Destination of Choice: Morocco; Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Midelt, Merzouga, Tinghir, Ouarzazate, Marrakech

We are back and in one big piece! All in all, we had a fantastic time! We came back like camels, overweight in both luggages and selves…tried to get upgrade to business class but flight was full and thank God, all the rubbish we bought arrived intact, including two tagines! hahah.

Driver Riduan was safe and pleasant, fun and humourous. We were quite happy staying in the hotel in Casablanca, and of course the hotel in Fes was a dream. Surprisingly was the riad in Marrakesh, Maximo (italian owner) and his staff were so nice and pleasant and Riad was beautiful and clean. We had a tagine class in the riad (abit of a messed up at first, but all was fine after) and I learnt how to make chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives (quite easy, just chop everything and dump in the tagine), but the good surprise was the hotel in Tinghir, which was so small and in the middle of no where- nearly died of fright going into the riad’s bumpy lanes…the place had only 4 rooms, small but clean and functionable, the guy in charge Assim and his helper young Mohd (Mohd is about 15 years old!! and Assim maybe 23!!) did a good job, cooked dinner (we learnt to make tagine in the kitchen too!!) and all. The riad was like a house, we did our laundry, hanged on clothes line, helped cooked dinner, very homely and pleasant, met other guests – a German couple there…everyone pitched in – sooo kool.

The road trip was good – we did not have a 4 x 4 was upset at first, but Riduan explained car was more comfortable and it turned out so. We had a Ford – a new model, so very comfortable and changed to 4 x 4 to the Sahara desert. I was sick as a dog in the desert- Riduan stopped halfway before desert for lunch in a berber camp where we had berber style pizza (bread stuffed with mutton and onions) was delicious but soo oily and i ate too much.. sigh. by the time we got to the desert, I was already having a lot of bloating in the stomach.. then rode the smelly camel and threw up big time after coming down from the smelly animal…I certainly left my mark in the desert…threw up while Connie watched the sunset..hahahahah.

The luxury Campsite in Merzouga was very nice, we had our own tent, with loads of carpets, own toilet and shower (thank God, I used the loo many times that night, let me tell you) and our own Berber attendant for dinner (Connie ate the tagine and cous cous all by herself, I drank coke and ate ground cumin to cure my stomach… but in the night, it was sooo hot, we slept outside our bed tent, and layed on the day bed..was very nice until the mosquitoes came along…and my stomach rumbled….and the lights went out….luckily we brought a torchlight.. did not sleep much definately, but morning was very nice and kool, stomach ok, watched the sun rise, and rushed out of the desert…haha

Riduan was a good chap, we had fun with him and he with us…he must be sooo happy we left – we were not the easiest to please you know…we went to Ostrea on the last night, had oysters, and calamari and fish soup, decided the place was not up to par, called Riduan back to pick us up and we left for La Mer, the previous seafood place we went before to continue our dinner..haha. La Mer was kool, old fashioned, by the sea, all french service with old man waiters that drags the trolley up and fillets the fish for you french old fashion style… my Grandpa would be thrilled with the service!! Guests there are old as the hills too, all dressed up, and looked old money…nice. Al Fassia had fantastic food too, the pigeon pastilla was excellent, but all the ladies there…no smile at all. Like we owned them money…we ate in very safe places all the time and did a bit of street food in Jeema El Fna but after a while, the menu is all the same everywhere…Moroccan style salads, ( I can tell you no variety) bread, olives, cous cous, tagine, brouchette, pastilla…and roast lamb call merchoi… same same all the time… the minute we touched down Hong Kong, we rushed to eat sushi…haha

Another one fantastic experience was Hammam – goodness, luckily we took the very very private one in the hotel in Casablanca, cannot imagine doing it in public… a lady actually bathe and scrub our skins off and we worn zilch…longest bath I ever had and she truely took my skin off, was red as a lobster after the experience of being bathed by a total stranger for 90 minutes…of course it cost a bomb doing it in the hotel (10 times more than a public one) but worth it lah. We already stuck out like sore thumbs – everywhere we went the Moroccans ask if we are from Japan, Kawasaki, Samsung etc..haha

Anyways, enough entertainment lah…we had a ball, ooooh the sand buggy ride was the best ever…Connie was Micheal Schmacher and I was the screamer… wonderful stuff and we drove into the desert and even stop for berber whisky (mint tea lah) in one of the fort looking houses, toilet and smoke break and drove back…

Totally enjoyed… now let’s plan for next year…do you do Korea- NORTH and south, and perhaps from North Korea to Russia??? hmmmmm

Many thanks for everything. .. or shall I say Shukran!!!

xx Jun