Above, in the center of the town of Zagora is a sign that reads…. 52 Days to Tumbuktu. It was said that from that point it was a 52 day walk to the northern trading city, Timbuktu!
Below, Rachid my Driver for two days, purchased some meat to take home. He said the quality and price were much better in the country than in Marrakech.
I did a lot of reading before I arrived in Morocco and saw many people comment on how beneficial it was to book a tour guide for their first day to show them around Marrakech and provide tips for follow-on days.
I decided to do just that and found a great tour guide, “Youssef Kharroubi,” on the internet.
His website address is, (www.marrakechtourguide.com).
Youssef was worth his weight in gold today, he is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of Marrakech, the people, history, culture, all topics he was well versed. He was a wonderful ambassador for his city Marrakech and more importantly the Moroccan people!
I highly recommend Youssef Kharroubi as a tour guide for anyone interested in a visit to this captivating city! Thanks Youssef!
Above, probably the best tour guide in Marrakech, Youssef Kharroubi, was worth his weight in gold guiding me through for my first day in Marrakech! I like to recommend things that I consider great, and Youssef was certainly a great tour guide!
Above, I pause for a picture in the Medersa Ben Youssef in Marrakech. The Medersa is no longer a school, closed since the 1960s, it is now a tourist site and well worth the visit.
Above, the end of the line for the “Marrakech-Express” at the Gare de Marrakech, Morocco!
Below, in Malabo, a monument recognizing the contributions John Beecroft made to the island of Fernando Poo are remembered by the island’s inhabitants.
Below, the plaque on the monument is pictured in close-up, the text is translated below.
Below, a few pictures from a “walk in the jungle” this past weekend on Bioko Island.
Above, a gentle flowing river meets the tidewater of the Atlantic Ocean in south western Equatorial Guinea.
Below, the lush green Equatoguinean jungle engulfs me as I follow a narrow footpath.
I knew slaves were forced to board slave ships in the port and were eventually sent to the Americas, but how did freed slaves become part of the island’s history over 100 years ago?
When you mention slavery, most people will think of the forced oneway trip many African’s took from Africa to the Americas hundreds of years ago. Few people are familiar with the trip many freed slaves took in the 1800s from the Americas, back to Africa. The Island of ” Santa Isabel,” later called “Fernando Poo,” and currently called “Bioko,” played an important role in the history of the slave trade, both in supporting it and eventually in helping abolish it. When slavery was abolished in the British Empire in the early 1800s, the Royal Navy needed a port from which they could begin to interdict slaving ships. The strategically well located Island of “Bioko” would become the ideal home port for the British Fleet. The Port City would briefly become known as “Port Clarence,” now called Malabo. From Port Clarence, the British Fleet could re-suppy their ships involved in stopping the slave trade. The Island also became an important stop for many freed slaves from the Americas on their way back to the African Continent in the 1800s. Many of the freed slaves eventually stayed on the Island and now make up part of the diverse population of Bioko Island.
Below are a few pictures of a small monument erected by the Cuban Embassy in memory of the freed Cuban Slaves that returned to the Island of Bioko in the 1800s. The monument overlooks the Port of Malabo, formerly “Port Clarence” when the British Fleet used the port to support its anti-slavery operations.
Above, the inscription reads;
Above, the small monument over-looks the Port of Malabo.
Below, the Port of Malabo.
Above, I stand in the doorway of a small brick and stucco house that was once home to ‘cocoa’ plantation workers.
Above and Below, this home is currently occupied by one of the ‘caretakers’ of the plantation, he lives today with no more luxuries than the workers had 50 years ago on this small plantation.
Above, this row of plantation workers homes is being given back to the jungle. That which man does not maintain quickly becomes consumed by the forces of nature.
The evidence of a possible ‘pastime’ of the former plantation workers is everywhere, wine and whiskey bottles litter the ground outside the small homes.
Below, the Plantations were often located near the water so the raw “cocoa beans’ could easily be loaded onto ships and transported to Europe for processing. This Plantation even had a narrow gauge railroad to get the ‘cocoa’ to the water’s edge. Once refined and added to sugar, the cocoa-beans produced “European” chocolate.
Below, this cocoa tree still produces the “gold” of yesterday, cocoa pods.
Above and Below, no walk through the jungle would be complete without a visit to the nearby beach.
Above, as you can see, this beach is not exactly barefoot-friendly. The evidence of the island’s volcanos is obviously underfoot!