May 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
Traversing the various landscapes of all four compass arrows in 3 weeks time is probably as much a fantasy as the legendary desert Bluemen. But thanks to dozens of rattling buses, a handful of grand taxis, 2 camels and a flying carpet, Luke and I are giving it a shot.
Luke’s jourey started when he rolled out of Durango, CO on May 12 to Salt Lake. Then he braved the United Airways transfer maze to Phoenix, killed time eating chili in Charolette, and finger-fooded his way onto the airline’s first non-stop to Madrid.
Meanwhile, I pulled on all-nighter before sending in my most updated version of my research project (work in progress). Then it was out the door to the train to Casablanca and a well-known flight over the Med to Madrid.
We stayed one night in Madrid before migrating to warmer climates and a more extreme cultural experience for Luke. While tapas and paella are trendy, the color-coded subway system and lost-tourist-proof signs are too comfortable for 2 young adventurers to handle. We lunged into the arms of North Africa’s finest.
Here’s a brief recap of cities/places we’ve hit so far, with stories and pictures and a guest blog post by Luke to come.
Madrid to Fes (and its maze ike medina)
Fes to Meknes to Moulay Idriss (and the Roman ruins of Vouloubilis)
A grand taxi and bus odyssey from Moulay Idriss to Sidi Kacem to Japh to Ouzzane to Tanger for pizza. ThenTanger to Larache and some river rocks and dinner to-go before night bus to Rabat.
Stayed in Rabat for long enough to do a load of laundry and watch a Mawazine concert. Took a boat to Sale, then stocked up on snacks for a 14-hour haul to Zagora. Stayed in Zagora between the palm trees, got talked into doing a camel trek from M’Hamid into the Sahara. Slept under the stars in a man-made oasis of us and about 10 guides. M’hamid to Marrkech for one night, on to Demnate, caught a minivan ride up the hill to Imi-n-Ifri, traked dinosaurs, raced down to a big tagine before weaving throught the hillsides to Azilal. Daytrip to some cascades, back to Marrakech and picking an unlucky bus which promptly gave us the mandatory 2:30am hotel search (a must for any voyage). We’re in Agadir for now, but we’ll follow the winds to Essaouria to cool off in the Atlantic breeze before the home stretch back to Marrakech so Luke can catch his fight out.
In other news, my conference at the end of June/early July was cancelled. I smell another vacation.