Nixdminx
The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
Have a lovely time? Our magical and spiritual Moroccan experience

When I told my friends and family that I was taking my daughter with me on a trip across Morocco I was met with two reactions. One was ‘Wow!’ and the other was ‘You’re kidding!’

Armed with backpacks, sleeping bags, cameras and sunglasses, we headed off from Heathrow and from the moment we left our front door the nine day adventure began.

We arrived in Ouzazarte a day before rest of the party, since we’d checked in our hotel at 2am we really needed that day to chill out and adjust. We spent it by a hotel pool and hung out in cafes.

a1 pool

As we sat and watched the world go by, out of nowhere, a small boy about five years old ran by with a cigarette tucked behind each ear.

‘Mum! Look at him!’
‘Don’t point!’ I said laughing.
Miniminx gave me that widemouthed, wide eyed look of disbelief. I smiled to myself, I knew this trip was going to be quite an education.
The irony was all on us in fact since we were odd ones out. People were actually stopping and staring at us. A mother and daughter in a strange land.

The next morning we met our travelling companions for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised that we were all women with young girls. We already had a lot in common. Our first stop was a kasbah in Ouzazarte, it was strange and fascinating. Our guide began to tell us about the great films that have been shot there, Gladiator and Babel, but we were more interested in the locale and the people there.

a kasbah

On our drive we stopped to take photos and a farmer welcomed us and shared his date harvest.

a date
The girls spotted a cute frog and chased the poor thing around the field.

a frog

Heading off in a truck towards the desert, we were going to camp in Bedouin tents that night and as you can see, it’s quite a fairy tale existence. The food was great too, lovely soups and tagines and very sweet mint tea. We were awoken several times first by the birds and crowing cocks, then early morning the call to the mosque, followed by the braying donkeys and then by the sun.

a1 bedoin sleep over

There was an empty pool on the camp site and our four little girls found a tiny scorpion in it. There was another one in the shower too – none of the girls screamed and we were assured it would not harm us.

The evenings when we camped were very sweet. The girls all played together as the Mums chatted and as we all went to bed around the same time, bedtime stories became a shared experience.

The next day was the start of a two day camel trek across the Sahara with a night in the desert. We all had to learn how to put on a shesh. It was fun and it was also hard work, Miniminx did not like being on a camel so ended up walking. I discovered my daughter is quite the tough cookie and walked happily for hours, which was a very pleasant and unexpected surprise.

a1 shesh

The highlight was camping out in the Sahara and watching shooting stars in the night sky. We all laid out on thin mattresses after dinner and watched the slow moving drama of the heavens above. Waking up the next morning was great too. It was so wonderful, even if the camels do snore (well I hope it was the camels).

a1 desert morning

There is something very hynotic and mesmeric about the Sahara, I was suprised that a desert I had imagined to be barren had quite a few trees and weird looking plants.

Our guide recommended that instead of buying our carpets and rugs in Marrakech, it would make more sense to go direct to a co-operative. This meant we could buy from the local people and not have the added commission which would be added in the souks. We bought some amazing stuff there and I was delighted (so was the owner of the co-op).

With the bright sun and still air, there was a sense of calm and ease of being that is a great antidote to London. But this was really a non stop whirl wind trip. Staying in a different place every night, we unpacked and repacked daily and dealt with all manner of things. I was the only person who didn’t get a 24 hour bug.

We spent a night near the kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. I loved the homemade advertising – see photo below.

ads

The drive through the Atlas mountains was stunning and we all chatted and sang our way through the dizzy heights. I still look at these photos a lot, it really was a special journey.

a atlas

There was mounting anticipation about our arrival in Marrakech – the journey was four or five hours. The road signs were getting bigger as we got nearer.

a marrakech

And we got there eventually with a big all round cheer and headed to the main square and spotted the snake charmers. It was like going back in time.

a snake charmer

The early morning view of the city sprawl from the hotel window was pretty atmospheric. We went on a four hour walking tour with a guide and then had the rest of the day free to shop and explore. We had our final meal together that evening and the kids were all very sad to be going home.

a1 view

About a week after we got back we had this funny conversation.

‘Darling, you were really good about the scorpions.’
‘Yeah, well Mum, they did scare me a little bit.’
‘Yeah, I was surprised you didn’t say anything about them in the tent that night when we went to sleep.’
‘I thought you’d be a bit cross with me if I said I was scared.’
‘Well I thought if I told you I was a bit worried there were any in the tent, you’d hit the roof.’
We both looked at each other and smiled.
‘What a couple of scaredy cats we were!’ I said and we laughed for a very long time.

For anyone looking for a holiday that’s definitely off the beaten track, I’d definitely recommend a trip like this. It was hard work and tiring but so magical and such a great cultural experience, I’d definitely go again.

For the full itinerary go here

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2 Comments to “Have a lovely time? Our magical and spiritual Moroccan experience”

  1. Linda says:

    Amazing! I remember going on a jeep safari in the North African desert with my friend when I was in my early 20s, I’d never have considered such a holiday these days – thanks for opening people’s eyes to the possibilities. xx
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Holiday of a lifetime =-.

  2. Vic says:

    It may not have been the most traditional holiday but I bet mini got a lot more out of it than a week on the beach. It’ll definitely be one of those hols she remembers years on.
    .-= Vic´s last blog ..Managed Learning Environment =-.

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