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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Friday, 21 Aug 2009

Location: Martil, Morocco

MapSo we ve moved further north and are now in a small beach town called Martil. It is stunning and full of Moroccan tourists. We actually took the bus into Tetoun a big city of almost 400, 000 people but it was the Kings birthday and all the hotels were booked. Martil is only 12km away and is very cheap to get to by grand taxi. A grand taxi here in Morocco consists of an old Mercedez that is rammed with 7 people. Its quite the experience.

Were very sad to leave the lazy beautiful city of Chefchaoen. We absolutely loved our guest house and spent so much time wandering around and eating, true vacation style. We did have one fabulous active day where we went to Akchour. It is about 40Km from Chefchaoen and is located in a National Park. We went with the couple we had met the day before (Erin and Yussef). On the taxi ride down Erin informed us of many Moroccan laws that we were quite surprised to hear. Sex before marriage is illegal and before a woman marries she must go to the doctor and get checked and get a certificate before her wedding. Also all women who have sex before marriage are called prostitutes and are outcasts in society. Despite this fact, we still see many young couples affectionate with one another all the time. In our cab ride down to the park our taxi only had one window handle and had to be passed aroud, the "key" to all the windows if you may. Upon arriving at the park, we got some water and started our climb. The hike was hot and strenuous and took about an hour and a half. We foolishly went around noon and were sweating like mules once we got to the top. But it was well worth it as the view was breathtaking. The climb down was tricky and Saf slipped numerous times adding to her never ending list of injuries. We found a way to cut down to the river and spent the afternoon wading through waterfalls and swimming in the frigid water. It was perfect!!

side note- while in Fes, Abdul Rahim gave Saf a massage and cracked her back as his family has a massage business in the Sahara and he said he was a master. During the cracking back part he lifted her off the ground and possibly burised, cracked, mashed up a rib. things have been painful since and carrying her 20kg pack and climbing waterfalls and moutains is not so fun.

We met lots of fun people while in the National Park. A lot of young people come there from all of the big ciites to camp and get away. Met a really cool group of guys from Casa and hung out with them for awhile. Yussef and Erin swam in their full clothes. Yussef in army pants and full hiking boots, socks and all. My bathing suit bottom was in the wash so I wore my bathing suit top and my colourful striped underwear, enjoyable...
Were totally spent after the day and head back to Chefchaoen to grab some eats and chill. Ran into 2 of our dutch friends from the Desert trip and had some tea with them. Showered, napped and head out for some tea with some locals and crashed.

Got to Tetoun in the afternoon and settled into our hotel in Martil. Mostly and mainly we have a TV in our room with English channels and it is very exciting. Spent the day yesterday at the beach. We're finally in the Mediterrinian and the water is warm and delicious. Spent hours floating around and turning into prunes. Everyone up here speaks Spanish so my French is not helping as much. After watching 2 and a half men and showering we head into Tetoun for some festivities. We ate at a delicious place called paninis and my sandwhich had; tuna, mayo, fries, mashed potatoes, hashed beef, mushrooms, cheese and chicken, IMagine?!? Stood around the main square talking to locals and watched the royal guard in a parade with horses and a band. Head back to Martil and watched face off at 3am.

Today we're gonna go to the beach again and perhaps rent some paddle boats and maybe even a seadoo. The weather is beautiful and not too hot as we re right by the sea. Gonna head back into Tetoun this evening to see the Medina and eat that delicious sandwhich again, obvi ; ) Our hotel is on the stirp and is bumping til 4am in the morning. Loud and hard to sleep but the location is so key. Off to Tangier on Saturday morning. This is the gateway to Europe and only a half hour boat road to Spain. We thought about going but still have a few cities we want to see in Morocco so are opting out. The adventure continues...