Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Morocco Revisited

Many journeys contained, layered and wrapped in one. The unraveling of self.

We arrived in Tangiers on a ferry from Algeciras. The wait for a 5 pm ferry was the beginning of a long journey. Each turn and each view a sensory awakening.

At Tangiers we walked into the evening light and stopped by the vendor selling roasted chick peas. As we ate the salted and lemon seasoned chick peas we were left licking our fingers.

The hospitality of Morocco was soon evident. We got on the bus to Fes and right away people were asked to move so we three women could sit together. The passenger in the seat ahead of us soon offered us juice and chocolate.

From life and living in the west to the way of the east we were easing into a new way of interacting.

As we pulled up at 2:30 in the morning in Fes, we were greeted by Abdel. Abdel is an important part of, the tour company that arranged our next five days of Morocco travel. Abdel is more then a guide, he speaks more then five languages, is a professional in his interaction and holds space so each and every person feels completely at ease. He is organized and gentle. As he plans and organizes your day you feel that everything just falls into place. His favorite phrase is "Mama Afrika", all is accepted in the great folds of these two words.
Abdel graciously offered us his home, where we stayed the first two nights. The first was already into the early hours of the morning and after introductions and small chit chat we fell into a deep slumber.

A day in Fes, an evening dinner of Tagine, home cooked and by far the most delicious we have tasted. The days that followed took us deeper and deeper in to the Sahara. We crossed into and through small towns. Sometimes stopping to have mint tea, a meal or visit a local business. Tea and more mint tea, seems to be the norm of life in Morocco.

The most impromptu stops turned out to be the most spectacular. A view of the terrain, a stream, the mountains. Enthralled we watched, sometimes moving through a yoga asana. In each we seemed to be expressing exactly what was going on in that moment. Either our senses were wanting more time to immerse in the splendor of nature or it was an asana calling to be expressed. A camera was always close-by and many moments were captured - both through our eyes and through the lens of a camera.

Yet it does remind me that the experience can never be exactly described, words do get in the way. Each click of the lens became a click on our hearts.

The first sunset, as I sat on the sands of the desert, a beacon into my soul. That night brought to surface many fears, we shared much. There was only love, no room for any judgement. We opened ourselves to absorbing all that was offered.

Our last night, in the tent in the desert brought other tourists. One young couple from Australia was on their honeymoon. As they shared their story we ate some delicious Tagine cooked by our two accompanying guides.

We felt that one night in the tent, the camel ride through the dunes with the soft sound of the camel hoofs on the sand, will stay embedded deep within.

As we had made our way from the city and the small towns into the desert, similarly we made our way out from the desert.

The drive through and around the Atlas Mountains, through the high and the low ranges was our journey. At one point we were asked to prepare our senses for a tour of the rose distillery. We were given a tour of the process, blowing our mind as to the amount and the quantity of rosé petals involved in the extraction of the rose water and it's essence oil. Walking into the shop we all wanted to absorb the smell into our being.

The last part of the journey of three friends - yogis, followers and practitioners ended with spending three days in Essaouira. A beach town, a tourist town. We enjoyed the simple life in the hostel called Surf and Chill. A silent local lady was always there, to hand us a towel or wash our clothes. It was like a door had opened and all, visitors and workers alike soon became one happy family.
I spent time chatting with a writer by the name of A. Greenman. His name is Matthew, from England he has been traveling and living in remote places of the world. He shared some parts of his book "I travel light the man who walked out of the world".
From the mountains of Spain to a fishing village in India, for Matthew this was his trip where he is writing his book on Morocco. When I spoke to him the next day he said that he had changed his Epilogue, inspired by the arrival of us three, he had added a new last chapter.

We all shared our last supper together, with two hours of non stop laughter we polished off some soup, bread and Tagine.

I would like to remember the two boys who work at the hostel and also teach surfing. Simo and Kareem. Wonderful boys and although my encounter with them was limited, both Brianna and Mary found their friendship very helpful.

Watching the landscape, the flat terrain and the distant mountains we feel a change has occurred. A transformation which can fairly be referred to as An Alchemy of Morocco. Each of us will be re-writing our story.

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