Soul Traveler, Allegra, is taking us to Morocco. This 23 years old girl, born and raised in Milan, Italy, is always on the road. She went to Morocco between July and August 2017 for three weeks, chasing good vibes from Marrakech souk to Imsouane waves.
“My biggest passion is to travel, is a drug, I cannot stay in the same place for too long. Everything started since I was born: my mum is from Ecuador and my dad from El Salvador, they met in Italy while traveling and decided to start a new life there… so let’s say that my story already started from a melting-pot of cultures. I travel since I was born, always in a new adventure with my parents between camping in Italy till discover Europe, hiking and flying between South America and Australia to visit all my relatives. Travel opens extremely the mind, the way of thinking and teaches you all the things that school doesn’t teach you: how to live by doing what you really want to do. Living this kind of lifestyle is quite hard, I have to find seasonal jobs that allows me to make fast money and to quit whenever I want, but I cannot complain, is going preatty well, you just have to go for it 😉
My essentials for the trip were a big bag where to put all my stuff, sunblock to protect my skin and guess what? 3 fins, the wax and brush for my surfboard. And last but not least, my Mini Nomad for daily adventures: you can put your sunblock, fins, wax, wallet and a camera to take photos, good dimension and everything fits into it, trust me!
I never use to plan my trips, never. I love to follow the flow, to book a hostel for the first two night where I land and follow the tips from the amazing soul travelers that I met in my way. Unfortunately my kind of list of place to visit hasn’t been fully followed but that’s the cool thing of traveling, no?! You never know what’s gonna happen! The country is really well furnish with every means of transportation (trains, busses, taxi), the problem is that you never know when they actually gonna come and how long does it takes! The bus service is good but the roads aren’t in the best conditions so it really takes a lot of hours to get from one city to another one. The first week I got stuck in a tiny city on the coast: Essaouira, I met insane good vibes that were traveling since years along the world so I stayed there and explore all around. And finding good waves in amazing surf spots got me even more stuck!
Morocco has surprised me. Nowadays a lot of political and religious problems are devastating every country in the world, everyone was suggesting me to do not go there with the excuse of the “arabic country stereotype”: “Is dangerous, you have to wear burqa, there will kidnap you, rape you and stole your belongings.” Guess what? They have never been there. And guess: Morocco was completely the opposite. All the people are so friendly, available for help and smiling all the time. In berbér culture everybody is well accepted in their home and has to be well treated as a member of the family, so it’s not rare to be invited from women or men in their house to drink such an amazing tea for nothing in return. They help you so much if you are lost, they pick you up if you hitch-hike and they love teach you new things about their culture.The only thing, most of them doesn’t even speak french or english but just berbeer or arabic so the communication is extremely hard but they try their best to help you. Let’s say that not all of them are friendly and amazing, there are “bad people” too, in some places is not recommended to go alone… but c’mon, everywhere is like that, so my ultimate feeling about this country was really good.
Non touristic place and must see. Dades Valley, is a great place in the middle of the mountains , secret gardens next to the river, gorges ad canyons there are next to the desert… is like a huge oasis full of amazing trees, gardens, red rocks, caves where you can camp and pass the night in front of the fire, hike in the between the gorges, swimming in the river and watch the stars in the complete darkness. The village is super small and full on old people that live from agriculture and harvesting. Go there, you will not gonna regret it, is one of the wild places of Morocco. In Morocco is impossible to do not walk around local markets or in the huge souk of Marrakech. I bought a lot of berber carpets, leather and handmade bags, sandals, handmade jewellery, ceramic plates and argan oil, the best beauty care that you can put on your hair after a surf trip to help them to be always bright and strong!
As a solo travel women I felt always safe, it always full of police all round cities and my suggestion is to be always polite when people try to sell you their goods insistently, always smile and be relaxed but at the same time show to them that you are a strong and independent woman and that you can make your choices and they will not gonna be able to stop you from your purpose, they gonna be scared of it and respect you. A thing that disturbs me, but that I’ve found in other cultures too, is the perception of the consideration that they have on women. Morocco is a country where women are more free to wear and act how they want, but let’s remember that their life goes around muslim religion so it has a huge impact on their lives but in spite of everything they can almost wear what they want and study if they do not live in a close-mind family. But unfortunately a lot of them have to marry men that do not love, don’t have the possibility to access to scholarship system and as consequence cannot be able to chase their ambitions and become someone in life. The “good thing” was that we haven’t to wear their kind of clothing as burqa, we were free to wear what we want but always keeping in mind that being in a muslim country means that you to be respectful of their culture.
Morocco unfortunately do not make recycling at all, not even in big cities. Is really common to see trash in the forest, on the beach and paradisiac places. There are no bins so the best thing that you can do is always bring a bag where to put the trash and avoid plastic use: do no accept plastic bags for street food if you know that you gonna eat it immediately, put your trash in your bag pack and trash it in the specific bins.
After the first week just exploring nature and cities I decided to go surfing, the abstinence was too strong. So I moved to Essaouira and did all the coast down till Mirleft. One of the best spots that I liked were Devil’s Rock, Anchor point and Banana beach in Aourir. Even in summer and in low season the waves were amazing: small but glassy, fun and with power, most of them are rights and beach breaks, amazing cliffs and panoramic view point rocks next to it. Renting a surfboard isn’t easy but you can do it. I used a 6’0 board with a bit of volume because wasn’t necessary to do the duck dive and it worked really well, in low season a thicker board is better. In front of every surf spot there are a lot of small and local surf shop with lovely surf teachers that let you rent a board for few euros and give you some tips about the waves and current. In Tamraght – Devil’s Rock there are three school with NSP, soft boards and “too big for me” 🙂 surfboards. In Tagazhout you have definitely more choice. But what I suggest is to carry your own or if you choose to go with a surfcamp, they have the best choice of boards.
My last stop of the trip, before flight back to Italy from Marrakech, was Imsouane. An amazing small fisherman village where there are really good waves, when not surfing have a look at the local handcraft market and a hot moroccan tea is mandatory! After surf my best meal was a vegetarian tajine, cous cous with vegetables and a fresh orange juice, and the energy that brings you has to be spent in the next surf session 😉 I stayed in a cozy hostel in front of the Imsouane beach, guests were really easy going good vibes and a beer watching the sunset was our daily routine. We have fun surfing because Mother Nature allow us to play with her, but we have to respect her and the ocean. If you are chilling at the beach and you don’t know what to do: grab a bag, put your headphones, turn the music on and collect trash… you will be surprised with the amount of trash that you will collect in few minutes and just in a tiny part of the beach. Do it, she will thank you giving good waves!!!”