Under the Moroccan sky

First part.

We took our things and went to Kamal’s car. While we were sitting in the back, excited he said to us:

So we are going deep into the desert, and that’s going to cost you 30 euro each.’

There was something we didn’t know. Kamal had his own business, and he used CouchSurfing for finding new clients

Our excitement disappeared in an instant. We were already in the car, heading to the desert. There was no option to decline his ‘offer’ now. We agreed to pay. Now we know that Couch Surfing in Morocco is often connected with business. This is because people who live in the dessert don’t have high incomes and they decided to earn more money through tourism. There is nothing wrong about it. They just chosed this way of life. But it shouldn’t be untold. People on Couch Surfing should know that. They should know that there is posibility to stay on few conditions, like paying for aditional trips. Otherwise there shouldn’t be profiles like that.

Anyway, after short discussion we decided to pay. We wanted to spend the night in the desert. And as it turned out it was a very good decision. We had seen amazing dunes there. We felt like in a different world, we were running, climbing some of them. Kamal turned out to be really interesting guy. We asked him if he had a journey that he dreamt about. He said, that he would like to mount a camel and cross the Sahara on it. In a blink of his eye we saw light of adventure and we believed that he could really do that. Together with his German girlfriend we spent an amazing evening. We were sitting on a high dune with horizon full of sand, waiting for a sunset. We were joking, talking and we experienced something really beautiful together. Something which I had never seen in my life. A moonrise. That was really magical. We were there, in complete silence and moon suddenly appeared and was going up. There were so many stars that night… We went to a tent to eat dinner which was prepared by Berbers. And later we went outside to listen how Berbers play on djembe, we even smoked shisha with them 😉 We spent that night in our private tent. And when I write tent I don’t mean a regular tent, it was a big traditional tent with carpet in it! It was incredible night and it was worth every penny.

The next day we came back to Kamal’s kasbah where we spent really relaxing day. Slacklining, eating, napping. We were getting ready to go back.  We did the same route by bus and arrived do Marrakech in the middle of the night. We took a taxi from a bus station to our hotel, but the taxi driver took us to a different place and he kept saying that from there is not far. We were angry but we got off and we tried to look for a hotel.

Jakub almost tricked the driver by paying him less (not on purpose of course) but the guy reacted immediately and looked very angry himself. And then while we were walking to the hotel among two or three floored Moroccan houses the ‘helpful guy’ appeared. He offered to show us the way, and somehow we told him where we were going, but we didn’t really ask for his help. Yet, he was eager to ‘help’ anyway. It was very dark and nobody else in the street. It took us maybe 10 or 15 minutes to get to the hotel. The street was still completely empty and the darkness even greater, as we stepped into the smaller street to get to the entrance of the hotel. Big wooden doors were shut. Then another ‘helper’ appeared next to us and they both started to ask for money. We started to knock on the big doors vigorously. Our new friends looked quite scary and at one point one of them pointed his finger on me and told Jakub ‘give me money for present for her’. Our knocking could have wake a dead one, and when finally the just awaken receptionist opened the door we jumped inside in an eye blink.

Still scared we asked for a room. Jakub asked if we can get any discount because it would be only a half of a regular hotel’s night. The guy neutrally agreed. We said we would paid in the morning because we wanted to avoid going back into that street (to look for the ATM). What’s interesting is that we decided to stay one more night at that place and when we wanted to pay, there was already a new guy at the reception desk. We said that for the first night his colleague had decided to give us a lower price. The new receptionist didn’t entirely understand but didn’t want to question his friend’s authority and gave us a lower price for both nights. That’s a deal : )

We spent in Morocco 9 days, that’s not enough and we would love to come back. If you’ve read the whole story you can have a impression that we were not satisfied. That because of cockroaches, scary men and disappointment with Couch Surfing we didn’t enjoy the trip but that’s the opposite. We couldn’t believe ourselves that even though we had few obstacles we still were mezmerized by that country. I miss being woken up by muzzein, exploring breathtaking surroudings, talking with kind people and I miss Moroccan food! Tajine, couscous, the mint tea, avokado and dactiles milk shakes. Sometimes when I prepare pancakes for Jakub I think about the pancakes we ate close to Jemaa el-Fnaa square. They were so tasty…The highlight of the trip was definitely the time spent on the desert. We felt like in another world, as if we were the only people on the planet, as if time had stopped somewhere in the first scenes of the art of creation. Sand, sky with countless stars like golden grains and the two of us – even smaller grains, but what a happy ones.

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13 thoughts on “Under the Moroccan sky

  1. Oh what an experienced…. i have used couchsurfing before but only for meeting local people., Morroco is on my list and those photos gave me itchy feet…. I cant wait for my Morroco travel 🙂

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  2. What a crazy story! Fortunately nothing bad happened. I was never a big fan of couch surfing (even knowing that most of the stories I’ve heard were good experiences) but if I’ll be willing to give it a try for sure it won’t be here… 🙂

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  3. I couchsurfed in Morocco a few years ago and had a great experience. I remember that taxi to Atlas mountain was offered to us in times more than the real price that our host negotiated…I didn´t couchsurf in the desert though so maybe there is no other way…plus looks like you had some amazing time there and after all it wasn´t bad at all!

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  4. That sucks about the couchsurfing! It definitely shouldn’t be like that! I’m glad though that you got to enjoy Morocco nonetheless, I went a couple of months ago and loved it, even if ot wasn’t easy sometime…

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  5. Yikes! Sorry that happened. If I had two guys pointing fingers at me talking about money while I banged on a door I would be quite nervous!

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  6. Wow. I mean I always knew Couchsurfing was filled with people looking to make a buck, but as Indians who traditionally believe ‘the guest is a form of god” it’s just so shocking for me to imagine someone would corner you like that! But alls well that ends well, and atleast you had access to an amazing experience!

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  7. The non-disclosure of payment was a bad move on his part. Good to know that about couchsurfing in Morocco. Nonetheless, I’m glad that you ended up having a fabulous time and getting to know a local and his dreams. Beautiful photos.

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  8. Morocco just sounds more and more appealing to me as I read your articles!! I hope to get there in 2015 if I’m Spain. BTW I’m SO happy to hear I’m not the only one gets bothered by roaches when traveling!

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