“…We were treated like royalty…”

Wow! How difficult it was to return to Australia after a tour like that. We were treated like royalty for two weeks and, judging by the similar feedback I read, this star-quality service is one of the hallmarks of Morocco Tours and Experience It! Tours. Kit and Ruth organised our trip seamlessly and, once we reached Morocco, Jamal took exceptional care of us. Nothing was too much bother, whether we requested a coffee in the middle of nowhere (nos-nos, half coffee-half milk, is surprisingly good, even at a dodgy looking petrol station with interesting bathroom facilities) or asked Jamal to pose with my bear and me in my sweat-soaked long sleeve shirts, which I inexplicably wore despite knowing it would be 35 degrees. The magnificent sights we passed during periods of extensive driving (and here I have to thank Jamal’s car, who we called ‘Carina’ as a tribute to her truly comfortable seats) were made all the more captivating through Jamal’s formidable knowledge of his country, his enthusiasm and his humorous means of delivery. His help in shops and restaurants proved invaluable too, since I don’t speak a word of French, and my English mysteriously began to desert me also, so I reverted instead to gestures and wordless noises. My mother fortunately also speaks some French, so was able to prevent me looking like an idiot most of the time.

We were introduced throughout our trip to some great city guides, the most fun and informative of whom was Azzedine. A star in his own right (he’s in the British series ‘Feast Bazaar’) we fondly called him James Dean, since his name slipped easily from our forgetful western minds. He made us fall in love with Fes through its history and architecture
and by taking us to some amazing places in the medina. The sights and smells of the tanneries and other traditional craft areas felt like passing through a living history book. Equally striking was the fusion of modern and ancient, such as the sight of people talking on iPhones whilst riding fully laden donkeys, or the thousands of satellite dishes on almost every rooftop.

Whilst Fes was our favourite city, the most memorable experience for me was spending a night under a blanket of stars in the Sahara. Comparing it to a night I spent under the Southern Cross in a freezing cold tent in Patagonian Torres del Paine, this was definitely glamping. But more than that, the impact of the stunning light when the setting sun hit the dunes, exchanging my bed for the outdoor sofa to fully enjoy the night sky, and even the awkward pain of realizing my hips were two centimetres wider after riding a camel, made me appreciate that there are still discoveries to be had, still spellbinding moments to be enjoyed despite the world becoming
increasing homogenized.

But by far the biggest highlight far me was meeting Jamal. Always in an infectiously good mood (even the day after losing his laptop) it was like being on a road trip with a best friend. To make our trip run this smoothly and pleasantly, Jamal worked long hours and incredibly
hard, for which we are truly grateful. If we had decided to travel to Morocco on our own, we would not have had the same wealth of experience without him there, nor would we have discovered
out-of-the-way sights or delicious local restaurants.

If you want a personalised adventure in a beautiful country full of medinas, kasbahs and riads, then I highly recommend Morocco Tours/Experience It Tours for your visit. Make your tour as long as possible, because you will not be disappointed. You may, however, form an addiction to prunes and dates with your main meal, or help the Moroccan economy tremendously by buying two leather jackets, a carpet, half a litre of argan oil and other assorted momentos like I did…

Roz (Australia), June 2012