In the middle of January I didn’t know that I was going to be in Morocco for two weeks in March hiking and riding a camel in parts of the Sahara.
When my father asked me to join him for this trip I was happy to go for this experience.
Given my fathers history of traveling to foreign countries I was sure that this is not going to be an ordinary holiday.
The trip was organized by a German agency who specializes in setting up trekking tours and excursions without the comfort of high class hotels.
It is more common to sleep in tents somewhere far of towns or cities, experience nature and native people at its best. So if you are looking for a 5* hotel next to the beach check a different website.
Everyone else go to http://www.hauser-exkursionen.de (seems to be German only)
After some time shopping for all necessary equipment and learning how to pack a rucksack for this kind of trip we started our tour at the airport in Graz.
Thanks to Christoph and Elisabeth for waving good-bye
Waiting at the gate for our flight to Casablanca in Frankfurt we met our fellow hiker Manfred from Munich. After some small talk and waiting for the plane to arrive we boarded the Royal Air Maroc flight to Casablanca on time.
After a three hours flight we landed at the Casablanca airport which really looks very modern. Marmor and sparkling tiles everywhere.
While waiting for the connection to Ouarzazate we met all remaining people of our group (ten people all together).
After a short flight to Ouarzazate (arriving at around 10pm) we met Yassin, our guide for the next two weeks. He welcomed us to Morocco and showed us the way to the bus which brought us to our “hotel” for the first night.
It was a rather “basic” accommodation but the breakfast the next morning was great – fresh orange juice and pancakes
After the breakfast we all met in front of the hotel and Yassin showed us our route for the next days on the map. We left the hotel by bus and were brought to the famous Glaoui-Kasbah
(some sort of castle in former days).
A local guide showed us around and explained how people had lifed and traveled ages ago.
As it got warmer from one minute to the next we were glad that the ancient “air condition” in the rooms still work.
After that we left Ouarzazate and after driving hours through the Dadés valley
(stopped for lunch and for taking photos) we arrived at our accommodation for the night. It is called oasis Tagdilt
and is about 1600m above sea level north of the Djebel Saghro
mountains. A very basic Berber house with some rooms.
We enjoyed our first meal prepared by our cook in the evening. First night for us in our sleeping bags on the floor (but with a solid roof above our heads). Furthermore it was the last chance for us to enjoy a shower (including warm water!).
In the morning we were greeted by a cloud-free-sky and it was getting warmer by the minute.
The breakfast was great and prepared us for a all-day-hiking tour.
Long day – short story: 1000m of height difference and a lunch in the mountains (including breathtaking view from the mountain peek – called Tizi-n-Iferd). Later that day we arrived at our camp for the night (2200m above sea level).
Temperature was OK but our guide told us to be prepared for a very cold night – and he was right. Shortly after sunset a cold wind started.
After waking up the next morning the drinking water in my bottle – I kept IN the tent during the night – was frozen.
We were glad to see the sun rising …
At around dinner time we could choose to climb up to the highest mountain peek in the area (2600m; called Kouaouch
) or stay at the lunch location. As the weather was great (well, it was great every day
) we went for it.
Needlessly to say it was absolutely awesome to stand on the peak and have a wonderful view around. Impressive to see the snow-covered mountains of the Atlas.
After that we started our descend and ended up at around 1800m in the evening (at oasis Igli
We started rather early the next day and continued our tour along the valley until we reached the Afourar canyon.
Before entering the canyon we stopped for lunch and carefully observed the clouds getting darker by the minute. After lunch we had some good fun following the stony “path” in the canyon.
Our camp for the night was set up right under the famous Bab n´Ali mountains. “Bab” is the word for door/gate and it really looks like a giant gate.
We took some great photos when the sun went down and everything turned dark red …
After breakfast we followed the path from our camp and walked through the “Bab”.
Several hours of hiking later we arrived at the lunch location which was set up right next to an oasis.
In the afternoon we got closer to civilization again and had the chance to visit a local school. Impressive to see how simple and basic – but beautiful and clean at the same time – the building and class rooms are.
We stood right behind the kids and our task was to write our names on the blackboard. Then our guide translated it to Arabic.
The kids had some good fun reading and understanding the foreign names. After we left the school we continued walking for another hour and were then picked up by a local bus.
Needlessly to say that this bus is not going to pass any European standards at all (look at the photos to see for yourself).
Shortly after arriving at the camp location we saw our first (and unfortunately last) scorpion running around in our dinner-tent.
We again spent the night in our tends surrounded by mountains but closer to civilization.
Thats it for part 1 – second part will be all about the Sahara.
Please check out the Gallery Page to see all photos not embedded into this article. I will add more photos after I have finished part two.