Published: June 12th 2006June 4th 2006
Sahara sunrise I
About 5:15 am......
Well the 2 week tour of Morrocco (named Magical Morocco) with Kumuka got off to an interesting start for me. I missed my intended ferry from Algeciras (Spain) to Tangier (Morrocco) and then had to wait for 4 hours for the next one - rough seas were involved in that. Thankfully, Morocco is 2 hours behind Spain so I still managed to get to my hotel in time for our group meeting at 6 pm. I therefore did decidedly better than the tour leader who was still not there at 7pm. The 6 of us who were waiting for him went and got some dinner at a local seafood restaurant and met Mr Rachid when we got back. All was fine. This is Morocco!
Highlights of day 1 included seeing some interesting countryside between Tangier and Rabat (the capital city of Morocco) including some eucalypt and cork plantations, more donkeys than I have seen in my life, too many scrawny cats, plenty of beggars and hawkers, some amazing architecture and a lot of laughs amongst my group of fellow Aussie travellers.
Since then we have picked up an additional 9 travellers. They joined the tour in Casablanca which is
Sahara sunrise II
The dunes continuously changed color in the early morning light. Just sensational.
the largest city in Morocco with over 5 million inhabitants. In Casablanca, we visited the Hassan II mosque which is the third largest mosque in the world (only those in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia are larger). Inside, 25,000 men and 5,000 women can come to pray. Women upstairs, of course. I seem to recall that another 100,00 can pray outside too. The mosque is unfinished with the Moroccan and Roman baths yet to be used, for example. They have no idea as to the cost of building the mosque over 7 years (1986-1992), 365 days a year. Good to see that it is not just the Christians overspending on infrastructure.
The great highlights of the tour to date have included spending 2 days in Marrakesh which included hitting the souqs (markets), eating at the night food stalls; and having a Moroccan bath in a hammam (Moroccan bath house). In addition; we spent a full afternoon at the home of a Berber family feasting (lots of food references, huh?), watching the dagger making process, having henna tattoos done, and playing with the kids of the family. Lots of photos, as you would expect.
Last night was spent
Sahara sunrise III
Great silhouettes. I am on the lead camel with Christina and Ricardo, the honeymooners, behind me.
camped out in a berber tent in the Sahara after a short 4WD trip and camel ride through the dunes. This morning, a few of us got up at 4.30 to take another camel trip, this time to watch the sunrise. It was awesome.
I will elaborate more in Part 2 of this blog and add many more photos (I am having trouble keeping up due to limited and slow internet access experienced of late). For now, just enjoy the pictures of the Sahara sunrise.