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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)

TODRA GORGES, SAGHRO MOUNTAINS, N'KOB, TAMEGROUTE, M'HAMID

Big 6 Week Trip


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

FAVOURITE PHOTO

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WE FINISHED YESTERDAY WITH A FUN NIGHT IN OUR RIAD IN TINGHIR.
IT WAS SAD TO LEAVE THIS LITTLE PLACE SURROUNDED BY THE GREAT
DADES MOUNTAINS AND TODRA GORGES. I COULD EASILY HAVE
ENJOYED ANOTHER DAY HERE.

IT'S FUNNY.... THAT EVEN THOUGH I FELT AT THE TIME THAT WE GOT
RIPPED OFF BY A LOCAL CARPET SELLER.... NOW I FEEL LIKE IT WOULD
HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE THIS LOCAL SHOW US AROUND A BIT MORE.
RAZOUK.... YOU REALLY WERE A COOL GUY :)

TODAY, WE WERE ABOUT TO VENTURE INTO SOME ROUGH TERRITORY,
TAKING US THROUGH CHANGING COUNTRYSIDE AND TO THIS SMALL
VILLAGE RIGHT ON THE EDGE OF THE SAHARA WHERE HABIB OUR GUIDE
GREW UP.

TODRA GORGES

WE HAD QUITE A BIT OF MILEAGE TO COVER TODAY SO WE STARTED
OUT EARLY. QUICK PIT STOP AT THE HUGE TODRA GORGES. I MEAN
HUGE!! I IMAGINE THE HOTEL HERE WOULD COST A FORTUNE :)

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OFF ROAD 4X4 TO JEBEL SAGHRO MOUNTAINS

TIME TO TAKE A SHORT CUT AND HIT THE DUSTY TRACK TOWARDS
TAZZARINE AND ON TO THE SAHARA DESERT.

THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY MAY BE BORING FOR SOME. I FOUND IT
INTERESTING. I COULD CERTAINLY SEE THAT WE WERE ON THE WAY
TO THE DESERT. LONG FLAT ROADS TO NOWHERE, FOLLOWED BY
TRAVERSING AROUND MOUNTAINOUS TERRAINE DEVOID OF THE
USUAL GREENERY THAT MOUNTAINS USUALLY ATTRACT.......

ALL THIS KEPT ME INTERESTED... ALONG WITH THE GREAT LOCAL MUSIC THAT
HABIB WAS PLAYING WHILST WE SAT IN 4 WHEEL DRIVE COMFORT
WITH THE AIR-CON ON FULL BALL :)

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QUICK STOP TO STRETCH OUR LEGS.
HOWIE WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO FOUND A WEE TREE ;)

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N'KOB

THE SHORT CUT DIRT TRACK ENDED AT N'KOB AND BACK ONTO
THE BITUMEN LEADING THROUGH TAZZARINE, TAMEGROUTE
AND TO M'HAMID ON THE EDGE OF THE SAHARA.

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I SAW THIS HOUSE HEADING INTO N'KOB THAT LOOKED LIKE
IT WAS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

I WAS LEFT SCRATCHING MY HEAD A BIT?....
WOULDN'T IT HAVE BEEN BETTER TO WORK ON THE ACCESS
FIRST?.... SEEMS LIKE A BIT OF A ROUGH DRIVEWAY TO ME?...

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AFTER DRIVING UP AND THROUGH THE VILLAGE, WE STOPPED
BRIEFLY FOR A VIEW OVER THE VALLEY.

SOME CHILDREN CAME DOWN TO SAY HI AND HABIB GAVE
THEM A BIT OF CHANGE.

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NOT TOO FAR NOW... ;)

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WE DROVE THROUGH TAZZARINE WITHOUT STOPPING. NOT
TOO MUCH TO SEE HERE.

TAMEGROUTE

THERE WERE HOWEVER A COUPLE OF THINGS OF INTEREST IN
TAMEGROUTE.

TAMEGROUTE IS THE HOME OF LOVELY POTTERY. WE STOPPED
AT A LITTLE SHOP AND HABIB TOOK US AROUND THE BACK AND
SHOWED US HOW THEY MAKE IT SITTING IN DUG OUT HOLES
TO KEEP COOL AND ENSURE THEY DON'T BEND TOO MUCH.
AND WITH KILN HOLES OUT BACK TO FIRE THE POTTERY.

TAMEGROUTE ALSO HAS SOMETHING ELSE THAT IS SPECIAL.
HABIB TOOK US THROUGH A LABYRINTH OF SMALL STREETS
TO AN AMAZING KORANIC LIBRARY WHERE THOUSANDS OF
ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS ARE KEPT.

NOW THAT IS SOMETHING YOU DON'T SEE EVERY DAY IN
YOUR TRAVELS. VERY INTERESTING AND INTREGUING.

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HABIB EXPLAINED THAT WE WERE NOW IN THE DRAA VALLEY
WHERE THE PALMS MEET THE DESERT AND TRUE ENOUGH
WE WATCHED AS THE PALMS GOT LESS AND LESS AND THE
DESERT LOOMED AHEAD.

WE SAW OUR FIRST DESERT CAMEL :)

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AND A DUST STORM THAT WE HAD TO STRATEGICALLY AVOID.

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M'HAMID

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MAIN STREET OF M'HAMID. HABIB IS A BERBER NOMAD BORN
AND BRED IN THIS LITTLE TOWN. AS WE DROVE DOWN THE
MAIN AND ONLY STREET, IT WAS TOUCHING TO SEE HOW MANY
LOCALS RACED OVER TO SAY HELLO AND DO THE MOROCCAN
MALE GREETING :)

WE FELT PRIVILEGED TO BE WITH SUCH A CELEB :)

BUT THINGS WERE ABOUT TO GET A WHOLE LOT BETTER!

NOT ONLY DID WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF SMILING AT THE
LOCALS THAT GREETED OUR GUIDE, BUT HABIB DROVE AROUND
A BACK STREET AND INVITED US TO COME IN AND HAVE A FEED
WITH HIS FAMILY! WOW! WHAT A GRAND PRIVILEGE!!!

A HUGE TAGINE FEAST WAS PRESENTED IN THE MIDDLE OF
THE FAMILY ROOM AND WE SAT DOWN ON NICE PILLOWS ON
THE FLOOR AND ALL TUCKED IN EATING WITH OUR HANDS
AND DIPPING THE HOME MADE BREAD INTO THE JUICES.
I TELL YOU.... IT WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!

HUBBY AND I FELT HUMBLED AND PRIVILEGED, AND THE FAMILY
WARMTH WAS SO EVIDENT :)
SORRY.... NO PICTURES. WE DIDN'T THINK THAT WOULD BE
APPROPRIATE.

SAHARA DESERT

OUR FIRST NIGHT SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS IN THE SAHARA :)

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THIS CAMP SITE WASN'T FAR FROM M'HAMID.
A MISTY SUNSET GREETED US.

WE WERE ASKED IF WE WANTED TO SLEEP IN A LITTLE HUT OR
IF WE WANTED OUR BED OUTSIDE. THAT'S A NO BRAINER ;)

EVEN AFTER A BIG DAY, I MANAGED TO WAKE A FEW TIMES AND
JUST LOOK UP AT THE STARS AND LISTEN TO THE VARIOUS
DESERT SOUNDS OF INSECTS AND DISTANT CAMELS.
AN EXPERIENCE I WILL NEVER FORGET :)

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NEXT MORNING OUR CAMELS ARRIVED.
YES, WE WERE ABOUT TO RIDE THE CAMELS OUT OF THE DESERT.
THE ORIGINAL PLAN WAS FOR US TO RIDE INTO THE DESERT...
BUT THE SANDSTORM THE PREVIOUS DAY MEANT THAT PLAN B
WAS IN PLACE.

PLAN B WAS GOOD :)

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MY CAMEL - ISN'T SHE CUTE :)

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HUBBY'S CAMEL - EQUALLY CUTE :)

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WE SAW A NOMAD CAMP WITH TWO YOUNG ONES :)

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AND WHEN WE ARRIVED AT M'HAMID .... OUR BUTTS WERE A BIT
SORE.... BUT THE CAMEL RIDE OUT OF THE SAHARA DESERT WAS
A MEMORY THAT WE WILL NEVER FORGET! :)

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NEXT UP - ANOTHER NIGHT SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS IN A
BIGGER DESERT CAMP WITH BIGGER DUNES!!
AND BETTER PHOTOS!!!!

Posted by aussirose 01:52 Archived in Morocco Tagged mountains travellerspoint landscape scenery morocco nomad stars gorges sleeping under m'hamid berber saghro 2011 tamegroute todra aussirose habib saharadreamsmaroc.com n'kob Comments (3)

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