Saturday, 10 March 2012
A holiday isn't a holiday unless you partake of a treatment. After two days traipsing round Marrakech (with associated 'helpful' locals constantly talking to you, trying to sell you something or pointing you to the square which seriously, anyone could find without help) we retired to the mountains for a few days of R&R.
Every guidebook to Morocco will tell you about hammams. Anyway, what it means is a full body scrub. This treatment is not for the body shy, you have to strip naked and have hot water poured over you. Then you are soaped everywhere with strange soap that is a bit like earwax (to look at, it smelt nice enough!) and then you are scrubbed with flannels. It's a strange sensation and it almost hurts they scrub you so hard. They wash and condition your hair too. Then some sort of mud concoction is applied. And then it's all washed away with hot water which is ladled into a bucket and then ladled on to you. Why they don't use a shower is anyone's guess!
Did I enjoy it? Well, yes I did once I got over the shock of being completely naked and the harshness of the scrubbing. It was strangely relaxing. The whole thing took an hour and I emerged a bit like a new-born baby blinking into the sunlight to the view above. There are worse ways to spend an hour. And my skin has never been so smooth.
If you are heading to Morocco then this is well worth having done but go somewhere a bit touristy or associated with your riad as I think this could be quite unpleasant in a back street without some serious hygiene rules.