From the french seaside cafes in Essouira to the tiny wooden fishing boats in Imsouane. The wind peels the bright colorful paint off the corners of buildings like bark from a tree. The people are kind and the waves are good.
Right hand point breaks can be found north and south of the humble little surfer’s haven of Taghazout. Tajines are served in pipping hot clay pots and the mint tea flows seemingly from the sky. If you have been here, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t, you must go.
I will name this trip “Moroccan walls.” The architecture is so simple, while at the same time so diverse. One could spend a lifetime taking photos of the colorful fishing shacks lining the coastal villages and the decadent marble entryways of Marrakesh’s poshest riads.
Then there are the other kinds of walls, the walls of the waves, so rippable and long. It is hard as a surfer to combine my passions of travel writing and surfing, as some places are meant to stay a secret. So, without mentioning the details of specific surf breaks, where epic barrels and 1.5 km logging waves can both be found, just know that it is all here, any kind of wave you are searching for. That makes for a pretty perfect surf destination, does it not?
Its rough, raw, and not for the faint of heart. Morocco’s weather is harsh and ocean cold. I admire the travelers I meet here, because they too have seen something magical in this country, and they dont mind dried out skin and thick wetsuits to enjoy it. They are adventurers, modern day explorers. There is a well beaten tourist path here in Morocco, but it only takes a kilometer or so to get away from it.
I couldnt have been happier for Santosha Society’s Morocco Surf and Yoga Escape to begin. To have a bed that wasnt stubbornly stiff and a shower refreshingly hot was all I could hope for after two weeks traveling from Casablanca to Agadir. I dreamt of meals so hearty and fresh, that I could escape the overflowing baskets of warm bread that were always brought to the table. More than all that, I most looked forward to sharing this experience with 10 other girls from all over the world.
With a crew of females flying in from the States, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Portugal, we were a group of girls each very unique in our own beautiful ways. From beginner surfers to professionals, first time yogis to ashtangi contortionist, it is the individuality of each and every one of us that made dinner conversations anything but boring. With day trips to hammams (Moroccan spas), local markets, sweet little coffee shacks and one big group adventure to the fishing village and perfect point break of Imsouane, there was no lack of energy or excitement. We were stoked.
We did yoga, we did art, we surfed, we ate, we laughed and we adventured. We made new friends and from these new friendships, our hearts felt warm. Every group comes together to create a feeling all its own. I once read that “group work can be helpful for intensifying the light of your presence. A group of people coming together in a state of presence generates a collective energy field of great intensity.” I believe it was an adventurous light that shined on all of us that week. We took the challenges that inherently exist in Morocco and we floated with it. We all tried new yoga poses, surfed new waves and gained strength, courage and appreciation through our adventures in this arid country..
Morocco you indeed are magic.
Some places and people I must mention that showered hospitality and kindness to an unknown wandering traveler (me). These beautiful souls have generously given when they didnt need or have to. They are well worth supporting:
Rachid Fahmi from Amouage Magazine (Magazine Editor, Surf Coach and Guiding) – Minutes after arriving to Casablanca airport, we found ourselves happily arriving to one of the most amazing right hand point breaks known to man. Yes, rights! I know Morocco is famous for lefts, but get this …there are some world class rights too. I threw my wetsuit on and ran over to a local guy about to jump off the rocks and into the waves. “Hi! I just wanted to follow you out to know the best place to get out.” His response, “I know, I was just waiting for you.” This man became one of our best friends we made throughout the entire trip. Rachid is not only a ripping surfer and ultra-talented graphic designer, he is perhaps the nicest guy on the entire planet. He helped us into the water, told us about heaps of brilliant spots to check out down the coast and found us beautiful and comfortable places to stay for the majority of our travels down the coast of Morocco.
As for surf guiding, just do it. This is not the easiest coastline unless you are an advanced surfer. You might get lucky with some small swell days, but its cold, raw Atlantic ocean pounding against the rugged African continent, a little local support can seriously change the entire vibe of your stay. Plus with a little local help you will eat the tastiest Tajines and drink the mintiest teas that you are sure not to find otherwise. Please do yourself a favor and hook up with this legend. firstname.lastname@example.org +212 603 479 904
Dar Bouazza Secret Unsigned Surfers House – I don’t want to shout it loud and clear, but Dar Bouazza was certainly one of our favorite surf stops on this trip. There are not many places to stay in this little surf town just south of Cassablanca, so contact Rachid to stay at this very charming little locals house. Its beautiful and comfortable with rooftop views of the ocean and countryside!
Soul House Home Rental in Aourir, Morocco (Facebook Page & website ) : We had a few days before the retreat started to get a better feel for the area. Without much extra money, we checked into the cute and quaint little Soul House Hostel and Home Rental located outside of small little beach town, Aourir. If you have your own vehicle and want to get away from the crowds and hawkers of Taghazout, try this simple little guesthouse. You feel like you are actually hidden away in a little village, a village famous for the tastiest bananas in all of Morocco. Its not the Ritz, but the breakfast is filling and the hosts are warm and welcoming.