Morocco ! Marruecos ! Maroc ! مغربي ! (Part 1)

Finally, a step in Africa !!! Cradle of humankind ! Cradle of many dances around the world ! More to come in black Africa soon but for now let me tell you about our adventure on Moroccan lands…

So Rodrigo and I had left Tarifa by boat and arrived into Tanger port a bit later. Both new to this country, I had an advantage. Not the language. I speak better French than Rodrigo but he manages quite well. It was more about feeling close to Moroccans, close to their culture. I mean they are so many in France, I grew up next to them, I have lots of North African friends back home, so I didn’t feel so much like a stranger. Though the landscapes and architecture is a total different story…

What a country ! With, like all countries, its good and its bad. I have been both fascinated and irritated by this nation. But overall, Morocco will stay in my heart ! And I hope to go back and explore more of it some day…

Tanger was a quick stop, we had to rush to the Sahara desert to make my film. So we just got to see the port and the train station. In the train to Rabat, the capital, we met a young man, Hicham, who happened to be a student in filmmaking. Coincidence ? First friend, a movie maker ! How funny !

We spend an evening, a night and a morning in Rabat which allows us to start feeling the Moroccan lifestyle. We tried everything we could at the night market, like snails. Delicious ! We visited the magnificient Mausoleum of Mohamed V and the Hassan tower and the park the next day. Then off to Marakech by train again.

The train is over crowded. It is just a couple days before the most famous islamic feast Eid Al-Adha (Aïd El kebir). Lucky us we found seats. I can’t even go to the toilets during the 6 hours journey as the hallways are clogged with people. Nightmare ! But the landscape we see though the windows and people we connect with is worth the trip !

Marrakech is quite dead during our first days. Everybody is busy with the feast, killing sheep, eating mutton, praying and most shops are closed. Our charming riad is in the medina, we explore it and the rest of the town and eat good food while trying to find out how to film Guedra dance in the desert…

On a sunday, one of our contacts, Joel Aubertel, a tour guide (Esprit Désert), invites us into a very fancy hotel to talk about options. The hotel and its pool are impressive, a total different world, the food not so good and our new friend’s contacts not so interesting.

After a few days, we decide to go on our own down south to Guelmim at the doors of the Western Sahara. The ride is long, very long ! We arrive at night in Guelmim, then a taxi picks us up and take us to our B&B called « Nomades », in Tighmert oasis. When we arrive, a group of tourists are playing music, singing, drinking mint tea and eating dates, under the berber tent. A new taste of southern Morocco. When we wake up the next day, we discover a peaceful and tasteful surrounding.

Thomas and Jasmoun met the night before, invite us to come along on a trip to the desert with our guide Salam. Unforgettable day ! The funny part is that for our first day in the desert, it is raining !!! First time in a year !

While Brahim, Nomades’ owner, is suppose to help me find the guedra musicians and the dancer, I look for locations with Abdel, specifically nomad camps in the desert and a pretty oasis. I will find nomads living in tents but it is nothing like I imagined, nothing like in the pretty paintings on the hotel walls. Nomads in the desert do not exist anymore. Those living in tents are just poor and don’t travel much through the desert. Sad reality :-( But never the less, we got invited to drink tea by some of them on our road. Interesting part of the trip…

After this disappointing discovery, I decide to film at Brahim’s hotel like he offered, in front of his berber tent, a bit fake but cinematographic. He finds me a dancer and 6 musicians/singers, not exactly what I had in mind but you rarely get what you really want in Morocco. You just have to deal with it !
Inch Allah as they say !  😉

Find images of the making of on this page

More images on Morocco travel photos

Les commentaires sont clôturés.