bottle (you shall see it more prominently in the final video of this trip)
  • The (yellow topped) plastic submersible camera bag – clearly not so much for protection from water on this particular trip, but ever so handy for keeping blowing Sahara sand out of my technos.
  • The (omnipresent for all my travels) GPSr – yep, I did indeed go after a couple few geocaches in Morocco.
  • The (pale blue) rolled up sleep-sheet – generally recommended for dodgy hostels/hotels, but… I must say, I never used it.
  • The blue frisbee – handy for picnics and/or sharing a bit of rustic tangine over a camp fire in the desert
  • Precious few clothes – but a single long skirt, a couple of pairs of pants, and a fleece jacket.

btw, it seems many (both lads, but especially lasses) find Morocco to be a bit dicey to navigate, and complain of incessant pestering hawkers at every turn.  YMMV of course, but personally – skipping solo all over the country, I found little to no such ack. Perhaps ‘cuz I’m a bit of a veteran in the simple and subtle ways to avoid such harassment, else… maybe my snow-white dodderin’ locks?   Not sure, but again – I absolutely L.O.V.E.D. every moment in Morocco.

How ’bout you?  Have you visited Morocco?  Were you pestered?  How did you handle it?


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!



9 Responses to Catching Up: Morocco 1 of 8

  1. aurght says:

    Vietnam Cambodia Ecuador Morocco??
    It makes one dizzy trying to follow!

    I knew of you from geocaching and got curious. There must be more to the story. A little googling found TravlnLass. You are truly an inspiration. I love the photos. The food is a little spooky.

    I plan to check here occasionally for a pick-me-up.

    • Dyanne says:

      lol aurght – and it sometimes makes me dizzy living it! 😉

      Glad you enjoy my travel tales, and especially delighted to welcome a fellow geocacher. Indeed, though I was a die-hard travelers before I started geocaching (in 2004), it was the “world-wide game of hide ‘n seek” aspect of the game that attracted me to the fun of geocaching in the first place. It’s the PERFECT game for a traveler (and vice versa). I mean, the only thing more fun than finding cleverly hidden “treasure” in your home town is… finding it everywhere you go while skipping ’round the world!

      Yes, do poke around here (esp. under the “Pot Luck” > “Geocaching” menu above) and you’ll find plenty of tales of my geocaching adventures wherever the “globalgirl” lands. And stay tuned for more ‘cuz… I’ve yet to go after the (only!) active cache here in Cuenca plus… I fully intend to hide a few caches here in my newly adopted Ecuador home soon!

      P.S. I hope you don’t mind if I “stalk” you on geocachinng.com 😉 – I see you recently found Jester’s “Choices”. Looks like fun, and reminds me a little – perhaps like my own hide in Magnuson Park (which I had to archive when I moved abroad) called “Noodle or Toodle” wherein you could choose to either solve a puzzle and go directly to the final, else take a “toodle” and follow a bunch of multi-cache waypoints to get to the prize. Ah… no end to the creative fun of geocaching, yes?

  2. Graefyl says:

    Been a long time since I lived in Tangiers, but hope to get to Casablanca this coming one. Means having to break in a new street kid tho’ (keeps the hawkers off).
    Graefyl kindly contributed to world literature by posting…A Study in QuackMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      You mean, hire a street kid to lead you around to fend off other street kids/hawker, Ted? Yes, I’ve heard of that. Might well be a good way to go, though I never found need for it.

      Re: Tangiers/Casablanca – I didn’t find the former anything to write home about (just landed, and hopped a bus to Chefchaouen), and the latter (Casablanca) I’d not heard sterling things about so didn’t make a point of going there.

      Always tough decisions. So many places, so little time. Perhaps Casablanca is worth a visit, but (as you’ll see over my 8 Morocco installments), I opted for Chefchaouen, Fez, Merzouga (and an overnight camel trek in the Sahara), Essaouira, and Marrakech.

      • Graefyl says:

        Yeah. You take care of the kid and he takes care of you. Tanger had the fastest jungle telegraph I’d ever seen. Within a couple days I was getting stuff at local cost, not tourist and the other kids hung back. Doubt that’s changed much. Once done though, it all calms down and you get to meet some really great people.

        Did you go out to the mountain at Chefchaouen? The buildings there used to have no straight edges and looked like sugar candy. It’s bigger now, but back in the 70’s it was small and going up the mountain scared the hell out of the residents, because no one had ever done it before. They almost worshiped us afterwards -kinda weird.

        • Dyanne says:

          Not sure what you mean by ‘…go out to the mountain at Chefchaouen” – Chefchaouen is IN the mountains. The cobbled streets wind up ‘n down the mountain. It’s truly a magical place – perhaps my favorite place in ALL THE WORLD!

          Stay tuned – 7 more Morocco posts, lots of pics (and even a video) of all…

        • Graefyl says:

          It may not have been Chefchaouen – that’s a big city and blue (from what I see). The place we went to was a small village all by itself, off a main road a couple of miles, next to a shortish mountain (maybe 1800 feet). The buildings were thick, smooth, white plaster stuff and the color changed to a pinkish blue toward the base of the walls. All dirt roads

          I asked others a few years later and they said it must be Chefchaouen – ‘cuz I never knew the name of the place, so always assumed it was there. Bit of a mystery but would love to find it again.

  3. I was certainly surprised reading the title! Morocco’s is on my list of must-visit-one-day places so I’ll definitely be tuning in to your recaps.
    Ruth Elisabeth kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Unmissable Language Links – March 2014My Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Yes Ruth – I’ll bet you thought “Good lord, where has the girl run off to NOW???” 😉

      And while I don’t particularly “count countries” (i.e. for me, that’s absolutely not the point), but, I can readily say that – among something near 40 countries, Morocco is right up there in my top 3.

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