Most people recall the CSN song "Marrakesh Express" when they think of Morocco. For me, it is Jackson Browne's "Something Fine." I have wanted to see Morocco since first hearing that song in 1972.
The lyrics to the Jackson Browne song include "Now if you see Morocco I know you'll go in style." Because the four of us of were fortunate enough to choose Maroc Nature (thanks, Diane!), we definitely saw Morocco in style.
The truth is that I was somewhat apprehensive of the trip. I am more risk-adverse than I was in 1972. Some of my acquaintances tried to dissuade me. The public health nurse warned us to be careful about the food and water. Etc.
In fact, it could hardly have been a better trip. Maroc Nature put together a custom trip for four of us that included three days of bicycling in the Atlas Mountains, a visit to the desert oasis of La Pause and camel riding on the beach near Essaouira. One day we had lunch in the home of a Berber family in a mountain village; another day we had lunch on the rooftop deck of a guesthouse on a mountaintop with a fantastic view of Mount Toubkal. The food was delicious, the accommodations were splendid, the biking was fabulous (excellent bikes!).
Best of all was the friendship we developed with Mstafa and Mohamed. It was like we were now six friends vacationing, but two of them were doing all the work and making sure it was a great vacation. As well as taking care of us and really paying attention to what we needed and wanted, Mstafa shared his deep knowledge of the culture and traditions of the people we visited.
My acquaintances back home who were negative? It turns out they got off a cruise ship for an afternoon in Casablanca. Don't do that! Work with Maroc Nature to put together the trip that suits you and get out of the big cities. Sure, it was interesting to experience the souk in Marrakesh (four a couple of hours), but it was everything outside of Marrakesh that made the trip a great one.
When Jackson Browne sang about having a taste of something fine, he was probably talking about that 1960's and 70's stuff. For us, it was wonderful tagines, fruit and experience.
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