Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.
My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakesh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.
Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.
Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.
"When we arrived, I thought perhaps there had been some mistake: it didn't look like a town that would attract royalty. Or flamingos. But then you turn a corner towards the sea and Oualidia uncurls to reveal the magical lagoon at its centre.
It is immediately beguiling. The crescent of butterscotch-coloured sand loops at the southern tip of 11km of lagoon, protected from the crashing Atlantic by a barrier of rocks that catch all the violence of the ocean. Slickly wet-suited children surf in miniature waves and teenagers play football among djellaba-clad women making sandcastles with their babies on a stage-like central island, which evaporates and re-emerges with the tides. Over the course of our three days, it never looked like the same beach twice. Silver at night, the water was lilac in the rising morning.
In spring and autumn, migrating pink flamingos land here on the way from Spain to sub-Saharan Africa. We watched elegant sandpipers and curlews, herons marching their lolloping Egyptian walk through the sand, swallows dancing to the sound of minarets calling the boatmen, fisherman and surfers to prayer." Article in the Observer 2 September 2012
Zamzam Retreats are holding a wonderful luxury pampering Retreat in Oualidia in November 2013 you can view the whole programme here - www.moroccoretreats.com
We went to do a rece last month and consider surrounding beaches and generally have a fabulous weekend. This bay with its abundance of fresh sea food is stunning and magical.
The beautiful horizon pool of the villa allows you to swim whilst taking in the stunning view of the lagoon.
We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.
Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'
I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!