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ATLAS MOUNTAINS, TELOUET, AIT BEN HADDOU, OUARZAZATE

5 Day Sahara Desert Trip Morocco


View 2011 Europe & Morocco & 2011 Morocco Sahara Desert Roadtrip on aussirose's travel map.

MEET HABIB NAAMANI, OUR TOUR GUIDE AND OWNER OF SAHARA DREAMS MAROC.

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Collage of Habib

Collage of Habib

HABIB IS A BORN AND BRED BERBER NOMAD WHO GREW UP IN M'HAMID
ON THE EDGE OF THE SAHARA DESERT.

HE MAKES HIS LIVING BY DRIVING TOURISTS LIKE US THROUGH HIS COUNTRY.
HABIB ALSO EMPLOYS OTHER DRIVERS. WE MET ONE AT THE DESERT CAMP THAT
WAS DRIVING SOME PEOPLE FROM FRANCE.

IT WAS AN HONOUR AND PRIVILEDGE TO HAVE HABIB SHOW US AROUND.

THIS TRIP WAS AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFE TIME. WE ENJOYED IT SO MUCH THAT
WE WOULD LOVE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN.

BELOW IS THE START OF OUR AMAZING ADVENTURE THAT WOULD TAKE US
FROM MARRAKECH, THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS, INTO LUSH VALLEYS,
TRAVERSING TIGHT WINDY ROADS THROUGH GORGES, CROSS COUNTRY
IN THE 4X4, MEETING BERBER NOMADS IN THEIR CAVE, SLEEPING OUT
UNDER THE STARS IN THE DESERT, RIDING CAMELS OUT OF THE DESERT,
HAVING LUNCH WITH HABIB'S RELATIVES IN THEIR HOME,
GUNNING THE 4X4 THROUGH DESERT SAND TO THE CAMP SITE AND
MUCH, MUCH MORE!

SO GRAB SOME SNACKS, A DRINK OR 3 AND FOLLOW ALONG WHILST I
RELIVE OUR ADVENTURES HERE ON MY NEW HOME TRAVELLERSPOINT :)

~~~oOo~~~

DAY 1 - ATLAS MOUNTAINS, TELOUET, AIT BEN HADDOU, OUARZAZATE.

FAVOURITE PICTURE.
TAKEN BY HABIB IN FRONT OF THE FAMOUS AIT BEN HADDOU-
MORE ABOUT THAT LATER.

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ATLAS MOUNTAINS

ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE PARTS OF THIS TRIP WAS THE CHANGING
SCENERY. HEADING OUT OF TOWN AND TOWARDS THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS
IT WAS FLAT AND SPARCE.

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ONCE WE ARRIVED AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAINS THE ROAD
NARROWED AND WAS VERY WINDY AS WE DROVE UP AND AROUND
TO THIS FANTASTIC LOOKOUT.

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HERE WE ENCOUNTERED HAWKERS SELLING AN ARRAY OF TOURIST
GIFTS. I BOUGHT A ROCK THAT OPENS UP TO REVEAL THE MOST
GORGEOUS ROSE CRYSTAL :)

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THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS SEEM TO GO ON FOREVER......
NO WONDER! THEY ARE OVER 2,500KM AND SPAN 3 COUNTRIES -
MOROCCO, ALGRIA AND TUNISIA!

FIRST NOMAD SIGHTING

THIS WAS OUR FIRST NOMAD SIGHTING. THEY WERE HEARDING THEIR
SHEEP AND GOATS ACROSS THE ROAD AND UP THE STEEP HILLSIDE.

WE STOPPED TO LET THEM BY AND OPENED THE WINDOWS TO TAKE
SOME PICTURES.

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HABIB EXPLAINED THAT SOMETIMES THE NOMADS
DO NOT LIKE TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED BY TOURISTS....
AND SURE ENOUGH..... THERE WERE A FEW HEATED WORDS SPOKEN.
OOOPS...

SO WE QUICKLY WOUND THE WINDOWS UP AND CONTINUED ON.

KASBAH DE TELOUET

OUR FIRST KASBAH. A KASBAH IS A TYPE OF FORTRESS WHERE
THE LEADER LIVED. IT WAS A DEFENCE SAFE PLACE FOR WHEN A
CITY WAS UNDER ATTACK.

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WE ENTERED A LONG COOL HALLWAY WHICH LED INTO THIS ROOM
OF EXTRAVENCE. HERE WE WERE TAKEN BACK THROUGH TIME.
THE WHOLE ROOM WAS SURROUNDED BY INTRICATE CERAMIC TILES
TO WHICH THE MOROCCANS ARE SO GOOD AT.

ONE COULD IMAGINE BEING WINED AND TINED HERE.

AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE ORIGINAL OWNERS DID TO THIER
ADVANTAGE.

THE STORY OF THIS KASBAH GOES LIKE THIS -
THE ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THIS AMAZING FORTRESS WERE
CUNNING AND CLEAVER. THEY DUPED EVERYONE THAT CHALLENGED
THEM WITH THEIR AMAZING HOSPITALITY.
SO MUCH SO THAT THEY WERE BYPASSED WHEN A POTENTIAL
CONFLICT AROSE AND KASBAH DE TELOUET SURVIVED WHEREAS
OTHER KASBAH'S FELL TO THE ENEMY.

TIME FOR A PIT STOP, REFRESHMENTS AND A NICE VIEW OVER THE
VALLEY.

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DIVERSE LIVING SCENERY

WHEREVER I TRAVEL, NOT ONLY AM I INTERESTED IN THE LANDSCAPE
SCENERY, BUT I ALSO ENJOY VIEWING THE VARIOUS LIVING CONDITIONS
OF THE LOCALS.

THIS PART OF MOROCCO WAS AS EQUALLY INTERESTING IF NOT BETTER
THAN I HAVE COME ACROSS BEFORE IN OUR TRAVELS.

SO BELOW ARE MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF LOCAL LIVING SCENES IN
OUTBACK MOROCCO. NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
LIKE MOST PLACES IN THE WORLD, THEY HAVE THEIR RICH, MIDDLE-CLASS
AND POOR.
HOWEVER, IT WAS NO SURPRISE TO ME TO SEE THAT NO MATTER HOW
RICH OR POOR ..... EVERY HOUSE THAT WE SAW HAD A SATELITE DISH!.... ;)

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AIT BEN HADDOU

WE WERE NEARING THE END OF OUR FIRST DAY. HEADING TOWARDS
OUR DESTINATION FOR THE NIGHT OUARZAZATE, WE HAD ONE LAST
AMAZING THING TO SEE - AIT BEN HADDOU.

AIT BEN HADDOU IS A HUGE FORTIFIED CITY OR KSAR. IT IS A WORLD
HERITAGE SITE THAT IS WELL KNOWN FOR HOSTING A NUMBER OF GREAT
MOVIES LIKE STAR WARS, JESUS OF NAZARETH, GLADIATER AND
THE JEWEL OF THE NILE.

THIS WAS AN AMAZING PLACE!! WE WALKED RIGHT UP TO THE TOP FOR A
VIEW OVER THE VALLEY. APARENTLY THERE ARE STILL 10 FAMILIES THAT
RESIDE HERE.

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HUBBY BOUGHT A COUPLE OF PAINTINGS FROM THIS GUY. WELL NOT
REALLY PAINTINGS AS SUCH. HE WAS USING CLAY AND COLOURED
STONES AND THEN FIRING THEM ONTO THE PAPER WITH A BLOW TORCH.
IT WAS QUITE INTERESTING TO SEE.

OUARZAZATE - SAHARA DREAMS MAROC

WE STOPPED BRIEFLY AT HABIB'S HOME BASE WHERE WE MET HAIAT,
ADMINISTRATOR AND TOUR PLANNER. WHEN I ARRANGED AND BOOKED
OUR TOUR, HAIAT WAS OUR POINT OF CONTACT.
IT WAS A PLEASURE TO DEAL WITH HAIAIT. SHE ANSWERED OUR QUERIES
PROMPTLY AND DEALT WITH EVERYTHING EFFICIENTLY AND SMOOTHLY.
WE FELT PRIVILEGED TO MEET HER.

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RIAD DAR CHAMAA

RIAD DAR CHAMAA - A COOL OASIS IN THE DESERT.

WE ENJOYED A SWIM IN THE POOL AND DINNER ON THE
VERANDAH OUSIDE OVERLOOKING THE POOL. IT WAS A
PLEASANT PLACE TO STAY FOR OUR FIRST NIGHT.

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IF YOU HAVE ENJOYED FOLLOWING ALONG AS I RELIVE OUR
MOROCCAN ADVENTURE.... PLEASE CLICK THE NEXT BUTTON BELOW
FOR DAY 2 - INCLUDING SOME OFF ROAD 4X4 DRIVING,
SHARING MINT TEA WITH BERBER NOMADS IN THEIR CAVE
IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, ZIG ZAGGING DOWN STEEP WINDY ROADS,
AND AN INTERESTING CARPET STORY..... :)

Posted by aussirose 18:40 Archived in Morocco Tagged mountains travellerspoint landscape scenery ben atlas dar riad kasbah ouarzazate 2011 telouet ait haddou aussirose chamaa morocca Comments (1)

OFF ROAD TO BOUTAGHRAR, BOUMALNE DADES, GORGES, TINGHIR

5 Day Sahara Desert Trip Morocco


View 2011 Europe & Morocco & 2011 Morocco Sahara Desert Roadtrip on aussirose's travel map.

FAVOURITE PHOTO

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DAY 2 - OUARZAZATE TO TINGHIR INCLUDING OFF ROAD 4X4 DRIVING.

YESTERDAY WE LEFT MARRAKECH AND HEADED OVER THE HIGH ATLAS
MOUNTAINS, DISCOVERED AN AMAZING HISTORICAL KASBAH AND A
WELL KNOWN HERITAGE SITE THAT HAS HOUSED A NUMBER OF
FAMOUS MOVIES INCLUDING STAR WARS.

TODAY WE WERE GOING TO EXPERIENCE SOMETHING EQUALLY
AMAZING AND DIVERSE.....

JUST OUT OF OUARZAZATE WAS THIS HUGE LAKE.

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WE FELT THAT THIS COULD BE OUR LAST SIGHTING FOR A WHILE
OF LUSH TROPICAL SCENERY....

WHEREAS JUST UP THE ROAD WE STOPPED BRIEFLY TO VIEW VAST
UNTOUCHED COUNTRYSIDE.

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WE TURNED OFF TOWARDS SKOURA AND HABIB STOPPED TO
SHOW US THIS GRAND KASBAH THAT HOSTED THE MOVIE
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.

KASBAH AMRIDIL

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THIS KASBAH WAS BUILT IN THE 17TH CENTURY BY THE NASSIRI.
IT IS INTERESTING TO LEARN THAT THE NASSIRI FAMILY STILL LIVES
HERE. THEY HAVE CREATED A MUSEUM WITH TOOLS THAT WERE
USED CENTURIES AGO.

THEY STILL CARRY OUT DAILY LIFE HERE WITH THE OLD OLIVE OIL
PRESS, BREAD OVENS AND HAPPY GOATS MEANDERING AROUND
IN THE COURTYARD.

OFF ROAD 4X4 DRIVING

IT WAS NOT LONG AFTER THIS THAT WE VENTURED OFF ROAD.
HABIB TURNED UP THE AIR-CON, PUT SOME LOCAL MUSIC ON....
AND WE HIT THE ROCKY DIRT TRACK TOWARDS BOUTAGHRAR.

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MEETING BERBER NOMADS

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THIS WAS ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR DESERT TRIP.
MEETING REAL BERBER NOMADS.

IT WAS A REAL HUMBLING EXPERIENCE AND A PRIGILEGE.
THIS IS HOW THEY LIVE, IN HOLLOWED OUT CAVES AS WELL AS
THE TENT ABOVE.

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THIS WAS A TOTAL SURPRISE. HABIB PULLED UP IN THE MIDDLE OF
NOWHERE AND ASKED US IF WE WANTED TO MEET SOME NOMADS.

WHAT?..... MEET REAL NOMADS? WOW!!
WELL YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO ASK ME TWICE!! :)

AFTER SOME PLEASANTRIES, HABIB OBVIOUSLY KNEW THE FAMILY...
WE WERE ASKED TO JOIN THEM FOR SOME TEA.
IT WAS A TRULY AWESOME EXPERIENCE!

THE FAMILY WERE GRANDPA, MUM, 2 BOYS, 1 GIRL AND A BABY.
DAD WAS OUT HERDING THE ANIMALS.

WE SAT DOWN ON RUGS INSIDE THE CAVE AND SHARED MINT TEA,
SMILES AND GOOS AND GAAS OVER THE BABY :)
I TELL YOU.... THIS WAS A ONCE IN A LIFE TIME EXPERIENCE!!!

I GAVE TWO OF THE BEAD BRACELETS THAT GILLIAN FROM
VIRTUALTOURIST GAVE ME IN PARIS TO THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WAS
REALLY EXCITED AND HAPPY WITH HER NEW PRESENT.

WE REALLY WISHED THAT WE HAD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT
HAVING SOME COLOURING PENCILS AND COLOURING BOOKS WITH US.
SO THAT IS A TIP FOR YOU IF YOU PLAN TO DO THE SAME TRIP.

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VALLEY OF THE ROSES

COMING INTO BOUTAGHRAR (Valley of the Roses) WAS A
PLEASANT SURPRISE. IT WAS LIKE AN OASES COMPARED TO WHERE
WE HAD JUST BEEN :)

WE STOPPED AT SOME SMALL GIFT SHOPS WHERE THEY WERE
SELLING MOROCCAN ROSE OIL.

HUBBY AND I WERE MORE INTERESTED IN TAKING SOME PHOTOS
ACROSS THE ROAD OF THE LOCALS ENJOYING THE RIVER AND
GOING ABOUT THEIR DAILY ACIVITIES.

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BOUMALNE DADES

LUNCH AT HOTEL LA KASBAH DE DADES EX CHEMS WAS NICE
AND RELAXED. THE VERANDAH OVERLOOKED THE VALLEY
BELOW. HABIB, EVER THE ATTENTATIVE HOST LEFT US TO ENJOY
OUR SURROUNDINGS.

ACROSS THE ROAD WAS A BIG NOTICE BOARD WITH AN
AWESOME PAINTING. FROM THE VERANDAH, WE COULD LOOK
OUT AT THE VALLEY BELOW SURROUNDED WITH MAGNIFICANT
MOUNTAINS.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN WE STOPPED BRIEFLY TO ADMIRE THE
SCENERY. SOME LOCAL CHILDREN CAME UP THE HILL FROM
NOWHERE AND PRESENTED US WITH THEIR HOME MADE GIFT
OF A CAMEL MADE OUT OF STRAW. OF COURSE WE PAID THEM
HANSOMELY FOR OUR NEW PRESENT :)

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ON THE WAY TO THE STUNNING DADES GORGES, WE STOPPED
BRIEFLY TO ADMIRE THE MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE.
HABIB EXPLAINED THAT THE MOUNTAINS WHERE WE SAW WRITING
MEANT GOD, KING, NATION.

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DADES GORGES

WHAT A VIEW!!

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HABIB KNEW JUST THE PLACE TO STOP BEFORE WE TRAVERSED
THE STEEP WINDY ROAD DOWN TOWARDS TINGHIR, OUR REST
STOP FOR THE NIGHT.

WE STOPPED AT CAFE TIMZZILLITE FOR A COOL DRINK AND A
VIEW TO DIE FOR!

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TINGHIR

HABIB COULD NOT HAVE PICKED A BETTER PLACE FOR US TO
STAY THAN RIAD DAR AYOUR IN TINGHIR.

BUT.... FIRST OF ALL..... HERE IS A CARPET STORY ;)

AFTER WE HAD SETTLED IN, WE HAD A BIT OF TIME TO KILL BEFORE
DINNER.

HABIB INTRODUCED US TO A LOCAL WHO OFFERED TO TAKE US FOR
A WALK AROUND. SURE.... WHY NOT.

IT WAS NICE WALKING ALONG THE RIVER BANK AND THEN UP THE
HILL FOR A LOVELY VIEW OVER TOWN.
THERE WAS A WEDDING HAPPENING AND THE MUSIC WAS LOUD.
A LONE DONKEY WAS HAVING HIS LATE AFTERNOON SNACK :)

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RAZOUK TOOK US THROUGH THE SMALL ALLEYWAYS OF TINGHIR
AND TO HIS HUMBLE HOME.

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WE FELT REALLY PRIVILEGED TO SIT WITH RAZOUK AND HIS SISTER
AND ENJOY SOME MINT TEA. BUT THERE WAS A CATCH.....

IT WAS NOT UNTIL RAZOUK BOUGHT OUT SOME CARPETS THAT WE
REALISED WHAT WAS GOING ON. HIS SISTER SHOWED US HOW SHE
MAKES THE CARPETS.... SPINNING THE WOOL AND CAMEL HAIR ETC.

I HAD AVOIDED BUYING A CARPET BEFORE NOW.....
AFTER ALL... HOW WAS I GOING TO SHIP A CARPET FROM MOROCCO
ALL THE WAY TO AUSTRALIA?

BUT, WE COULD NOT REFUSE. HOW COULD ONE REFUSE SUCH
AMAZING HOSPITALITY?...

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SO WE BOUGHT THIS LITTLE CARPET WHICH HOLDS PRIME PLACE ON
OUR LOUNGE WALL :) WE HAD IT SHIPPED FROM MARAKECH HOME
AND THE SHIPPING PRICE ALONE COST MORE THAN THE CARPET!!

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SO TIP..... YES, IT IS WELL WORTH IT TO BUY AN AUTHENTIC CARPET
FROM A SMALL VILLAGE IN MOROCCO.... BUT EXPECT TO PAY A
SMALL FORTUNE FOR IT :)

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RIAD DAR AYOUR - TINGHIR

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I LOVED IT HERE! THE STAFF WERE SO NICE. THEY MADE US FEEL
EXTREMELY WELCOME.

WE HAD A MAGNIFICANT VIEW FROM THE LITTLE VERANDAH OFF
OUR ROOM. DINNER WAS FUN :) I EVEN HAD A DANCE WITH THE
STAFF. WE BOTH ENJOYED IT ;)

I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS PLACE TOTALLY IF YOU PLAN TO STAY
IN TINGHIR.

~~~oOo~~~

NEXT UP -

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SLEEPING OUT UNDER THE STARS IN THE SAHARA DESERT! :)

THIS, PLUS MUCH MORE!.............. TO BE CONTINUED ON DAY 3...

Posted by aussirose 23:58 Archived in Morocco Tagged travellerspoint of 4x4 valley off road morocco roses nomads gorges dar riad berber kasbah 2011 tinghir dades skoura aussirose boutaghrar boumalne saharadreamsmaroc.com amridil ayout Comments (2)

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