3rd December, 2019
It was a fast run for us from Lanzarote over to Agadir in Morocco, a total distance of about 230 miles to be covered overnight.
In accordance with the country’s time zone, the clocks were changed on board overnight and we arrived in complete darkness the following morning – with sunrise not becoming until a rather antisocial time of 08:30. Who decides which time zone this country is on, I wonder..? Whomever it may be, I bet he or she enjoys a nice morning lie-in!
As our tours were disembarking onto the quayside after breakfast, the sun started to rise in the east over the impressive Atlas Mountains. The morning started a brisk one in comparison to our previous days in the Canaries – the air holding the chill from the desert night until the sun got high into the sky. However, there was plenty of blue sky to enjoy and come lunchtime it was nice and warm indeed.
For those who wanted to wander ashore independently, there are the usual African streets & Souks to explore – and if you had enough notes in your pocket and were lucky enough to own a mansion, then you could definitely re-carpet your house from the amount of rugs being sold. Street food and local restaurants omitted that pleasant smell of spices wafting around the air, inviting many to try some local tagine or similar.
Those less interested in the town or who may have visited previously, may have been interested in our organised trips today. Just the title of one: “Paradise Valley and Trekking Adventure” enthused me suitably and I would have jumped at the chance had I not foolishly committed myself to several essential (but questionably interesting) meetings on board.
For those budding chefs on board, there was a Berber cooking experience on offer, or if you’re into museums combined with tat, then why not head off on the half-day Souk & Museum tour? Trips were also offered to see a Berber horse riding show, the Kasbah on the hill which was rebuilt after an unfortunate earthquake in 1960 (this is of course where the lyrics for the song “Rock the Kasbah” originated…) or to discover the aforementioned Paradise Valley by 4WD Jeep as opposed to one’s legs.
The most interesting sounding trip to me had to be the overnight adventure to Marrakech. This promised to encompass the entire Moroccan experience in about 36 hours – with guests returning to the ship the following evening in Casablanca. I would have leapt at the opportunity, but unfortunately someone had to drive the ship from Agadir to Casablanca, and I couldn’t find any willing volunteers…
As the afternoon began to end, it was time to depart of course, and a strong wind had built during the day from the west – making it difficult to manoeuvre the ship off our berth without the assistance of a local tugboat. Even he struggled, too…but eventually after about 20 minutes we pulled the ship into the centre of the harbour and made headway out into the north Atlantic again.
Overnight we would hug the coast of Morocco, about 2-3 miles distant, until we found her largest city of Casablanca lying some 270 miles up the coast tomorrow morning.
Captain Kim Tanner
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