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Morocco with Back-Roads Touring

October 20, 2018 Headline News, Travel Feature No Comments Email Email

Michael Osborne finds sitting in a Bedouin camp looking up at a zillion stars while the breeze whispered through the mysterious Sahara sandhills was the most amazing highlight of his recent journey across Morocco.

It was one of those Arabian style nights that stays with you forever. I was exploring Morocco, North Africa with Back-Roads Touring, a company that goes far beyond normal travel operators in providing guests with the best of everything.

The Bedouin Camp was a luxury “glamping” facility set up especially for us.

So far, this expedition into the previously unvisited Morocco had been so interesting and exciting, but it was about to take on a whole new dimension! It was my first visit to the legendary Sahara Desert and staying in a Bedouin Camp was a dream come true.

Campsite

Our extremely comfortable coach arrived at Merzouga, a small Moroccan town in the Sahara Desert, near the Algerian border. It’s known as a gateway to Erg Chebbi, a huge expanse of sand dunes north of town and our band of travellers were very excited. We were about to board some 4wd’s and head off into the Sahara.

Our experienced drivers soon had us out of the town and turning off the road and into the sandy unknown. As we sped across the desert, the drivers took turns in leading our convoy and putting the cars into slides that raise our adrenalin. In fact, a certain lady, a fellow mature traveller, who’s name will not be mentioned was cheering our driver to go faster and faster. I think she might have been a bit of a wild one, in her youth!

Entertainment

As we skimmed through the dunes, we came across the campsite. This was straight out of Arabian nights. Huge tents all laid out with colourful carpets and a common area with large cushions to sit on, all around a fire-pit (which did come in very handy, once the sun went down).

We enjoy a welcome drink as our luggage was quickly carried to our respective tents. Then a very colourful camel train emerged out of the desert especially for those who were able to go for a sunset ride into the wilds of the Sahara. Another rewarding experience.

The camel ride

Our personal tents were well equipped, fully carpeted, a king size bed, side tables with lamps, electric lights, a change room with hanging space and separate shower and toilet.

After setting up our personal items in our tents it was time for sitting around the fire, enjoying a few drinks and watching the sun set over the dunes and then to watch a zillion stars start to emerge.

Could it get any better?  Of course it could!

Enjoying the campfire

The band struck up, with traditional Berber music to entertain us until we were called to ‘The Feast’.

The giant size main dining marquee was again fully carpeted with a generous bar and tables groaning with finger food and snacks. Spread around were the tables for the evening feast.

Once we were seated and more drinks applied, the ground crew presented us with a special presentation of serving the food, accompanied by more music and singing as our fire cooked lamb was carried out on silver trays, with much pomp and ceremony.

 

The feast is served

As with all our meals on the tour, a gastronomic delight, even though it had been cooked out in the desert.

After such an absorbing day, some do make it to sit around the fire and reflect on the wondrous things we had seen. But the majority decided for a few more looks at the sparkling stars that filled the sky and then off to our tents, to sleep the sleep of a very happy traveller.

Enjoying the feast

In the morning it was back to the main tent and another feast (breakfast) was waiting. It was quite a feat, how they did it in the middle of nowhere. More praise to Back-Roads for their superb organising.

Then it was back into the 4wd’s and back to Merzouga, where our coach was waiting.

Next we travel to the magic Todra and Dades Gorges before reaching Quarzazate.

Rustic washstand

While waiting for the next episode, why not have a look at all the other award-winning adventures: https://backroadstouring.com/

Words and images: Michael Osborne who travelled as a guest of Back-Roads Touring.

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