To travel is above all to discover. Discover other countries, other landscapes, and other customs. To travel is also to love confronting cultural shocks. For this last trip of the year, James and I decided to shake up our habits with a slightly more exotic destination. This choice fell in the Moroccan desert.
TRIP TO MOROCCO – PART 1
Travelling in the Moroccan desert was an old dream, and we realised it thanks to Noble Explorer Tours, with whom we spent an incredible week! Alone in the company of Noble explorer guides and managers of the agency, we crossed many villages, visited kasbahs and slept in Riads before arriving, after two days of paved roads and stony tracks, at our bivouac.
So here we are, leaving Marrakech for a road trip that will take us across the Atlas to reach the desert. We will spend three nights there, including one under the stars, cut off from the world.
The long road to the door of the desert crosses the Atlas. The Moroccan road network is changing, we will come across many trucks and construction sites tracing incredible roads through the stone and on the side of the passes, offering us a unique spectacle.
THE DRAA VALLEY.
After crossing the Atlas, we stop for lunch in Ouarzazate, we will return there on the way back with a visit to the film studios. But first we have an appointment in Zagora, the last stop before the door to the desert! The road is still long, the landscapes offered by the Draa Valley are very different, and despite some artisanal pottery nestled here and there, the spaces are immense with a little air of the American West.
ZAGORA AND THE PALMERAIE.
Zagora is surprising, because there is a huge palm grove of dates that we will visit after a good night’s sleep at Kasbah Ziwana , away from the city. From the outside, the palm grove is dense and looks like a huge palm forest. But inside, it is a hidden world that we discover, where a population lives from this culture of dates and market gardening. It was incredible, houses, schools and peasants passed before our eyes as we drove along the dirt roads traced through gardens and palm trees.
It is not always easy to take a picture of the natives, but even with their face hidden, a portrait can be successful!
After this very instructive walk full of encounters, we take the road to the door of the desert. Another two hours and we will arrive at our starting point for our first hike in the Erg Lihoud desert. The second part of our journey that you can read by following this link: