Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3 Days 2 Nights Marrakech-Merzouga Desert Tour (Part 2)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Leaving the Dades Gorges
Olive Tree Plantation, Morocco
Donkey spotted at Olive Tree Plantation, Morocco
Leaving Dades Gorge, Olive Tree Plantation

Day 2: Dades Gorge to Merzouga Desert

Early next day, we left the beautiful Dades gorge and visited Moroccan plantations. Turns out that they grow olive trees too! This tiny donkey really tugged at my heart strings. There was a visit to another village after this, which involved demonstrations of hand woven carpets while we were served tea.

Todra Gorge, Morocco
Todra Gorge, Morocco
Todra Gorge, MoroccoTodra Gorge, Morocco
Todra Gorge, Morocco
Todra Gorge

The next stop was the majestic Todra Gorge. This was one of my favourite sights during the trip. It just looked so incredibly grand! We were given two hours to stroll right into the gorge. I went as far as I could and managed to stumble upon a flight of stairs and even climbed it. Doesn't it look amazing?

Todra Gorge, MoroccoTodra Gorge, Morocco
Todra Gorge, Morocco
Todra Gorge

Along the way, there were makeshift stalls selling traditional Moroccan clothing in gorgeous, bright hues. Since the sun was scorching that day, somes of my friends bought scarves to function as cover-ups in preparation for the camel ride through the desert.

Merzouga Desert
Merzouga Desert
Merzouga DesertDSC_0454
Merzouga Desert

I caught my breath when I first saw the desert. I've never been to a desert before but just like everyone else, I had notions of what it should look like. What I saw, though, was much more incredible than anything I had ever imagined. That bright orange hue, the sheer softness of the sand and most of all, the way the dunes would shift every so slightly every time I looked away - I was utterly captivated. The camel ride itself was an amazing experience. My heart went up to my throat when the camel I was mounted on first rose from its seating position - it was so tall! The ride was really bumpy but certainly one I'd never forget.

Merzouga Desert
Merzouga Desert
Merzouga Desert
Merzouga Desert
Merzouga Desert

After what seemed like ages, we finally reached the camp site within the desert. Since the sun hadn't set, we decided to make our way up to the top of the sand dune beside the camp. The sand dune was so high that it seemed impossible at first, but we kept going. It was difficult making our way up since our feet sank with every step. But the view on top, when we finally reached, all breathless, was spectacular. It may well be one of the best sights I've ever laid eyes on in my entire life. It was quite a moment, too. The sun was setting to our right and the reflections from the sand was almost blinding. There was nothing around us, nothing but the gentle rise and fall of bright orange sand dunes. Then the winds came, blowing up the soft sand around us and ushering us down, back to the camp site. When we finally reached the bottom of the sand dune, another group that had rented a board for dune boarding gave us a go at it. Such terrific fun! Dinner was delicious chicken tagine with couscous and khobz bread. But the best part came when night fell and all the stars in the world shone clearly for the first time. The entire sky was full of glittering stars! I caught two shooting stars that night (my friend caught four) - would you believe it? Just incredible.

Day 3: Back to Marrakech

Day 3 was going to be a scaled down version of day 1, with minor sights scattered along the way as the minivan headed back to Marrakech. We opted to drop at a nearby town, however, to catch a local bus to Fez.

Cost of 3D2N tour: 70 Euros after bargain, actual price is 90 Euros
Additional costs for Day 2: lunch at a fixed restaurant, tips for guided tours, rental fee for dune boarding

Read Part 1 here!


Other Morocco Posts

3 Days 2 Nights Marrakech-Merzouga Desert Tour (Part 1)
7-Day Morocco Travel Guide
Fantastic Street Food in Fez


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Leave a comment (2)

  1. Hi. This tour looks fantastic. Did you do this trip yourself or did you use a group? If so, could you please tell us the name of the group? Thanks

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  2. Hi Simone, I used a group. My friends and I found that most of the hostels in Marrakech linked up with Sahara Expedition. There were some negative reviews on the web but we took a chance and thought that they were great - our driver happened to have a really great personality and was tons of fun.

    http://www.saharaexpe.ma/en/excursions-3days.html

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