As-Salaam-Alaikum

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.



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Surfing on the Moroccan Coast - Ocean Vagabond

 My friends are just coming back from a 3 weeks fun water sport trip to Essaouira and Dakhla, southern Morocco.

Over the 3 weeks they got 18 days of solid 25 knots plus winds.

They started their trip windsurfing in Essaouira. They managed to go out every day renting their gear from Ocean Vagabond Essaouira (Fanatic, North, etc). They also had alot of fun surfing the waves in Sidi Kaouki.

The Ocean Vagabond Essaouira restaurant is a great place to eat good food (pizza, sushi, etc) and give you energy for your afternoon sessions.

After 10 days of Essaouira fun, they packed up and left for Agadir where they took a plane to Dakhla. They stayed in the Ocean Vagabond Dakhla  ensuite bungalows, which were awesome. Kitesurfing in Dakhla is pure magic! What a place to be! Just at the edge of the desert,  a huge lagoon, massive waves, a speed spot... everything you need for maximum fun! They managed to kitesurf 8 days out of 8 days they were there. 

They would go and tack for miles up wind on super flat water, take part in down winders organised by the Ocean Vagabond Dakhla hotel crew, its amazing what a solid week of riding can do.  They took a kitesurf trip down to Foum el Bouir, with perfect waves then back in the evening.  Their restaurant was A class with fresh food cooked every day, catch of the day too from where they had just kitesurfed.

Combining both destinations was amazing. Essaouira and Dakhla are two epic and legendary spots in Morocco now on the worldwide map for windsurfing and kitesurfing. I can't wait to go and visit myself!



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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!