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Experience with Journey Beyond Travel or Sahara Services in Morocco?

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Jun 15th, 2013, 06:39 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23,685
Please do NOT, NOT give things to kids in the streets. It encourages begging, which is bad for the kids and bad for the tourists who follow you. If you really want to help, pick a charity and make a donation. (It's what I do for India. I prefer an organisation working to educate girls).
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Jun 16th, 2013, 07:40 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 175
Thanks, cdc for your comments. I think I'm really looking forward to your trip report.

Leslie_S Your comments were really quite helpful. Now all I have to do is convince my husband to do as you said do, as he is a picky eater. Our stories of his pickiness in Japan, (thought the food was good) have given many people a good 'belly laugh'.

Thomas-I appreciate your apology and accept it. I will be in touch with you at the first of the week. We have had out-of-state Father's Day company for several days and so I'll be free at the first of the week. I'll contact you soon.
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Jun 19th, 2013, 10:53 AM
  #23
cdc
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Tangier is great so far! Lots of camels for the tourists ... But we are holding out for our trip to the Sahara. .

Caroline- is Tangier on your list? We used a local guide and did a lot of wandering on our own. I can give you our local guys info if you want - but it also seems like the hotels have arrangements with different people.

So far our trip has been great (aside from temporarily lost luggage and the usual travel snafus), and I will follow up with a complete report when we get back. Off to Asilah tomorrow and then Fes by train- a good test of my husband's French language skills (and my ability to pantomime)!

CDC
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Jun 19th, 2013, 11:02 AM
  #24
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Sounds like you're having fun, cdc! We missed Tangier, I can't wait to hear more about it when you get back.
Enjoy the rest of your adventure --
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Jun 22nd, 2013, 03:32 PM
  #25
cdc
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Hi again. Tangier was fun, and a good place to start. Atlas hotel was ok, served its purpose. If i did it again, i prob would set up the accommodations differently. We got in nice day trips to the east and west with a driver which was great. Then took the train from Asilah to Fez. Staying at Riad La Roussa in the old medina. This place is amazing - Leslie, I see why you loved it here. We did the day trip to Meknes and Vouliboullis. We had a great guide at Voulliboulis, which I think made it worth the trip. It was a Friday afternoon, so not much going on on in Meknes- but still worth it to see both places. Leslie, We didn't spend any time in the kitchen at La Roussa, but enjoyed eating here two of our three nights! Food was excellent. You can go to the market and do a cooking class/ observation with the staff.... But too much to do and not enough time.
Leaving tomorrow morning with JBT- full report to follow later, just wanted to give an update for those still in planning phase.
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Jun 24th, 2013, 02:07 PM
  #26
 
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Yay - glad you enjoyed La Roussa We ate there both nights of our two in Fez. Our trip with JBT was set up to include meals so most of them were at the riads we stayed at, but in all cases we were quite content with that.

I'm also glad you enjoyed Volubilis. I thought it was magical to be in a lost city by ourselves...I think there was literally one other couple wandering around that day. I'm sure a guide there would provide a lot of interesting info also.

Can't wait to hear how the rest of your trip goes. Have fun!
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Jun 25th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #27
cdc
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Camel trek and overnight in the desert were by far the coolest part of the trip for me so far. Overall, the southern part of the country is amazing.
Caroline- the camping portion we did was really camping- I have a thing with bugs, so was a bit panicked but worked through my issues with the help of my husband and the guides. Luckily this time of year, only bug is a beetle and no scorpions (so I was told and I believe). In the end we brought our mattresses out of the "tents" and slept under the moon and stars- truly an awesome experience- I will write more in a full report, but wanted to give a heads up that the version we did had pretty rustic accommodations. That said, the guides prepared a three course meal at the site that night- way too much food for just the two of us, but all yummy.
Next stop, skoura!
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Jun 26th, 2013, 04:12 AM
  #28
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I'm glad you didn't have any crazy bug stories from the desert. I'm afraid of bugs too. When I woke in the middle of the night in our tent to go to the bathroom and turned on my flashlight I was sure the mosquito net would be COVERED in some kind of creatures. But it wasn't and I only ever saw one huge dung beetle, fittingly crawling on a pipe in the WC.

Looking forward to your full report with more details. About how your camel ride was (and how long...a few minutes....hours?). Did the Gnawa brotherhood come to your tent to play for you in the evening?
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Jun 26th, 2013, 07:11 AM
  #29
 
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cdc: Happy things are working well for you..isn't it an intriguing country!

I suppose we are overly stubborn, fiercely independent travelers...but I feel that made Maroc that much more exciting. We drove everywhere and took close to a month to do it. My wife's high school French was handy to have, but we got by mostly with English and fingerpointing as we have in many countries where we didn't know the local lingo.

Just to give you a famliarization taste of doing Maroc on our own, here follows a three part pic-look from a most decidedly amateur photog (I do not do trip reports).

Stu

http://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Morocco#

https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...KvrpeoxMr2uwE#

https://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Maroc3#
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Jul 18th, 2013, 09:04 PM
  #30
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I just did my photobooks for my trip to Morocco (imagine the pages are connected like a book ie page 2-3, 4-5 etc). Sharing the beauty and wonders of Morocco

Meknes, Volubilis, Fes, Ifrane, Ziz Valley, Erg Chebbi
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yb1urosilw2m809/sdYVuaOlPf

Todra Gorge, Ait Ben Haddou, Atlas Mountains, Essaouira, Marrakech, Casablanca
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/oon8qiuz8vtygag/LB59fqG8ti
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Jul 19th, 2013, 05:25 AM
  #31
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 175
cdc - Tangier isn't on our list. We will be primarily from the middle of the country south.

I am hopeful that I won't be regarded as rude if I refuse the raw milk as I have serious immune system disorder and have been told not to drink non-pasturized milk products. I just checked and the CDC also says that. I don't want to appear rude, but I can't risk my health either. Not sure if I should explain it's due to my doctor's orders or if I should refuse it with no explanation.


"These harmful bacteria can seriously affect the health of anyone who drinks raw milk, or eats foods made from raw milk. However, the bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, older adults, pregnant women, and children. In fact, the CDC analysis found that foodborne illness from raw milk especially affected children and teenagers."
http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesFor.../ucm079516.htm
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Jul 20th, 2013, 09:13 AM
  #32
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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It would probably be a rarity to be offered that raw milk - we only were in one place in someone's home. But I'm sure if you ever didn't want anything they served to eat or drink it would not be a big deal to say no thank you or even pretend to take sip/bite and set it down.

When in places where I'm a little concerned about my stomach and what we'll be eating/drinking -- not that I'm implying it's a hygiene thing, just different than my system is used to -- I take Pepto Bismol as a preventative before each meal. Have you read about it? It's recommended on some travel medicine websites. Anti-microbial properties in it can help to kill microbes to avoid certain GI issues. Anyway...it seems to be working for me and the side-effects are minimal for a 2 week trip.
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Jul 21st, 2013, 06:18 AM
  #33
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 175
Lesle S - Thanks for your reply. I have read about the GI issues and plan to take meds for that and the usual travel meds. However, my health issue is much more serious than the GI issues. It is a life threatening pulmonary condition related to the autoimmune system and, of course, I must take it seriously. I try to be sensitive to the host country's traditions as much as possible, so that was the reason for my trying to be sensitive if they offered it. It does make me feel a bit more comfortable knowing it's probably not the norm though. Thanks.
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Jul 21st, 2013, 08:26 AM
  #34
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Oh yes, your health must come first! Even if trying to be sensitive which is of course admirable, you have to be careful and live to travel another day
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