Blogs from Anti-Atlas, Morocco, Africa

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Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas February 6th 2019

Getting out of bed to get dressed in our desert tent is definitely not fun. It’s bitterly cold, around or below freezing. But we have brought multiple layers to keep warm – thermal t-shirt, shirt, cashmere sweater, fleece jacket, shell jacket, hat, scarf and gloves. No thought of taking a shower, just put clothes on as fast as humanly possible and stagger up the dune to watch the sun rise, this time in perfect peace. We all head back to the main tent for breakfast, and huddle round the single patio heater, hands raised to the heat element as if worshipping a new pagan god of heat. We opt to return by 4x4 rather than camel, as David is keen to see what a 4x4 can do in the sand. The answer is impressive, though not ... read more
Desert sunrise
High Atlas with abandoned village
Pass over the High Atlas

Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas February 4th 2019

It is really cold at 815am for breakfast. The space heater is in the dining room. Sara manages a couple of cups of tea and then wobbles, so it's back to bed for her. David doesn’t want to abandon her and go on the 4 hour plus excursion to Ait ben Haddou as she seems really poorly. So it's a morning of relaxation on the terrace, at least once it warms up by about 930 or 1000. Unusually for him, David makes friends with the cats. There are at least five of them, and they enjoy reclining on the sofa together, leaving no room for human intruders. Sara seems to have perked up a bit by lunchtime and manages to sit outside, and eat some toast, fruit and a few nuts. She then declares she is ... read more
Skoura palmerie
Selecting potatoes at market
Kasbah Amridil, Skoura

Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas February 3rd 2019

The day dawns bright but cold, like fleece cold......we set off south east towards Skoura. This is a five hour drive, first across the plain and then up into the High Atlas. All does not go according to plan. The plain is dotted with miles of olive tree plantations. In the distance the mountains can be seen, the highest peak rising to around 10,000 feet. Morocco has the third highest peak in Africa. All along the route are hundreds of Gendarmerie Royale. The King is on the move today, apparently. He is either going to visit his people somewhere, which he often does, or else he is off hunting as he likes to shoot gazelle and sangliers. Anyway, all the senior brass are out as well, resplendent in their uniforms and gaudy braid. Maybe he will ... read more
Approaching the High Atlas from Marrakech
Nothing grows up here
Skoura oasis

Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas March 21st 2018

Friday, 16 March – Ait Benhaddou Hertz gave us our diesel Peugeot 208 and whilst the weather had cleared enough to go see the Majorelle Gardens, we couldn’t find parking so we decided to forego it and make our way to the desert. Besides, we had a 4 hour drive and we didn’t know what blockers were ahead of us on the 200km stretch. Proudly, Dwayne mastered the art of driving like a mad Moroccan within a half hour! The dirt is extremely red everywhere. The rivers run red and you can see why the houses are all coloured with terracotta. In amongst all this red dirt are patches of bright green terraces where the locals harvest fields of millet. It’s quite the contrast. As we drove towards the High Atlas Mountains, the rain and fog ... read more
The drive up Tizi pass
Tizi pass at 2300m
What was on the other side of the snowy pass

Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas February 24th 2018

I 'm tired ! Last night we stayed in a BEDOUIN camp in the Sahara desert . Our transportation into the desert was via camel ...The ship of the desert they say . I say a rather cumbersome beast who has an I credible sway when he walks which of course causes the rider to sway as well . His breadth is WIDE , REALLY and there is no where for your legs except to let them dangle.Trying too bend my knees and lift my legs just caused them to shiver and left me feeling more insecure . Going up and down the dunes was a challenge , leaning forward and hanging on for dear life going up and leaning back going down both required my whole attention. BUT it was worth it . Our night ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas December 10th 2017

Today is our first day in the desert and folks that is pretty much what it is. After a good sleep in and a lovely breakfast, although breakfast is a bit like tagines, pretty much the same every time. We head out for some ATC (All Terrain Camel). The driver (or leader) introduces us to our camels , Amhed, Aziz, Amal and Ronnie. Ronnie is mine. Ronnie is a very nice camel although he has a bit of a rumbly tummy and tends to poo and wee a lot. Technically there are no camels in Morocco and these are in fact dromedaries with only one hump. I have since discovered that the Schtookster duded us. He told us that they live 24 years when in fact they live for 40 (maybe that's just the way the ... read more
Gus and Bashir
Constance and Ronnie
The Schtookster

Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas December 8th 2017

So today's the big day. I have done most of the planning for the trip but Becs decided to intervene and fill in some of the gaps. I've briefed the kids and we will be looking for any "sub-optimal" experiences. Schtooky (phonetic) our driver turns up on time to take us to the Sahara, although we are stopping tonight at Kasbah Azul. I'm reasonably impressed as the Schtookster picked us up in a Toyota Landcruiser (although it was really a Prado and it only had 4 cylinders). It will take us about 9 hours all up to get to the Sahara and as we will be mainly snoozing in the car I've decided to combine both days. We drive through the High Atlas Mountains, the Ounila Valley and the Dra Valley which is home to 3 ... read more
Our tent
Sunset
Sand Boarding

Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas March 10th 2016

Day 10 - leaving Todra Gorge, going to Aït Ben Haddou I woke up naturally this morning at about 6.30am... Then snoozed until about 7! Ooohhh... My aching hips! When I put my feet to the floor I felt like I had no legs! That bloody camel! ... Lol I went outside on the terrace, which I not noticed before, it's so nice out there! The water runs by the side of the hotel, there's a pool, a lounge area, sun beds etc, it's so peaceful, and picturesque out there! I nearly missed it! Everyone made it for breakfast at 8am; it was pancakes and jam today, with added choice of boiled eggs and bread, and as always, coffee, tea and orange juice. We set off at 9am to go to Aït Ben Haddou. The first ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas March 9th 2016

Day 9 - Goodbye Merzouga, hello Todra Gorge Another early morning, but today was different, no alarm, just Marcel! It was his wish to do the morning assault call! He did it well. We were up and away very quickly. The camels were ready and waiting for us. We slowly trekked our way back across the Sahara to the hotel. It was about an hour trek. On the way we stopped to watch an amazing sunrise unfold across the horizon. We arrived back at the hotel, I was not too cold in my body, as I was well wrapped up from head to toe.... But Awww.... My hands were like ice, I could barely move them! We went in for breakfast, everyone went straight to the hot coffee. The first one was just to warm my ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas March 8th 2016

Day 8 - Goodbye Fes, hello Atlas Mountains and Sahara desert/Merzouga Ohhhh.... It was an early start this morning! I was up at 4.55, breakfast at 5.15. Really, it was ok for me as I went to bed at 8.45! I got showered, watched an episode of Suits on Netflix, then slept like a baby, as always! Breakfast today was scrambled eggs, bread and cheese, followed by pain de chocolate with coffee. Very nice it was too! I brought my bag down with me this morning, so I'm good to go! Haled came through with 3 pairs of socks..yayyyy... My warmer world is now complete, and just in time for our visit to the Atlas Mountains. When I was in Taghazout, I was warned about the cold and snow in the north, I was not disappointed! ... read more
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