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Beyond the Atlas: Sun, Sea, and Surf

Clockwise from top left: (1) creating community with Nomadico. (2) Watching surfers at Banana Point. (3) Sunset in Tamraght. (4) Golden hour on the shores of Taghazout.

I spent the first three months of 2024 in Morocco, working remotely with a community of other travelers. Before settling in to Tamraght, a small surfing village in Morocco's southwest, I took a week to explore bits of the country, including Casablanca and Marrakech - by now familiar stomping grounds - and took a trip to the desert. Merzouga was a highlight of the tour: upon our arrival, we mounted camels to reach a berber encampment and watched the sun set over the dunes, before spending the evening with the nomads, who served us freshly brewed mint tea under a canopy of stars. Despite this highlight, the rest of the multi-day trip was underwhelming. I should have known better about the desert tour: it was extremely commercialized, and we were loaded onto a van like cattle, driven from dusty town to desolate town, with hardly any rest for two days, until we reached the dunes. But we covered quite a bit of ground, and got to see much of the country, from the Atlas Mountains to Ouarzazate and Aït Ben Haddou (the filming location for The Mummy, Lawrence of Arabia, and Gladiator).

After the trip, I hopped on a bus to the small beach town of Tamraght, close to Agadir, on Morocco's western coast. Tamraght, hardly known to foreigners even five years ago, has grown significantly since its neighbor, Taghazout, became a world-famous surf destination. The reason for the region's renown? Anchor Point, a fast-barreling wave that attracts some of the top surfers from Hawai'i, South Africa and Australia (I will never attain this level of skill, so I elected instead to surf nearby Banana Point and Devil's Rock - waves that are more forgiving to the novice).

Tamraght is a funky little village that has retained its local flavors. It has not yet been overrun by surfers and yogis - a distinction that its big brother, Taghazout, may not be able to claim. The food was simple, cheap, and abundant - think tagine, berber omlets, and lentil soup. The bountiful sun and reliable waves, along with a beautiful coastline just outside the house, made it easy to stay fit outdoors, in contrast to the gloomy winter some of my European friends had come to Morocco to escape.

It was a wonderful few months spent working at the coliving, lounging around with loved ones, and taking some road trips on the weekend to explore the coast, soak up the sun, and catch some waves.

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