Yet again Exodus delivers!! This trip encompasses everything Morocco has to offer, and allows one to experience the essence of Moroccan culture and rural family life, together with the crazy buzz and sensory overload defined as Marrakech!! It especially gives children real insight into how simplicity and working together with the land and basic resources provides a sustainable income and how modern life and gadgets can be a route cause of communication problems!!
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
An inspirational moment was watching the Berber children in the Berber village welcome our little girl, a complete stranger, into their world to play a simple game with stones on the roof of the gite, without a single toy, let alone DS or Wii in sight!! With no common language, the game went on for nearly 2 hours uninterrupted!!
One MUST experience a full 'netoyage' in the Hammam at the gite in the Berber village- an experience never to be forgotten!!
Another unforgettable moment was nearly falling off the camel as he descended what seemed to be a steep cliff, but in reality, only a mild incline- one does have to hold on for dear life, whilst he gets up and down!!
For inspirational places, a must see in Marrakech, 'The Jardins Marjorelle' (the gardens of Yves St Laurent), and the Moderna Ben Youseff - well worth a visit for incredible architecture!!
- What did you think of your group leader?
Hassan, our leader was OUTSTANDING in every way!!
Up in the mountains, his knowledge and understanding of the local people, and the language (being of Berber descent himself),was the reason our trip was so meaningful . His very flexible approach, guiding gently, rather than being too exuberant and controlling, allowed us to set the pace and tone of our trip.
His rapport with the local Berber family up in the mounrtains, and equally the more sophisticated hoteliers in the city, ensured we felt comfortable and well looked after.
He was EXTREMELY child friendly and helpful, with a genuine passion for what he does, ensuring we had a good time, at all times, being very clear about the programme of the day.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
What you see is what you get. As suggested in the very detailed and accurate trip notes, accomodation, especially in the Berber village, is very basic- hygeine, ablutions, the availability of water and sometimes electricity, not always guaranteed. This in itself, however made it all the more interesting!!!
Up in the mountains, the evening temperature can fall, and we had snow on the Atlas, so a good 3 season sleeping bag and a thick fleece is essential.
My lifesaver, and a MUST TAKE, are plenty of little packets of wet wipes and tissues, ( for the whole trip) as well as toilet paper and wipes for in the Berber village.
It is essential, for children as well, to have good, comfortable walking boots, not just trainers.
Essaouira, which was a favourite of the whole trip, is delightful. It would however be advisable, to ask your leader to PRE ARRANGE a camel, ( about £20 for the whole morning), especially if there are children, for the very long beach walk, which is spectacular, at Sidu Kouki. It is a long way for little, and older, fatigued feet!!
Toilets and hygeine throughout the trip, esp places of interest, not always pristine, to say the least!!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
A fantastic trip, very well organised and structured.
I would however add, that although there is toddler availabilty on some trips, some aspects of the accomodation, the pace of the trip, the long walks and especially the unpredictabilty, noise and apparent mayhem in Marrakech, could all be too much, and probably rather frightening for children under 6 years of age.
The guided walk in Marrakech, our favourite bit about Marrakech, (which was unfortunately on the last day of our trip,) was MOST informative, and brought together the history, the diverse culture and religion of the people of Morocco. It would be helpful to have a brief written summary provided,(as dictated by our guide Mohammed,) to read pre trip and certainly before the guided walk around Marrakech. Reading it all from a guide book, is just not the same!!
Lastly, beware of unscrupulous taxi drivers (and hagglers in the souks) in Marrakech, who charge a fortune to the undiscerning traveller- always ask the taxi fare before accepting the ride, and take advise re haggling before one buys, especially in Marrakech!!
I would recommend this trip, (way above staying at an exclusive resort,) but one needs to have a sense of humour and be relatively down to earth!!!