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September 25, 2018
This is the third blog post in my Morocco Travels series. My last blog post left off at the end of our High Atlas Mountains trek (if you haven't read that one, you can find it here). We awoke to a beautiful blue sky day in Imlil, and were picked up by our driver (Omar) to start our adventure out to the Moroccan Sahara desert!
We drove over the Atlas Mountains, on the highest road in the Atlas Mountains - Tizi n'Tichka (2260m high!) - a winding road with the most magnificent view, passing through lots of old Berber villages. We stopped many times to take in the fresh air and incredible views.
One of the many view points along the Tizi n'Tichka.
The magnificent winding road through the Atlas Mountains
This was a real highlight of the trip! Aït Benhaddou is a ksar - an ancient fortified Berber village along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. It was absolutely incredible. Many films and tv shows are filmed here (and you can see why!), including Gladiator and Game of Thrones. We climbed to the peak and admired the view and the high mud walls of the village.
Myself (Anna) and Graham in front of Aït Benhaddou
Aït Benhaddou - it's obvious why so many movies are filmed here!
From the top of Aït Benhaddou looking down.
More driving, more beautiful views, and we arrived at Dadès Gorge. The rock formations and colour of the landscape was incredible!
Road trip life be like...
We drove through the gorge, and then up the zig-zagging road to a lookout at the top. Another highlight of the trip! Check out this road - it's got to be up there as my favourite road I've ever travelled on.
The incredible road zig-zagging up from Dadès Gorge.
Check out this road! We stayed up here for quite some time...
Again, how about this road?!
After more scenic driving we arrived at Todra Gorge - a massive fault dividing the High Atlas mountains, rising up to 300m in a narrow valley with palmeries and Berber villages either side. Magnificent! I lost Graham for a while to rock climbing and cave exploring.
Can you spot Graham in the photo on the left? It's hard to capture the enormity of the Todra Gorge, so you'll just have to take my word for it (or go and visit yourself!)
Along the way on our road trip to the desert, we stopped in at a local Berber women's rug cooperation, nestled in a 200-year old kasbah. We learnt the weaving process, and witnessed talented weavers on their massive looms, creating the most exquisite rugs! This is where we bought our very first rug, for our own personal collection. It was such a special experience!
Enjoying mint tea and learning about the history of weaving in Morocco.
Happy as a girl in a Moroccan rug shop.
Our chosen rug all packaged nice and securely. And then we had to lug it around with us for the rest of our travels!
After a few days of driving, we reached the desert, with the landscape changing to riverside oases and barren hillsides dotted with kasbahs.
Another day, another lookout with beautiful views, another photo op.
It was so exciting when we saw our first glimpse of the huge sand dunes on the horizon! We embarked on an hour camel trek through the Sahara desert (which is an experience I will never forget) to our Berber camp for the night.
The camel trek through the Sahara desert at sunset - just magical (and a sore bottom!)
Graham enjoying his camel ride (I'm not sure he would use those words though!)
I just loved the beautiful long shadows against the orange sand dunes.
Climbing up a high sand dune, we watched the sunset in awe of our surroundings. We then shared a traditional Moroccan feast with fellow travellers, followed by a camp fire with African drums and dancing under the starry sky, and camping in a Berber tent in the middle of the sand dunes - a night to remember.
A night I will never forget...
Fully refreshed after a sleep in the desert (hmm, not exactly - check out those dark circles!)
I plan to put together a video of the road trip soon -- watch this space!
Next up is final chapter of our Moroccan travels - and we saved the best til last! Keep an eye out soon for our stories from The Blue Pearl - Chefchaouen.
Did you like reading about our travel adventures? Are you planning a trip to Morocco? I would love to hear from you! Write a comment in the box below.
September 29, 2018
Oh wow another amazing blog post about your travel to Morocco. Your photos are incredible – the landscape and desert! And that town in the rock I do recognise from game of thrones. So amazing. It is great you got to see the weaving of the rugs, so beautiful 😊
September 26, 2018
Wow trip of a lifetime! Your photographs are absolutely stunning x
November 29, 2018
October 10, 2018
September 27, 2018