Page 2 of RENanDREW Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 19th 2019

One cannot hold two watermelons in one hand ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling east from Essaouira to Marrakesh. We walked from our riad (Chakir Mogador) to a bus stop just outside the medina, loaded our packs into the underbody storage compartment of a public bus and headed off to Marrakesh at 2:30pm. As we made our way through the outer suburbs of Essaouira, I realised we had rarely ventured outside the old medina’s walls during our two days in this relaxing coastal city. We climbed from the Atlantic coast and headed inland, driving through flat agricultural fields on the way. Every so often the bus ground to a crawl as we slowly edged through small villages where busy Friday markets had spilled onto the main road. The bus trip was very comfortable, ... read more
streets of marrakesh
streets of marrakesh
kefta tagine

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira April 17th 2019

The mind is free and the slightest thought has great influence ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northwest from Taroudannt to Essaouira (via Agadir). After a whistle-stop visit to Taroudannt (where we explored the town’s red-mud walls ramparts and crowd-free souqs), we jumped into our minibus and headed to Agadir on the Atlantic coast. We were taking the scenic coastal route to Essaouira. We drove past endless oranges groves and banana plantations (many of which were under cover) on the way to Agadir. Nearly 40%% of Moroccans are employed in agriculture, and this was very apparent as we gazed out the window at the Sous Valley’s changing terrain. We also drove past endless argan trees and witnessed the Moroccan phenomenon of goats in trees. Goats love to eat the outside flesh of the ... read more
agadir beach
briouats on agadir beach
streets of essaouira

Africa » Morocco » Souss » Taroudannt April 16th 2019

Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling west from Sahara Camp to Taroudannt. Cramped in the back of a speeding 4WD, we emerged from the stony parched Sahara into the sleepy market town of Foum Zguid. Our minibus was parked at a local cafe (Restaurant Chegaga), so we bid farewell to our Saharan hosts, refreshed with a few cold drinks and continued our westward journey through the sandy Moroccan terrain towards Taroudannt. While the journey out of the Sahara had been breathtaking, it was great to be in the relative comfort of a minibus on a bitumen road. Every so often we’d pass a tiny oasis of palm trees on the side of the road. However, the landscape we were traversing ... read more
goats climbing trees
goats climbing trees
argan tree

Africa » Morocco » Souss-Massa-Draâ » Erg Chigaga April 15th 2019

The camel never sees his own hump but that of his brother’s is always in his eyes ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling south from Zagora to a Sahara Desert Camp (via Tamegroute). We checked-out of our spacious hotel (Le Tinsouline) at 9am, had a cheesy photo stop at the replica Timbuktu, 52 Days sign, checked out the indigo head scarves worn by Berber men as protection against wind-borne sand and embarked on a walking tour of Zagora’s palm groves. By the time we’d finished it was mid-morning, so we jumped into the minibus and drove a short distance southeast to the dusty village of Tamegroute. The peaceful Nasiriyya Zawiya complex was our first port of call. We wandered the quiet internal courtyard with its distinctive green tiles and large wooden doors before ... read more
zawiya nassiriyya
zawiya nassiriyya and local guide
maison de poterie

Africa » Morocco » Souss-Massa-Draâ » Zagora April 14th 2019

A small date stone props up the water jar ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling southeast from Ait Benhaddou to Zagora (via Ouarzazate). After a quick visit to a women’s carpet weaving cooperative down the road from our hotel, we piled into a minibus and left the quiet dusty village of Ait Benhaddou at 9:30am. We were travelling to the city of Ouarzazate (a mere 30km away), but a last minute change of plan saw us detour into the Atlas Film Studios, which are located on the outskirts of Ouarzazate. We were given the option of a guided tour of the studios, but we declined. We opted instead to relax in the internal courtyard of Hotel Oscar while we waited for our film-buff travellers to complete their tour. The hotel was conveniently located ... read more
mint tea and biscuits
kasbah de taourirt
kasbah de taourirt

Africa » Morocco » Souss-Massa-Draâ » Aït Benhaddou April 13th 2019

For he who builds his kasbah out of halva; beware the nibblers ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling southeast from the High Atlas to Ait Benhaddou. We trekked out of Aroumd (a remote hilltop village in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains) earlier in the day, jumped into a minibus in the bustling village of Imlil and started a slow winding descent out of the mountains. We spent some time in the lively market village of Asni along the way, and we also relaxed on the sunny terrace of a roadside servo with a cafe nous nous (a local cafe latte). We were travelling southeast to Ait Benhaddou on the edge of the Sahara – a six hour journey by road – and it was midday already! We sped through lowlands on ... read more
berber omelette
tizi n’tichka pass
ait benhaddou

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Aroumd April 12th 2019

Even the loftiest of mountains begins on the ground ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling south from Marrakesh to Aroumd. We left Marrakesh around 9am and drove through the city with the snow-capped High Atlas looming on the horizon. This alluring and pervasive mountain range dominates the southern skyline of Marrakesh, and it wasn’t long before we were climbing and winding our way up towards the snow. As we ascended, the road narrowed and the scenery changed dramatically. There were steep drops to one side with barely enough room for two cars to pass. Tiny villages were set into arid hillsides, and I wondered what prevented them from tumbling down into the valley below. And all the while, the ever-present High Atlas Mountains towered above us. Near-empty river beds ran along the valley ... read more
mountain mule
trek to aroumd
gite rooftop

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 10th 2019

Few desires, happy life ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling southwest from Tangier to Marrakesh. After arriving by bus from Chefchaouen that morning and spending the day in Tangier, it was time to travel to Marrakesh on an overnight sleeper train. We shared a meal with a local family, jumped into a minibus and drove to Tanger Ville (Tangier’s train station). We arrived fairly late (10:30pm), but our train wasn’t leaving until 11:30pm, so we had a bit of time to spare. There were very few travellers waiting at the station, so I was surprised to encounter an overly zealous (dictatorial) train guard implementing a strict boarding protocol. Apparently everyone had to board each carriage in the order of their cabin, as this would reduce – if not eliminate – the potential for ... read more
streets of gueliz
msemen flatbread
mint tea and pastries

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier April 9th 2019

He who does not travel does not know the value of men ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northwest from Chefchaouen to Tangier. We woke early to the call to prayer after a broken night’s sleep – the local dogs had been unsettled for most of the night. I did sleep a little with the help of a couple of paracetamol tablets at midnight, but my sore throat was lingering. I needed it to dissipate, as we had a long travel day to Tangier and then an overnight sleeper train to Marrakesh. We were leaving Tangier at 11:30pm, so we would not have access to a shower until we checked into our Marrakesh hotel tomorrow morning. We headed down to the dark hotel restaurant for breakfast around 7:30am. I hydrated with orange juice ... read more
streets of tangier
seafood paella
cap spartel lighthouse

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Chefchaouen April 7th 2019

Though each path is different, there is only one way ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling north from Fes to Chefchaouen. We enjoyed a late breakfast in the ground floor restaurant of Hotel Olympic, which comprised baguettes, boiled eggs, croissants, jam, orange juice and tea. It was a fairly basic affair, but it was nice enough. With an hour or so up our sleeve, we headed out in the brisk morning air and made our way to nearby Avenue Hassan II, which is affectionately (and somewhat overzealously) known as Fes’ Avenue des Champs-Elysees. We used the morning sun to capture a few photos of Fes in light – the city had been shrouded in cloud the day before, and it had been pouring with rain on the night we arrived. There weren’t many ... read more
streets of chefchaouen
goat's cheese drizzled with prune molasses
view from our balcony

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