Travel Envy

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Playa Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

I am pretty sure that my friends are fed up of hearing me say ‘I want to be on a beach!’ I know I’m fed up of saying it. Living in London isn’t the most exciting when you consider yourself to be a total beach bum. Although I do love living in a city (and London’s one of the best!), I really miss waking up to sunshine and just randomly jumping in the car and driving to the beach for the weekend. That was one of the best things about living in Costa Rica.

Paradis Plage, Morocco
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

I moved back to London a year ago and in 2012 alone went to Paris, Morocco, Belgium, Poland and the USA, but I haven’t been in the sun for almost 6 months now and I miss it. This year I have a few trips in the pipeline. I’ve been spending my weekend plotting how to use up my tiny 16 day work holiday allowance (It’s actually 20, but 4 days must be taken at Christmas). I have finally decided that the best thing to do is to break it up into little trips, so that I don’t have the winter blues again, having used up all of my holiday earlier in the year. It’s becoming an almost military procedure as I battle with getting dates, plans and finances all into one plan.

Agadir, Morocco

Do you have any trips booked this year?

Riding Camels in Morocco

I’ve always wanted to ride a camel. I got the chance to do this on the beach in Agadir on the way to my surf lesson (yes, surf lesson…more on that to come!). I always thought that it would be the same as riding a horse, which it kind of is, except you are MUCH higher up. 
It really is a very strange feeling when the camel gets up. They lift their back ends up first so that you are almost hanging over their heads and then the front end comes up rather clumsily and I just found myself hanging on for dear life. However, once I was up there, I quite enjoyed it. My companion Harriet? Not so much.

My camel was called Mustafa. Hers was Syed. And hers was lead by a little boy which made her a little more nervous but he seemed very capable of handling the animal. And was probably older than he looked. Not that we could ask him, because he only spoke Arabic so her high school French wasn’t getting her very far. I even had a bit of a run on Mustafa, which was actually a little more comfortable than the constant back and forth rocking movement (yes, just like that!) of the walking.

I’d love to do it again, but maybe across the desert next time. I heard you can go camel trekking in the desert in other parts of Morocco- how cool would that be?!

I’d like to thank the Moroccan Tourism Board for their hospitality and giving me once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as this one.

Drinks at Sofitel Hotel, Agadir Morocco

On our last night in Morocco, we decided to head for drinks in the grand Sofitel hotel in Agadir. The hotel is very ornate boasting lots of beautiful lanterns and a fabulous seating area in the main lobby made up of a plethora of sofas where people sit, drink and enjoy each other’s company. When we walked in, there was a berber sitting playing some music and singing. His happy voice echoed throughout the reception area and he was attracting a very mixed group of both young and old, eager to hear more of his happy, traditional songs.

We made our way through to SO Fun bar, where we were met by yet more music. This time it was a live band singing classic soul and motown music. Their rendition of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together was particularly  memorable. The bar is modern and fiery with white leather sofas and orange and red cushions and lights everywhere. It once again attracted a mix of hotel guests. We enjoyed watching a few couples grooving to the classics. We sipped on glasses of Moet and enjoyed a few puffs of shisha. You can still smoke indoors in Morocco by the way! The service in the hotel, as in many places in Morocco was exemplary. Staff were always on hand to wish you a hearty ‘Bonsoir‘ and welcome you inside. I would have liked to have stayed in the hotel to experience more of the other facilities, such as the hammocks in the pool area and the beautiful private beach area… yes please!

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And guess what? I have discovered something for you all… A Groupon UK deal available for just 24 more hours. 4 or 7 nights with breakfast, one evening meal, £15 spa credit (make sure to put it towards a traditional hammam treatment) and a cocktail in an ensuite room with TV and WiFi with FLIGHTS INCLUDED from £379… I think you’d be crazy not to snap this one up. In fact, I’m thinking of doing it myself! Agadir was so beautiful and I cannot wait to return – especially as it is a place with year round sunshine! Plus this coupon is valid from 1st May until 31st October 2012. That’s your summer holiday sorted. The deal ends Thursday at midnight UK time (GMT). All you have to do is click here and buy!

Arrival in Agadir

It’s been a long day. 
One that started with rail replacement buses and dragging suitcases up and down tube station staircases. However, don’t feel too bad for me. I’m curling up here right now and heading to sweet slumber.
Tonight we ate traditional Moroccan food with lots of varied entertainment, including a snake charmer… eek!
We are staying at the Royal Atlas in Agadir. It’s such a beautiful hotel. I’ll get some better pictures for you in the light.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
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I’m going to Morocco!

I can’t believe that just a week after posting about how dreamy Marrakesh is, I’m booked on a plane to go and check it out for myself. This Saturday. It’s amazing what the perks of being a writer are. Last weekend I was in Saint-Germain imagining what it was like for Hemingway to sit and be inspired in cafes such as Les Deux Magots (more on that to come!) and this weekend, I shall be experiencing the delights of Morocco!

I am, in fact, not going to Marrakesh but instead Agadir on the coast. It’s more of a beach resort, so maybe I’ll get to review firsthand how great the surf really is there – or not, imagining my surfing prowess or lack thereof. But oh, I’m so excited!

Image borrowed from here.

And so I guess it is time to ask you all once again: Have you been there? Is there somewhere that you desperately think I need to see? Please let me know!

Dreaming of Moroccan Delights…

Don’t you just feel like every time you pick up a magazine or log on to a travel blog or website, that Morocco is just jumping out at you? I feel like it’s tempting me. The other day, yet another travel article fell into my inbox and I found myself Googling Morocco. There is so much more to do there than I ever realised. Whilst exploring the souks and markets is a given, Morocco is also home to fabulous beaches and hot surfer spots. I’d never really thought of it as a surfer’s paradise but you’d be surprised.

For a city break however, just look at how fabulously romantic the scenery in these photos is. I’ve been getting into more travel writing recently and, as a result, more travel dreaming. I’d love to go to Marrakesh and walk around the markets, soak up the scenery, get some treatments in a Hammam (of course), enjoy a few cocktails and taste some lovely authentic food. How lovely would it be to just escape to pure luxury for the weekend? Mmm, yes please.