Escape to the desert; South Morocco:Once you leave the plain where the city of Marrakech rises to the desert, the landscape changes radically. In fact, the fastest route passes through the largest Moroccan mountain range, the middle Atlas.
The metamorphosis of the landscape is at the same time gradual and impressive, from the arid plains we pass to a view full of shrubs to finally reach the imposing forests…
The intermediate stages of this long transfer, which will take you to bypass the Atlas, are at the numerous kasbahs, old palaces of sultans who, like the castles of our latitudes, were the nerve center of rural life and offered defense to the mercantile streets.
Here the joint work between the orogeny and hydrology has created a breathtaking panorama where the rugged landscape of the bare rock merges with the green of the lush palm groves that rise in the valleys, thanks to small watercourses.
This is a magnificent example of the Draa and Todra valleys, so do not miss the chance to stay one night in the Kasbah Taborihte hotel located in the palm grove of the latter.
After two days of traveling you arrive at the small town of Rissani at the gates of the desert, you will not find anything luxurious and elegant, very few Western tourists, local people call themselves “people of the desert”.
Here life is essential, we live on commerce and crafts. The current market is what remains of the place that for centuries has been a meeting point and bargaining for the Berber, Bedouin and nomad caravans who arrived there after crossing the desert.
As we understand the transfer to the desert is short, in less than half an hour you get to the hotels that rise at the foot of the majestic dunes. These are also the starting point for excursions ranging from the most classic walk, to the 4×4 or quads.
If you decide to face a night in the desert after about an hour and a half dromedary you arrive at the equipped camp where you will dine and sleep (if the season allows you to sleep absolutely outdoors). Some of the dunes that surround the field, almost a hundred meters high, lend themselves very well as observation points to admire the setting and the sunrise.When you see all that immense space dyeing red, you will understand that the desert is much more than a sea of sand. The most evocative show, however, will still have to take place: it is, in fact, when the lights go out that the sky lights up and shines with its own light, billions of stars are there to remember when they were the only means to indicate the way to who traveled in a place without reference points. Paths traced not in the beaten earth, but in the darkness.
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