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Discussion in 'Surfing' started by NCJohn, Oct 8, 2019.
Thanks. I'll dig up some pics and post more one night this week.
1 - We took a connecting flight from Casablanca to Marakesh and a driver picked us up at the Marakesh airport and drove us 3 hours to Taghazout. The only reason we did this was because our trip was going to end in Marakesh and we wanted to fly in/out of the same airport. You can get a connecting flight to Agadir which is about 30 minutes away I think. The drive from Casablanca is probably about 5 hours.
2 - You can rent in Taghazout. They are quite picky about damage to the car and will charge you for any issue because cars are harder to come by there. They will also charge you if are wearing a wet wetsuit in the car staining the seats and mats. You'll want to reserve a car in advance. Best to deal with it and get a driver to the town and rent in town, IMO. Unless you fly into Agadir, which would be a short drive to Taghazout. Otherwise, drivers are cheap, so best to leave it to them for any long drives. Although we did take a day trip up to Essaouira and I was fine driving 2 hours up there and back up and down mountains and along cliffs.
3 - We stayed with Surf Maroc. They have an assortment of different accommodations and they are very helpful. It's run by New Zealanders with a rotating door of university and post university kids looking to have an adventure for a few years before real life starts, but the owners are good people. There are plenty of other accommodations there from hostiles, to surf hotels, to apartment rentals. It's a very unique town. Europe meets the Middle East with a Hippie crossed with Muslim vibe full of European surfers of all levels on "holiday".
4 - We did not drink the water, but my wife has gotten sick almost everywhere we go and did not get sick there. We drank bottled water and soda, but I'm fairly certain we had ice in some of our drinks and the food must have been exposed to/cleaned with water. We brushed our teeth with tap water. Still, I wouldn't chance it. Stick with the bottled water.
Will try to stir up a few pics and write more from my couch one night this week.
I have been to Tortola for 7 consecutive years, with the Maria/Irma winter being the only one I missed given the circumstances.
Each year we stay for 14 days. Some years we've surfed every single day, other years we never even took our boards out of their boardbags. Unlike Puerto Rico and Barbados, Tortola is VERY fickle given the numerous barrier islands bordering it and the direction it faces coupled with the fact that most of the northern facing coastline is cliff-faced. ALSO unlike Puerto Rico and Barbados, it has the best righthand pointbreak in the Caribbean and the best lefthand pointbreak in the Caribbean within a 30 minute drive of oneanother if you actually manage to coincide your trip with a decent swell. Chances are, a great session at one of those two waves will be one of (if not THE) best session of your life assuming you haven't been to the Mentawai.
I just told my wife that our next destination was Morocco.
If you can, plan for almost two weeks. At least 5 days in Taghazout, at least two nights in the dessert (plus one night traveling from Taghazout to the Sahara), 3 or 4 days in Marakesh. You could even spend a night in Essaouira. Book with Erg Chigaga Dessert Camp. Talk to Nick. He will hook you up with everything you need to plan your trip outside of Taghazout and his guides/drivers are awesome. Your wife will love the dessert camp, and the Souks and restaurants In Marakesh and Essaouira.
Accept the mint tea any time someone offers it to you. Sit down, relax and talk with them. It’s the best tea I’ve ever tasted and they consider it polite. Drink the fresh orange juice in the square in Marakesh. It’s the best you’ll ever find. Eat there too while your at it. Eat at the sea food vendor stands by the warf in Essaouira. It’s entertaining and delicious. Walk through the Souks and take it all in. Don’t be offended by the sales pitch, just be polite when you decline. Don’t be shy, Moroccans are super friendly and while they are certainly hoping you’ll buy something, they aren’t offended if you don’t and enjoy the discussion. They aren’t malicious about business.
I’ve been on surf trips with my wife to Australia, Africa, Europe, Central America, the Caribbean... Morocco was her favorite.
Dude- making me want to go even more... I should clarify though- by destination I meant place to live. I was checking out (though not too seriously considering) the international schools in the area- you never know!
A buddy of mine owns a surf hotel in Boston Bay Jamaica. Never been but sure looks nice...Caribbean Dawn
Boston Bay can get really good. People are super friendly. There's a great little affordable and beautiful spot called Frenchman's Cove right up the street. Boston Bay also happens to be the jerk capital of Jamaica. Portland is a beautiful area.
I went to Barbados and I enjoyed it. No complaints about the surf. You have consistent trade swell from the east which means you probably won't get skunked, and also a good chance for any swell coming out of the north. When the waves are pumping on the east side, you can work your way south, driving around the island and, depending how far you go, can basically choose the wave size you want. When I was there, I was surfing with my young sons and this aspect was ideal. This also allows you to manage wind, at least somewhat.
Beaches and water are beautiful. Local surfers are friendly, surprisingly so. (Unlike in PR where you can get into hostile waters depending where you go). At Soup Bowl, which is located in a truly stunning spot, I pulled up for the first time, then stood and watched the surf for a while. I nodded hello to the group of locals who were sitting watching pre/post surf. After about 10 minutes, one dude offered me his joint (I declined politely) and then his friend proceeded to explain how to enter and exit safely. I don't know about you guys, but that's a first for me.
There are supposedly posh "world class" restaurants on the west side around the "Platinum Coast" but driving from East to West is a pain in the ass. (I love getting out on the empty gravel roads of Central America and Barbados is cramped.) But in general, I was not impressed with the food on offer. In Costa Rica, by contrast, you can stop at a simple place along the road and get a excellent meal. Groceries are also limited (more like Bahamas).
If you're heading there, I'm happy to answer more questions - PM me - or just post.
All good advice right here...
A solid smile accompanied by an equally as firm 'no' and a shake of the head is a gracious way to put off the hawkers in the markets.
Desert is a good call too.
Maroc is my favourite 'close' destination, but feels like a different world. Its a great place to experience something different and round out an adventure alongside surf.