Morocco: 1,000 miles changed my life

I don’t even know how to tackle this post. I’ve been thinking about how to write it since… well, since the trip was still in progress.

I considered breaking it down into sections:

  • Geography / topography
  • Politics / customs
  • Adventure
  • Exact moments I’ll never, ever forget
  • Fate
  • Laughing until I cried
  • Oranges (both the fruit, and the color)
  • Crazy stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else
  • Appreciating it all so much I cried
  • And much, much more

Writing about all of that would make this post too long, and it wouldn’t even cover everything still swirling in my head. So: I’ll save the deep thoughts for myself and give you this travelogue instead.

A few months ago I saw a FaceBook photo of our friend Amy, perched on a camel during a day trip from Spain to Tangier, and I thought “I’ve got to do that!” When it came up in conversation, Kirsten said she was interested too. And in November, without doing much research we decided to go all in – No day trip for us! We bought airline tickets to Morocco and sent an e-mail to a guide who had favorable TripAdvisor reviews…

Last Monday, we spent the night at a hotel near the airport since our flight was very early the next morning and it was snowing. And before we knew it, we were over the Straight of Gibraltar, landing in Marrakech, and at the foot of the Atlas Mountains all before Tuesday’s lunch.

Untitled

Some sights from our SUV window that day:
Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

And from a few stops we made along the way:
Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

We spent that night at Chez Pierre, an impossible to describe hotel in the Dades Gorge.

Chez Pierre

Just as we finished a tasty French-inspired dinner, our guide and the hotel staff sat down to a delicious looking Tagine. Kirsten asked what was in their dish, they invited us to their table for a sample, and we ate a second dinner.

Tajine
It was so delicious it was confusing! Raisins! Figs! Spices!

And then the drumming started. I was not expecting impromptu music and thrilled to hear it a lot during the next few days:
Untitled

Ishmael

True fact: Since I’ve always lived in a (bright) city, and I’m really not one for camping, I had never before seen a shooting star. Though, now that I’ve typed that I wonder if I have just never really slowed down enough to just sit and look? At the end of the night, after the instruments were tucked away, the final glass of wine was consumed and things were quiet, we made our way to the pool deck to admire the night sky. And I probably woke other guests with my gasping. SHOOTING STAR! There’s one! And there is another! And another! And…

We bid our new friends adieu the next morning:
Untitled

Untitled

The sights on Wednesday morning’s drive did not disappoint:
Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

We saw this man in what felt like the middle of nowhere.

Untitled

Untitled

And I sent this Tweet:

Since it was 12/12/12 we stopped the car at 12:12 and snapped some photos:
self portrait in the desert

Untitled

As soon as we arrived to “take lunch” at Maison Boutchrafine, a hotel built by a good friend of our guide, I knew it was special.

Maison Boutchrafine

Maison Boutchrafine

Maison Boutchrafine

fossils in the floor
Fossils line the floors

Maison Boutchrafine
Everything is constructed with items found nearby

Maison Boutchrafine

Maison Boutchrafine

Maison Boutchrafine

In retrospect, it’s not the location or the remarkable place carved from the earth, it’s the people that inhabit the space that make it so lovely and unique.

Hassan

Haddou

Haddou

Hassan

Haddou

And then? The real adventure began.

We took a crazy 4X4 drive while rocking to Desert Rose just before sunset to meet our camels at the edge of the Sahara Desert so we could camp for the night.

That is the most insane sentence I will ever type.

My favorite

And so that’s where I’ll stop for now – I’m hoping I can dream about it tonight.

7 thoughts on “Morocco: 1,000 miles changed my life

  1. Oh, this is so awesome — the scenery looks unreal (that sky! the rock formations!! that gets me in several directions at once, heh.) what a fabulous adventure. what was the weather like? I realised i was assuming it was pretty hot but then one can’t really tell from pictures.

    • Warm during the day, cool/cold at night. Two outfits, two coats, a hat, gloves and mittens, and a blanket the night we camped (stay tuned for that.)

      Hope you’re doing well, friend! ❤

      • Ahh, good to know. Can’t wait to hear more about your night in the desert — it was so trippy to be seeing your tweets about it!

        And I’m doing pretty well, thank you! ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s