Sahara Desert

Zagora Travel Blog

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Tizi-n-Tichka Pass

Up early in the morning we were soon bouncing along on our way to ride some camels in the Sahara (on my bucket list).  We were in a van with a couple from Hungary, a man from Australia, a woman from Canada, and and a guy from Brazil.  Shortly after leaving Marrakech we came to the mountains and it became clear our driver did not slow for hairpin curves and narrow roads!  I'm used to mountain roads living in Colorado, but these were something else.  Our driver was on a mission!  We tore around those curves barely missing vehicles coming from the opposite direction, kids and donkeys, and dropoffs.  I decided to try to sleep but about the time I'd doze off we'd round a turn and I'd be in Elsie's lap or halfway on the floor.

The rain dance
  The mountains were very pretty from what I could see of them as we flew by. 

We reached the top of Tizi-n Tichka Pass finally and got out at a pull-out to take some pictures and catch our breath.  Then we were off again.  There were a lot of shepherds in the high meadows;luckily we didn't hit of their sheep or goats.  Finally we reached Aït Benhaddou.  We ate at restaurant there.  The food was delicious, but with the heat it was hard to enjoy it.  Aït Benhaddou was incredible!  Very pretty!  It was extremely hot, but we had a lot of fun exploring the alleys and rooms.  The bus driver gave us 2 hours to eat and visit the kasbah, and then we were off again.  About 14:00 the heat was starting to get to everybody.

Maximus returns
  We stopped at a couple roadside cafes to get some drinks, but it didn't help much.  All we could do was was sit sweating in that hot van.  Finally we reached Zagora and on the other side of town pulled up to a shop where the shopkeeper was waiting for us.  The driver told us that we needed to buy 2 bottles of water per person and a shesh (turban) for each person.  The sheshs were 50dh apiece a this store.  The Hungarian couple complained that they were only 10-12dh per person in Marrakech, but we didn't have much choice. 

About a km down the road we met our camels.  Elsie, of course, wanted the prettiest one and she got it.  We loaded up our supplies on the camels and we were off.  I expected a sore bum out of this, but I had no idea.

This is going to be a piece of cake. Camel posing.
  These camels bounce your butt something awful.  It's not like a horse at all and no stirrups.  I probably sound like I'm whining, but I really enjoyed it!  The discomfort of the van and camel rides was completely outweighed by the fact that I was riding a camel!  I'm just saying don't go on this excursion if you like to be comfortable above all else.  Elsie didn't enjoy it a whole lot, but reflecting on it she does think it was worth it.

We arrived at the camp after 2 hours on the camels.  The tents were made out of carpets and inside the tents was very comfortable.  They fed us dinner (tajine) and played a couple songs on the drums.  By now everybody was fighting to stay awake, so we drifted off to our tents.  I forget what the beds or mats were made of, but I remember thinking how hard they were 2 seconds before I fell asleep. 

 

Africancrab says:
Congratulations, you got featured. Well done, and thanks for the contribution. Happy trails!
Posted on: Dec 08, 2011
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Tizi-n-Tichka Pass
Tizi-n-Tichka Pass
The rain dance
The rain dance
Maximus returns
Maximus returns
This is going to be a piece of cak…
This is going to be a piece of ca…
Taa daa
Taa daa
Aït Benhaddou
Aït Benhaddou
youre hot
you're hot
A nice little town in the Atlas
A nice little town in the Atlas
Im hot
I'm hot
Were freaking frying here
We're freaking frying here
21st century Jasmine
21st century Jasmine
My butt really hurts at this point.
My butt really hurts at this point.
From our tent the next morning.
From our tent the next morning.
Zagora
photo by: rsvpme