Tuesday, 25 August 2015

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Toyota Stout --- Yes the Double Cab Model !!!!

A whistle stop tour of Morocco

After the last trip to Gambia during which we spent a couple of days in Morocco, I felt Morocco deserved a return visit. With a small bit of effort and planning, Morocco offers all the hustle and bustle of market cities, spectacular and vast scenery and a diverse and welcoming people.
The plan was for me to drive down. Ferry from Dublin to Cherbourg, drive through France and Spain and get a fast ferry from Tarifa to Tangier. I had allowed 3 nights, but in the end I did the drive in 2 days. I arrived in Tangier a day early to collect Deirdre and Ben who had flown from Ireland.
We now had 2 weeks for fast loop round Morocco.

We spent 2 night in Tangier, stayed in a lovely old Hotel (El Minhaz). Looked like it was the place to be back in the 20’s or 30’s and still retained it charm. From Tangier we headed to Fes. There were two options, the direct and shorter route or the longer motorway route. Given it was a long drive we choose the motorway, although longer in Km’s it is generally shorter in actual driving time as the secondary national roads can be very slow. We stayed at a camp site outside Fes, it turned out to be great as it had an impressive water park attached to the site. We visited the old Medina, the tanney’s and markets.

 From Fes we drove to the Cascades d'Ouzoud. It was along slow drive, but with all things in Morocco the scenery makes up for slow progress. The cascades were pretty spectacular, far more impressive than expected. As it turned out the day we visited was the first day of the holidays after Ramadan so the place was busy and full of fun. We stayed at the well know ZebraCamp, lovely food and great hosts.

From Fes we drove to Ouarzazate. This turned out to be a very slow drive, but the drive over the high atlas mountain was worth it. The road was bad in places but thankfully because of the holiday period it was very quiet. Quarzzate was our base to take a trip to the desert. The trip to the desert was through the anti atlas mountains (Dra’a valley) to Merzouga. From Merzouga, we head to the Desert (a short camel trek to the tents). Dinner and sleeping under the stars. Before returning the next morning. The drive back to Ouarzazate was even better via the Valley of Roses, Dades Gorges, Todra Gorges and the Oasis of Skoura.

We stayed the night again in Ouarzazate before the drive to Marrakesh.
We stayed at Manzul La Trotue, a lonely guest house, RV parking, Clamping all in one place. Great food here and a short taxi ride to the Old Medina in Marrakesh. We found the markets and streets in Marrakech less claustrophobic than Fes and easier to navigate. The following day we visited the yves saint laurent gardens in Marrakesh, beautiful gardens hidden away of the busy streets.
 Yves St Laurent Garden
From Marrakech we headed to El Jadida, a coastal town, we spent 3 days here before heading back to Tangier and through Europe and home. The Landcruiser was flawless yet again, the extra solar panel made a big difference. The fridge held up prefect considering it was in the mid 40's for most of the trip.