Afterthoughts: Morocco

 

Morocco, land of tanginess + mint tea + some of the longest rights I have ever seen. This place was pure magic, where desert dust kisses marine layer mist as perfect lines of corduroy stack up along the horizon.

Surfers Anna Ehrgott, Lisa Sheldon and I packed our bags for an adventure of a lifetime to this West African paradise and had our minds blown by the colors, tastes, and seemingly endless supply of waves. Below are some tips ’n tricks to make your trip one to write some snail mail home about.

- Meg Haywood Sullivan

Web_Morocco_1.jpg
Web_Morocco_24.jpg
Web_Morocco_13.jpg
Web_Morocco_37.jpg

TRAVEL GEAR:

  • Shawl - for breezy nights and being culturally respectful
     
  • Extra foldable duffle bag (you’ll need it with all the extra goodies you’ll want to bring back)
     
  • French + Arabic phrasebook
     
  • Sun Cure for dings
     
  • Extra wax
     
  • Fins
Web_Morocco_46.jpg
Web_Morocco_23.jpg
Web_Morocco_2.jpg

FAVORITE PLACES

Web_Morocco_41.jpg

Marrakech souks: 
These open air markets are worth flying around the world for. The souks are mazes of carpet dealers, jewelry stalls, spice vendors, and craftsmen selling their hand-made wares. I got lost numerous times, it’s that expansive.


Imsouane: 
This seaside fishing town is home to a right point break with some of the longest waves I have ever surfed. It’s a no-frills, surfer paradise. You can stay up on the cliffs above the surf break and walk right from your room to surf all day, the only thing calling you back to shore is the smell of fresh tagine being cooked.


Essouria:
Essouria is a stunning gem of a town, nestled along the Moroccan coast. There is excellent rug shopping here as well as amazing restaurants tucked along the narrow, story-filled streets.

Web_Morocco_18.jpg
Web_Morocco_39.jpg
Web_Morocco_40.jpg
Web_Morocco_10.jpg
Web_Morocco_38.jpg

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  • Dress modestly, I brought a shawl that I used for aprés surf to towel off and to cover shoulders in the streets. Not mandatory, but it’s important to be respectful of a different culture’s customs
     
  • Brush up on French! People speak both Arabic and French, but if you have some French under your belt it will really help
     
  • Hire a local guide for a day or two, it will give you a better perspective of your surroundings and allow you to delve deeper into local culture
     
  • Beware of pickpockets, always keep an eye on your bagYour board bags could get delayed/lost, so give yourself a few days in Marrakech at the beginning of the trip to shop just to make sure they get there safe and sound before you jet to the coast
  • Photography in the streets+souks can be frowned upon/a potential target for theft, so I snuck shots with my discrete point ’n shoot

Web_Morocco_28.jpg
Web_Morocco_45.jpg
Web_Morocco_42.jpg
Web_Morocco_21.jpg

WHAT TO BUY:

Orange blossom oil - the countryside smells like this, bring some home as perfume.
Rugs - mouth-watering selections, keep an eye out for tight weaves and unique patterns Shoes - there are hand-made shoes everywhere! Get yourself a pair of traditional Moroccan slippers
Jewelry - be on the look out for unique vintage pieces
Argan oil - I use it for both a cleanser + moisturizer daily

FAVORITE FOODS:

The Moroccan cuisine is one of my favorites. From savory, slow-stewed tagines with meat and apricots to the freshest mint tea served in silver tea pots and argan nut butter with crepes for breakfasts, the food will blow your mind.

Traditional desserts are simple, orange slices with cinnamon, mint, and honey drizzle. Bring an appetite.

Web_Morocco_4.jpg
Web_Morocco_33.jpg
Web_Morocco_32.jpg
Web_Morocco_25.jpg
Web_Morocco_16.jpg
There is a time when life is like
being between two peaks of the sea
One breaking on the inside,
and one just out of reach.
This in-between safe zone is where the swell passes by -
yet the sweet spot close. And when it clicks,
that magic moment emerges from the depths,
momentum picking up beneath
as you take the leap to your feet and into pure bliss.
The weight of the world below you as time slips away into oblivion. A ride that lasts a lifetime
— Meg Haywood Sullivan
Web_Morocco_17.jpg