Tally of our expenses for 75 days in Marrakech, Morocco...A year ago...A once in a lifetime experience...Check out the photo!



This creative display is so Morocco, brilliant colors, beautifully presented.
With our massive spreadsheet opened, this morning I entered the final numbers for our expenses while living at Dar Aicha in Marrakech, Morocco for the past 2.5 months up to and including when we board the plane tomorrow.


These wrist bands are marked "Lovely Price 20 dirhams" which is only US $2.44.
The grand total including virtually every possible outlay came to a whopping US $14,028.63, MAD 15,0018.84, Euro 10277.11, GBP 8322.63.  This averages to US $187.05 per day or US $5611.45 per month, within our monthly budget.

These little pots are often a tourist takeaway.

The stay in Morocco has been the highest cost per day for any two to three month period while living in a vacation home.  The bulk of the reason for this increased amount is not due to our general expenses while here.  It's a result of the higher cost of the rental, more than we've usually paid, at slightly more than US $8100, averaging at US $3240 per month.

Handbags, backpacks and luggage and boots are often appealing to tourists at low prices.
We realize that some locations result in a higher expenses.  Dar Aicha's rental rate included the expenses for a staff of four to which we added a 10% tip prorated to each staff member paid in two installments, based on the amount of work they've done for us. 

Morocco is known for its spices with Certified Spices a must!
Madame Zahra and Oumaima received the higher amounts of the tips while Adil and Samir the lesser amounts.  We paid the second half today again receiving warm hugs and kisses of appreciation.  Ouch.

Chess, checkers and Parcheesi sets are commonly offered for sale in the souks.
The costs for meals including dining out, the few snacks we purchased at the grocery store, bottled water and dining out (including tips in restaurants) came to a grand total of US $2583.13 which is 18% of the total expenses, averaging at US $34.44 per day. 

Bangles and a variety of bracelets are a huge draw for tourists.
This amount is no more than our average monthly cost for groceries (which included paper products and cleaning supplies) in the US when we rarely dined out.  In this case we dined out 33 times with Madame Zahra cooking all the remaining meals. Dining out often cost close twice as much as dining in.

Silver plated trays are affordable but bulky to pack.
None of these numbers are surprising to us.  Overall, we were US $500 under budget.  Wow!  Budgeting certainly helps keep the expenses in perspective.  There is no way one could travel as we do without a documented handle on expenses.  Its that budget that drives our expenditures, our luxury spending and the occasional unexpected extras leaving us with peace of mind.

These scarfs were for sale for MAD 20, again only US $2.44.
It is that peace of mind that enables us to forge ahead, plan and look to the future with excitement and anticipation knowing full well that our journey can and will continue, health providing, long into the future.

Burberry knockoffs are a commonly offered item in the souks.
Tomorrow, with a plan in place to leave Dar Aicha at 2:00 pm to head to the airport we'll again post as we wrap up the packing and say our goodbyes to the staff.  We will continue to post tomorrow before departure and again while on the two hour layover in Lisbon, Portugal if we can find a WiFi signal.  At least this less than desirable laptop holds a charge long enough to last during the layover.

Yes, Marrakech had antique vendors with most items open for negotiation at reasonable prices. 
I get a lump in my throat over saying goodbye to Madame Zahra and Ouimaima who have graced us with their presence each day.  We are grateful.
Very grateful.
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Photo from one year ago today, May 14, 2013:
Based on the fact that the trip to Petra was a 12 hour expedition, we didn't post on May 14th, the day of actual excursion.  Instead we posted over the next few days as we will here as well.
This was our view as we made our way through the narrow passageways in Petra. The three hour walk to the Treasury in the Lost City of Petra, Jordan was long and arduous, downhill on the way in and uphill on the way back.  This journey was definitely not for the faint hearted.  Visiting Petra was one of the  most amazing experiences of our lives, contrary to our usual lack of interest in historical buildings.  This was a once in a lifetime "must see" that will remain with us forever.  More photos will follow over the next few days  For details,
please click this link.

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