A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about cycling

Detour along the Dades

sunny 23 °C
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In hindsight, Pete and I wished that we had skipped our detour along the Dades to Skoura and gone straight to the desert at M'Hamid, but that's part of the adventure and I had read that the Dades Gorge and River was home to some of the most spectacular oases and sights.

So we set of from Ait Ben Haddou along the N10 to Skoura. The road took us through Ouarzazate, a large city South of the Atlas mountains which is also home to some of Morocco's largest filming locations and studios. The city is therefore decorated with multiple "movie" sculptures at every roundabout!

Out the other side of Ouarzazate the landscape changed and it did feel like we were suddenly on Mars (I guess because all the TV and films I've ever seen that are 'on Mars' are filmed here!!).
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The drive was not far, so it was not long before we reached our destination; Dar Es Salam in Skoura Oasis. It was a beautifully restored kasbah with intricately carved walls and colourful gardens. Our tea here was also possibly the best Berber food we had on our trip. Just a simple tagine, but perfectly balanced flavours.
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Dar Es Salam
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Our tea

The breakfast in the morning was also delicious, moroccan pancakes and bread, which we enjoyed in the gardens.
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The house had advertised the use of free bikes and since we were in the oasis, we decided to explore the palmerie by bike. We found out almost immediately why the bikes were free when Pete's saddle broke whilst he was pedaling through a river. The result was very wet... :)large_IMG_1943.jpg
Not a happy wet Pete
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Crossing the streams that snaked around the Palmerie
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Some of the sights of the village

Skoura was a pretty town, and cycling around the oasis and through the village was fun. But as I said, in hindsight, this part of the holiday could have been cut out as we would have much rather stayed an extra night in the desert or elsewhere along the Draa Valley which we preferred.

Posted by Libbytes 04:00 Archived in Morocco Tagged oasis cycling kasbah skoura Comments (0)

Continuing along the Draa

sunny 22 °C
View Morocco Road Trip on Libbytes's travel map.

From Skoura, we headed back towards Ouarzazate and then South along the N9 again following the Draa river valley. This part of the journey really was my favourite I think, the landscape seemed to change around every corner (and there were a lot of corners!).

The road took us through the major town of Agdz where we stopped for a quick lunch before continuing down to Zagora. In Zagora we stayed at Riad Soleil Du Monde, a lovely riad just outside of Zagora. This Riad also had free bikes for rent and so we took the opportunity to cycle around the city before the sun set.
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Residents of the Riad
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Beautiful Riad

The cyling took us along the river and through the backstreets of Zagora enjoying an ice-cream at the main square.
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As the sun began to set we sat on the riverbank and watched as a farmer moved his noisy camels and the sun disappeared behind Zagora mountain.
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After chatting to the owners of the Riad and reading a lot of reviews and blogs, we decided that a trip to the desert would be the most exciting thing to do. The options were either to take a 4x4 from Zagora into the desert, or to drive ourselves to M'Hamid. Always wanting to make our own adventures, we decided to drive ourselves to M'Hamid and from there go quadbiking and perhaps stay overnight in a tent in the desert! A great plan, surely nothing could go wrong...

Posted by Libbytes 04:00 Archived in Morocco Tagged cycling zagora draa Comments (0)

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