Life on a Moroccan Oasis

I’ve had several people ask me about what our life is like on this Moroccan oasis.  As you can imagine, being so remote doesn’t create a lot of opportunities for “entertainment” and activities.  In my last post, I discussed the challenges of Morocco and what a typical shopping trip into town is like.  I figured, though, I’d share a slice of our typical daily life.

Tighmert, Moroccan oasis

Either the rooster has stopped crowing, or I’ve just tuned him out, because he no longer wakes me up in the morning.  I’m really thinking he’s just become lazy, because he’s right outside my bedroom window.  Nevertheless, when I wake up, blessedly without an alarm clock, the first “chore” is to let the chickens and rabbits out of their houses.  We have 3 adult chickens and 2 tweens.  They get fed, and then I generally go from there to the garden which is watered on a daily basis.

Our irrigation water comes from cisterns.  We have one on the roof, and the hoses and drip irrigation system are connected to that.  When the cisterns get close to being used up, a call is made, and water is moved through the oasis via canals to our in-ground tanks.  Every couple of days or so, I have to pump (electric) water from the cistern into the rooftop tank to water the plants.  The rest of our water, which is potable, comes from the town’s supply and comes from indoor plumbing (yay!).

After the garden is watered, then it’s time for breakfast.  After we eat, we take the dog on a walk around the oasis, and then he gets his meal.  If it isn’t watering day for the rest of the plants, then I’m basically free until the afternoon call to prayer, which is when I give the chickens and rabbits their second meal of the day.  After that we take the dog on his second walk.

Moroccan oasis dog

We refer to the call to prayer at around 5:45 PM as the “call for chickens.”  That’s when it’s time to put the chickens and bunnies in their houses.

Rough day, huh?

Every two days, I have to water the rest of the plants on the property.  Most of that is handled by the aforementioned irrigation system.  Since we don’t have a lot of water pressure, I have to manage which valves get turned on at the same time.  The whole process takes about a couple of hours.  While the drip system runs, I use the hose or pots to water the plants that aren’t on the system, including the ones in the inner courtyard of our home.

So what do I do in the large number of hours in between?  This is why I’m thankful I was already trained for “slow living.”  There is the occasional minor cleaning, and there are always dishes to do (no dishwashing machine).  Laundry is done about once a week.  We have a washer, and the clothes are line dried.

Tighmert, Morocco

Other than that, I can often be found writing, either doing articles, working on a book, or working on the blog.  Tigger and I have all of our meals together, which is nice.  We have a bit of a challenge with 3G signal strength sometimes, so he often is sitting in the outer courtyard where the signal is stronger, and I’m usually in the inner courtyard where it’s more comfy.  He comes in for regular hugs and kisses, and I watch him jump and hop around the yard every so often as he gets his extra energy out.

Sometimes I change places where I’m sitting just for a change of scenery.  We do the same with meals.  Sometimes we eat in the kitchen, other times we eat in the “outdoor lounge” area.  We’ve yet to use the room I call “the formal dining and living room.”

What’s the house like?

We have lots of photos of the house and property on our Facebook page.  It’s really a gorgeous home with an interesting layout.  Each room of the house opens onto the inner courtyard.  We have a kitchen and sitting area in one room, then there’s my bedroom, Tigger has his own bedroom (both bedrooms have their own full bathroom, although I have a tub), and then there is a room with a living room and nice dining area with a TV (for DVDs) and a stereo.

There are a couple of sitting areas in the courtyard, including a large one that also has an outdoor mattress so you can sleep al fresco.  It’s almost like glamping.  You have such an amazing view of the sky, and since there are no city lights, the night sky is absolutely full of stars.

What I call the outer courtyard is the rest of the property.  Here we have a lovely garden with spinach, garlic, coriander, sweet potatoes, and the local plant that the chickens and rabbits are fed.  There are numerous trees and plants around the yard, so it’s quite beautiful and peaceful.  The walls are ringed by large date palms.

We are definitely enjoying our little slice of heaven, but I’m sure we’ll be ready for some bigger city amenities when it’s time to leave in mid January.

What do you think? Could you handle living in such a remote location?

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  1. Hi Talon,

    I have enjoyed reading your very detailed account of your remote stay in Morocco. Slow travel is lovely, isn’t it! I completely understand however, the need to have that big city experience after that.

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  2. I have to admit, I would get pretty stir-crazy under those conditions (although I would get a lot more writing done given the lack of distractions). If there was karaoke nearby, I could probably manage, though. 🙂

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    • It definitely isn’t for everyone. And you and your karaoke! LOL

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  3. Sounds great and looks great! What does Tigger spend his days doing? Does he ever get bored?
    Actually I grew up in an equally remote location in Ireland and I was never bored! ha!

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    • He plays games, watches YouTube videos, Skypes with friends, does some unschooling, plays with the dog, etc. He also joins us on our twice daily walks, and he almost always accompanies me when I go into town to do the shopping, He’s also made some connections with local kids so he can start hanging out with some of them as well.

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    • Yes, it is. I’m taking one for the time. I have broad shoulders. 😀

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    • They’re looking for a renter and/or buyer so. . .

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  4. Sounds like an idyllic existence. The extra time to focus on work, but I’d definitely be itching to get out and explore. Any interesting day trips in the area?

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    • There aren’t a lot of places to go that are terribly close to here, unfortunately. In a couple of weeks, we’re going to spend a few days in the next “big city” over which is an almost 4-hour bus ride. There is a beach town about 60 km from here, so that could work out for a day. We go explore the town a bit every time we go in for shopping, but yeah, it does leave one itching to move and explore! LOL

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    • LOL! It’s an interesting, peaceful life for sure.

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