Morocco Odyssey with OAT

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Apr 9th, 2011, 06:58 AM
  #21
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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We were there this past September/October well before the political upheaval in Africa.
We noticed no issues to speak of, although our guide made sure to talk about politics only in areas where we were private and could not be overheard.

There were no serious problems with people nor any unusual delays.

However, while walking through the souk in the evening (I forget which town) one of the women in our group took a photo. All of a sudden a young man, religious looking as he was dressed in the long robe, had a long beard and turban, began yelling at her and demanded that she turn over the camera. Our guide intervened and after several uneasy moments showed him the photos on the camera and deleted them. This seemed to pacify the man - but it was unnerving.

Another time in Marrakesh while our group was walking out of a restaurant on a side street in the souk someone yelled out some nasty words about Jews. We didn't see who it was, but kept on walking and ignored the incident.

But, all in all, considering we were away for 3 weeks, we had no major incidents or serious problems.
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Aug 31st, 2011, 08:44 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I took this OAT tour with a friend last spring. I enjoyed
Morocco and we had a fantastic guide but I would not take
another tour with OAT. Many of their policies are not user
friendly and none of the tips (except for waiters) are included. This will easily cost you another $300 and many
trips to the cambio for a constant stream of change to have
available. We had planned ahead and had an envelope for each
person with their respective tips but the information on
drivers, assistant to the driver, city guide, camel guides, etc. was incorrect and we spent much more than expected.
Morocco is mystical; OAT is a dud!
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Nov 19th, 2011, 02:00 PM
  #23
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Anybody know how the weather is on this trip mid-February?
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Dec 28th, 2011, 08:03 PM
  #24
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Lolo-
We'll be doing this trip in a few weeks.
I notice you had lunch at a school in Tineghir. Are these older kids? We've always brought gifts (school supplies and such) for these OAT school visits. Did your group do so here?
And was there more than one home-hosted dinner?
We'll be doing Essaouira. It's now a post-trip.
Hope we get Mohammed. Friends took the trip a few months back and they also said he was the best ever.
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Dec 29th, 2011, 07:51 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I took the same tour last spring. The only home hosted dinner
was in Fez about the third night. It lasted about 2 hours from
the time the host picked us up at the Ramada. They were a
lovely family with three children (only 2 were present). We
were served soup, baked chicken, home baked bread, and melon
for desert. I would advise you to take some tapestry needles
and DMC thread or some type of yarn to give the nomadic ladies
in the desert as they make some lovely items and you will have
an opportunity to buy however not a great deal to choose from.
You will love Morocco and as mentioned by Lolo if you have
Mohammed as a guide you will be well taken care of.
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Dec 29th, 2011, 08:22 PM
  #26
 
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Thanks, Xenii-
Did you stop at the school I mentioned? Were they older kids, and did any in your group bring gifts there?
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Jan 5th, 2012, 12:12 PM
  #27
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NGail - the boys in the school where we had lunch were older - I don't remember exactly, but I guess around 12 - 15.
We didn't bring any gifts. But, when we visited an elementary school, we brought snacks that we had picked up in a store. Mohammed made the suggestion so it made it easier for us.
Our home-hosted dinner was in Fez and I brought a gift for them.
I bought some trinkets from the Nomadic families - not much to choose from and not the greatest quality, but they could sure the $.
You will LOVE Morocco. It was one of the best trips ever. And Mohammed was the best.
I am going on another OAT trip next month to Bolivia, Colombia and Panama. If it is half as good as Morocco was, we will have a ball!!
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Jan 5th, 2012, 06:59 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Thanks, Lolo-
Our itinerary didn't mention visiting an elementary school; that's why I thought the only visit was to the older kids. Snacks seems like a good idea, rather than carrying something along that we may not need.
This will be our 5th OAT trip, so clearly we enjoy them and think them good value.
We've also done one trip with Odysseys Unlimited - very similar.
Have a wonderful time on your next trip.
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Jan 14th, 2012, 07:03 PM
  #29
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 15
I did not visit the school as I needed some time to decompress. I hated to miss it but I've had health issues
and know when to listen to my body. One couple took French/English dictionaries and others mostly small light
weight school supplies.
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Jan 15th, 2012, 09:40 AM
  #30
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Dictionaries sound like a very good idea- compact and unbreakable.
One last question (maybe!)
I always get nutsy over footwear - light hiking boots, hiking sandals, sneakers, nice shoes/sandals, flip-flops. Which 2 or 3 pairs would you recommend? We'll be traveling in February-March.
Thanks so much for your help.
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Jan 15th, 2012, 05:59 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I would choose a pair of hiking sandals and a pair of
Mary Jane type shoes by Merrill, Clark or similar but I am
not sure how much hiking you are interested in doing. Much of
the walking will be dusty and sometimes a bit dirty. It may
be a bit cold when you enter the Atlas mountains so carry
socks in your day bag the day you leave for the mountains. Our driver was nice enough to open the side of the coach
so that we could get warmer clothes from our bag. The
only reason you would need flip flops is to wear in the hotel
room or to the pool. I was there in May. If you have Keen's
those would also be good.
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Jan 15th, 2012, 07:39 PM
  #32
 
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Thanks, Xenii.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 02:54 PM
  #33
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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NGail,

Just thought of something that might help. Pack the things that
you will need while in the desert in your carry on bag. There is
very little room in your tent and it is difficult to find a place
to open your bag for needed items. Your bag will have sand in it
for the remainder of your trip but it should be gone by the time
you get home! Also, take a head light or flashlight for trips to
the bathroom tent as the sand and the tent stakes are something
you will need to be aware of.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 07:37 PM
  #34
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Excellent suggestion!
Thanks.
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