My 1st 48hrs in Africa (Chefchaouen, Morocco).

I’m sitting here at the same café I wrote my 200 days post…. Yeah I was only supposed to be here in Chefchaouen, Morocco 3 nights… It’s now been 8. I finally made my self book my ticket to Fez so I am leaving tomorrow morning. From the moment I got to this town I fell in love. It is seriously such a beautiful town and the people here all nice. The people at the hostel tell me every time I tell them one more night that it’s okay if I want to stay a month & they laugh. I’ve made friends with the people at this café that I come to everyday at noon for a late breakfast early lunch. I sit down and they already know what I want… a tuna omelet (had never heard of them, but fuck they are good… try one) with a bottle of water.  I’ve also made friends with the people I go to for dinner. I walk around the town and people recognize me and say “you still here?”  I say “yes… I haven’t left” and they thank me. I wish I could stay here forever and well I can, but I wanna see more of Morocco and if I am going to spend a long time somewhere I want it to have a beach.

I bumped into Rikki, Elanor & Katharine in Granada, Algeciras & now in Chefchaouen. It's always nice to see familiar faces.

So yes I’m in Africa… I’ve read in the past that some people don’t consider visiting Morocco as visiting Africa. Well I would like to tell them… Umm look at any map it’s on the continent of Africa so um yes it is visiting Africa. Today is my last day here and even though the whole week was great I want to reflect on my 1st 48hrs here. They were truly amazing and eye opening.

I made my way from Algeciras, Spain to Chefchaouen, Morocco… and yes even though I was scared to do it (even cried about it)… I did it. Crossing the border from Spain to Morocco reminded me of crossing the border from Costa Rica to Nicaragua or the USA to Mexico. You go from a more developed country to a less developed one and the changes right after you cross the line are drastic. As I made my way to Chefchaouen I saw some beautiful scenery. I had made it to Chefchaouen safe. I was excited and ready to get to my hostel according to the directions on the page it was about 300 meters from the bus stop so of course I was going to walk. A 3km hike up hill and 30 minutes later all drenched in sweat I had arrived to the hostel. When that happens you don’t get angry you just laugh and go on with your day… cus it’s nothing you can do to change it. I settled in the hostel and a bit later I hear my name “JAIME” I turn around and its 3 girls that I had met in Granada and bumped into again in Algeciras. Ahhh it was so nice to bump into familiar faces. We got everything together and decided to spend the day walking around Chefchaouen.

Oh yes I ate snails... & yes I got it on video. I will post that later for sure.

We spent hours wondering around the beautifully painted blue medina and visiting all the different shops. I was in love… every corner we turned we’d see more blue and more beautiful shops. We just kept wondering around and loved it. We finally made our way to the main square and as we were arriving we saw a gentleman selling snails. We looked at each other and I mentioned lets try them… I had eaten crickets in Oaxaca so why not try snails in Morocco. We asked how much and for $0.61 you get a bowl full of them. So yup we bought a bowl and said we’ll just eat one each and give the rest away. Umm yeah we ended up eating the whole bowl… they weren’t that bad. I of course caught it all on video so in the future I will post it. After that we wondered a bit more and then decided to have a nice dinner. We spent the night chatting away over a nice dinner and enjoyed each other company.

Wandering around the medina ended up coming across this man making a blanket. We chatted for a while and enjoy watching him make it.

The next morning they had already left to Fez. I hate that that is how a traveler’s life goes. You meet amazing people and then the next day they can be gone. I wondered around the medina again that next morning and I bumped into 2 of my dorm mates as they were eating breakfast. I asked if I can join them and they said yes. I ended up enjoying a great breakfast with them and then joining them around town as they did some shopping. Along the way we wandered into a mans shop where he was making a blanket. We spent a while there just watching him make it and even bought one from him (not me I have no space). After a long afternoon we made our way to the hostel were we met more of our dorm mates. One of them mentioned that she was invited by a local to hike a hill up to the mosque above the city and then to join him for dinner. We all of course said yes why not… it would be crazy to say no.

A 20 minute hike up a mountain/hill will bring you to this beautiful Mosque and give you a chance to see an amazing view of Chefchaouen.

It was 5pm we met up in the main town square with a local Ottman. We made our way through the medina to the back end where a river runs through and the locals gather to play in the water. We walked on past that and up the hill. After a moderate 20-minute hike we were atop of the hill in front of the Mosque over looking the town of Chefchaouen. It was a beautiful and amazing view (you can see it here). We sat there chatted away and watched the sun set. We then made our way down and joined Ottman at an art gallery he works at part time. He showed us some of his work and enjoyed a mint tea. We again chatted away for hours wondering when we were going to have dinner. It was already 9pm and we were all starving. We then made our way to his home where he had only begun cooking the meal. So the rest of us went up to the terrace where we laid down and just watch the stars above us. We couldn’t believe that we were at a locals home and about to have dinner with him. It was kinda surreal. As 11pm rolled around Ottman came upstairs with a tray. We sat down around the tray on the floor. He uncovered the pots and underneath was fresh fish tagine. We were in heaven… we ate away with our hands and some fresh bread that we had bought earlier. The dinner was delish and the experience was more than anything I could have ever asked for. He was so nice and to invite 5 complete strangers to dinner is something I can’t even describe. It’s amazing how great people are around the world. It’s amazing that inviting complete strangers to my home is something I don’t think I would or could ever do, yet here I am in Morocco and I accepted an invitation and was blown away by the experience. A bit past midnight we made our way back to the hostel and called it a night.

That was my 1st 48 hours in Africa and damn did I love them. As I leave this beautiful town of Chefchaouen I am excited to see what else Morocco has in store for me.

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  1. Are you in Fez? 🙂

    Very cool that you had that kind of experience with a local. By the way, I keep hearing about the mint tea (that you also mention) over there. It must be every where.
    Kent @ No Vacation Required recently posted..NVR 101 – Visiting Africa

    • Im actually now in Marrakech… I didnt like Fez at all. More on that later.

      Yes Im so lucky to have been able to have dinner at a locals house something I will cherish forever! Oh & yes mint tea is EVERYWHERE here!!

  2. Jaime, what an amazing experience! Still can’t believe that you are in Africa already – time is flying! Looking forward to reading more about your time in Morocco.
    Dani |Globetrottergirls recently posted..500 days on the road: Tops & Flops of the last 100 days

  3. I’ve never heard of this town but now I really want to go after hearing you talk about it the whole time you were there. It sounds like you had a great time, I’m a little jealous but so happy for you that you’re enjoying your time in Morocco.
    Ali recently posted..Adjusting to Germany

  4. Jaime, I have a huge smile on my face. What a great first 48 hours!!! Your tweets revealed how happy you were and I’m thrilled that you had such a great experience right off the bat — especially spending time with travelers and dining with locals. Being recognized at a cafe or out and about is always fun for me 🙂
    Heather recently posted..A Letter to Adriano Zumbo

    • Thanks Heather… yes the 1st 48 hours were amazing I loved them. I also love being recognized its such a good feeling… its like yay Ive been here a while.

  5. Jaime, this was so touching to read. I almost feel I’m there with you enjoying it as much as you do simply because of the way you describe your experiences. I can really feel your joy and love. Knowing that you are meeting such nice people who invite you to dine with them just brings tears to my eyes. Sometimes we are just so closeminded to think we can’t trust anyone, but you are just so free and enjoying every minute no matter what. That is so admirable. It’s just beautiful that you can go to some place on the other side of the world and be welcomed by strangers. And I love that you don’t hold back on experiences. You just do it. Amazing. You make me want to just take a plane and go with you! Keep enjoying it! I love you Jaimito! Take care!

    • Rubi, thanks for the comment. Ahh you should grab a plane & join me. You can bring the kids too they would learn so much more out here than in a classroom. I am so glad you are enjoying my post. I agree with what you said sometimes we are so close-minded that we dont think to trust anyone but the more I travel the more I notice and see the good in the world. Its so strange to be welcomed by strangers… its just something I am not use to at home. I will continue to enjoy it, Love you too.

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