atop Kasbah Tiffeltout
in the south
view & Ait Benhaddou
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.
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.
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.