Two days in Marrakech town had some great experiences and fun with other travellers. My second wish was to hit the desert.
Before getting to Morocco I knew that if I was visiting it I would be visiting the Sahara Desert as well. I mean I normally do not schedule a definite travel route while backpacking just in case I like a place so much and would like to stay longer and explore a bit more. But really who could visit Morocco and not visit the desert? It’s funny though I didn’t prepare or do any research about it. I simply joined the 3 Days 2 Nights Atlas to Sahara road trip to the desert.
The following day I went on to the minivan, I was kind of sad to leave the hostel and other lovely travellers who I just met.
Three Dutch, a Melburnian couple, our Moroccan tour guide and navigator, they were my new friends we all met in the bus. It was odd at first as I was the only one travel alone. By the end of the trip, I would have to say it was painful to say goodbye to them!! I cannot describe the awesomeness experience it was with strangers!
Let The Roadtrip Begin!
Part 1: Atlas to Desert
Leaving from Marrakesh at 7am we travel towards Ouarzazate, driving across the Atlas Mountains. The Atlas Mountains provide a route between the coast and the Sahara Desert.
cobalt blue a very signature color all over Morocco
across the magnificence of the Atlas Mountains
driving through some 200km mountains
The sun was hot in early morning, and I shifted uncomfortably through driving and turnings. After 2 hours drive and turn, I had motion sickness. Yeah! I was only at the start of the 3 days trip.
A short stop for breakfast didn’t help get rid of my dizziness and nausea. I changed to the front seat sitting next to Mr Guide. To counter the rays of sun that pour in through the windows, I opened the side window. Breath of fresh air helps all.
Part 2: Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah
After 4 hours drive, our first big stop was in Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah. In my older post, it is a 16th century fortified village and a UNESCO world heritage site. You can really feel like you have travelled to the past, no wonder this place is the top film shooting location.
a striking example of southern Moroccan architecture
earthy yellow colour
To reach the fortified village, it is necessary to cross the river using the stepping stones.
the river is dry in dry season
earth and clay brick buildings climbing up the hill
climbing up and getting down hill
It kind of reminded me of that series on Grand Design that one of the owner applied Moroccan earth and clay brick technique designed for his new home. The new house was gorgeously built and very eco-environmental.
now and then
Part 3: On the road – Through the window
On the road to Dades Gorges, I saw beautiful landscapes and many authentic and modern Berber villages. Though the dry climate making people difficult to live, the high and middle atlas slopes have dense forests containing pine and oak trees. There are many fertile valleys where livestock can feed.
Hollywood in Arabic writing? Could someone tell me what does it mean ? 😉
busy on something dudes?
I couldn’t stop taking pictures through the window.
the desert is so huge
water streams from underground
Driving through mountains where I saw beautiful landscapes and many authentic Berber villages. I have the best visual view in the front seat. By this point I’ve forgotten the unpleasant beats on my head.
rocky landscapes : 1
passing by a small town through Merzouga
walking to work ladies ?
just walking the camels
where are you going fellows ?
Part 4: Still on the road – Dades Gorges
the human creation
beautiful oasis surrounding the town
glistening green fields
dense forests in the atlas slopes
rocky landscapes : 2
little Mohammad with grandma
spending the night in a delightful hotel near the gorges
Part 5: Todgha valley and gores
Second day after breakfast, we visited Todgha valleys.
driving through the valley
stunning rocky landscape : 3
don’t be shy Mr Guide, we know you want a swim
cosy hotel in the valley
hello babe you are such a cutie
what a beautiful day crossing the valley
yellow earth the protection colour
Part 6: Towards Merzouga, the gate to the dunes
aromatic moroccan food: Tagine for lunch
a road in the desert
no fun without few drinks for sure – the liquor shop in the last post World Map
which hotel ? well none of the above..
The multi day road trip into the Sahara from Marrakech was authentic. After one and a half day drive, we finally arrived the gate to the dunes Merzouga in Day 2 afternoon. The epic journey ends in the Merzouga desert but it didn’t mean the entire sahara journey ended here.
As I have mentioned at the beginning of the post, I got pretty bad motion sickness on the bus. It’s not nice to get sick while travelling. How to get rid of motion sickness and without any medicine with you? One of the best things, which you can do to get rid of motion sickness, is to look far and horizon level outside the car, plane, train, bus, boat, or get fresh air until you feel better and comfortable. If you feel like you’re going to throw up, do so, rather than keep into it.
I’ll see you on my second half of the epic journey Desert sunset in the next post. 😉