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
- Exact moments I’ll never, ever forget
- 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.
We spent that night at Chez Pierre, an impossible to describe hotel in the Dades Gorge.
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.
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 saw this man in what felt like the middle of nowhere.
And I sent this Tweet:
Oh, you know. Just giving granola bars to a nomad walking his camels. WHO AM I!?—
elysia (@elysia1) December 12, 2012
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.
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.
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.
And so that’s where I’ll stop for now – I’m hoping I can dream about it tonight.