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Storks atop Kasbah Tiffeltout

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A kasbah in the south

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Me, the view & Ait Benhaddou

THE SAHARA   ........  The gateway to the Sahara was the city of Ouarzazate.  It was on the other side of the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech and Taddart.  It was also a boom town for the motion picture industry.  Not far away from Ouarzazate was the village of Ait Benhaddou where several movies were filmed including "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Jewel of the Nile," and "Jesus of Nazareth."  And speaking of Lawrence, the cast stayed in a kasbah outside of Ouarzazate that had been converted into a hotel.  It wasn't really fancy, but the Kasbah Tiffeltout hasd ambiance. 

Farther to the south was Zagora.  It was on the edge of the desert.  You could rent a camel and a Berber guide to take an overnight adventure into the desert.  Around Zagora, the desert was more rocky than sandy. And, a ride on the camel was not a walk in the park.  But, for clear night skies, warm woven blankets, and hot Berber cooking, you couldn't do much better. 

Now if you really wanted sand, you must continue on to Erfoud.  Its marketplace was colorful in spite of the Berber women who only wear black robes.  However, you came to Erfoud to go outside of town to see the dunes.   They were mountains!  Spend at least one night at a hotel along the dunes.   Then, you could explore them on foot to your heart's content.  But, to really appreciate the view, you needed to get up at dawn for another camel ride.  Sunrise was especially beautiful over the dunes. 

MARTIN
Copyright 1998 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.