Onwards to Todra Gorge, Berber visit along the way

We are on the move again! This time we are headed to the todra gorge where we will be spending two nights in a hotel. Another 5 hour drive, with our regular tea stop 🙂

We visited a fossil shop and artisan place along the way….always time for some shopping!

Next stop as a Berber village and cooperative where we had lunch….this time I opted for kebabs instead of tangine. We had a great time in the village, exploring their Berber museum and enjoying the entertainment

Our guide participated in the entertainment and the group joined in the dancing with the locals. Such a cool experience, and one of the things I love best about Intrepid. You really do get to experience the culture with this company. So blessed.

We arrived at todra gorge in the evening and enjoyed dinner together as a group.

The Sahara…camels and glamping

Today is camel riding day! This is a part of the tour that I had been looking forward to and it did not disappoint!

We headed out early for the 5 hour drive toward the Sahara Desert. The trip was broken up with stops for tea, a picnic lunch, and lookout views of beautiful oasis. The oasis are amazing….lush greenery in the middle of dry, barren land.

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We made it to a local hotel, where we stored our large bags. We could only take a small overnight bag with us, as we were going to be camping overnight. Now, when I heard camping, I was expecting sleeping bags in the ground and a cold night. So we all packed extra jackets, and I packed a toque and mitts….more on this later.

Others warned us that riding a camel was uncomfortable….so I had very low expectations. But, that wasn’t the case….I thought it was more comfortable than riding a horse! However, I later learned it was all dependant on your size of camel, and the saddle it had on it…..most of mine were excellent!

Our first camel ride was to see the sunset. We all got on our camels, and headed out…..we were led out by our camel “jockeys”. They told us our camels didn’t have names….just camel 1 and camel 2…..I named mine Henry :).

We all made our way to the top of a dune to watch the sunset….but didn’t quite make it to sunset. It was so windy, that we left before the end of the day and headed to camp.

Camping turned out to be a very pleasant glamping experience. We all had great twin beds with thick, lush blankets. Once we put our day packs away, we played a mean game of uno, had dinner, and gathered around a b fire for music and African dancing. Such a cool experience!

We had an option the next day for a sunrise camel ride. Most of the group headed out at 6 am and had an amazing time watching the sun come up.

Favorite experience so far!

Making memories in Midelt, Morocco

Howdy folks…..Kim has been so busy on her Morocco trip, she said she doesn’t know if she is coming or going. She has had so many great experiences, it’s hard to keep track…. she offered to take over the blog for a bit and keep us all up to date. Isn’t that great! Over to you…

Wow! What can I say Teddy? This is a great adventure, and we still have a week to go! Last year, I didn’t think I’d make it here, what with my little heart incident. I’m very blessed to be able to be on this Intrepid trip, Best of Morocco and tour this vast, diverse country.

Last we left off, we were in Fes exploring the city and the Medinas. We were there for 2 days and then headed for the countryside, Midelt was our destination. We are heading south and the terrain is changing, and it’s getting warmer. We have some fairly long days in our minivan, but the days are broken up with stops for mint tea (a staple here), visits to sites, and picnics.

We got up at 9:00 am and headed out….stopping at a local grocery store to stock up for a picnic lunch, and of course an hour later we stopped for tea, some of us had cafe :).

The terrain was very lush, with cedar forests, farmlands and orchards. We stopped at a local spot to see the Barbary Apes, North Africa’s only monkey. The locals take advantage of this touristy spot, setting up small roadside stands to sell their goods….scarfs are a hot seller here 😀

We made it to our guesthouse in Midelt, which is a market town. Our guesthouse was pretty cool….looked like a castle.

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Our amazing Intrepid group headed out to walk to a nearby gorge and then through the Berber village of Berrem. Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa and they made us welcome. We toured the village with our guide, who is also Berber, as he explained about the people and the culture. We enjoyed meeting them, especially the children who followed us and were quick to give us high fives and big smiles!

Dinner was tangine, a staple food here….I think we have had it everyday.

Another amazing day with a great group….Luca from Switzerland, Lisa and Dave from New Zealand, Steve from England, Nicky from Wales, Edwina and Paula from Australia, Wendy and Kate from Australia and of course Kim and Bern from Canada!

Hanging out in Fez, Morocco

Well, the adventure continues with a long day in Fez…but Kim said it was a great day!

Amina was their guide for the day. The group all jumped in their van and headed out. First stop was a palace….boy was it busy! They couldn’t go inside, but they took a lot of pictures while their guide talked about the history.

They then walked down the street, past the palace into the Jewish quarter. The buildings had a Spanish influence, with balconies on the outside of them. Many people were out today…many tourists.

Thy also stopped at a ceramics collective where Bern tried her hand at making pottery. They both also made a couple of purchases 🙂

And then they headed to the Medina. Thank goodness they had a guide…very narrow passageways with lots of shops. Kim said you could get really get lost in here! They saw the tannery, a unesco site where they still use the traditional ways of preparing and dying leather.

And, of course they stopped for lunch! Kim had the chicken pastille….she said it’s kind of like a chicken pie, covered with phyllo pastry topped with cinnamon and sugar..weird, lol! But she said it was good!

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That was a full day! Kim did make a couple of purchases today, some ceramics and some scarves…small things. She said her luggage is already too heavy. Lol

Later…..Teddy

Always be pawsitive

On the road in Morocco….Meknès, Volubilis, and Fes

Hi folks! No moss grows under Kim and Bern’s feet, or their Intrepid group. They are really enjoying their group of new found friends and the tour….they said it’s a lot of fun but very busy!

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They stayed overnight in Meknès and headed out with their group at 9:00am. They had a local guide take them for a three hour tour of Meknès. Meknès is known for its imperial past with remanants including the Bab Mansour, a huge gate with arches and mosaic tiling….this led into the ancient city, the Medina. Kim and Bern saw this and a lot more!

They saw the city sites, the Medina, a masoleum, and stopped for lunch…..lunch was a camel burger 🍔. Kim said it was delicious! They had the burger in a local family home in the Medina. A Medina is a walled city with many narrow passageways, lined with small shops.

Next stop was Volubilis, a partially excavated Berber city that was developed in the 3rd century BC. It grew rapidly under Roman rule, and fell to local tribes in 285. It was inhabitants for 700 years but was abandoned by the 11th century. The ruins were devastated by an earthquake in the mid 18th century

The group had a guide for this tour and it was very interesting. The ruins and landscape were beautiful

Another hour and a half and they arrived in Fez. They will stay in fez for two nights. Tonight they found a “speakeasy”. Lol….to get a drink in Morocco, you need to google it…and the place was dark….it looked closed, but they went in and had a good time….they felt like they were incognito…..

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Last but not least….a great local restaurant where Kim had couscous…..and the server had the longest mint tea pour yet….paws up to him!

That’s it for now folks! We are still in Saskatoon …..getting beautified at our friend Marge’s!

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Planes, trains and automobiles? Maybe trains and taxis in Morocco

Well everyone, Kim and Bern are on the move with Intrepid! They had a later start to their day, meeting the group in the lobby at 11:00 to head to the train station to go to Rabat. Rabat is the capital of Morocco and sits on the shores of the Bouregreg River and the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for landmarks including the Kasbah of the Udayas and the tower of Hassan…both of which they visited with their group. To get to Rabat, they took a one hour train ride. Kim and Bern loved this city…beautiful architecture and landscapes.

They loved exploring the Kasbah. The colours were beautiful and Kim had fun listening to a local musician. She had her picture taken with him for about two dollars! Doesn’t she look happy? Lol

After the Kasbah, they walked to the Hassan Tower,a 12th century minaret….they didn’t have a lot of time here, but they took some great pictures.

They were in a rush to get back to their meeting spot, and they didn’t want to miss their train ride…so they jumped in a taxi with their group. They took a few photos along the way…..Kim was surprised when her taxi door opened up when they were driving…good thing she didn’t fall out…the group had a good laugh over it lol

They made it on time and headed to the train station for a 3 hour ride to Meknes. The group all headed out for dinner. Kim said it was awesome. She had chicken and lemon tangine with creme Carmel for dessert. Amazing!

That darn Miffy is having fun too…I think Kim should take me with her next time!

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Have a paws up day everyone!

Teddy
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Casablanca….Mosques, Medinas, mint tea….and pastries of course!

Hi everyone!

Well Kim and Bern survived their nighttime adventure and were ready to go again this morning. They had such a great tour with their guide yesterday, they decided to head out with him today on a religious tour. This tour had its first stop at Hassan 2 Mosque. This is the largest mosque in Africa, and the 5th largest in the world. It’s minaret is the world’s tallest, at 210 metres. It was completed in 1993 and looks over the Atlantic Ocean. 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer. It is an amazing, beautiful place. Kim said the guide was very knowledgeable, and she learned a lot about the Muslim religion. Check out these pictures!

Next stop was the Jewish museum. There used to be over 500,000 Jews in Morocco, but it is much less now. The museum was very interesting….. then they went to a Catholic church that had beautiful stained glass windows.

Next stop…time for mint tea and pastries. First they went to a pastry shop….very tiny inside, and very busy…must be good! And it was….they got assortment of sweets and took them to a local cafe where everyone had mint tea. They had a nice spot, overlooking a park across the street, and sitting in the sunshine….Kim said it was perfect!

After tea they continued on to tour the Art Deco district of Casablanca and to the Art Deco museum. Both were very interesting. Then they stopped for lunch at a local spot. Kim had mixed meat ….hmmm…with Moroccan salad and fries. She said it was delicious and only $6….good deal!

Next the Medina….Bern had been looking for a hair brush for three days with no luck, and Kim needed a new suitcase because hers broke on the way to Morocco. They were in luck! Both were found in the Medina.

This was a long day, so they headed to rest up before meeting their intrepid group tonight. There are 11 in their group…from Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain. Kim said it seems like a good group 😀 After their welcome meeting, Kim and Bern went to Ibis…for wine with a few of their group, and then back to the hotel…for…you guessed it mint tea!

They head out on the train to Rabat tomorrow and then on to Meknes…let the adventure begin!

Later folks, Teddy

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