Last weekend I went on a road trip to Wales…

After (and while) spending so many years travelling, my interest in exploring closer to home has been peaking. Recently I’ve been gobsmacked by the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, a place literally next door to where I spent the first 18 years of my life. There is so much more for me to see around the Dales, the lakes and throughout this beautiful country. I also wanted to explore more of the United Kingdom. The Scottish Islands and the coast of Ireland (my whole family is Irish) of course come near the top of the list but I knew little about Wales and after some research on this place a little while back, Pembrokeshire has been calling me! 

We glamped beside a woodland, walked along the stunning coastal path and ate at some very quaint cafes. Here I will share with you some of my top tips…

How to get there/back:

We chose to drive so that we could do more exploring at our leisure on route. On the way down, we took the slightly longer journey by driving through Snowdonia and stopping for a walk by Llyn Ogwen and on the way back we stopped in the seaside town of Aberystwyth for a meander through the markets and a beautiful meal at Medina.

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Where to stay:

We stayed at Top of the Woods glamping site (about an hour from Aberystwyth), 15 minutes from the coast, surrounded by green rolling hills and backing onto a huge woodland with a secret waterfall within. Staying here under the full moon was a real treat. We sat on our deck chatting as the moon rose, a memory that will stay with me for a long time. 

Soo and John who run the site have really thought of everything. They provide all the wood and setup needed for your camp fire and every cooking utensil you need, whether you want to cook porridge on the hob or stew a curry in the fire. They are an eco site which sorts all waste, providing separate bins for organics, paper, glass etc. They offer both composting and flushing loos to accommodate all and the showers worked great. Everything is well spread out across meadows yet there’s water taps always close by. Small touches like fairy lights lining the tent that come on at dusk, really make this site special and I’d definitely return if I’m down that way again.

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What to do:

This coastline is regularly featured as one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. We hit jackpot by walking the path on a glorious sunny, early autumn Friday. Over the 4 hours or so spent walking next to the ocean, we passed only a handful of others. 

There are many different routes you can take, choosing which section of the coast you’d like to explore and where you’d like to turn inland. The stunning contrast of natural green solid land and soft blue rippling ocean create an incredibly special view of nature. 

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Other than the coast, there’s still a huge selection. I ran through the woodland next to where we stayed and it was so beautiful. I ended up going the ‘wrong’ way on the circular path and ended up on the road trying to find my way home. In the end I managed to ask a man who knew where it was and had just picked fresh apples off his tree, of which he gifted me three… the most sweet, vibrant, pink apples I ever did eat. Speaking of…

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Where to eat:

Beside the water! We spent the most wonderful evening at the Ferry Inn. This pub is in St Dogmaels and so cute and cosy. I’d recommend this after your chosen path along the coast to enjoy views of ducks and boats and a setting sun over the river. You can take your food/drink outside or enjoy inside by the huge windows looking out.

Also of course wonderful to eat your warming fodder beside the campfire, cuddled in a blanket under the stars. You can buy your produce from the organic Glebelands Market Garden in Cardigan which is a lovely town for a roam around (the eco shop is a treasure!!).

A day outside of the home is a time to take your lunchboxes! When we prepare for ourselves from sustainably sourced ingredients we reduce the demand for single use packaging and we save ourselves a hefty amount of cash! By making your own meals, you know what you’re consuming and provide the opportunity to get creative and have fun in the kitchen.

Some people get concerned about protein levels, particularly when skipping animal products. Quinoa is known as the king of the plant-based world when it comes to protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa is native to Peru and Bolivia, this ancient grain fed the Incas along with other delights such as cacao and maca – food of the gods! Quinoa can be sourced from British farmers (The British Quinoa Company) who have learnt to cultivate this special crop locally.

I love to have an array of textures and colours in my bamboo lunch box which is why I often assemble my box in three stages.

Part 1:

Quinoa (or other preferred grain)

Cook the washed grain in triple the amount of water (quinoa take about 12 minutes so is nice and quick!). You may wish to flavour the grain – I like to add a splash of apple cider vinegar and some mixed Italian herbs. Sometimes, 5 minutes from finishing cooking, I add frozen peas or raisins. Leave to simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Part 2:

Massaged Kale

Some people look at me like I’m absolutely nuts when I talk about massaging kale, but let me tell you, it’s life changing. The thought of eating raw kale makes me want to vom, but by breaking down the hard cellular wall of this vegetable it literally changes its structure, making it all the more palatable. I rub mine in my go-to dressing of tahini, tamari (or miso if I have it), lemon juice and toasted sesame oil. Massage for at least two minutes and feel the leaves soften under your touch. This kale tastes like heaven and ages like a fine wine.

Part 3:

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables 

Simply chop your chosen veggies (I go peppers, courgette and tomatoes) and add to the baking tray with good quality olive oil, mixed herbs, salt and pepper, along with some whole (skin on) cloves of garlic and add to the oven at 180 degrees. NOTE: if using tomatoes, hold back with them until the final 10 minutes of cooking time. Depending on the size, this mix should take between 20-30 minutes to roast. Give everything a good turn around before adding the tomatoes so they just begin to bulge and bake, then remove the tray from the oven. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins when ready.

Preparing my food for work or travel is really important to me. There are many reasons for this and below I’ll discuss the main three.

  1. WASTE

Buying food out and about leads to waste. Obviously if you’re buying take-away food then it comes in single use packaging, but even if you’re eating at a cafe, you never really know what environmental morals the business stands by. They could be buying all of the ingredients from companies that plastic-wrap their produce. I don’t think people should never go out but it’s about habits – eating out can be a treat/a way to socialise, but everyday eating can be done in a more responsible way.

We have the choice to consciously buy our own loose ingredients, supporting local grocers/farms/markets which do not add fuel to the fire that we’re currently in. The climate crisis is real and we decide how we impact on that every single day. Don’t be fooled by terms like ‘degradable’, ‘compostable’ and ‘eco’-whatever written on your packaging. Single use is single use and this is something that can easily be avoided. Provide your own containers, bring your own utensil, know that you can make a big difference! Just think, if you currently buy one single use packaged food item every day of the week… then you were to stop that… image the amount of waste over the next year that you can save! By not investing in this fast-food, fast-everything culture, we are lessening the huge stress that all of our resources are under (recyclable doesn’t equate to ‘good’).

2. HEALTH

Cooking your own food from scratch means you know exactly what’s in it. We all know now how many additives and preservative that are added to most ‘fast-food’ these days. I’m not referring to  greasy chains here, but hummus in a plastic pot or a veggie wrap in a paper/plastic bag… 

It’s absolutely not just about the ingredients. The energetics of food are so important to overall health. At home you can prepare your nourishment in a calm, loving space, filled with positive intentions to save the planet and maintain your vitality. You want to tend to your unique dwelling place with warming spices and home-cooked sustenance that nourishes from the inside out. Buying on-the-go can mean buying food that was literally made in a factory… by a machine. 

3. PLEASURE

Getting creative in the kitchen is fun! It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or difficult, it’s just about tuning in and listening to what it is that your body wants. I don’t plan out my meals for the week, I just look at what veggies I have in by that time and utilise them in any way I can. You can grate, steam, fry, roast, blend, toast or simmer your ingredients to make something delicious. Spices are a cook’s best friend, adding tons of flavour and excitement to your meals.

Imagine a long day at work or on a seemingly never ending commute during your travels; would you prefer to eat a meal lovingly made by yourself that has had time and care put into it or a fast packed plastic-wrapped salad box from a chain cafe? 

When we become more centred, we become more aligned with what it is that our body truly desires; that which helps it to find balance. Getting in touch with your own food is a great way to aid this connection. Let’s create a relationship with the fruits of the earth we are so lucky to have access. Be present with food from sourcing to preparing to eating.

HOW?

Here’s a very simple prep session from last weekend. Sundays are an important day for me to set-up for the week ahead. I work 9-5pm Monday to Wednesday and also teach yoga both Monday and Wednesday night after work. On top of that, I stay over at my workplace on a Monday night, therefore, Sunday I get prepped!

On Fridays my Abel & Cole delivery arrives, sans plastique, and full of organic goodness! Do your best to source food that doesn’t come in single use packaging to pave the way for the future. Invest in the farmers, grocers and companies that you want to support with your hard earned cash.

Makes about 3 portions:

1 large Sweet Potato
1-2 Broccoli
1 400g tin Chickpeas
Spinach
Olive oil (highly recommend A&C organic cold-pressed 1 litre bottle!)
Spices
Salt (/tamari if you have it)
Pepper
1 Lemon

Simply rinse and cube the (whole!) sweet potato and add to a baking tray. Drizzle in olive oil and add your favourite spices (I like cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, paprika, garam masala… there’s load more I like and I go heavy on the spices!). Roast for about 15 minutes then add the broccoli (stalk and all) with a plash more oil and tamari if you have it. Leave to cook for another 10 minutes before adding the drained and rinsed chickpeas, along with some more olive oil and spices/herbs and leave to cook for another 20 minutes. Check that all of the veggies have oil and spice and give it a turn around once or twice to allow for even baking.

Assemble a good handful of fresh spinach in your lunchboxes then top with the roast veggies. In the morning or before eating I top with some fresh lemon, a slosh of olive oil and salt.

*Note: I added everything to one tray for the photo but this was cooked over two trays; the veggies shrink during the roasting process

The koshas are a key aspect in yogic philosophy that help us to understand the science of the self. There are 5 koshas which can be thought of as layered casings of the body; sheath over sheath encasing the soul. Iyengar describes the koshas as lampshades; only when they’re lined up in perfect harmony can the light from the soul shine out.

Following the 8 limbs of yoga helps us to explore the koshas, exercising each with equal importance, yet with patience and without judgement. The yogic path is not a quick fix, it is a practice that never ends (unless of course you find yourself self-realised one day!). We peel back the layers one by one and delve deeply into every part of our being.

Maya = Magic

1. Annamaya Kosha
We move from the outside in, since the outside is what we are more familiar with, it’s more tangible and it can be easier to interact with. We know how the food we eat and the amount of movement our body takes effects its physical form. People are often drawn to yoga first due to the physical practice… we dip our toe into the yogic understanding of the layers of our being. From here, if we persist carefully with patience and an open mind, we can begin to peel back the first layer and move into the second sheath.

2. Pranamaya Kosha
Here we move into the energetic body. Prana means life force and this is most often connected to through a controlling of the breath. Breathing techniques can have profound effects on our body and mind as well as the synchrony between the two. Pranayama roughly translates to a constraint of the breath. We administer certain practices for particular effects, encouraging perhaps a state of relaxation/reinvigoration/deep connection.

3. Manamaya Kosha
Moving along the yogic path, after we have attuned ourselves with the physical body through asana and found a connection to the energetic body through prana, we begin to move into the subtle body through pratyahara and dharana. This means to withdraw the senses and only when we’ve been able to take some control over our senses, we can come to find a single-pointed focus. This is of course very strong work for the mind which for most of us spends more time in the practice of running wild! We cannot expect the mind to act differently unless we train it. Like a muscle, the more effort and consistency we give to our training, the stronger it will get.

4. Vijñanamaya Kosha
At this level we are working with the ‘wisdom magic’. Through the seventh limb of yoga: dhyana (meditation), we tap into our innate wisdom and knowledge. It is here that we can learn to surrender, cultivating effortless effort. We already have absolutely everything we need.

5. Anandamaya Kosha
Finally, we move into the bliss body. This is a state of eternal love, clarity and submersion to the universal cycle of life. This is the most difficult body to understand due to the fact that most of us live our lives so far away from it. This is not a criticism at all and it’s easy to understand why that it the case, but once we begin a commitment to this path, we can begin to move ever so slowly closer towards the bliss body.

Another recipe to utilise almond meal… see that when you make your own almond milk, your kitchen becomes so much more creative! If you stock your store cupboard with various spices and coconut, in its various forms, wholesome baking really is so easy! It’s likely that you don’t have to go out and shop for much for this recipe.

Although, carob may not be an essential for many and lots of people have never used it. Carob has a taste similar to cacao but less bitter and more sweet, somewhat fruity even. It contains calcium, fibre and antioxidants; however, unlike cacao, it is not a stimulant, which means that it’s safe to eat in the evening and won’t keep you up with a racing heart, which may well be the case with a block of deep dark chocolate.

Ingredients:

1c Almond Meal

¼ c Buckwheat Flour

4 tablespoons Carob Powder

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom

1-2tsp pure vanilla powder 

1cm Fresh Ginger (grated)

1 heaped tbsp shredded coconut

½ tsp Baking Powder

Sea salt

¼ c melted Coconut Oil

1/4 c Water

4-6 squares High Quality Dark Chocolate (optional energy boost)

Note: If you are using dry almond meal, you may need to use a little extra liquid (water + coconut oil) so the uncooked batter isn’t falling apart but holds its shape in a sticky consistency.

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, minus the chocolate. Get your hands in so that you can really draw it together and get a doughy consistency. At this point, roughly chop the chocolate into pieces then fold this into the mixture. Line a baking tray then press the mixture into a 1/4 cup measurer if you have, other wise just use your hands to shape into a cookie. Bake for around 15 minutes. Allow to cool (and bind) for 10 minutes outside of the oven before munching.

These past couple of weeks I’ve been saying yes. Yes to walks, yes to spending time with others, yes to visiting waterfalls, yes to afternoon exercise (when I created a story in my head that I only exercise first thing), yes to going on boat trips, yes to road trips, yes to eating out, yes to pretty much all of the things that irrationally present fear inside.

Why would anyone say no to fun with friends? Basically it all comes down to our deep insecurities that quite frankly are total pests that no-one invited to the party that is our life!

Let’s tell them to f*****g BEAT IT. We are the true deciders, controllers and thought entertainers. A thought comes up, let it go, don’t hang on to it and let it take you for a ride. You are the master of your own existence.

These past few weeks have genuinely been some of the most fun weeks of my life, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve made a conscious effort to reach out to others and be fully open when others reach out to me. The universe has granted me with inspiring humans, stunning nature and the energy and ability to explore and discover… it’s always there and always has been, it’s about how much we can appreciate what we’re already a part of.

The thing you practice is the thing that becomes stronger. Practice saying yes. Practice being open to new places/activities/people. Practice being authentically you and the rest will fall into place.

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I’ve travelled for different lengths of time to different locations, for different purposes. However, unlike my partner, I do not do any specific work or sports that requires certain equipment e.g. surf boards, climbing shoes, crampons or diving gear. For me, I actually end up needing a very similar repertoire of items. Of course this would vary if I were going to a cold destination but more often than not, this is the guideline that works for me.

I prioritise packing light for many reasons. Firstly, I’ve been brought up like this which definitely makes it easier. My mum is a ‘clearer outter’ and I’m so glad about it! We have always been fairly minimalist without really trying. Some of the main reasons to pack light are:

  1. there’s a lighter load on your shoulders. If you’ve ever backpacked then you’ll know… this is the way you realise that that amount of stuff is NOT worth it.
  2. It’s easier to find whatever you’re looking for
  3. It’s more environmentally friendly; the heavier the plane/train/car, the more fuel it uses. Plus having a limit hopefully reduced the amount of things you buy.
  4. It’s cheaper. Often it’s the add ons like luggage that kick up an air fair.
  5. Less stuff, less stress. Living simply is delightful. It’s you and your pack, you’re light and ready to rumble.

And so, I pack just hand luggage wherever possible. The only times I check on a bag is when I’m moving to live in another country (even then I often don’t check on a bag – just take what you NEED).

I made a list of everything I took to Bali with me last month to check that my make-shift list really is genuine and so here is my real life packing list that (very almost) nailed it.

What to pack: ALL HAND LUGGAGE

  • GoPro
  • iPad
  • Adapter
  • Phone
  • Chargers
  • Headphones
  • Yoga notebook
  • Thermometer (for tracking my cycle)
  • Passport
  • Travel cards
  • b12 spray
  • Hemp seeds in glass jar
  • Tea: rose and goji in glass jar
  • Steel water bottle
  • Bamboo spoon/fork
  • Steel straw + cleaner
  • Face suncream
  • Tinted moisturiser
  • Mascara
  • Brow brush
  • Dry body brush
  • Eucalyptus soap bar (folded in beeswax wrap)
  • Toothbrushing powder
  • Bamboo toothbrush
  • Toothbrush case for the bristles
  • Copper tongue scraper
  • Micella water put into recycled small glass jar
  • Neal’s Yard beauty balm decanted into small reusable container
  • Lavender & lime essential oils
  • Travel roll on oil
  • Hair brush
  • Muslin cloths to wash face
  • shampoo/conditioner in small containers
  • Moon cup + some organic cotton tampons/pads (because I still struggle with the moon cup sometimes after many months)
  • Cotton and silk eye mask
  • Compression socks
  • swimmers: one piece & bikini
  • Goggles
  • Throw over beach dress
  • Sunglasses
  • Yoga tights
  • Shorts x2 (work for yoga and running)
  • Yoga tops x4 (2 double up as running kit)
  • Running bra
  • Yoga crops
  • Flimsy bra for under sundress
  • Knickers
  • Dress
  • Linen jumpsuit
  • Skirt
  • Nice top x2
  • Flares (it was far too hot for trousers so didn’t actually need these)
  • Cap
  • Pjs
  • Socks for running
  • Bed socks (for if it gets cool – my hands and feet are the first to feel the cold but I didn’t end up using these)
  • Microfibre towel
  • Tote bag
  • Sandals
  • Rain jacket

Wore on the plane

  • Trainers
  • Yoga pants
  • Yoga bra
  • Running top
  • Hoodie

Wear your heaviest bulkiest items because then you don’t have to fit them in your bag and carry them, plus it gets cold on planes and they might try to offer you a plastic wrapped blanket – be cosy already in your best hoodie/scarf/comfy socks.

Of course the only thing about taking hand luggage is that you can’t take any liquids over 100ml but this is quite a blessing in disguise because it’s often liquids that come packaged in plastic that is used once then discarded when the contents are finished, heading straight for landfill to live on longer than you. Allow this challenge to spur your creativity by perhaps hand making your cosmetics or just looking to buy from companies that have eliminated plastic as well as probably the liquid element; for example, powdered toothpaste, shampoo bars, homemade herbal teas etc.

Flying by aeroplane is without doubt very detrimental to the environment and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. We all make our choices and should hope to be able to stand by them. I could never argue that flying around the world is sustainable for the planet, yet it’s something I do. In what ways can we lessen our impact though travel?

  1. Travelling light and plastic free – say NO to all plastic wrapped food & drink
  2. Paying the extra fee to offset emissions
  3. Choosing to fly from/to more sustainable airports that are aware of their footprint and input practices to reduce it e.g. solar energy
  4. Plant new trees

Flying is a modern day environmentalist’s dilemma, the best option would be not to create the emissions in the first place. It’s something that’s played on my mind for sure, what sacrifices can be made in the name of our great Mother Nature. It is a time for radical action.

These were created by using whatever I could find in the cupboards. I knew that I wanted to use my almond pulp, left over from making almond milk (one of the many reasons why making your own almond milk is so great!), and so I gathered some sweet ingredients for a play. Make your cooking easy for you by experimenting with what you have. Here’s a base recipe for my yummy cake cookies but feel free to switch the dried fruit, the sweetener, the sweet root veg (e.g. beetroot) and even the tahini drizzle to an almond drizzle by using nut butter. Enjoy this recipe and create some easter-time plant based treats.

Ingredients:

  • 1c Almond Meal (left over from making almond milk)
  • 1 Banana, mashed (the riper the sweeter)
  • 1/2c Buckwheat Flour
  • 2 tbsps Coconut Oil
  • 1 Carrot, grated
  • 1 tbsps Chia
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Powder
  • 1-2 tsps Cardamom
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarb Soda
  • Himilayan Pink Salt
  • 1-2 handfuls Currents & Dried Mulberries (or any other chosen fruit)
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar / Honey
  • 1/2c Water

Tahini Drizzle:

  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Powder

Firstly, combine the chia seed with 3tbsps of water and let sit while you do the next steps. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Mash up your ripe banana then combine with the grated carrot. Slowly begin to add the other ingredients: almond meal, buckwheat flour, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, your chosen dried fruit, coconut sugar. Melt the coconut oil then add this in along with the water. You want a sticky mixture so not too dry, not too wet so if you need to adjust the amount of water then please do. Finally add in the ‘chia egg’ and mix everything before rolling into rough little balls and placing them on a lined baking tray. Slightly flatten the balls to help them to cook all the way through. Let the, bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

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Meanwhile, combine the tahini drizzle ingredients along with tiny amounts of water at a time until it’s a ‘drizzle’ consistency. 

Take the cake cookies out of the oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Add the tahini drizzle. Enjoy!

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Have you ever noticed what happens in your physical body when certain emotions arise? These feelings are meant to move through us; instead, often we allow them to bunch up inside of us, crystallising tension, fear and anxiety into real physical knots. 

One of my favourite ways to untie unnecessary knots in my body is through delicious, restorative openings. This posture opposes the usual stance of rounded shoulders which overtime leads to the shortening of our pectoral muscles. 

So many of us store our feelings in our shoulders allowing them to hunch inward, closing in on the chest in an attempt to protect our vulnerable hearts. By taking this deep, yet gentle opening we can put ourselves in a more positive place, still feeling the safety of stillness and from there, able to open up to the world.

While laying in this posture, I can almost guarantee that you will feel more accepting, content and loving.

How to:

  1. Choose your prop. If you have a yoga bolster or brick then use that, if not, you can use a firm cushion or two softer ones. 
  2. Lay your prop(s) horizontally underneath your back at the level of your shoulder blades (bra strap line) then turn to face away. Keep your chin tucked and come down onto your forearms. At this stage you can use your hands to adjust the prop if you need to so it will sit under your shoulder blades.
  3. Take your hands to your head and allow the whole weight of your head to go into your hands so that the neck is relaxed. Take the head back and assess whether you need a lower prop to go underneath the back of your head. You want to feel comfortable and relaxed in this beautiful heart opener rather than overly strained and uncomfortable. Be gentle.
  4. When you’re ready to rise, come up in the same way you came in by taking your hands to your head and taking the whole weight. Step by step, without straining your neck, you can come into a seat again and revel in the delight of presence.

Last year, while based in Morocco, my friend Hanna and I flew up north and rented a car from Fes airport. We had an incredible week-long road-trip through the very northern tip of Africa and we even crossed the border into Europe.

We hired a small car from the airport so that we could transport ourselves over the bigger distances between cities, but once we arrived at each destination, we would mostly park up the car and spend the next day or two on foot.

Fes

This is a busy place; it reminded me a lot of Marrakesh with its small, bustling streets and there’s lots of people trying to get your attention (and money). We walked all around the medina and had a great time bargaining for our baboosh (Berber slippers) which are sold all over the city, straight from the famous Chouara Tannery which is situated there. The viewing terraces around the tannery are a little difficult to manage but you shouldn’t have to pay an entry fee. However, it may be that a local takes the time to explain the history and functioning of the tannery so you decide if you’d like to pay for a guide or stick to yourself. We found number 10 because Hanna had done some research and read it was a good viewpoint and that it was; we got the whole large balcony to ourselves while others were cramming into one small area. 

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We ate at The Ruined Garden and the Moroccan tapas was so delicious. However, we returned the next day to try the tagine and were very disappointed. It’s a lovely space so check it out and stick to the tapas!

Chefchaouen

This beautiful blue city looks a little fairytale-like. We really enjoyed roaming the streets here and had some amazing food. Bab Ssour is an absolute must: tasty, colourful and outrageously good value for money (although I do think they did us an extra special dea!). We also ate an amazing vegetable cous cous dish at Sofia (plus a million breads that get served to you whenever you eat out in Morocco which Hanna and I devoured every time) on our second night which was great, particularly as we were ravenous after our trip out to the cascade. We had not let the rain get us down and driven out to the beginning of the waterfall hike but luckily for us, out there it wasn’t raining. There was a stall selling bulk figs, nuts and even carob so we got a few sacks to chew on – yum. We did the whole 4 hour hike, which I’d really recommend, then the 45 minutes drive back to Chefchouen and still there it was raining. It had rained all day long and we were so glad we’d gotten out into open nature.

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While in Chefchaouen we stayed at a hostel called Read Baraka which was cheap and cheerful but it was very loud – you definitely need earplugs for this one!

Tangier (ferryport ~ Tarifa)

We drove on to Tangier but I can’t comment on the city as all we did was park the car and get the ferry across to Spain, although I can state how utterly kind and friendly the workers at the port are!

We found this grand crossing from Africa to Europe rather momentous. It was so interesting to see the cafe culture change from men drinking tea to men and women together drinking wine; to hear the language switch from French to Spanish; and to feel our position in the world rise from being a somewhat inferior woman in a developing country to being an equal woman in a developed country, all within 40 minutes.

We loved our short stay in Tarifa. We stayed at The Melting Pot, we ate and practiced yoga at Restaurante Tarifa Eco Centre and I enjoyed a totally stunning sun rise run along the promenade – I’d highly recommend them all.

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Asilah

This place was quite a surprise for the both of us. It is perhaps a lesser known and visited area in the north if travellers are on a time limit but I had had a couple of different Moroccan friends recommend this place to me therefore we decided to include it in our trip. 

The centre of Asilah is beautiful, a real arts haven. The walls are painted, windows are decorated and there’s lots of interesting craft on sale, from tapestries and rugs to jewellery and bags.

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I had booked us into an airBnB that was out of town; it was described as a unique farmhouse and it so massively exceeded our expectations. I had paid a little extra as it looked nice but wow, we loved it! Again the arty design predominated with beautiful architecture, paintings and each decorative detail. The young woman that greeted us (Noella I think her name was) was so beautiful and made us feel instantly at home. We enjoyed the stunning sunset in peace (we were the only guests!), sat by the crackling fire and each of us got our turn to enjoy the natural olive oil soap made by local women in the shower before a sound sleep. This gem is called Maison d’hotes Berbari.

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Rabat

We made a brief stop in Rabat and of course it was busy. What else can you expect for a capital city? Still, it’s nice that it’s by the water and there’s lots of history shrouded through the streets and of course in the main attractions of Oudaias Kasbah, Hassan Tower and Mausoleum of Mohammed V.

Fes

We arrived back in Fes with ourselves and our rental car all in one piece. We returned the car at the airport and in the same fashion as the rest of the trip, had a perfectly smooth journey back to Agadir.