Morocco up close
Light and shadow
Since a few weeks Emily and Dennis from near.so.far are on the road with their van in Morocco. The country is characterized by contrasts. Besides beautiful beaches or breathtaking desert landscapes, there are also impressions that make you think. Poverty is often only a stone's throw away.
After the first weeks in this country we notice more and more how beautiful and honest, but at the same time sad and brutal it is here. In Morocco, a lot of good but also a lot of "bad" things happen right in front of our eyes. Be it the poverty, which is unmistakable, the treatment of animals to the dirt on and next to the streets. We have the feeling that here the problems are so close and tangible, whereas here in Germany and Europe many things are easy to overlook.
The Agafay Desert
After the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, we longed for a place in nature. Only about 40 minutes by car from Marrakech is the Agafay Desert (stone desert). An incredibly peaceful and quiet place. From the desert you have a gorgeous view of the snow covered peaks of the Atlas Mountains. We drove with Kosmo to the beginning of the desert to explore the terrain from there with a quad.
But there is also the possibility to explore the desert with dromedaries or your own off-road vehicle. We continued towards the coast the same day. However, there is also the possibility to stay there overnight with the camper. But beware, the nights in the desert get very cold. At this time of the year the temperatures in the desert and in the mountains quickly drop below 0 degrees.
Coordinates of the sleeping place at the desert: 31.4826086, -8.1833775
Season in MoroccoThe tourist season in Morocco starts from January. Here, at one stroke, the pitches and campsites suddenly become full. Climatically, a Morocco trip makes the most sense in the months from November to March.
Safety in MoroccoWe felt quite safe the entire time in Morocco, but this was also due to the fact that we spent the entire time on guarded pitches or campsites. We would classify Morocco as a safe travel destination if you behave accordingly.
Culture in Morocco
The culture is influenced by the local faith, Islam. The Berbers, the original inhabitants of Morocco, also shape the country to this day, both linguistically and culinary. Especially tajine, Berber bread, couscous, and mint tea are very typical and available practically everywhere.
- Always carry cash (except in the big stores, most things are paid in cash).
- Speak French (at least the basics), as a tourist you will almost always be spoken to in French.
- Negotiate prices (bargaining is part of the game here)
- Get rid of European habits (Morocco is a different world where it helps to get fully involved)
Back to EuropeAfter almost 6 weeks we went back to Spain. Feels good to be back. Africa is a real adventure from a European point of view. This trip helped us to appreciate life in Europe with all its advantages more.
The beautiful Atlantic coast of Spain.
Here are our favorite spots in Andalusia:
The windsport mecca with a wide kilometer long beach and a cute Moroccan influenced old town.
Coordinates of a pitch on the beach (tolerated in low season): 36.0460786, -5.6385659
Vejer de la Frontera
Vejer de la Frontera is considered one of the most beautiful white towns in Andalusia. The town is located a few kilometers from the coast on a high plateau.
Coordinates of a parking place below the town (day parking): 36.2554775, -5.9673595
El Palmar is the surfer's paradise with a long beach promenade, many stores, cafes and of course great waves.
Coordinates of a pitch near the promenade (tolerated in low season): 36.2287306, -6.0662928
Wild camping in SpainIt is important for us to mention again that although it is still tolerated in Spain to stand wild in the low season, we as campers are responsible to respect this and behave accordingly.
Things we try to do to have this opportunity in the future:- Leave campsites clean
- Support local services
- Be friendly to residents and tourists
- Park in 2nd row (give priority to day visitors)
- If possible, do not block the view e.g. to the beach with the large vehicles
- Respect nature
- Do not permanently block parking spaces
To be continued... Portugal and a project we have been looking forward to since the beginning of the trip...
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