Morocco


Agadir
 - Waka Waka, eh eh. 



An itch to go to Africa and see what Toto was going on about...and true to form, I got in on a 12:30 flight and everything!


Sooooo, as a  basic gay with an affinity for seeing Muslim countries and understanding very little French, no Berber, or Arabic; I was not exactly the ideal tourist to spend time in Morocco. The culture in the city of Agadir is a mix of influences from all over Europe albeit mostly French. After near total destruction from an earthquake in 1960, the city needed help from other countries to rebuild and what you see today is roughly 60 years old. A very young city compared to the outlying areas, yet it managed to retain a sense of its self in the rebuild.  Its like if the movie Enough had been about a city and earthquake was Mitch. You go girl. 



I saw this in NYC, but this one didn't have a douche(me) posing with  it....wait...




.... I could make a killing as a dentist in this city, easily. “You don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep” was on my mind all week. Happy people everywhere were super welcoming and very eager to entertain you.   Me as Karen Smith: “So, if you’re from Africa why are you white?”**

Impromptu drum beating with arbitrary rhythms plagued the promenade that runs 7KM down Agadirs coastline. Crusty jugglers, acrobats, and shady bracelet pandering characters abound, it was easy to people watch no matter where you looked. It gave me a level of uncertainty on whether I’d be offered a quest for a magic lamp from Jaffar in disguise or end up with some sweet knitted bracelets that would be the envy of any 4th grade girl.  Either way, I was loving this vibe. 



Where is this going?
....crusty


Hotel was the Royal Decameron - an interesting 4 star hotel in the center of Agadirs tourist area with a great staff and high security. 95% of the guests only spoke French and the staff couldn’t quite fully grasp English. I’d recommend staying in a 4 star hotel in strange places like this, as approaching 5 stars tends to be overly westernized and loses that foreign feel. The hotel itself encompasses the “that’s good enough” mentality you will see throughout the country. See a patch on the wall? No need to color match that shit, all whites are the same shade! Cracks in the corners? Psh more like better venting for your room.  “We have a fitness center” roughly equated to “there are tons of mismatched weights in various KG for you to play around with and perhaps you can piece together the equipment for 10/15 min of proper use”.  I LOVED it. *inhales*  I digress here, but my absolute favorite part of all this half assed fuckery is how it translated to the road system. You’re never sure if the car coming into your lane is going to stop or if you need to stop or if either of you care to stop, cause today’s a good day to die motherfucker! The road lines are more or less suggestions like in Thailand, and the robots (seriously, it’s what they call traffic lights) don’t really seem to make sense to the locals.  Every solution to potential congestion or safety was to place a roundabout. “We have 9 roads of different speeds that converge here...ROUNDABOUT....pedestrians need to cross safely where these 4 lanes of traffic all go left.....ROUNDABOUT....we have a nice and simple two lane street but it’s too simple....ROUNDABOUT.....how can we reduce the fatalities and crashes with all these roundabouts?....DOUBLE LANE ROUNDABOUT”.  I can only ponder who the city planner was approving these or his muse. Needless to say, getting about was an exciting experience and I enjoyed the rush of not knowing if I’d reach my destination. *breathes out* (end rant).







The first venture I took out of the hotel was a tour to explore the Kasbah. You can’t miss this thing, it’s up on a mountain overlooking the city and is scribed in Arabic that reads “God. King, Country” all lit up with spot lights for you to not miss. Seriously, this is the size 72 font of garden writing. 
Anywhom, I checked it out. At the top you can explore the ruins of the Kasbah, built in 1756 and housed several hundred people before collapsing on top of them in the earthquake. V sad.  I saw some camels walking about and of course with it being Wednesday, had to have a proper hump day experience. Not only am I a secret camel whisperer, I can also parallel park those bitches like a smart car in London. Sitting atop the camel overlooking the kingdom, I was feelin some kind of bad bitch way. Next on the list for the day was Agadirs big market- Souk al Agadir ****. Comprised of 3,000 shops under one roof, it’s quite the sight. Every knock off piece of anything you can imagine is in stock here. Folex, Louis Verton, Balenceyaga, Fendee, Brightlong, you name it, they have a poorly executed version. You could spend hours walking about what is essentially the same 10 shops over and over again - EaCh OnE jUsT aS uNiQuE aS sNoWfLaKe. Psh. Girl bye.  You couldnt be bothered with  the whole  “this just as good” sales technique. It was an entire days worth of walking about, which I ended by seeing Agadirs stunning mosque.

 


Everything the light touches






This is in the running for favorite door...Yep. too much HGTV 

Probably the most uncomfortable photo the store owner could have made us take after likening them to "my wives". Notice how we all look like we had never met or even spoke before this actual second? WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR HANDS! HA. those jokesters.  

I ran into those Latvian girls by complete chance many times later in the week...a slap in the face to the solace I found by reassuring myself - "at least I will never see them again". *NEXT. DAY.*  8 hour hike in the Atlas Mountains...driver shows up... van door opens....only other two people in the car...WHOLE AWKWARD DAY...Phew, its over, that can't possibly happen again, I'm done with tours. My last night, walking up the promenade from dinner, and there they are. two feet away. [Awkward eye contact, forced smile, nod of the head] Me dropping a dad-joke: "We must be the only tourists in this city!" Them: *stares* Me: *Keeps walking*

             



*flashback weeks ago*  My friends and family must have sent me 10 different news stories covering the slaying of two young travelers who were hiking the Atlas Mountains just kilometers from the city I was in only a few weeks prior to my arrival..  I was determined to get a hike in those mountains with all of the passion of a lesbian working to obtain her first Subaru.....Off to Paradise Valley in the Atlas Mountains I go!! Paradise valley is known for being a quite, serene, and absolutely beautiful escape for celebrities across the world. Didn’t disappoint!!  Cute waterfalls, random encampments, and a relatively busy hiking path meant you’d have plenty of people to enjoy the hike with - mostly euro hipsters. These pics will do more justice than my words can:





them colors doe




After the hike I stumbled into a town and shop where I learned how to make Aragon oil. Bought tons for my now very fabulous hair, and then headed to the hotel for some rest. I spent the rest of the week long trip exploring the city. Hilariously sitting down at a restaurants with the expectation of lunch, only to find out it was a fancy ice cream shop or only served waffles - seriously -knowing any bit of French would help avoid awkward situations like this. Ordering a martini and receiving Hendricks in a cup was part of my learning experience; by the end of this trip I could successfully order a glass of white wine or say excuse me- thanks to help from Jordan in the states. 


My biggest surprise on this whole excursion - the sheer amount of cats that run around the city. First and foremost, I FUCKING LOVE CATS - 50% of my vacation photos from the week are of all the cats running around the hotel and the city.  They’d sit with you at meals, snatch up your lap when you’re sunbathing, and could even be found walking about paradise valley following groups of tourists around.  The inner cat woman in me was screaming the entire time, and I named them all. The French tourists were probably more entertained by my cat infatuation than the cats themselves. “Look at this simple American twat with his cat pictaires”.. 
Emily
Rosaline
                             
Terry Mae

       
Samantha


   
Jeremy


   
Samantha again...



Fuck off, please.  Love, Rosaline and Jeremy




Definitely would recommend Agadir to anyone looking to have a unique African experience! It was tits, yo. 

obligatory boat at sunset



I'm off to Mexico and the Mediterranean for my next adventure- I cannot wait to see how it compares! Africa left me with an incredible feeling, its a shame there was no gay community to explore. 

Belize

BELIZE

"UN-BELIZE-ABLE"


 

You’ll hear that statement all over the city of Belize, and while most of it was actually belizeable... For me this trip had an over all feel more like *Nicki Minaj voice* “haha they was sleepin on me Beliz-zee-zee-zee-zee”. I hadn’t done any research prior to heading to this country, and was surprised at how easy it was to adjust. Basically all the major hotels have English speaking staff and with a big expat community, you’ll find a lot of people to connect with. My main to-do here was not to putz around the city though, instead I elected to take a luxury catamaran island hopping from Placencia, Belize to 7 different islands in the Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala region. I had a nice overnight stay at the Radisson Fort George where I got crazy wasted on bottom shelf margaritas and carried on boozy conversations with the guests - that night, I watched a sassy woman from Barbados show up a bunch of white girls in a church group dancing to The Wobble, that woman would later sit with me and ensure I learned to take shit from no man and live my best life, girl was preachin to the choir 🤣.     

 


THE BOATTTTTTTT

This catamaran was crazy! If you want to switch up staying in hotels all the time, this is a interesting way to do it!  5 guest rooms and crew area with a chef and fully stocked kitchen, this boat did not disappoint. We set sails, and so began a week of relaxation...boozy as fuck relaxation. 






Each day brought on a new island/Cay and a few days we hit more than one. The itinerary was: 

  • Placencia lagoon 
  • Ranguama Cay
  • Little Water Cay
  • White Bank
  • Hatchet Cay
  • Funk Cay
  • Mono Cay
  • North Long Coco
  • Cookson Cay

All very exciting stops with beautiful reefs, cute beaches, and warm water to swim around in all day. Being a thrill seeker, I ran into the “same shit, different day” feeling that plagued this ground hog day style trip about 4 days in. A human can only do so much snorkeling, collecting starfish, manta ray spotting, shark seeking, paddle boarding, skurfigging (water skiing on a paddle board) and sun bathing before you go absolutely insane. ....All sun and no land makes Chris a bored bitch...All sun and no land makes Chris a bored bitch...All sun and no land makes Chris a bored bitch...you get the picture...tropical Shinning situation. To be fair, I had already taken two vacations to Hawaii in the week and month prior to this trip, so I was probably just over all the tropical nonsense. Even with the captains enduring interest in trying to knock me off the paddle board with various (failed) methods - sending me into choppy water, making wakes next to me with the dingy boat, and challenging me to circle the islands we stopped at - there was little true excitement to be had. No amount of cleverly named drinks would allow me to escape the monotony- so I was actually v excited to be done when we docked a week later. I suppose I am just not meant for tooo much relaxation. 


 



              
Boats and sunset "how groundbreaking"


That said, sailing life is pretty cool. Dolphins follow your boat about across the sea, you learn to be a family with the people on board, and you have a personal chef at your disposal to cater to every craving you get. Totally like that show Overboard- unfortunately without the cool drama. I ate so much good food on this trip, it was incredible!! Fish we would catch out of the sea, fresh lobsters we’d barter for from passing fishermen, and random restaurants isolated to islands in the middle of the Caribbean offered some truly special dining experiences. 




                                                        
fuckin huffin' n' puffin' 
Skurffing like a boss
  
                                                                            


For me, this was a one and done kind of vacation. I’m a bit too much of an adventure and thrill seeker to be bound to a boat for a week, but I can see it being a great fit for the majority of its demographic.  You can spend less or more depending on the length of trip, class of boat, style of food, amount of crew, etc. A trip like this would be excellent for a whole family get away or bridal party, not people who prefer to jump out of planes to feel things  🙄