Day 2: Dades Valley -- Merzouga (Erg Chebbi) Morocco Desert:
After breakfast, our first stop is Tinerhir, with its extensive palm grove, the Ksours built into the rocky hills above it and its mysterious decaying Jewish quarter. No more than a mountain village, set at 1300 meters altitude, it has been for generations a stop for nomadic Berber tribes traveling from the mountains towards Morocco desert during the winter months. Do not miss a walk in the palm grove, an amazing world of its own: date palms at the edge, terraces of olive, pomegranate, almond and fruit trees further in, with grain and vegetable crops planted in between.
The most spectacular mountain gorges of Morocco, Todra Gorges , lie only 15 km from Tinerhir, presenting an arresting spectacle with its crystal clear river emerging from it, its huge walls changing color to magical effect as the day unfolds. It’s 300 meters ( 1000 feet ) high walls are home to more than 150 bolted routes and at any time of the day, you can catch a glimpse of someone rock climbing his way up the gigantic walls.
Before reaching Merzouga, we will pass through Erfoud and Rissani. Which used to serve as last stop on the great caravan routes south as well as gold and slave auctions were taking place here as late as 1800’s. It is also from here that the Alaoui dynasty, ruling Morocco nowadays launched its bid for power centuries ago.
Merzouga & Erg chebbi
The last village on our way is Merzouga, and behind it lie some of the highest dunes of the Sahara in Morocco, Erg Chebbi. With all the expectations building up along the road still, nothing quite prepares you to the spectacle stretching in front of your eyes from the top of the dunes. For as far as you can see, there is nothing but sand, an ocean of it as set to conquer everything that stands in its way. All worldly matters loose sense and the feeling of peace are overwhelming… After a short camel trek, you will spend the night in a nomadic Desert Camp under the most beautiful starred sky.