(I’m splitting this post into two parts because if was becoming much too lengthy.)
It took nearly 24 hours for the Wind Spirit to get to Agadir, Morroco from Lanzarote. During that segment of the trip the sea got rather rough with swells to 15 ft. The ship does have stabilizers but they didn’t eliminate the motion entirely. Luckily neither Jan nor I suffer from sea sickness though this was enough to make walking on deck a little difficult.
At around noon the next day we approached Agadir, a city of around 700,000 including the surrounding areas. The first thing we saw was the old kasbah on the hill. The arabic words on the hillside say (roughly) “One land, one god, one king” The city of Agadir, including the kasbah, was destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1960. The new city was rebuilt about 3 km from the site of the old one.
One of the first things we noticed when we approached the dock at Agadir – Trash! The water was filled with paper, plastic bags, bottles and other unidentifiable junk. Very different from what we saw in the Canary Islands. I don’t know why this was but I did notice an absence of things like dumpsters, garbage cans throughout the city.
After lunch on-board we left for a tour of an orange farm and the nearby town of Taroudant. It took us over an hour by bus to reach the farm and we got to see good examples of the Moroccan countryside. Traffic was heavy and drivers seemed to all be Gran Prix wanabees. This was a day or two prior to a Muslim holiday which required the sacrifice of a sheep or goat. As a consequence along our drive we saw several markets or souks where animals were for sale. It appeared everyone was buying and we saw people with sheep in their cars and even one fellow with a live sheep strapped to the back of his motorbike!
The orange farm was a beautiful place out in what was nearly desert. They grow several types of oranges along with bananas and many ornamental plants. Everything was grown using a drip irrigation system which conserved water. This system was encouraged by the government through subsidies. The bananas were grown inside ‘greenhouses’ which were used to provide a higher humidity environment rather than for temperature control.
One thing that Jan was disappointed with in our trip to Morocco was not being able to ride a camel. There was one tour offered which consisted of a 3 hour camel ride but we thought that might be a little too much for softies like us. At least, at the orange farm she did get to see a camel up close, along with many other animals including some beautiful Arabian horses.
The orange farm is adding a hotel for tourists which will be called Oranges Farm Hotel and will include all the amenities such as swimming pool and elegant dining.
After refreshments at the farm we left for the town of Taroudant also called The Grandmother of Marrakech because of its similarity to that city.