Exploring Island Life in Boa Vista, Cape Verde

Our trip to Cape Verde was a year ago now so I thought it was about time I finally wrote about it seeing as it’s one of the places I get asked about most often.  A lot of people have either never heard of this small collection of islands dotted just off the coast of West Africa or they don’t know much about the destination.  In all honesty I didn’t know much about the islands either and was under the impression that it was just a relaxing holiday destination with large all inclusive resort hotels and not much else to do.

Me being me, I obviously looked into what there is to do on the island because there’s only so long I can sit on the beach or around the pool before getting bored and I always like to get out and explore somewhere new.  Boa Vista literally translates as “good view” in Portuguese so it only seemed fitting that we venture outside the resort in search of these good views.

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Best songs for an American road trip

At Home around the World

Apart from my naturally pasty skin and my unwavering love for tea and scones, I don’t really consider myself to be very British.  That may sound a little silly seeing as I was born and have lived in the UK my entire life and my family tree is English for as far back as I know, but England is not somewhere that I have ever truly felt to be my home.

I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s because my body craves constant sunshine instead of constant drizzle.  Maybe I dream of a more chilled out life with less rushing and stressing.  Or maybe it’s simply because I love exploring the world so much that nowhere will ever truly feel like home to me; I always want to be on the move and am always looking for a new adventure.

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Where to eat in Marrakech

The Best Lip-Smacking Places to Eat in Marrakech

Almost as soon as we had dropped off our bags in our beautiful riad we found ourselves stepping back out into the chaos of Marrakech’s Medina.  Cars tried to jostle their way through the dusty streets, donkeys pulling carts alongside them and mopeds speeding by loudly tooting their horns.  We darted out, joining the people (and cats) zigzagging between the traffic.  Our bellies were rumbling and we were on a mission to find some Moroccan food.

Not a total surprise, I’m sure, that the first thing I do in a different country is hunt out the local food.  But Morocco is a place where the cuisine is such a huge part of the culture – well I like to tell myself this anyway so that I have an excuse for all the eating!  With five days in this magical and mythical city we attempted to eat our way around the whole of Marrakech, from sipping mint tea in rooftop cafes, sampling street food in the bustling markets, and fine dining in luxurious hotels.

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Jarjeer Mules Marrakech

The Mules of Marrakech

It’s no secret that I have a massive love for animals and every time we travel I seem to make furry friends wherever we go.  In fact, my doctor always recommends that I get a rabies shot whenever we travel because, whether I’m living with lions in South Africa, saying hello to street dogs in India, cuddling flea ridden kittens in Fiji, or doing my usual job of volunteering at London Zoo, absolutely nothing can keep me away from animals.

So when I started my research on Marrakech and came across Jarjeer Mules, a retirement home and care centre for donkeys just a short drive out of the city, there was no doubt in my mind that we had to go.

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Mythical Marrakech

During our first visit to Morocco we spent five days exploring Marrakech, a place that I had heard so much about and had dreamed of visiting for years.  Me being me, I obviously planned plenty in advance and gathered as much information and recommendations as I could before our trip.

I love getting advice from other people whether it’s through reading other blogs (you bloggers are the best!), browsing destination guides or asking people I know who have already been.  Everyone has their own style of travelling but when it came to getting tips for visiting Marrakech, my expectations differed quite a lot to the reality.

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Where to stay in Marrakech

Riad Assakina: A Luxurious Haven in Marrakech

We’ve stayed in a huge variety of accommodation during our travels around the world, from budget backpacker dorms in Australia to villas with our own private pool in Kerala, glamping while on safari in Zambia to cabins in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, but there are only a select few places that I have found truly stunning and that I would go back to again and again.

Our stay at Riad Assakina in Marrakech definitely comes under this category and I’m already longing to go back even though we’ve only been home a few days.

The riad is in the perfect location in the Medina, just around the corner from the Bahia Palace and only a short walk to the souks and most of the city’s other sights. No matter how noisy and chaotic I had been told Marrakech’s Medina was, this is where we wanted to stay. It’s the heart and soul of the city and we always prefer to experience something traditional and atmospheric over something standard and modern.

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Be More Adventurous

Last month I wrote about Things I’d Never Do Again When Travelling and I was genuinely surprised by a lot of the responses I got. Comments like “I would never do that” and “you’re much braver than me” had me thinking…me? Brave? Really?!

Apart from the time I was almost mugged in Namibia, I have never thought of myself as a brave person. I’m just a reserved little lady who likes experiencing new things! Whether it’s visiting somewhere I’ve never been before or an adrenaline-pumping activity, I always jump at the chance to do something I’ve never done before. The name of the blog is, after all, Mrs Ayla’s Adventures, so it’s only right that Mr Ayla and I give you lots of adventures to read about!

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Skydiving in Namibia

Things I’d Never Do Again When Travelling

Free from the responsibilities of home life and wanting to experience as much as we can, we all lose our inhibitions a bit when we travel. We become more confident, more adventurous and a lot more courageous, doing things we would never usually do at home. I always try to avoid saying no to something new which makes the possibilities endless when travelling.  But it also means that in amongst all the fantastic experiences, there are bound to be a few not so fantastic experiences too.

Aside from the time we were almost mugged in Namibia , I have never really written about anything negative on the blog.  I’m generally a very positive and easily pleased girl and, to be honest, we’ve been amazingly lucky and haven’t really had many bad experiences on our travels.  But there are a few things that I can say I would never ever do again.

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Giraffes in the Serengeti Tanzania

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

Africa isn’t the sort of place that comes to mind when you think of the word minimalist.  The continent’s bright colours, pulsing music and lively people means there is always the buzz of something going on somewhere and this is one of the many reasons why I fell in love with the place.

But the national parks, with their huge expansive plains that reach as far as the horizon, feel like they’re in a whole other world.  You could drive for miles seeing nothing apart from another safari truck passing by, on the look out for some wildlife just as you are.

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Rainbow at Victoria Falls Zambia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

I could hear the roar of the water before I saw it; all 500 million litres that pour over the edge of Victoria Falls every minute. The wet mist that sprays off the falls can be seen more than 20km away and we were all soaked through before we had even caught a glimpse of ‘The Smoke that Thunders’.

It might not be the tallest or widest waterfall in the world, but with it’s thundering noise, wild setting in the middle of Africa, its awesome power and magnitude, and when a refraction of the light causes a colourful rainbow to arch across the gorge, Victoria Falls is without doubt one of the most jaw-dropping.

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