We always encourage our customers (fondly known as Ramblers) to contribute their travel tales to our blog on their return, and in this post we’re pleased to introduce Joan and Stuart who escaped the grey UK winter and jetted off to sunnier climes, just four hours away in Morocco. Their stories and pictures have certainly inspired a few of the Rickshaw team to book trips to Morocco this year! Here’s Joan with the highlights…
Off to Africa
“9th January 2015 found us heading off to Morocco so that we could start the year with some spring like sunshine and celebrate Stuart’s 60th birthday in style. The most difficult part of the planning in 2014 was simply choosing where to visit. Fiona at Rickshaw Travel made this all very easy for us. The itinerary we received was comprehensive and we found it a very useful and thorough resource as we travelled.
Our 1st stop was Rabat. Our short visit here included a lovely stroll through the beautiful gardens of the Medina. Next up was Fes. We had lunch at the Ruined Garden on the recommendation of the host of our Riad. It was so good we returned for dinner in the evening!
Hafid, our Guide who was one of those recommended by Rickshaw Travel, his family have lived in Fes for generations and he was full of wonderful stories to make the place even more colourful. Our half-day tour included a visit to a shop selling the many things that are made from Argon oil. Fes is where amazing leather products are handmade; the process includes the softening of leather in the Tanneries and we returned home with a new leather jacket for Stuart!
Into the desert…
We were in Rissani for one night before heading off to the desert. It was a cool evening so a small fire was brought to our dinner table. On our desert trip our home for a night was tents that had electric lighting courtesy of solar panels.
Personally, I would recommend taking a couple of warm fleeces / jumpers if you are travelling in January as although the day time temperature is comfortable, the evenings are cool. If you choose the desert option, it is handy to have a hat and/or scarf to wear for the ride and thermal underwear so you have a comfy and warm night’s sleep.
Our 2nd morning in Rissani was so warm we enjoyed our breakfast outside with the birds before heading off on our way to the mountains via Todra Gorge which was worth the detour, as recommended by Rickshaw. Our guide, Hassan lead us on our walk through the amazing Dades Valley.
We found Morocco to be a most beautiful and varied country whose people were warm and welcoming. They are also instinctive sales people but respond well when you say “la’a shukran” (no thank you in Arabic). My basic French was useful but wish I had learned a few Arabic phrases before setting off. However, the Moroccans were very happy to teach us some basic Arabic phrases while we were there and using them made our stay even more enjoyable.
Several weeks after our return we are still enjoying sharing stories about our holiday with our friends. One of the things that we think made it so memorable was our stays in the various Riads which were all so different and contained many charms giving us an insight into the Moroccan way of life.”
A BIG thank you to Joan for sharing her travel tales with us!