Travel: Morocco – March 2014 (part 4)

Morocco

If you missed the start of this journey, jump to the beginning  here:

DAY FOUR

Morocco - driving  into foothills of Atlas mountains - young man smokes cigarette

Foothills of Atlas mountains – young man smokes cigarette

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.

Morocco - driving  into foothills of Atlas mountains - broken down car pushed by locals

Foothills of Atlas mountains – broken down car pushed by locals

Morocco - driving  into foothills of Atlas mountains - local football soccer team

Foothills of Atlas mountains – local football soccer team

Morocco - driving  into foothills of Atlas mountains - wealthy mansion perched on hillside

Foothills of Atlas mountains – wealthy mansion perched on hillside

Towers, terraces and turrets. Mansion of a wealthy individual perched on a craggy outcrop surrounded by sheer drops and staggering views.

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Morocco - foothills of Atlas mountains - camels and view of snow capped mountains

Foothills of Atlas mountains – camels and view of snow capped mountains

 

Morocco - foothills of Atlas mountains - two boys digging up rocks loading onto donkey

Foothills of Atlas mountains – two boys digging up rocks & loading onto donkey

 

Morocco - foothills of Atlas mountains - David J Rodger

Foothills of Atlas mountains – David J Rodger

Morocco - foothills of Atlas mountains - Doorway of a traditional berber home

Foothills of Atlas mountains – Doorway of a traditional Berber home

Morocco - foothills of Atlas mountains - stunning view from terrace of Kasbah De La Ourika

Foothills of Atlas mountains – stunning view from terrace of Kasbah De La Ourika

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.

Morocco - Marrakech - backstreets of the city - graffiti roni dima madrid

Backstreets of Marrakech- graffiti Roni Dima Madrid

 

Morocco - Marrakech - street scene local shop and residents

Marrakech –  local shop and residents

 

Morocco - Marrakech - street scene man crosses road boy stares

Marrakech – street scene, man crosses road, boy stares

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.

Morocco -Marrakech Riad -Palais Donab Dar El Bacha - stained glass window

Marrakech Riad -Palais Donab Dar El Bacha

 

Morocco -Marrakech Riad -Palais Donab Dar El Bacha - colonnade

Marrakech Riad -Palais Donab Dar El Bacha

Travel Photo Morocco -Marrakech Riad -Palais Donab Dar El Bacha - Belly Dancer and Percussionist

Marrakech Riad -Palais Donab Dar El Bacha – Belly Dancer and Percussionist

Travel Photo Morocco -Marrakech Riad -Palais Donab Dar El Bacha - Dining under the stars by the pool

Palais Donab Dar El Bacha – Dining under the stars by the pool

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.

Morocco - Marrakech - Charles Land-Reeves

Marrakech – Charles Land-Reeves

DAY FIVE

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.

Premium lager from Morocco  - Casablanca

Premium lager from Morocco – Casablanca

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David J Rodger – DATA

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2 thoughts on “Travel: Morocco – March 2014 (part 4)

  1. Hi David, Just saw your piece – GREAT! Somehow I missed it earlier. Hope to catch up with you in the not too distant future. We are off to Pompeii on Oct2 for eight days with Riviera.

    More later – Charles & Chris

    • Hi Charles, thanks for leaving words here. Glad you found it. :o) I just got back from Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro. Words and pictures to follow in a few weeks. Have a fab time in Pompeii and beyond! Djr

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