Sidi Wassay 02/03/2015
We Are here:
It’s a bit of a windy, overcast one today as we sit here overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. We are now just of South of Agadir and this will be our final coastal stop for at least a month as from Wednesday we are going to be heading East for some Sahara adventures. Where we are is a bit of a bird spotter’s mecca with some extreme rarities on show including the Bald Ibis. We did enquire about obtaining a guide to show us around the National Park of Souss Massa to see the avairian treats but, unfortunately guides in these parts do not come with transport and so we declined as the Knaus is not equipped with the ‘off-road’ optional extra.
However, not to be denied our want through such a small detail we hiked off into the Bundo last night and spotted a brace of Little Owls perched and a whole squadron of Stone-Curlews. A rare treat we believe to see the bird formally known as the Goggle-Eye Plover. I am probably not alone in thinking, like Prince, the once talented American popster, the Curlew should have kept its original name. The light was not good enough for a photo but as we went for todays’ walk we saw right outside the campsite a Kestrel and this time I got a picture.
While we are on the subject of wildlife I thought we best mention spring is truly here in Morocco and the place is in full bloom adding even more colour to a very beautiful country. Here is a picture of a flower, I have no idea what it is. So, let us know if you know.
We have been for a walk around the village and it gives the feel of an off-season resort. Most places are not open and even construction work seems to be on the back boiler. Every street now has a blanket of sand blown in by the frequent Atlantic Storms that make a habit of turning up here during the Winter. The Village is flanked either side by dunes as far as the eye can see, reminiscent of the Skeleton Coast of Namibia.
A picture of the coastline.
Until the Summer Season starts the town and the people seem to be resting, waiting for the storms to go and the visitors to arrive as you can see from the photos below. We were quite tickled to see the amount of effort going on to finish the development below. The eagle-eyed among you will see 50% of the workforce is smoking and holding a very small ladder while the other gives a second coat of paint to the rather large building. Completion date 20………..
The campsite we are staying on is pleasant enough, it is not as plush as Ekounte Park, this is more akin to a Portuguese site. As always the facilities are clean and it does possess a fair restaurant and a man that makes things.
We had only been on the site for less than an hour and Tracy has managed to get the guy to make us a fitted tablecloth, a Berber styled throw and a Moroccan ground sheet. And for your entertainment, here are the pictures.
Tiznit 28/02 – 01/03/2015
We stopped over in Tiznit on our way from Erkounte Park to Sidi Wassay. This, for those of you who learn from these mind numbing posts is the place for Silver Jewellery and Dentistry. I might have an orthodontic landscape that resembles Boot Hill but even I was not tempted to enter any of the heavily photo-shopped, pearly-white laden Boutiques.
This is the first place in Morocco we have been subject to the hard sell from the local traders. It took us a good half-hour and endless ‘la shukrans’ to get rid of a rather persistent and downright annoying chap trying to drag us off to his Uncle’s shop. If People of Morocco you are reading this then here is a tip; do not follow people around, including following them into shops and Cafes. If you are told no thanks then take it on the chin and move on. And stop claiming it is your Uncle’s shop, it is not and this behaviour spoils what is a beautiful country populated in the main by the most friendly and hospitable people you could wish to meet. Rant over. Once we were free of the ‘Uncle’s Nephew’ we managed to get Tracy a ring. A shiny silver bargain for £8 we vote.
Tiznit is not too bad a place with its pink walls encircling the town and narrow streets within. For those who like comparisons, if you are from the South of England then it is probably akin to a Watford in size and cultural offerings. For those of you from the North of England or elsewhere then it resembles somewhere like Watford in the South of England.
The campsite we aimed to stay at was full and so we parked just outside in a car park. A bit of a first this as there was no Guardian to look after your Home for a small fee. There was a sign stating there was no camping for the little trains you see at seaside resorts which we ignored and had a few pleasant hours shut eye after a so-so meal in the Restaurant Carrefour just around the corner.
Legzira is situated about 10K north of Sidi Ifni on the R104 towards Mirleft. We originally planned to stay here for the night wilding but the area had been cordoned off. Instead we parked up and had a stroll along the beach to see the natural arches. If like me you like a geological feature and you are on a tour of Morocco then this are a must see. To top it off the hamlet of Legzira sports a handful delightful cafe-bars in a stunning setting. How we managed not to take up the offer of Sangria after our walk is still a mystery. Speaking of which, our Temperance Tally is now 19 days. We do not have any cravings but we do, especially myself, suffer from a lot of headaches since giving up the demon drink.
Here are some pictures for your perusal. I even managed to pull an arty one out of the bag.
Also there is a little video here with a rather dreadful soundtrack.
It is also on the video channel from the menu; Legzira arches is the name.
After our walk we did stop and have some softies. And as for the Sangria offer………..
Erkounte Park ………. 28/02/2015
We finally managed to pull ourselves away from this wonderful spot after Fifteen glorious days just chilling really thanks to Abdel and his staff of wonders. We will miss the calmness of the place, the wonderful food, the deserted beach on which to frolic and the mouth-watering food put together by the gang. Not to mention the spotlessly clean Rain showers, how we loved those afternoon soakings. On our last evening I over-indulged in another culinary masterpiece; Chicken Pastila/Bastila. This is a sort of Moroccan Pasty and it is lush beyond lush. So firstly a picture of the man who served it, the team that cooked it, The dish itself; and then the recipe.
1 whole chicken of approximately 2 pounds
2 large onions finely chopped
1 cup of finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 teaspoon of ginger powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
A large pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2 cups of water
Eggs Filling: 6 eggs
10 oz of blanched almonds
4 oz of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
Oil for frying
Filo dough 1 stick of butter (melted)
1 egg yolk
Steps to Make the Chicken Filling:
1 – On high heat, drizzle the oil in your pan. Add the onions, parsley, and spices. Mix well.
2 – Add the whole chicken. Cover your pan and let the chicken cook for 10 minutes.
3 – Add some water to the chicken, just enough for the chicken to cook, our target is a thick sauce. Cover your pan and let the chicken cook for 30 minutes.
4 – When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the sauce, let it cool down then separate the meat from the bone. Shred the meat into small pieces.
Steps to Make the Eggs Filling:
1- Add the 6 eggs to the sauce where the chicken was cooked.
2- Lower the heat, and stir the eggs into the sauce.
3- Do not cover your pan and let the sauce evaporate. The egg mixture should become dry after 10-15 minutes. Keep stirring from time to time.
Steps to Make the Almonds Filling:
1- Fry the almonds in the oil until they become golden brown.
2- Remove excess oil from the almonds.
3- Process the almonds with the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and orange blossom water in a food processor until the almonds are crushed.
Steps to Fold the Bastilla:
1- Brush your baking pan with melted butter.
2- Fold the Filo pastry into 2 and put 3 layers in the middle of the baking pan. Place folded Filo pastry sheets around the baking pan where 1/3 of their length is overhanging the edge of the pan. Brush the Filo pastry with melted butter.
3- Spread the egg mixture in the middle of the pan. Cover it with 2 layers of Filo pastry. Brush the Filo pastry with melted butter.
4- Spread the chicken pieces. Cover them with 2 layers of Filo pastry. Brush the Filo pastry with melted butter.
5- Spread the almond mixture. Cover it with 2 layers of Filo pastry. Brush the Filo pastry with melted butter. Carefully fold over the Filo dough on all sides and brush the top of the pastry with melted butter and egg yolk.
6- add 3-4 layers of Filo dough pastry on top and tuck them in the bottom of the pie. Brush the surface with melted butter and egg yolk.
1- Preheat the oven at 200 degrees and bake the bastilla for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
2- Decorate the bastilla with powdered sugar and cinnamon powder before serving.
Serving: Serve the bastilla hot. Bonne appetite!
On the morning we all said our tearful goodbyes as we departed. But, we still had time for Abdel to teach me some woman- melting dance moves Moroccan style after we had our final Moroccan breakfast on the terrace. Msemmens of course. Me with Egg, Tracy had them coated in local honey. We will come back to this wonderful place next year. We loved it and I have a sneaky feeling they enjoyed having us too. I will leave you with a couple of pics of us and our wonderful hosts. See you next year chaps and the rest of you a little sooner.
PS I have not put up a road video, perhaps next time but the journey has been updated on google maps.
Love to all
Take care E&T