Travel Diaries: Morocco Part 2

In April, we got to take an amazing trip to Morocco with Intrepid Travel. If you missed it, I already wrote about the first 5 days of the trip, which you can read about here.

Day Six:

I’ve got to be honest; this was a difficult morning. I’d fallen asleep around 3:30am – I didn’t even change out of my clothes – and spent a few hours huddled under my blanket asleep. Joe got up to watch the sunrise, but I was in no state to appreciate it. I was able to spend a few quiet moments on the dunes after I woke up, taking it in one last time. After a quick breakfast we all packed up to get back into the 4x4s for the ride out of the desert. What was already a bumpy ride was worsened by the hangover. You win some, you lose some!

Travel Diaries: Morocco - Sunrise in the Sahara Desert

The views were really amazing, and we stopped quickly to look at an area with a lot of fossils. We had a very long day of driving, and truthfully it wasn’t pleasant. (Just trying to keep it real!) We did get to stop a few times, which definitely helped! First we stopped to see argan trees, which are only found naturally in Morocco, and saw the goats that climb the trees and eat the fruit. We also stopped to learn about saffron – one of the most precious spices in the world – and see where it grows. While I enjoyed the stops, I was relieved when we arrived at our hotel for the night, which was just outside of Taroudant.

The hotel was absolutely stunning!

Luxury pool at hotel in Taroudant surrounded by palm trees

Our room was huge, with not only the beds but a big sofa as well and beautiful decorations. The rooms were all situated around a massive garden area, full of beautiful trees and flowers, and there were even peacocks in there! There was a gorgeous pool, which Joe went for a nice swim in. I tried getting in but only lasted about five minutes because it was so cold.

After showering and trying to get some of the sand out of my hair, we had a really lovely group dinner outside. The weather was perfect; the atmosphere peaceful. After dinner I sat outside in the garden for a while just to enjoy it as much as possible. I would love to stay in that hotel again one day!

Day Seven:

The next day we went into the town of Taroudant and wandered around a little bit before stopping for a tea and coffee break. I drink a lot of tea and coffee myself so I really appreciated how much everyone else wanted to stop for it. The Moroccan mint tea is so good, I could never get enough of it. (Although all the sugar is certainly not healthy.)

We had a lot more driving this day, but fortunately we had some really nice stops. We went to a supermarket to get food for a picnic lunch, which for Joe and me ended up being just chips and Babybels. It happens. Next we stopped at a gorgeous lookout point over Agadir so we could get some pictures. The only disappointing thing was that it was really foggy so we couldn’t actually see that far. The view was incredible though!

The drive after this was really lovely because we were driving along ocean view roads. We stopped at an argan oil cooperative where we could see how argan nuts are turned into argan oil for cooking, and oil for cosmetics. There was a shop with lots of products so of course I had to get a couple things; argan oil for my hair and argan oil perfume with jasmine. It smells divine.

Next we went on to Essaouira, a lovely seaside city. It was so bright and colorful, and the weather was perfect.

White wall and palm trees in Essaouira, Morocco

 

Day Eight:

The morning started with a local guide showing our group around the city. Wandering around the colorful city, we saw the many blue boats, the Port d’Essaouira, the vibrant shops, and a lot of amazing doorways. We also got to see a filming location for Game of Thrones! We stopped at a wood cooperative that had thousands of gorgeous pieces and I could have easily furnished a house with all the beautiful things I saw in there. There was also a silver jewelry cooperative, where I miraculously convinced Joe to let me get the most perfect amethyst ring.

At lunchtime we went to a fish market so the group could buy sardines, which were insanely cheap. We took them to a little cafe where they were cooked for everyone for a small fee. I did not participate in eating them; it looked absolutely disgusting to me. Joe thought they were delicious though.

Next we wandered around a bit and grabbed some gelato, which was amazing. We wandered back to the Skala du Port and took lots of pictures. It was a really cool viewpoint of the city! Afterwards Joe went with the others to do some shopping, while I went back to the hotel to rest. (I wasn’t feeling too well for the last few days of the trip.)

Overall it was a pretty chill day; it was nice to hang out at the hotel and on the roof terrace. We all went to an Italian restaurant for dinner where, for possibly the first time in my life, I didn’t finish my pizza. Now THAT is when I know I’m not feeling great.

Day Nine:

We started out this day with horse riding on the beach. I had been hesitant to sign up, because I haven’t been riding aside from one time when I was a kid. But the brochure said it was suitable for all levels, so I decided to give it a try. It didn’t go well. Several of the horses didn’t seem well-suited to beginners, and mine was one of them. About 15 minutes into the ride, my horse jumped, seemingly spooked by something, and I went flying off the side of the horse and landed hard on my butt. (Ouch.) I was actually really lucky to have fallen when I did onto the sand, because the beach was covered in rocks for most of the way.

Travel diaries: Morocco - Riding horses on the beach in Essaouira

What would have been a lovely ride along the beach was tainted by my nervousness about being on the horse. In hindsight, I’m actually surprised I got back on so quickly. For some reason on our way back, we were lead through this shrubby area instead of going along the beach, which only increased my fear of falling off and being impaled by a tree. The only reason I stayed on is because walking 30 minutes back in the heat sounded terrible. Fortunately there were no more mishaps and I made it back to the hotel in one piece. Joe had a great time though! In fact, if ever I have a rough time traveling, Joe is usually still having a fantastic time. He doesn’t let life get him down.

Later we got the bus to Marrakech, where we had free time in the hotel before one last group dinner. It was really good to spend time with everyone before we went our separate ways; spending so much time with a group of people really brings you together! We both hope that we’ll get to see them again one day in our travels.

Day Ten:

Joe got up early to go see the Jardin Majorelle while I got some rest. I still wasn’t feeling well and didn’t feel up to it, but now I really regret not going! It looks like it was really beautiful. I’ll definitely have to check it out next time!

Colourful flowers in Marrakech, Morocco

We went for wonderful lunch with one of the girls from our group before heading to the Medina to spend a bit of time wandering around before our flight. The city felt much less overwhelming the second time around and it was so good to see a bit more of it before we left. We spent some time on the terrace of a cafe overlooking Jemaa El Fna, the main square in Marrakech, sipping on a freshly squeezed orange juice. It was the perfect way to spend our last day in Morocco. Hopefully we’ll be back soon!

Travel Diaries: Morocco Part 2 - Joe exploring the stalls in Jemaa El Fna Square, Marrakech

We’re so glad we booked with Intrepid. For more details, take a look at our full review of the tour.

1 Comment

  1. Donetta Dalman on 15th June 2018 at 7:19 pm

    What an amazing experience. It still terrifies me that you fell off the horse. So glad that ended well and wasn’t worse! Best line though – “He doesn’t let life get him down.” hahaha! We know that’s the truth. 😉

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