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It’s the End of a Season…

…on the French Atlantic coast. It came first in hints, and, step by step, became evident all around. Elmar deconstructed his cozy beach terrace, there’s no more “tasty” drinks at “Booboozzz”“Le Surfing” and  “Heads”  closed out with a bang, and the beach is deserted – the waves either too big or not there at all.

After wonderfully warm October weeks and a successful Quicksilver Pro Contest the Surfvilla is now switching to hibernation mode. Barbara has scrubbed and stored away the yoga-mats, Sebastian took down our beloved swing, Luisa only barely managed to part from her beloved dishwashing brushes and bowls, Artti put aside the XL pots and pans, and Konrad dewaxed the surfboards. Only Sophie stoically continues her job of loudly and effectively defending the garden..

Sad but true, the time has come again to say: the summer is over, fall and winter are at our door…with a heavy heart we say good-bye to flip-flops and board shorts – but only for a while: our journey continues in the South, Morocco is calling!

The reliable winter swells are approaching Morocco’s shores. Starting November, we can begin expecting the usual great conditions at our favorite spots. Artti and Lando will soon make their way to the Maranga Surfhaus in Taghazout to pass the winter there – and, of course, they’re hoping that you’ll join them. With these two you’ll have the perfect guides to show you the country, the people, and the spots. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Photos, as well as a lot of travel material, including information on flight options and airlines, are available on our new Maranga Webseite.

Over the summer we spent some time re-hauling our site – in happy co-operation with Neckarmedia –hoping to make it better than ever.

Any and all feedback welcome!

We’d like to thank everyone who contributed their help: Alena for her wonderful photos, Barbara and Michi for writing and being our Maranga fitness models, Luisa for writing and English translations, and Nadia for video-editing.

We wish you a wonderful autumn and look forward to seeing you again…

With heart-felt greetings,

your Maranga-Crew

 

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How Alena began surfing: Maranga

Happy Alena

How did I find Maranga Surf & Travel?
A good 8 years ago a friend said to me, “Feel like surfing?” and I spontaneously said “Yes!” After all, I’d never done it before and it definitely felt like something I wanted to try. We then went straight to business and started researching surf-camps online. If you ask a surfer where you’ll find the best waves, they’ll probably say Bali, Hawaii of Australia. We, however, found the Villa Chilla Surfcamp on the French Atlantic coast in Seignosse. It’s not too far. Easy to access. It gets waves. A beach. Nice weather. And a surf-course. Let’ go! Who would’ve thought that a huge love of surfing would develop out of this? Just a few days after forging our plan we traded the Hamburg sleet for sun and flip-flop-weather. You know what? Barefoot’s even better.

 

Surfvilla Hündin Sophie. Foto: Alena Zielinski

I immediately felt comfortable in the lovingly furnished Surfvilla in the neighborhood Le Penon. Back then, I already had a boundless love of photography and snapped pictures of everything. I photographed surfers, who surfed as well as I wanted to one day, the beach and the ocean, the pine forest and all its wonderful details, and of course, the cutest dog in the whole entire world: Maranga’s own Sophie. Sophie, who was brought from Morocco and who loves posing for my pictures and accompanying me to beach, almost wanting to jump in the water herself. Or maybe she wants to keep me from jumping in – which it is, I’ve never really been able to tell.

Right now, I’m sitting here in France. On the most relaxing terrace that ever was, and that I’ve only ever seen the likes of right here. From here, you have a wonderful view of the surrounding pine forest and you can hear the waves crashing behind the dune. During the day, the guests – exhausted from their surf sessions – laze about here, reading, sleeping, reflecting on the day’s events. Tonight, we’ll all be eating together – top-chef Leandro will be serving us home-made lasagna and salad. The guests will be excited to still their hunger, they’ll philosophize about surfing, complain about their sore muscles, proudly point out their tan-lines, discuss the on-going surf contest, and cheers to the good life. This evening we’ll be heading to the beach to watch that red fireball descend once again behind the horizon. At a much later hour we’ll all be dropping off to bed – but, we’ll see each other again the next day, on our boards in the water.

Here’s to our friendship with Maranga, surfing and the ocean.

 

What else do I do? Photography & Travel-blog
I work as a freelance photographer (www.alena-zielinski.com) in Germany and abroad. I live in Hamburg, but my job keeps me moving almost all the time. I’ve been employed by publishing houses, hotels, PR-agencies, I memorialize events like weddings, and I work in a photo studio.

Reiseblog: Alena im Wadi Rum/ Jordanien

Travel-blog AlenaOnTour
Photography and travel stories have become my speciality. The road is always calling out to me, whether in a professional or non-professional capacity, and of course, my camera is my constant companion. On my travel-blog I share my experiences: www.AlenaOnTour.com

Here, I write about my travel experiences, exciting encounters, culinary highlights, insider tips, and everything that moves me. Naturally, you can also read all about my adventures with Maranga Surf & Travel, like these: Endless summer in SeignosseRestaurant tips or trips to San Sebastián.

Gewürze Marokko

What to do in Taghazout besides surfing?

 

There’s a near endless list of things to do around Anchor Point and Devils Rock and we will present some of them to you!

Today: A trip to the flea market in Agadir.

We made the best of one of those rare flat-sea days, by combining the useful with the amusing and taking a trip to the flea market of Agadir.

Here’s what we have to report: Beyond its beaches and the usual tourist attractions, Agadir offers the possibility to come into contact with the traditional Moroccan world. Not far from the city center, accessible by a short and inexpensive bus ride, on 6 days of the week you will find a market that is frequented by the locals: the Soukh.

In an area that measures about 120 square meters you can buy anything and everything that your heart (and stomach) might desire. From Friday to Sunday night, this market is extended by a flea market that snakes its way through all the surrounding streets and alleys – and it’s a thing that merits a visit all on its own. Here, tourists are nothing more than peripheral phenomenon.

Imagine a Western European flea-market, now multiply the array of goods on sale, and picture yourself in the middle of a bustle that leaves your mouth hanging open in amazement. The list of things you CAN’T buy here is a lot shorter than of what you can buy. Colorful spices, clothes of all cuts and styles, tools and electronics, jewelry, bicycles and motorized vehicles – whatever you’re looking for, you can find it here. And the prices? Well, that depends on your bartering skills. If you’re really out for a deal we recommend going right before sundown – prices go down the closer it gets to closing time.

If you find yourself needing a break from all the hustle and bustle you should definitely check out some of the street restaurant where locals prepare their hometown dishes in mobile kitchens. You can enjoy one-of-a-kind soups, like the traditional Harira, filled breads, sweets, and the obligatory Moroccan tea (Whisky marocain). For only about 2 euros you will get a full meal and have some interesting conversations in however many languages it takes, as the muezzin calls for prayer in the neighboring mosque.

And by the way: the Swell is back by the way, and we already caught a bunch of great waves in Anza and Tamri. Come and join us!

Visit us in Taghazout

There are still inexpensive flights available for December and January with Easyjet and Ryanair.

Easyjet flies from Berlin Schönefeld to Agadir (60,-) and to Marrakesh. You can also fly to Marrakesh quite cheaply from Genf and Bâle.

With Ryanair, you can fly from Düsseldorf Weeze to Marrakesh.

Condor is also offering flights again this winter to Agadir, leaving from Düsseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA), and Munich (MUC).

We’re looking forward to your visit!
To contact us click here.

Maranga Surfhouse Taghazout – a travel report (Part 5)

4th and 5th days of surfing:

Woken by the call of the muezzin who recites the Muslim creed every morning, the next day began with a bombastic breakfast prepared by Artti. Next, we piled back into our taxis and headed to Tamri. The waves were a bit bigger today, so once again we spent the whole day in the water. I only once took to the beach to rest a bit and in that moment a street merchant spoke to me so convincingly that I just had to buy a pair of pants off him. After a bit of bartering, which the Moroccans seem to consider like something of a pastime, the pants weren’t that expensive and fit Theresa quite well. It was also interesting to watch the Berbers on their donkeys pass between the surfers by the beach: two cultures which couldn’t seem more different. 15
On the way home, we bought a bunch of fresh mussels. These are sold everywhere on the roadsides between Tamri and Taghazout. With these fresh ingredients Artti prepared a delicious dinner of spaghetti with seafood.

Still buoyed by the previous day’s surfing successes, on the 30th we once again headed to Tamri. We quickly waxed our boards, bought some food at Achmet’s, and got back in a cab to not miss a minute of surfing. The waves were just as good as the day before, which I had to take advantage of as much as possible. Unfortunately, a lot of people had that same idea and so it got a bit crowded in the line-up. If you just walk along the beach of Tamri for a bit however, it’s easy to find a sandbank with good waves and enough space.
That evening Theresa and I got to see how a huge tagine is made for everyone and, of course, helped out a bit. In the middle of a large earthen bowl you first place chicken or beef. Around this you place layers of potato and vegetables, like carrots, onions, and zucchini. For a vegetarian tagine, you simply leave out the meat. Then, all of it is spiced with salt, pepper, and that Moroccan favorite – cumin. As side dishes, we had an exotic salad with olives and pineapple made by Artti and a whole bunch of flatbread, for those who wanted to enjoy this meal the traditional way.
With full stomachs, we headed off to bed after a few glasses of wine or Moroccan tea, which we consumed while listening to Artti’s amazing playlists.
Tomorrow will already be our last day in Taghazout.

Signing off,
Your, Philipp

Maranga Surfhouse Taghazout – a travel report (Part 4)

3rd day of surfing:
The morning of the 28th I went to have breakfast with Theresa on the sunny terrace of Café Florida, which is located just across the street from the Surfhouse. For 25 DH (about 2,50€) you get a freshly-pressed orange juice, coffee, baguette with jam and honey, and an omelet.

For this day’s surfing, we headed to Tamri again. All of us shared two taxis, which made it fairly cheap for each individual. The boards are secured by the driver to the taxi’s roof with tension belts. This keeps the boards safely in place, even in the event of a sudden stop because a camel herd is passing.
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We surfed for another whole day, laid on the beach, played bonanza, and ate delicious fruit. Of course, we had to have some of the delicious pastries and nuts, which are sold directly on the beach. Towards the evening, we got back in a cab and returned to our rooftop terrace, just in time to catch a beautiful sunset.
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Later, I went on a walk with Therese along the street lantern-lit streets of Taghazout. The surf-shops and roadside merchants are open until late at night. After an excellent dinner in one of the small restaurants, with avocado-salad and tagine, we all sat down together on the rooftop terrace with a few glasses of wine.
The next two days will be the best in Tamri.

See you soon,
Your, Philipp

Maranga Surfhouse Taghazout – a travel report (Part 3)

2nd day of surfing:

Right after getting up the next morning we headed to Banana Village. The village gets its name from its huge Banana plantations, where the fruits that you buy in your supermarket grow. They taste better freshly picked in Morocco, of course. Our destination was the surfspot “La Douze”, the name of which derives from the 12 kilometers that it’s away from the beaches of Agadir. Naturally everybody came along, so Lando, Artti, Helli, Manuela, Flo, Katrin, Lasse, and Andreas. Before surfing we had breakfast in a bakery just outside of Banana Village. Lando knows where to find all the best specialties. There’s nothing better than having an avocado-milkshake with dates before surfing.
We had the beach of La Douze entirely to ourselves. You sit in clear water on your board and surf until your arms hurt from paddling. Once you’ve eventually had enough you can sit down on one of the driftwood logs on the beach and stare out at the sea. Late that evening it was time for everyone to climb back onto Lando’s bus and to head back to the surfhouse.

That evening Lando showed us another one of his insider tips. At a butcher’s shop on the side of the road you buy all the meat you want by type and weight. Next door, this meat is grilled for next to nothing. Then, your grilled delicacy in hand, you sit down at a table in a little restaurant, which is, again, next door. There, you order drinks and bread and enjoy the sumptuous, freshly prepared Moroccan meal. It was easy to see the delight on Lasse’s, Lando’s, and Theresa’s faces.

Stay tuned!
Your, Philipp

Maranga Surfhouse Taghazout – a travel report (Part 2)

Last time we left off with our arrival in Marrakesh:

After landing I first had to get used to the sun that was shining on my face. It was nice and warm and high time to ditch the winter jacket, which I packed away, hoping to not have to see it again until I was on my flight back. At the airport, we immediately had the opportunity to exchange some money. For 1 euro, you get about 10,9 Moroccan dirham (DH). Next, we had to go about finding a taxi, which it turned out, was really more than easy, since as soon as we left the airport building there were cabbies looking for tourists like us, rather than the other way around. We found a cab and took it to the Supratours central bus station. From there, a bus left for Agadir every two hours. The fare was about 110 dirhams, so around 10 euros, which, by European standards, wasn’t a lot for a three-hours bus ride. At this point it was about 1 o’clock in the afternoon and there was still some time to explore the surroundings before the bus left. We were really impressed by the ornate building of the central train station and, of course, by all the palm trees that were just standing about everywhere. During the bus ride, we got to see a lot of the beautiful landscape and the Atlas Mountains, plus I used the time to peruse my Moroccan travel guide. I can only recommend to everyone to read up on the country you’re traveling to beforehand – it really changes the way you perceive what you’re seeing!

Once in Agadir, we took another cab straight to the Surfhouse Taghazout. As soon as we arrived, Lando showed us the house and our room. Then he led us to the Chill-Out lounge on the rooftop terrace. This is the most important place in the house because everyone comes and sits together here. We immediately got to know the other guests. The Finnish singer Helli sang some beautiful songs, but despite the fun and inviting atmosphere, we were so tired that we headed to bed early.

The next morning at 9 o’clock we had breakfast on the rooftop with everyone. The meal was prepared by Artti who is cook, entertainer, and Lando’s right-hand man all in one person. With his ultimate breakfast specials, he manages to create a new culinary highlight every day.

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From the terrace, you have a fantastic view of the ocean. The waves were looking small on the home-beach so, using the local bus, we relocated to the village Tamri, half an hour North of Taghazout, where there is good surf, even with small swells.

We stopped at Achmet’s grocery store just outside our house to buy some food for the road. Two bananas, four mandarins, and two freshly baked loaves of flatbread only cost 80 cents! Then we went straight to surfing. It is an incredible feeling to get really warm while paddling out in the middle of winter. It was a really good day to get reacquainted with the waves and to simply surf. That evening, we had the opportunity to eat with a traditional Berber family. The Berbers can be said to be the indigenous people of Morocco. We were very warmly welcomed with a kind of hospitality you rarely experience in Europe. Traditionally everyone here eats sitting on the floor, gathered around a round table. You only eat with your right hand and little pieces of flatbread become the cutlery. We had Tagine, vegetables, meat, and couscous served in a large earthen bowl from which everyone ate. Additionally, we had some of Morocco’s national beverage: a mixture of green and mint tea with a lot of sugar, a delicacy which you cannot get enough of. Despite the language barrier – everyone spoke Berber – we communicated well and had lots of fun. It was probably the most exciting meal I have ever been a part of.

Tomorrow the surfing continues!
Your, Philipp

Maranga Surfhouse Taghazout – a travel report (Part 1)

Hello, I’d like to briefly introduce myself! My name’s Philipp and I’m from Upper Austria, a place called Weyregg am Attersee to be precise. I’m 19 years old and a high school student, I will be getting my Matura this year (that’s the name of the Austrian high school diploma). The reason I’m writing this, is because I want to share my travel experiences with you all, as I journey to the Maranga Surfhouse in Taghazout, Morocco. This little adventure all started with the simple idea, that it’d be great to get away for a bit, just to see something new.

At the beginning my girlfriend Theresa and I were joking about how funny it’d be if we spent Christmas break in some ridiculously sunny place, but that joke quickly turned into reality, as we found ourselves booking tickets into warm Africa. We’d be leaving on the 25th of December and returning January 1st. The ticket prices left us with no complaints – it’s pretty easy to find nice deals around Christmas and New Year’s.

After an impatient wait that seemed to drag on forever, things finally kicked off on the 24th. Somehow, we managed to cram all of our baggage into two backpacks, which meant we would only have carry-on luggage on the plane, and we wouldn’t have to lug any suitcases: a win-win situation. We got on a train to Vienna the morning of the 24th because the journey takes about 3 hours and there’s basically no trains running the morning of the 25th.

I won’t lie, it did feel a bit strange to just leave on Christmas, but the thought of the up-coming sun, ocean, and waves quickly dispelled any doubts I had. When we arrived in Vienna we still had some time to walk around, so we went to the Mariahilferstraße, a famous shopping avenue, to watch the last-minute Christmas shoppers hustle and bustle about. At that moment, we were quite content to be avoiding that situation this year. We replenished our strength with a quick meal and went to our hostel, which was only about a 15-minute walk away. That evening we ventured out again for a longer walk through Vienna. Past the famous Heldenplatz and the museums we managed to find a restaurant that was still open on Christmas eve. We had exotic wraps and cocktails, an unusual but satisfying Christmas meal, and then headed straight back to get into bed: we had to be at the airport the next morning!

The morning of the 25th began very early indeed. Shortly before 5 we set off on foot for the Westbahnhof, where we got the first bus headed to the airport. As we were walking that morning, with cold rain on our faces, we really couldn’t wait to land in Morocco and feel the sun on our skin. And so, we arrived at the airport at about 6 o’clock, full of excitement and anticipation. There was still plenty of time until the flight’s departure, but we had wanted to do everything right our first time flying away alone. After a quick breakfast at the airport we punctually took our seats on the plane. During the flight the sky changed from Europe’s dark grey to a magnificent bright blue. The flight time was 4 hours, but because we were flying into the next time zone we had to set our clocks back an hour, so technically we arrived in Marrakesh only 3 hours later.

In the next blog post you can read about how our journey continued in Marrakesh!
See you soon,
Your, Philipp