I have to say, I might be one of Adil's most difficult to satisfy clients. Morroco is a country quite far to travel from where I am originally. Given the opportunity to travel to Marrakech, I was determined to arrange the best possible arrangement to see the majestic Atlas mountain with family.
Even before we met, I was exchanging emails with Adil in great detail. He responded to every questions I had promptly, no matter how petty the questions were. We wanted the trip to be as authentic as it can be, Adil made it possible for us.
Our trip was a little bit different from Adil's usual itinerary because we actually combined it with the cooking lesson with Habiba ( I have separate review for her session, Berber cuisine)
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to cancel my first booking with him. He was a gentleman. He did not request for any compensation for his loss. Fortunately, my family & I had the opportunity to travel to Marrakech afterwards. Reminded by his professionalism when we had to cancel previously, we decided to reserve for his trip. I am glad that we made that decision. The trip to Atlas Mountain with Adil was definitely an experience of a lifetime.
To begin with, Adil is a punctual person. We agreed to start the journey at 8.30am, he arrived 10minutes earlier. He also spoke good English.
He also tried hard to satisfy his client. My husband was asking him for advice on where to buy good leather jackets, instead of telling us, he brought us to the shop at the end of the trip. At the end of our journey, we accidentally left the clay turtle which my 3yrs son adores (gift from Habiba), Adil kindly returned the ' turtle' to us the next day.
Some of the places in the mountains he included in his trips are not reachable by bus. You will definitely need a 4x4 & an experienced driver.
The trip we had was definitely authentic.
I echoed the comments of previous reviewers on the Berber market. Definitely an eye opener. Very colourful and much in contrast with other markets we have been, including the Souks of Medina. Colourful painted lorries used as 'buses', donkey carts trespassing small lanes in between stalls, traditional doctors & barbers, fruits & vegetables, basically a one stop centre for everything you need for living in the Atlas mountain.
We bought our spices here and glad we did. Not only that the price is cheaper but also the quality of the spices.
My daughter & I really enjoyed our cooking lessons with Habiba (I have also written a separate review for habiba's lesson : Berber cuisine) . The lesson itself was as authentic as it can be. Not the usual cooking school :)
Our cooking lesson with Habit was arranged by our guide Adil (4x4 camel). The lessons are private (only me & my daughter) Unlike the usual cooking class, we learn to cook in a real Berber kitchen. No formalities, unpretentious, more fun & personal touch. Habiba did not speak English. But that was not a barrier for us. Her gestures are comprehensible plus Adil was with us acting as a translator and also helping my daughter cook.
My daughter was inspired by the Junior Masterchef so she requested if she can make her own tangine instead of just helping me. Habiba & Adil arranged for my daughter to have a small table for her to cook her own small chicken tangine.
Suffice to say we had more than what we bargained for. Great views, excellent food (best Tangine & Zaalok so far) and we experience the generosity of the Berber people who had so little but give so much.
I do not speak the same language as Habiba & vice versa but I can feel Habiba's warmth and kindness towards her guests. I am humbled by her, there was an incident worth mentioning, As I saw Habiba's basic kitchen, lacking of modern utensils but full of labour & love, I was wondering if I can give her something. How I wished I have brought some token for her from home. So, I thought to myself and then discussed with my husband, what if we offer to buy from her the tangine set that we used in the cooking lesson at a good price. In our mind we were thinking, with that, we can have the memories and she can have a new one. I have also checked beforehand that she did have many tangine sets in her kitchen so it is not a trouble for her if we buy one of them.
Little did I know that she refused my money and gave me the tangine set as a gift. Humbled, I tried to find a valuable thing to give from my purse apart from money, I did not have any. So I gave her my brooch which I am embarrassed to confess that was of little value. It is more for her to keep as memories. As we were leaving her house, again I was humbled by her gift to my son, a clay turtle which my son fondly played whilst we were cooking.
Camel rides afterwards was enjoyable. Adil really knows how to 'select' which camel man for his client. I had the experience of riding a camel before. But this was much more fun for the whole family this time mostly because of the camel man. We went camel riding with the background of Atlas mountain. It was raining slightly but that did not dampen our mood. My children were sleepy but I woke them up anyway because they were looking forward to the ride. The camel man was very kind. Helped with my daughter's shoes which was untied. Singing along whilst we were riding the camel. Actually, he was only chanting: very good.. Very good.. Marhaba.. Marhaba.. Engaging my kids to participate in his chant. My kids really enjoyed the ride that they wanted more at the end of it :)
And the camel man took nice pictures as well.
The scenery of the Asni & Ourika valley on the journey was amazing, the mud-houses blending with the mountains, small rivers, cactuses, blooming flowers..
We regret that it was raining that we couldn't take as many scenery pictures of the mountains as we like. We told Adil about it via email once we were back home.
I am surprised to receive his call from Marrakech the same day that I wrote the email. He made a promise to snap us some scenery pictures the next time he goes there and email us the pictures. Adil, we are looking forward for that & really appreciate the gesture.
For us, it really shows that Adil really try to give his best for his client.
We hope Adil will be pleased to know that each family member had a great time. An experience of a lifetime and of course, VERY authentic indeed..
Thank you Adil!
~ a detail review dedicated to Adil from your 'detail' client ;)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.