The Epicurious Wanderers!

Day 9 & 10: Dades

We started the day with a truly unforgettable experience – a camel ride across the desert during sunrise, watching the landscape turn remarkable shades of orange. This is a once in a life time experience, granted we’d ridden in last night on camels but this was so different. We headed out before sunrise, the sky was a milky white with just hints of light breaking the thin cloud layer. As we rode out it lightened and then our guide halted and we dismounted. Now the photo shoot starts, we’re all looking for the best angles. After 15 minutes or so we mount up, the sun is up but weak and milky in the sky. The photos are good but we missed the full sunrise. Or so we thought, as we ride off the sun breaks through in all it’s Saharan glory. It’s so magnificent.

After breakfast drive we packed and headed back to Merzouga by 4wd, now that’s an experience. We raced across the dunes bouncing along a track of sorts, at least our driver new the way, we had no clue. Back aboard our bus we headed to Todra Gorge, a massive trench that rises over 250 metres to form one of the most dramatic and spectacular natural sights in Morocco. The limestone stacks make a perfect area for hiking and climbing. Being a Sunday and the end of Eid there were many families out enjoying a picnic along the river banks as well as the ever present touts with their wares.

We then continued to the beautiful Dades Valley, our base for the next two nights. Time to get the washing done, the dirty clothes bag is starting to fill up, one of travellings pleasures. This area offers up scenery like no other – sprawling green valleys give way to otherworldly rock formations carved out by the wind and the rivers.

Our accommodation offers a delightful pool and terrace, so time to sit back and soak in the ethereal views. We also have a balcony looking out over the valley. As a side note the shower experience has been pretty mixed so far, so no more than a trickle, others full on jet blasts. This one rates highly, hot water a plenty and great pressure, so far none of the cold showers the trip notes suggested may happen.

Today we’ve had a full day to explore the beauty of this largely untouched Moroccan backcountry and the best way to do so is on foot. There are a couple of circuits in the area – our option was to tackle a 10-kilometre circuit that will took about 4 hours, just on 16 000 steps and because of the undulations some 21 flights of steps. The trail undulates and can be challenging in sections but is accessible to everyone with a basic level of fitness, obviously my fitness was only just enough, it almost killed me.

We stopped after lunch in a village en route and enjoyed tea with a local Amazigh (Berber) family. This experience offered a unique glimpse into the Amazigh way of life that few visitors to Morocco have the chance to see. The family had children who are so cute, the two girls slowly shimmied up next to me while we had tea. Just such a shame that the Moroccan people are not keen on being photographed, the picture would have been amazing.

We then head back to our hotel where I’m sitting know with a local beer looking out the view across the valley. Life just doesn’t get any better.

2 thoughts on “Day 9 & 10: Dades

  1. jupasale

    Absolutely love these amazing photos. The camel ride is an experience you can’t explain. Especially when you have dinner with a Camel.