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A little insight into the life of Free Spirit - a melting pot of our thoughts, beliefs, suggestions & ideas to inspire you on your path as you journey through life.

Published: 09/10/2015

Rock The Kasbah



Winter in Manly, Australia and I did what all good Aussie's do in August – Get on a plane to Europe! Although ironically I arrive in the UK to colder temperatures to what I left behind, such is the good old English weather. Of course no one goes to the UK for the weather, as there are much more important things there! To me of course, anyway, and they come in the shape and form of my family and close friends, who I miss every day.

 

A whole week in a woodland cabin with my nearest and dearest and getting to know my niece again who has grown so much since I last saw her, was just the best. How easy it is to carry on when you're away from home, caught up in the day to day of life, to put certain feelings to the back of your mind, only for them to re-surface as quickly as a cold slap in the face that makes you realise suddenly all the things in people's lives you are missing out on... things you have missed out on that you will never get back. My niece's first steps..first word...My best friend who just announced she is pregnant and now the next time I see her the tiny bump that is there now will not only have grown huge but since shrunk right back down (Davina DVDs Rach! ;) )...and there'll be another new little person to meet.

 

But of course these are the sacrifices we all make to live the dream on the other side of the world. And as I always say, I'd rather people see me less often and happy, than the opposite :)

Next stop on the trip was Morocco with one of my best friends Cassie, who I met in Nepal 3 years ago when I first took off on my round the world adventure (and actually it hasn't really ended yet)...we hit it off from the start, and after a month in India of long hot dusty truck journeys, pushed-to-the-limits patience & endurance tests and countless dodgy toilet episodes, we have seen the absolute worst of each other and she's since become my best travel buddy.



A short stop in Fez, staying at the most beautiful Riad I have ever seen, was followed by a 3 day trip into the Sahara desert... WOW...40 degrees at 7pm we mount the camels which take us off into the dunes at sunset. Before long it is dark... the stars come out and all we can see for miles is a sea of sand. I am trying to take in the pure natural beauty as I put to the back of my mind that if someone wanted to kill a load of tourists, this would be the perfect way to do it... to lead them out into the desert where no-one would hear them scream.. (sorry this is my crazy mind!)...but thankfully all was well and we arrive alive at the nomad camp to where we would spend the night, eating a traditional feast, joining in the drum circles and sleeping under a million stars.

After 2 more days with our driver Mohammed, visiting amazing kasbahs, creeks and gorges we arrive in Marrakesch.   



Instantly I get this feeling back that I've not felt for some time. A new city, a new land, unexplored by my wandering feet and I'm so excited to be here! The hustle and bustle of the main square, the maze of the Medina, the thrill of being lost in the foreign streets, the chaotic noise of people chatting, selling, singing...the call to prayer bellowing from the mosques...feet pattering...the smoke and sizzles spitting from the food stalls... we get dragged one way, then another... a crazy melting pot of sound, sights & smells..an absolute assault on the senses... and I love it!

And how friendly the people are really takes me by surprise. I expected to receive a lot more hassle from the market traders... Yes some were a little pushy, but compared to many other places I've visited, it was a refreshing ease in comparison. Some, it seems, just wanted to chat, to practice their English, offer mint tea and many times used the phrase “if you like, you buy, if not, don't worry.. I'm still your friend”... well that is good to know. One kind shopkeeper helped us find the way out of the Medina and didn't ask for anything, despite all the guidebooks telling you that people will demand money off you for such a favour! Maybe we just got lucky... but then I guess it's sometimes how you perceive things. For instance, many might have been insulted by a young man coming up to them in the street and saying “Excuse me...can I make love to you..?”... But for me it was the most polite chat up line I ever had!...Or maybe I've just been around the wrong sort of guys.. Needless to say I politely declined.

One particular lady I spent about an hour chatting with (in my broken French!) - She is hand embroidering some beautiful straw beach bags as she talks and runs her market stall in the Medina with her daughter.  We chat about her family, my family, traditions in Morocco... and she offers to take me & Cassie to a traditional Hammam... She also goes out of the way to help me find the post office and a pharmacy to get some medication for Cassie who was having an unfortunate case of Moroccan Belly... How incredibly kind.  So how can I now say no to the beautiful bags she has for sale..? (Which to be honest were so beautiful I would have bought them even if she had been horrible!)... So you can now find these treasures for sale here!

 

It all goes by too quickly, we have our last night in Marrakesch, Mohammed (our guide) declares his undying love for Cassie, turns borderline stalker and we leave with heavy hearts... It's been a fleeting but fabulous trip, and has only given me more taste for adventure to explore this amazing land!

 

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