After spending an idyllic summer in Portugal and becoming accustomed to the surfing lifestyle, I knew that I had caught the bug and the only way to feed my addiction was to head to the North of Africa, Morocco – to the surfing mecca that is Taghazout!
After hearing from all the pros and enthusiasts that this is the place to ride the waves in the winter how could I not be tempted by the magic that this country alludes?
Naturally since visiting my home in Yorkshire, England for a few weeks my skin was desperately seeking Vitamin D and the hunger to surf was like being locked in a cold room with a baby crawling towards me. (Well, I wasn’t as bad as Renton in trainspotting but I’m sure you can relate, I was growing pretty close.)
So I announced to the world “I am going to Taghazout!” to which my dad responded appropriately with an ultimate dad joke – “Taghazout, zout, zout push pineapple shake the tree” with all the moves, in the pub. Good times.
So with all the support of my family and friends I started to get everything in order (#Procrastinate in everyway possible until the last minute, then think – shit its Sunday and no where’s open and I fly tomorrow.)
When word got round in my town that I, a girl, was travelling alone to Morocco, everyman and his dog had their inept opinions.
Mainly “You can’t travel there alone! You will get raped and murdered” was the general consensus.
Naturally though the thoughts did niggle in my mind and after spending a few days in Marrakesh at the age of 20, ignorantly, roaming around the markets in hot pants and a crop top, I could actually understand people’s fears.
Needless to say I decided to adhere to more appropriate travelling attire of leggings and a long hoody. Which thanks to the British weather made it more than comfortable to wear.
So my good old Pineapple pushing shaking the tree pops had kindly offered to take me to the airport, we shared a moment (dad – “I have my freedom again!!”) (me – “whose going to supply me with free wine?!”) hugged and departed ways.
Now talking of alcohol, a few people had mentioned that Taghazout was a “dry” village. By dry I knew this meant no alcohol, but I thought their might be somewhere or someone selling a cheeky tipple in a backstreet shack but I am well and truly mistaken. My advice – if you want to drink, load up on booze at the airport and even bring an extra suitcase if you will.
Also, another great thing to get at the airport is MONEY. Taghazout does not have an ATM and also Moroccan Dirham is a closed currency, so trying to get any dollar from your local bureau de change is a mission. The nearest ATM to Tag is in banana village just 15minutes away by bus and is easily accessible; just don’t forget your card!
One more small bank related detail is – make your bank aware you’re travelling abroad otherwise you won’t be able to buy that ritualistic “I’m on holiday!” glass of wine on the plane and you may not be as lucky as me to have a kind old Saudi Arabian gentlemen on the way to meet his wife in Casablanca (how romantic!) offer to pay when I was in need. Absolute legend.
Needless to say my trip was going well so far! A free lift to the airport, free wine and a paperback copy of Lena Durham’s new book. (Only usually available in Hardback?! It’s the smallest pleasures.)
So after a relaxing flight, I landed in Marrakesh and the warmth that I’d been longing for instantly welcomed me.
I made it through customs, swiftly picked up my bag and hailed a taxi to the bus. I was fortunate enough to learn French in school so brushed off the cobwebs and managed to string a brief sentence together, which I believe my taxi driver appreciated.
He took me straight to the CTM bus station for a mere 150D where he guided me in and introduced me to the ticketing officer. Again using my brief French skills asked for a ticket to Agadir, to which he kindly obliged.
I would like to note at this point I had no hassle or inappropriate advances from any of the men, it was actually the opposite, everyone was super kind and extremely helpful. I would also like to note this was at 22:00 and it was dark.
The journey was pleasant, the bus was air-conditioned and the company was peachy, until a lady fell asleep on me and I found it difficult to wake her bearing a slight uncomfortable 30 minutes. But all in all as great as bus journeys get this was up there!
My lovely camp manager had kindly arranged a taxi to then pick me up from Agadir bus station and escort me to the surf camp.
Upon my arrival I was greeted by one of the awesome crewmembers that had kindly stayed up until 3am to let me in.
He hoisted my heavy suitcase over his shoulder and led me to my spacious twin room, to where I passed out. Goodnight and thanks for a safe and enjoyable journey over Morocco!