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Portugal – Morocco (Days 82-87)

November 28, 2010

Day 82 (10/21/2010):

If you are reading this blog for the six hundredth time…I guess I should thank you for reading it that many times, implore you to find something better to do as the writing is not the greatest, and you can also probably see that the writing is getting worse and worse. You can also probably tell that we are doing less and less everyday as we are getting burned out.

We walked around Lisbon today, walking from Baixa to Alfama and ending up at the Castelo De Sao Jorge. These “ruins” were conquered by the 1st Portuguese king and then converted into the royal playground. The towers provide an amazing view of Lisbon.

After dinner, Manuel, Jay, and I went to a CS Meeting at some sort of café/bar. We then went to another bar to see an indie-electronic band.

Day 83 (10/22/2010):

Jason and I wasted away by eating massive amounts. Yes, that includes a buffet. I believe we bought 2 buffets each in one sitting to make sure there was going to be enough food for us.

Day 84 (10/23/2010):

Our host, Jay, and I went to Belem for lunch and pastries at the Pasteis de Belem. Those pastries are bits of heavens on earth.

We stopped by at the Mosteiro Dos Jerominos, which (if my memory serves me correct) contains the remains of Vasco de Gama. This monastery was established to commemorate de Gama’s expeditions.

After dinner, we took the overnight train back to Madrid.

Day 85 (10/24/2010):

We stayed at the Holiday Inn that is literally next to the airport. Unfortunately, this hotel does not have an airport shuttle and the taxi costs 20 Euros each way. There is nothing around the area. Whatever you do, do not stay here. It is not worth the price, as you will pay extra for transportation and food. A hotel should not state that they are an airport hotel without easy transport to the airport. Worst!

Day 86 (10/25/2010):

I guess RyanAir is awesome if you do not have any bags to check in and you have a printer. Otherwise it’s an extra 40 Euros to check a bag and another 40 Euros if you don’t pre-print your boarding pass. Although, they do have an amazing song that they play once the airplane lands.

Ah, back in North Africa.

We landed in Marrakesh early. We could not meet our host until 11 AM, so we took a quick walk around the old city hitting up landmarks such as the Koutoubia Mosque, which I later found out is a classic example of Spanish-Moroccan architecture.

After meeting up with our host Yassine, we took a bus to Tahannaout, a town 45 minutes outside of Marrakesh with a population of about 1000 (1002 with Wags and I).

As guests, we had to register with the local police, who only spoke French and Arabic so that was pretty interesting.

Yassine’s mother made us an amazing dinner in which we ate with the whole family. This was truly a family style dinner, as we all used our hands and ate from a very large plate. Afterwards, the whole family, Wagner, and I sat around and played music. It was a much-needed change and an experience in itself.

Day 87 (10/26/2010):

We went to an outdoor market today. Instead of parking spots for cars, there was a section closed off so people can park their donkeys. This market place has anything and everything you want. They even have a make shift barbershop. We stopped by to eat skewers of goat liver and drink some tea.

Afterwards, we walked through the butcher where they were selling goat hooves (or is it the paw), goat heads, and every part of the goat. As Wagner and I promised the family that we would cook for them, we went to the chicken guy and asked for a chicken. Well, the butcher picked up a chicken, chopped off its head and its claws and then threw it in the hot water to defeather it…all in front of us.

After a quick lunch, we went to a resort where they had the biggest zipline in Africa. There’s not much else to say besides that but we did it.

Wagner and I cooked our secret recipe for a Moroccan family of 8 using the chicken that we purchased. I have never cooked for that many people and the family was so curious they watched what we did the whole time, it was exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.

Random Conversation:

Hiroki:  Damn you are killing it tonight with your farts.  It is musty as hell in here (takes a sip of water)

Jason:  I know it is; It feels all moist in my pants, almost like I shit myself.

Hiroki:  <Chokes on water and it comes out of his nose and onto the floor.>  The must still lingers…

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