Saturday, 19 March 2011

Upcoming trip

Click to see my basic route.
For those of you who might be interested in visiting Morocco, I'll outline my plans as far as they've been set in stone.
I'll be flying into Marrakesh, which is your classic bustling Berber city with winding streets and carpet sellers -- only inundated with tourists. It's definitely worth a look 'round just for the culture, but I won't stay long here.
Spices on sale in Marrakesh
 I'll make for the mountains hopefully on the first day. I'll find a mountain pass that runs just north of Mount Toubkal national park. Toubkal is the highest mountain in the Atlas and I'd really like to climb it, but it's still snow-covered at this time of year, and I'm travelling light; can't take any winter climbing equipment when I'll be spending most of my time in the desert.

Ouarzazate (pronounced wa-za-zat)
 I'll be aiming for (and hopefully hitting if I want to restock on food) the mythical desert frontier town of Ouarzazate, a real oasis with incredible architecture and history. I might spend a day or two here resting up and meeting people. I'll depart northeast by bus, heading for the town of Merzouga and the famous Erg Chebbi. 'Erg' is the Moroccan word for dunes, and they're harder to find in the Sahara than you'd think (banish from your mind the image of thousands of miles of sand dunes; most of the Sahara is gravel and salt flats).
Erg Chebbi
This location is unfortunately very popular with tourists, so I'll have to trek out a bit to avoid the commotion. I'd like to rent a camel and a guide if it isn't too expensive. At any rate, it will be amazing to pitch my tent out here under the stars.
I'll hopefully have a week left at this point, so I'll head directly west to see the Dadas gorges, also popular, but filled with ancient Berber strongholds and alien rock formations. This area is rugged, but should be easily navigable with a compass. I'll play it safe and get back to Marrakech early; hopefully having a few days to spend soaking in more of the culture of this fantastic country.
So yeah, expect an update about how that went in three weeks!

7 comments:

  1. wow looks like amazing trip thanks for the tip

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  2. wow it really looks great. I really wish you luck and PLEASE post pics when u come back :)

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  3. that's a nice place, hope you'll have a safe trip.

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  4. Have an amazing time. I love Morocco, it's one of my favourite places to travel. It can be hard to avoid the tourists but then again there are lots of places that aren't tourist traps. Good tip, the people outside of Marrakesh are a lot friendlier!

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