worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.

18Jun/100

tangier and ferry, morocco

i met my new friend australian ellis in tangier-i was surprised by the expansive stretch of beach and relaxed atmosphere. was excited to take the ferry across the strait of gibraltar to algeciras, spain! i was very surprised by how few passengers there were. being on deck and listening to la roux on my ipod made me want to do a dance for leaving morocco (so i did). one moroccan guy working on the boat saw me, i smiled because he caught me being silly but then he hovered over me for the rest of the ferry ride which made me even more happy to leave morocco. he offered me a fruit, i said no thanks but what i really meant to say was:

hey man, ever heard of the phrase "buzz kill"?

13Jun/102

chefchaouen, morocco

life was more breezy in chefchaouen, felt relieved as soon as i arrived. i still did receive the customary "kanichiwa's" and "alloo hapon, koreeyaa, cheena..." but it felt more manageable. i found it gorgeous as well.

i met fellow photographer simon here who made incredible portraits but from what i could gather never asked permission. i told him my thoughts on that, not that he asked my opinion (nor did he care). later when i saw ladies doing their washing by the river i tried his method but i was way too slow. they caught me and one lady yelled at me so i went away and continued my hike. the guilt had me deleting all but two of the photos. i hiked on and deleted everything in efforts to rid myself of the feeling that i was going to be struck by lightning (despite the cloudless blue sky).

what can i say-simon's english...

13Jun/102

marrakech, morocco

suppose i was hoping for snake charmer booths and cobras emerging from baskets in sync with the rhythms of the snake charmers flute. or some delicious night market food from the famous stalls...i was disappointed.

however, i did indulge in lots of fresh squeezed orange juice-so yummy, refreshing, and cheap. i tried to limit myself to 2 or 3 glasses per day.

7Jun/100

essouira, morocco

i was excited to return to agadir be on my own time. however, i began to experience being a solo woman in morocco: having to swat off a number of men wanting to "practice their english" or "students" or guys who wanted "just to be a friend." at first i felt guilty; why visit a country and not talk to the locals? but in the end all the men here wants something: to sell tourist souvenirs, a prostitute, free sex, a free ride out of their country...i didn't want to find out what.

essouira was a beautiful place on the coast though and i really enjoyed seeing all the boats of the harbor. it's a big fishing town and the fisherman gut fish underneath the hoardes of seagulls. i was surprised to not have gotten pooped on (until i got back to my hotel and found i in fact had been). in essouira i also had the most delicious couscous dish in my life.

7Jun/100

road trip-agadir to laayoune, morocco

brazilian felipe from the sahara tour invited me on a journey with he and his roommate french pierre. i had no idea what i had signed up for!

after spending much confusion involving two bus stations in agadir, i finally made it to pierre and felipe's penthouse apartment. the next day i joined felipe to say goodbye to his friends; it wasn't until we were outside of the apartment that he said "ok don't be surprised by what you see." this was prompted by the prostitute that we saw leaving his friend's house. in a way it was nice that his friends were making an effort to talk to me. what i didn't appreciate was that their questions which ranged from:" are there prostitutes in the u.s.a" to "do you want a boyfriend for a day". his friend drove all seven of us to the airport in one vehicle and i prayed to whatever higher being would listen to please please please not let me die in a car crash. super sketchy driving.

after a few more stops we finally embarked on our journey-the first day we visited a lovely beach and camped out on plage blanche (luckily we found some locals to rent us an abandoned beach house).

we spent the second night on the beach as well and got tricked into ordering expensive dinner by the manager of the guest house. that day we also had to pay a bribe to the police for n0t stopping at one of the five tiny roadside signs. because of the disputed southern border and movement for independence in the southern sahara, we were stopped at many police checkpoints. pierre thought we were delayed as much as we were because we had passports from three different countries.

day three we visited tarfaya, the place where antoine de saint-exupery crashed his plane and was inspired to write le petit prince. pierre and i dropped felipe off in laayoune-he wanted to carry on south to dakla and pierre wanted to head back north to manage his toothache.

1Jun/101

the sahara! m’hamid and erg chigaga, morocco

i was so lucky to have met brazilian felipe and australian nick on the bus to m'hamid! it was the three of us on a camel/4x4 tour of the dunes of erg chigaga!!!

we stayed the first night in the village of m'hamid with our guide ibrahim and his friend mbarak. the next morning the boys got some turbans and we ventured on really tranquil camels with our handsome camel guide bojma. from there we switched to 4x4 and visited a few oases, had a nice lunch of salad, bread and chicken (which i couldn't stomach because there was an adorable live chicken roaming about next to our table). we camped at the gorgeous dunes and visited ibrahim's nomadic friends omar and brahim-they owned the friendliest goats i have ever met! they were making bread via coals and sand (the crunch in the bread was not, in fact, just my imagination).

the following day felipe and nick ventured their separate ways and i stayed behind in m'hamid. our guide ibrahim had invited me to visit more nomadic people in the desert which sounded great but in the end i stayed with his family and attended a wedding in the village (and he spent the night in the desert). i had been searching the dusty bowels of my mind for any remnants of the french language...rusty so i wasn't able to communicate well. ibrahim's sisters took embarrassingly painstaking care of me: one sister dressed me, combed my hair, and poked me in the eye a few times with eyeliner and later licked her clothing (not once but three times) to wipe the stray mascara. another sister spoon fed me while i waited for the henna on my hands to dry. i think everyone involved was hoping i would marry ibrahim which, for obvious reasons, made me uncomfortable. ha ha.