A year ago today we spent a day wondering the streets of Nador in the rain. I honestly cannot believe the difference in weather this October. This time last year much of the site and the region was flooded. This year we're having to water the plants twice a day still!? What a difference. Picture taken yesterday from our balcony. To be fair, we did have one really windy day - but it was still sunny!
We've had a pretty busy week, which seem to be the norm. nowadays. We'd heard a 'Saidia story' (rumour) that the huge store 'Metro' in Oujda might be closing. I didn't think it was likely, but as we had some clients from the UK that hadn't been there, we thought we'd go and take a look, and stock up on some bits & pieces in the process. I'm happy to announce that Metro is well and truly open, fully stocked and staffed. Phew!
As we were nearby, and we haven't been there for a while, we also took a walk around the Oujda souk. As I said previously, it's had a major facelift this year. It really does look a 100% better (although I guess the 'explorer' in me misses the 'old' souk) and there are a number of what I would deem 'tourist shops' appearing. Ahhh - progress!??
This week has also seen me running around after builders and painters ensuring the 'utility room windows', have been measured and installed correctly for a range of properties. I still find it very strange that these holes in the walls never had glass windows planned by Fadesa. It just doesn't make any sense. This is the area that houses the water tanks (and if purchased washing machines) in many of the AP properties. The area is completely open to the elements, bugs and birds. Which can as you will see from the attached picture be a huge problem. Having lived here now through each season, I can guarantee that this is a necessary purchase, unless if course you'd prefer to replace the water heater on a regular basis, or want birds moving into your property.
This past week we've managed to rent a handful of properties to a range of owners visiting the site to take a look and assess the situation. There were mixed reviews and experiences. Everyone liked being able to stay on the resort in fully furnished properties, many have not visited since the Medina has been open, so the supermarket was a real bonus. Downside was the lack of real progress on many of the developments, and in some instances their own personal properties had not been rectified as promised by Fadesa on their previous visits. Sound familiar?
The AP6 kittens are growing and are very cute. I am very surprised that noone has come to take any of them away as yet. During the summer there were seven kittens, and on a daily basis they would disappear into people's cars to be taken home as pets or to work on the farms. Obviously a lot less people here at the moment.
I think I've always known I was a country girl at heart, and this week pretty much confirmed it. We were fortunate enough to be invited to a Moroccan 'working farm' on Friday afternoon. Not the easiest place to find, as with most off road properties, but well worth the effort. Maia the Moroccan female owner is a rare breed. Let me tell you, I'm pretty certain there are not too many female farmers in Morocco who own ninety-seven hectares of arable land, producing the likes of clementines & grapefruits - which we got to pick straight from the tree and bring home with us - yum !
The 'family' consists of Maia, three girls and two guys, plus six cows, two of whom are pregnant, twenty five peacocks, two dogs, two rabbits (most have gone to market recently), about forty goats of various breeds, lots of sheep, geese, chickens and ducks as well as six tortoises, including a baby one!! Oh and I can't forget the bees!! We didn't get to see these, as they've been moved to their 'winter' home, but we did get to taste all the varieties of honey that they produce. Six different flavours in total. All completely natural and organic. Amazing flavours. Can't remember them all, but my favourites were Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Orange blossom. If you're a honey lover, this is the place for you to visit in the Spring and Summer when the new batches of honey will be available to buy.
Next year we hope that we'll be able to give people the directions and the place will be open to the public. Lots of plans for the place, but right now it's just lovely to walk around and enjoy the peace and quiet, it's quite idyllic. I took a few pictures, but they do not do the place justice.
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