Tuesday, October 22, 2013

RTW Trip... After the desert

With the sand dunes in our review mirror we were on the road headed west to The Todra Gorge which plunges 300 meters down to a clear river. In the midst of the dry season we weren't expecting much water but at least a beautiful vista and a beautiful vista is what we got. Low levels of water still brought the locals for afternoons of picnics in the shade completely surrounded by high rising mountains.
Todra Gorge
After a bit of hiking and explorations we headed to the small (understatement) town of Tinghir for a chill afternoon by the pool and a place to sleep.

Another stop along the way was to a small town call Skoura, an oasis lined by thick palm groves. Immediately upon arrival, Adam and I agreed that this was a cute town full of life. Small towns in Morocco have a very different feel to small towns in America. These small towns are only a few streets in all directions but the center is packed with people. We had an amazing lunch of soup and tagine before heading back to the car. Sight of a beautiful lake along the road called to us so of course... Adam wanted a picture.

Palm Grove
Lunch in Skoura

A short drive, a night in Arocha and we were on our way to Ouarzazate, also known as the door to the desert. Mostly inhabited by Berbers and considered an important destinations due to the construction of many very famous Kasbahs and Ait-Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Old Kasbah
Inside Kasbah

Out front of Kasbah Ouarzazte

Our place in Arocha
Our place in Arocha
Cutest couple in Arocha!
Visiting Ait-Benaddou is a bit like visiting Hollywood since it’s the film set for many many famous movies like Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy and most recently parts of Game of Thrones. Its not hard to understand why so many would choose to film movies out here.

We had heard about a very old, untouched Kasbah in a small off-the-road town, Telouet, from Madame French, the owner of our cute riad in Arocha. Debating whether our posh A4 would be able to handle the windy, rough road, we decided why not? Plus, it’s a rental. Passed by many with 4WD, the journey was long and rough but beautiful nonetheless. Driving along the curving road through mountainous terrain it’s hard to believe just how many people stand on the side of these dangerous roads in an effort to sell geode rocks. 

After an mentally exhausting drive for Adam we arrived to Kasbah Telouet. Quickly crumbling back to the red earth it came from, we were able to see all the beauty this old building has to offer. A photographers dream we tried our best and hope you can appreciate it too. 

Its probably one of the most well-known cities in all of Morocco and feels like that largest but surprisingly it’s fourth after Casablanca, Rabat and Fes. Just the drive alone was worth it. Next up… Marrakesh! 


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