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Córdoba – Culture Cocktail and Game of Thrones 

The Blablacar that we got from Seville to Córdoba dropped us right outside our Airbnb and before long we were marvelling at Kike’s apartment. All the walls were artistically covered in photos, quotes, and music or Star Wars related memorabilia. The bathroom looked like something straight out of a home renovations show – the high-tech shower had a pebbled floor and there was a basket of colour-coded hand towels next to the sink. If you thought it couldn’t get any better, we then found out that he’d auditioned for Spanish Masterchef two years in a row and both times got through to the 4th of 5 qualifying rounds. On our last night there he cooked us dinner. My first time using Airbnb was definitely a positive experience. Continue reading

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Andalusia Part 1: Ronda, Cadiz and Seville

Ronda

From Algeciras I got the train to Ronda, a little town I’d decided to visit after seeing some incredible pictures. I had booked a hostel that was supposed to be a bit of a hike from the centre of town but which apparently had an amazing view. Ronda is built on this high cliff top surrounding a gorge that basically splits the town in half with a river running through it. My hostel, Los Molinos, was located down in the valley looking up towards the cliffs, the town, the gorge and the bridge that crosses it.

Ronda in all it’s glory.

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Gibraltar – Big Rock and Beautiful Beaches

I swear the shower I had in the hotel in Algeciras was one of the best showers of my life. It actually wasn’t, now I think about it, but at the time it really was amazing as it had been several days since the last time I showered in an actual shower. The fact that I had a private room with a double bed helped too. This wasn’t entirely by choice, it was just the cheapest accommodation available in Algeciras where my ferry arrived in Spain from Morocco. Continue reading

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Fez and Chefchaouen: Heading North, Up Up and Away

Fez kind of flew by in a blur of food poisoning, fever, and flu symptoms. At 6.30am I woke up in Marrakech, threw up my dinner from the night before, and then got on an eight hour bus to Fez. Not exactly the best farewell from Marrakech. When I eventually arrived in Fez it took a further hour and a half to get from the bus station to my hostel because, just like when I was in Agadir, the King was in town. Unlike in Agadir, however, this caused serious disruption to my already unpleasant day. All the streets around the medina were closed and it took a mammoth effort just to convince a taxi driver to take me close-ish to the medina. From there I had to walk, which took me 45 minutes in the ridiculous heat because the medina in Fez is like a giant maze and it’s so easy to get lost and my GPS got confused. Finally I arrived at my hostel and collapsed on a couch for half an hour before I could even move to check in.  
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Essaouira to Sidi Ifni – Down the Moroccan Coast

Essaouira is a popular day trip from Marrakech, but the bus from Marrakech takes about four hours. If you really want to go I’d definitely recommend spending a night or two there, which is what I did. It’s not a very big place, you certainly don’t need a lot of time there, but it is definitely a nice change from the hectic life of Marrakech.   Continue reading

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Climbing Mount Toubkal

About an hour and a half outside of Marrakech is a little village nestled in the Atlas Mountains called Imlil. The trip from Marrakech is relatively easy by Moroccan standards, the hardest part is squishing into the normal sized taxi with 6 other full grown adults. The price is 50 dirhams per seat, if you want a bit of extra comfort you can pay for extra seats, but the ride is an adventure in itself, just maybe not a comfortable one. Four people across the back seat, two in the passenger seat, plus the driver. Don’t bring your personal bubble along for the ride.
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Sahara Desert: Sand, Sun, and Camel Spiders

The ten hour bus journey from Marrakech to Mhamid was long but the views while driving through the Atlas Mountains were incredible. The bus left Marrakech at 11am and before I knew it I was at the end of the line. Mhamid is the last town on the sealed road to the Sahara, 25km from the boarder with Algeria. After Mhamid there is only desert. You can travel further by 4×4 or camel only. It was 9pm and I was waiting in the dark at the bus stop in this unfamiliar town to be picked up by a guy I’d never met before who was going to take me into the desert to stay in a camp for a week. Probably one of the most bizarre-sounding things I’ve ever done.  
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