Monday, October 14, 2013

First Installment of my Saharan Adventure

Last Tuesday, October 8th, I took the train from Rabat to Marrakech, arriving there four hours later.

And guess what?  There's a McDonald's right beside the train station.  Clearly, they're everywhere.  It's the address I give when I want to go to Joe's office:  McDo Agdal, Agdal being the neighborhood.

I spent the night at the Ibis Hotel, conveniently located right next to the train station.  No chance of getting lost, unlike the other way when I was on my way to the dentist.  Fortunately, with my smattering of French, I was able to ask directions.

A lovely garden where I enjoyed fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Just to prove I was there.

Bright and early the next morning, I was picked up by Said, the driver from Desert Majesty tours  There were also two English women along for the ride.

We spent most of the day driving through the Atlas Mountains.  Spectacular scenery.  Switchback roads.  

And Morocco has the world market cornered on rocks.  They grow even more than New England.

We stopped in Ouarzazate at the Desert Majesty offices for tea and cookies.  We then stopped at a Women’s Co-operative where they produce Argan oil.  Morocco is the only place in the world where argan trees nuts grow.  Much of it is produced by hand.  Using a stone, the women break off the husks, then crack open the nut shell, remove the nutmeat, and finally grind the nuts in a kind of mortar and pestle to extract the oil.  I way overspent my Argan oil budget, but will have beeaautiful skin.

Then lunch, a delicious Moroccan salad and chicken tajine.

Finally, on to Zagora.  And the camel ride.  More about that next time.  



  1. The colours! The tiles! The rocks, LOL! When you mentioned the two English ladies I immediately pictured two ladies of a certain age, dressed in tweeds, with sensible shoes.

    1. Not tweeds but theys were definitely English ;-)

  2. Great pics and I'm glad you are treating your skin good. I can't wait to see the camel pics and hear about the rest of the trip. You are giving us little teasers. So glad we will be spending rooming time together when you get back and can catch up. Have fun and what was your camel's name

    1. In Sevilla today so you'll have to wait a bit for more of the Sahara story. As close as I could get the camel's name was Dar'Hasam. It was great fun