Morocco welcomed us with the bluest tints and shades on the walls and doors of CHEFCHAOUEN’s buildings, squares and mosques. This city is a great starting point in the north of the country with access by bus/train/taxi to other important cities like Tangier, Tetuan and Fes, and we really loved our days spent here. As soon as I realized that Chefchaouen wasn’t too far from the Mediterranean Coast, I made up my mind that we would get to the Sea no matter what. My sister was more interested in hikes and waterfalls, but agreed that a day with sun, sand and a little swim could be a great escape. ONWARD TO THE SEA and to the town of Oued Laou. Are you a Pretentious beachgoer? Do you stick your nose up at beaches without resorts, cabana boys or white sands? If so, this special place is not for you. The beach at Oued Laou was our haven this day, just what I needed to recharge the inner mermaid in me.
Firstly, how to get there? From Chefchaouen you have to travel by taxi because buses don’t go to Oued Laou. Just ask around the city for the long distance Taxis that leave when they fill up (usually with 6 people). The price you pay depends on how many people come along for the journey, so of course with 4 others, its very affordable. The drive is over an hour, but I don’t remember exactly how long (90 minutes maybe??). You drive through gorgeous natural landscapes, mountains, alongside rivers and lakes. It was a winding drive but the sights were just beautiful. Lots of locals and daily life activities could be seen from the car too, as farmers carried larges pouches of herbs and plants on their back, or walked alongside their donkey carrying the heavy load. I swear I saw one local woman carrying more on her back than I have ever witnessed, walking back to her village likely. Clearly a superwoman, and one that I admire. Also on the route we passed by little towns with children running and playing and herders walking goats or sheep accompanied by a family member or two to pass the time in community; It’s these brief moments that paint strokes on the canvas of Morocco in my heart.
Swapped city for Mediterranean SEA, Sunshine and Sister time
My sister and I are only 18 months apart, but we have a world of differences in personality and ways of being. She’s usually happy in a crowd of people while I’d rather play with colorful rocks on a beach and swim to my heart’s desire. Here on the beach of Oued Laou, we fought the elements upon arrival, like the wind whipping us while we sunned (sister built a mound for us to lay on for safety) but soon felt at home. I didn’t wait to answer the call: EL MAR me llamaba/THE SEA was calling. To submerge myself in any natural body of water means I am cleansed of all the darkness of the present. . . and then reborn. The water wasn’t warm nor cold here and although there were not many people in the water, likely because of the powerful waves, I was ecstatic to have nearly all this Sea to myself. Not even the sister got in. I let her rest and relax. We are distinct women. We have our ways and our reasons, and we get OUR POWER FROM DIFFERENT SOURCES (for me it was the Sea).
September in Morocco’s the Mediterranean Sea was the perfect time to visit. The summer crowds had died down a bit and at OUED LAOU you don’t have to worry so much about foreign tourists swarming the sands. The beachgoers were all Moroccans here. This city and this beach is one they treasure and retreat to, a beach for the locals you could say. I read a strange rant online about Oued Laou being dirty ( read here if you must ) but I can attest it was cleaner than some beaches I have seen in Spain (Spain you need to get your shit together when it comes to CIGARETTE BUTTS and not treat the beaches like your ASHTRAY, this is 2016). Although I was wearing a long sleeve dress to my knees, the few women we saw there were fully covered (legs, arms and even wearing a headscarf) including some girls/women who were swimming. I swam in my bikini, but again, there was hardly anyone around. . . I haven’t swam in a T-shirt and shorts since I was 13 and completely insecure about my body, and I wasn’t about to pretend to be someone I’m not. It was a simple day, two women simply enjoying the sharing of space and time. I found rocks of different shades and asked Celi to help recreate the CHAKRAS ALIGNED in the sand.
I got comfortable in the sand, harmonious with everything around me!!
My sister’s Jackie Chan moment with the beach umbrella took a few attempts to successfully capture (think stripper pole moment gone wrong a few times), but we played as innocent as children, we took photos, caught up on life things as sisters living across the world from each other do, and we both found peace here in this gorgeous part of MOROCCO. Many more #delriostakeMorocco posts to come.