Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Merzouga - Todra Gorge - Dades Gorge (260klms)

We left Merzouga around 11.00am yesterday after our magical night in the desert, driving back through Rissani to Erfoud before heading West along a high plateau of the Mid Atlas Mountains towards the amazing landscapes of the fertile Todra River valley. These sand cities look like something out of the bible..

After a lunchstop and a realisation that another member of our group (Wayne) might be succumbing to the dreaded (24 hour??) tummy bug we are drawing closer to the spectacular Todra Gorge, the highest, narrowest Gorge in Morocco with its rock formations known as "monkey toes".

The pic below is of a hotel/guest house (kasbah) at the base of the gorge - we noted that part of the building had been destroyed by a recent rock slide - a constant hazard! This gorge is very popular with crazy rock climbers.
For Wayne it must have seemed an impossibly long drive then through curving, winding roads to our overnight stop at the amazing Hotel Xaluca Dades. It is a large, fabulously exotic hotel overlooking the spectacular Dades Valley. We are met with some traditional Berber music.
The hotel's decor is African inspired. The rooms are in "glamorous rustic" style and the hotel's public spaces are dotted with huge African sculptures and art works. Jennie celebrates her recovery from the bug with a Hamman treatment and the fit ones amongst us enjoy a Casablanca beer at the bar (our first alcohol in a while). Rob is not feeling well however and he has a terrible night..his bug is a bad one.

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