Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.

My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakesh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.

Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yoga and Reiki Retreat - Zamzam Riad Marrakech, Morocco

 We had a fabulous retreat as normal, Day 2 of the retreat we spent the day in the Toubkal National Park in the heart of the Atlas Mountains.

The Atlas Mountains in June were extraodinary, sunny but with a very cool mountain breeze. Superb for our hike. The green valley's and waterfalls were otherwordly.

Walking through the Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains and exploring local village life and their pretty mud houses.

Yoga in the courtyard with Aisha who is used to leading big groups at Richard Bransons Kasbah but was very good at taking us through the postures.
Our wonderful massage therapist who Manages the spa.  We had a full spa day with reiki treatment, hammam and gommage and massage  Superb after a day hiking!
A relaxing Moroccan Massage in Africa!

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Walking in the Atlas Mountains - Toubkal National Park, hiking

  A gorgeous day in Toubkal at the start of our 10k hike.
The best thing was the cold air from the mountains cooling you down as you got hot during the hike.
The group walking through the Berber Villages and around the huge walls which section off peoples villages and land.

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Yoga and Reiki Retreat - Zamzam Riad Marrakech, Morocco

  A bit of team building helping Ella across the raging stream.

Toubkal National Park is stunning in June, it is lush and cool with gorgeous waterfalls and just right for hiking.
The group crossing one of the many village bridges.
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Exploring Yoga - workshop in London

My dear friend Rachel is holding a yoga and creativity workshop in Surbiton (SW London) in October. The weekend is £80 but she's doing an earlybird discount booking of £70 if booked before 12 September. Contact her for further details on its sure to sell out quickly!
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Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.

Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'

I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!