Four weeks to wander along the Moroccan coast
— text and pictures by Roberto Calcagno
I am going to be a father.
After the initial emotions and a perennial period of overexcited wore off, the question that emerged was: “How can we best take advantage of the last nine months of freedom?” It’s a bit like knowing you’ll be in prison in nine months… A beautiful prison of course, but it’s still a place, even if not physical, from which you cannot escape. It’s the place of responsibility.
The next question was: “What will I not be able to do so easily in nine months’ time?” Considering the fact that going out in the evenings, to the cinema, the shopping center, a restaurant…. don’t interest me, I said to myself the only thing that I will surely miss is travelling. And so it was time to travel!
With my partner Elizabeth, in her sixth month of pregnancy, with the limits of potential illnesses and the impossibility of vaccination, we opted for Morocco. For four weeks we roamed down the Moroccan coast, at a decidedly slow, African pace. Seeing as we couldn’t do our usual hikes, we stuck to the public transport and enjoyed a softer Morocco: souks, beaches, birdwatching, mint tea, henna and hammam. Maybe hammam was actually one of the most interesting experiences. Forget the usual spa, the supposedly arab spas around here. The real hammam is made up of three or four rooms with simple tiling, with taps and tubs readily available. It’s basically a social environment where hours are passed. Women wash themselves and their children, as well as shave and do peeling. Men do the same things, as well as getting massages while nude and lying on the ground, by energumen. Obviously we couldn’t miss out on this experience. Magnificent!
Other memorable moments can be enjoyed from the pictures: Paradise Valley, the commotion of the ocean, the arches of Legzira, the cobra on the beach (!!), the souk of Azzemour, washed-up wreckage, the Mosque of Casablanca, and most of all four weeks of outstanding sunsets!
After this wonderful month enjoying the exotic Moroccan tranquility, there was still something missing. I was missing the exhausting walks and explorations that usually define my travels. The possibility of sleeping outside, of road-side stops. All the things Elizabeth couldn’t do. So I called my old travel companion Diego, and before even arriving home I had planned one last trip before my son Marcello’s arrival.
My name is Roberto Calcagno and I have been a Nature Guide since 2010. Originally I was a telecommunications engineer but, knowing that I felt no passion for what I was doing, I always searched for a “plan B”. Seeing as the mountain was my first passion I did the Nature Guide course and through this discovered the wonders of nature from a different perspective, one which I had never considered as an excursionist. I created the website www.trekking-alps.com to promote my business as a guide, and it went better than I expected. After three years, I went from being a part-time Nature Guide to quitting my job as an engineer and I dedicated myself to my real passion: nature and the mountain in particular. Moreover, since last year a new business has taken over my life, as I am renovating a farmstead in Novaretto in low-lying Val di Susa, transforming it into a Bed and Breakfast. / www.trekking-alps.com
During our excursions in Morocco I walked with Climatica NBK GTX, modern and versatile, designed to offer maximum interal comfort in variable climatic conditions. Suitable for an active lifestyle, for light outdoor activity, travel and for everyday city use. The AKU Climatica outsole with a special Tenuta mix guarantees an optimal grip on uneven surfaces.
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