If you missed the start of this journey, jump to the beginning here:
Another road trip with our guide – Mohamed – this time south towards the majesty of the Atlas mountains. And like all mountains, impressive for its own reasons…. these ones rising up from the dust and heat to produce slopes covered in trees, through which you glimpse snow-covered peaks as the narrow road switches back and forth. Many places to pull over and stop for a panoramic view but all the good ones are camped with hawkers who have ridden there on mopeds. They can be pretty persistent. Also watch out for pick-pockets. Stopped at Kasbah De La Ourika, a tourist place perched on a mountainside with terrace views of epic scenery. It has the prominence of a temple with all the steps leading up to it. Had a glass of their freshly squeezed orange juice – one of the best ever.
Towers, terraces and turrets. Mansion of a wealthy individual perched on a craggy outcrop surrounded by sheer drops and staggering views.
That evening we joined a group from the hotel to take part in a Kalesh ride convoy through the streets, alleys and avenues of Marrakesh. The ride had been arranged by the quietly efficient Mohamed and we were guaranteed not to be taken to somebody’s uncle to haggle over a carpet. Brilliant experience. Really recommend doing this.
VIDEO SUMMARY OF KALESH RIDE
Later That Night
Oj and I stopped at Palais Donab Dar El Bacha for dinner. Mohamed, our guide, had been a little naughty and told them about my books, so I got escorted by the co-owner to a place where I was asked to sign a hand-crafted leather-bound guest book for important visitors… a number of big name actors and other individuals were in there. A bit out of my league but I felt flattered. The place is described as a riad. And it has to be a must on your itinerary if you go to Marrakech. Not cheap but not outrageous and you get wonderful value for your dirham. The food is good, the service top class, the belly dancing and percussion performances were subtle, authentic and delightful. But more so the building itself is a true delight. The interior decor, the attention to detail. Palatial comfort and entertainment.
After dinner, a late night taxi ride back to the hotel where familiar faces are there in the bar. Time for drinks and conversation with interesting people.
Final day. Went out early morning to a market to buy something to bring back for the house that would represent the trip. Found a small pair of medieval studded doors that you place on the wall, with a mirror behind. Trader wanted £45. I said, £5. He demonstrated quality. I said £5. He said £35. I walked away. He chased me. We talked. He said £20. I said £5. He said £10. I said OK! Back at hotel final bottle of this local brew that I really enjoyed. Casablanca. That’s it. End of the trip. Fantastic few days. A real range of different experiences packed into a few days. Great place. Would certainly recommend Morocco as a place to try.
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