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Trip Report Morocco with Desert Majesty

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Thanks to the kind people on this forum who are willing to share their travel knowledge, my husband and I just returned about 10 days ago from a 12 day trip to southern Morocco. We flew into Casablanca as airline rates were much cheaper there than if we flew into one of the other cities, at least it was when we found our 'deal'. We have always been independent travelers and just didn't want the 'guided tour' type vacation, so we began by assuming that we'd go it independently. After reading a lot on this and other forums, we decided since it was our first Moroccan trip, although we've traveled all over the world, that we'd feel better with someone who knew what they were doing in the Sahara Desert.

After talking with a number of companies that had tours in the area, we decided that the best deal for the money and Desert Majesty ( http://www.desertmajesty.com/gen/tours/tours-morocco.html ) had the most competent people and the best solution to meet our needs. We had one big medical issue that needed some special attention in that my husband is an insulin dependent diabetic and we had to be sure his meds could be kept cool regardless of where we chose to go. Desert Majesty was quick to say they could have a cooler in the SUV and that wouldn't be a problem and it really wasn't. What we ended up doing was basically outlining what we wanted to see and deciding that we wanted a driver who was also able to translate for us when we needed it and that really worked well for us. We also wanted someone able to tell us what to do in the event of a sand storm.

Our rationale for doing the southern part of the country first was that we could easily do the northern part of the country along with a visit to southern Spain. However, we did fly to Barcelona for three days at the end of this visit. The most northern place we visited this time was Marrakesh and Casablanca. Our driver picked us up in Casablanca and we went to Marrakesh that afternoon and spent two nights there. We were rather tired from the flight from the states the so the first night we just had a nice dinner and went to bed early. The next day we visited the souks and medinas and bought a 'few' things.

After Marakeesh, we visited Gorges du Dades,Vallee du dades, Ouarzazate, Zagora,Essaouira, Cascades d'Ouzoud and back to Casablanca where we visited the mosque before flying to Barcelona. The hardest part of the trip was leaving our driver, Ali, to whom we had become quite attached. He was the most kind, understanding, flexible and just plain wonderful person we'd met in a very long time and we both wanted to just take him home with us. We were also impressed with the two partners in Desert Majesty whom we met. We first met, Felicity on line when we were deciding on the route we wanted to take. She was incredible as I had a million and one questions and she answered each and every one of them meticulously and patiently (or so it seemed) and in a timely manner which is important when you are in the planning stage. It was my introduction to her had made me decide on the company as I figured she wouldn't tolerate someone in her company not doing a complete job. Then in Ouarzazate, we had tea and cookies at their office and met the other partner and were equally impressed with him.

During our trip, we did a lot of traveling and that was what we wanted as we wanted to see the natural, unspoiled Morocco. We did go into the souks, but we didn't spend a lot of time there. We were more impressed by the fossil plant that we visited, where they made incredible tables, sinks and a lot of very nice smaller items. It was incredible!!! Wish I could go back there and get some more things. We also visited the Argon store where the ladies were making the Argon oils and of course, I had to have quite a bit of that, too. It's one of those times when you throw airline baggage requirements to the wind and get what you want.

We spend one night in the Berber tent after taking a camel ride to the sand dunes and climbing or trying to climb the dune. It's much harder than it looks to climb the dunes. My husband made it to the top, but I was satisfied with 3/4 of the way up the dune and decided to wait on him. I loved my camel though as he/she was so gentle, and it did make me feel 'good' to see that my husband was having a little more trouble staying on his camel than I was. ;-) (No competition there.)

I was so impressed with the safety that was felt in the country and the way we felt 'taken care of' by Ali. It felt like 'home' as we were made so welcome. They daylight savings time changed while we were there and like most of us, we were scurrying about trying to decide what time it was as there was some confusion on what day it was to change. We laughed when someone said 'It really doesn't matter.' so that became our attitude too until it was time to catch our flight.

I will say that, as you may have noticed, we were more than pleased with Desert Majesty. It doesn't get any better than the service they provided and the competence with which they do what they say and in a timely manner. Bravo, Desert Majesty.

I made lots and lots of video footage which I always place on YouTube (after editing). So, while I don't take as many notes as many people do, I will have the videos later. I would have had them uploaded already but I've spent almost 4 days getting my e-mail back up and running.

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