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“Mesmerising Morocco” by Andy Farrer
1st May 2018
Having just returned from leading our Morocco tour, I wanted to share some of the images and memories of a wonderful ten day adventure across the captivating and varied Moroccan terrain.
We began our tour in the foothills of The High Atlas Mountains and enjoyed a decent meal and an early night before our journey towards the Sahara began after a pre-breakfast walk the following morning.
The Spring flowers and crops in the fields were a little ahead than those at home in Britiain and were in full blossom, while the peaks of the High Atlas were still snow capped. Barley and other crops are planted between the olive trees, and seas of poppies and other wild flowers were dotted all around the landscape.
What struck me was how little land was wasted. Crops and trees were dotted everywhere and worked by the locals. The “food miles” of the produce all appeared to be incredibly minimal compared to our distribution centres in the UK. Our lunch stops were all delicious, with home cooked tagines and couscous, fresh fruit and salads being the most popular.
We crossed a mountain pass, taking us across the High Altas and into several gorges. Gradually the terrain began to change and the weather got warmer. Many times someone hollered to the drivers to stop, so we could hop out and set up our cameras. We also called into a few casbah’s to admire the architecture.
As the landscape began to flatten out, the geology changed and the rocky surroundings gradually started to feel more desert-like.
The dunes of the Sahara seemed to appear out of nowhere. We checked into our hotel, right on the edge of the dunes, where one of the doors of our Riad led out into the desert. We walked out a way for sunset and were totally mesmerised by the sheer scale of the dunes. The colours, shadows and curves appeared to to change second by second. We returned again the following morning before exploring the local towns during the day. Our lunchtime venue had a traditional band entertain us while our lunch was prepared for us.
That afternoon we headed into the desert by camel to a bedouin camp, our base for the night. We were much deeper into the dunes and shot a dramatic, albeit windy sunset.
We then went back to camp for dinner, and thanks to our superb guides for taking us to a bar en- route, we managed to stock up on some Moroccan wine to accompany our meal. After a superb evening we set our alarms early to clamber back up to the top of the dunes for our final sunrise in the desert. The wind of the previous evening had completely gone and fortunately for us had cleared all the footprints and tyre tracks from the 4x4’s of the previous day, giving us perfect conditions for the early light sculpting the waves of sand.
Our next destination was the Atlantic coast, via the scenic route with an overnight stay on the way.
Essaouira, on the coast, is a bustling harbour town with a walled souk full of alleyways and colourful shops. A simply wonderful town to get lost in and people watch. The blue doorways and window shutters are very picturesque. We enjoyed some amazing fish dishes in the local restaurants and thoroughly enjoyed some time in the coast, soaking up the sea air after the dry heat of the desert and mountains.
We headed back to Marrakech for our final night, ready for our homeward flights and managed to find some goats in an Argan Tree. They enjoy eating the nuts and make for quite a sight for passing tourists!
Morocco is a wonderfully colourful, diverse and friendly country. We all made some wonderful images and terrific memories on the tour and I cannot wait to take another group again next Spring.
- Andy Farrer, April 2018
For more details of our tour to Morocco in 2019 please click here.