So, we all know that last year, I celebrated my 24th in the sky and up in the air… this year I flew out to the country of Morocco to try something I’ve never done. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know and to experience and know new things, you must try the things you’ve never done before.
Now, 25 is big. It’s a quarter of a century. A silver jubilee. I had this crazy idea for such a momentous occasion. If I told you about it and you are reading this waiting for me to tell you how I did 25 things for my 25th, or the craziest 25 things to do in 25 hours… you’ve come too early 😢 a whole year early infact. Rest assured… I’ll be posting about that crazy in 2020. 26 still counts as a big year, right? “26 things for the my 26th” still has a nice ring to it, I hope? I told the world I would, but really didn’t get the chance this year.
I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do on this trip – but it certainly wasn’t like last year’s every-move-pre-planned-to-the-T type thing. Morocco is one of those African countries that you can really haggle down to pennies and coins, so not booking things in advance was a risk worth taking.
Find the right guy and you’ll be spending less than £100 for 7 days’ worth of activities.
Past, Present, Fay-uture…
Most people don’t know that I run a travel agency, and if you ever have run one, you’ll know that your taste in holiday destinations become very microscopic. You hear the good and bad, you see the standard of service in some countries and you get all the right connects from your customers flying all over the world.
In all honesty, the 2 people the company sent to Agadir a week before I went, were put in the same hotel that I’d be staying at, totally for investigatory reasons. (I personally ended up hating the hotel, read about it here).
They found quite a few street vendors bartering activities with the tourists outside and inside the hotel, so that saved me the trouble of filtering through the trash vendors that bump you. They’d compared all the prices up and down the street and come back to me with the cheapest and most fun. Talk about outsourcing your time – I had all the tried & tested connections to live my best life. Despite my inorganization, I wasn’t worried at all.
The date is 21st November 2019. I’ve been here for a few days already and met the locals and explored the beaches. Today, the body will be challenged. The mind will be stimulated. This adventure will be untamed.
I woke up and today I decided I’d do anything I’d never done and anything I’d always wanted to do.
This morning I decided we’d start the day by renting out a colossal super yacht and steering out into sea. Those of you that have followed my traventures for a while know that we tried to do this last year in Dubai, but someone made us late (smh. No names.) and we missed our slot.
Amin, a local, was super friendly, and had a strong relationship with some Birmingham lads in our hotel. They’d been using him for 8 years consecutively, so he took care of us pretty well. He picked us up around 11:00, walked us down to the Marina and got us the biggest yacht of them all. The entire vessel – wholly for ourselves.
I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to start the day than around water. If you read my Kefalonia post, or my Barcelona or even my Santorini post, you’ll know how utterly fixated I am on the ocean. We drove at alternating speeds to the horizon, and in the emptiness, we switched off the engine.
Moments like this
The ocean was gentle as we waded through it. The yacht bobbed and lolled in the incoming tide, like a toy in a bath. The wave crests rose us gently and, in the silence, we look around.
No mobile phones, no cameras.
I need you to see this with me. I need you to feel this very moment with me. My heart is still. A current of cold electricity passes through the air and the gust greets my face ferociously.
I can’t hear myself think. The wind whips up. The sea simmers.
Far and wide around us is a Prussian-blue vault of velvet seeming to solder into a liquid blanket of silver closer to us. The water winks at us saucily. The slurpy slapping of the sea was muted, a metronomic murmur.
The waves were merely snoozing, sluggish and slumbering in their liquid robes. Ebbing ever so gently, it looked like peace in its jade-green gown. It felt like we were wading through a carpet of candy floss, it looked that soft.
The horizon seemed to be stitched with a silver line.
The horizon. The peace.
No words can capture that.
It was a thin seam where the canopy of sky and the plane of sea hemmed each other, a line of silver. It was as if they had been welded into an extended fragment of perfection. In the distance, streamers of tapered light splayed out, flowing through cracks in the cloud.
I’m in silent admiration of the power of the most High.
In the silence, as we gaze at the faraway land that is Agadir in all its glory, the siren call of the sea is soothing, the wave music welcome. It’s like being wrapped in comforting cellophane’s of warm sounds and soft light.
If I hadn’t seen a sea storm before, I would have believed this serene façade.
You have to know and believe that the ocean is powerful, with enough force to destroy and rival the land.
I should know; I jumped into the ocean last year in Phuket and didn’t know how to swim. The strength swamped me as I guzzled shed loads of water. The most innocent faces are the wildest. Don’t be fooled by the tranquillity of the sea.
Fleeting Moments & their lessons
We play music and dance the afternoon away, passing along the starboard and onto the bow of the yacht for an incredible zeal of harmony. The stern of the vessel is coated in padded red luxe leather and the hull glides softly, piercing the water as it bobs from the dancing. I’ve got great friends around me, and laughter fills the air.
This moment here teaches me gratitude and appreciation- that no matter how big and bad the world treats you; the world still turns on its axis and we move.
Its hard to be angry when one has seen such views, and yet I wonder why. It makes one feel small and almost insignificant. Tides have been rising and dropping forever and will continue to rise forever no matter what we do or do not do. All our problems are as nothing to the sun. It’s the universe saying, “Get Up, Shut Up and Show Out.”
The Doctor Fish
Its only 14:15, so we set off to the next new thing. A car picks us up, I change, and we head to Paradise Valley. Not exactly what we expected, but it is a section of the Tamraght River Valley in the Moroccan High Atlas Mountains.
I’d really wanted to try Cliff Jumping whilst here, but the current was way too low.
The car winds though the remarkable countryside landscapes that remind me of Burao and Hargeisa.
20-minutes into the hike, trailing through tiny streams, mountain gorges, and flowing waterfalls in the picturesque villages, we get to the valley and dip our feet in with the Garra Rufa – the “doctor fish” used exclusively for fish pedicures.
I’ve tried this before in Phuket during last years trip, so the sensation wasn’t all too alien for me. We sat knee deep in the river, with fish gnawing at the dead skin cells on our feet. A chair sits alone in the middle of the river, and just after it is what looks like Pablo Escobar’s hideout; a tiny isolated hut with colossal Coco palms towering over it, bathing it in shade.
I couldn’t make it up, it felt surreal just sitting there surrounded by soaring cliff and gushing streams.
I’ll have to pause this post here////
Part II of my Birthday post will be up next week! You’ll read all about the evening pollava we got up to in Part II of my 25th.
The best moments are usually totally unplanned and totally unexpected and, in most cases, totally free! Read all about our evening on horseback, our new friend and what she did for me and our very spontaneous family home visit.