Marrakech, Agafay Desert Beauty in Fine Style
Over the course of their travels, travellers accumulate memories that crystallise beauty and emotion, as if suspended in time. I had the privilege of experiencing one of these moments in eternity when exploring the Agafay Desert in Morocco, travelling in a sidecar.
We travellers aren’t on a quest to collect stamps for our passports, we aren’t looking to cross countries off our “must-visit” list (“been there, done that”), and we certainly don’t travel just to post selfies. We travel for that glorious feeling of freedom that brings us closer to others and the wonderful world we live in. We also travel in search of ourselves.
All Eyes On Marrakech
It’s nine in the morning, or perhaps ten. Lingering at a peaceful riad, the tranquillity is suddenly broken with the roar of two motorbikes as they drive up and come to a halt. A few seconds later Felix bursts onto the patio radiating an infectious, sincere joy. Felix, member of Insiders, will be our guide for our ride, as will Rachel.
We share a coffee, then leave the riad to check out the sidecars. They are resplendent, lustrous. We greet Rachel. We get the vehicles ready and secure our luggage, then set out at last. The motorbikes purr, echoing our arrival as we head down the little alleyways of Marrakech. People turn their heads and smile at our vintage caravan passing through. Some give a thumbs-up: Marrakshis just love side-cars. The warm, friendly looks and smiles we exchange add another dimension to our adventure.
Hitting The Tracks
A few miles out, we exit the main road and head down a dirt track. It starts getting bumpy, yet we are pleasantly surprised by the comfort of our sidecars, which seem to simply slide over sand and rock.
Our first stop on this road trip is to an ancient palace with a fascinating story. Our hosts share a traditional lunch with us, prepared especially for us, since nobody else is about. This adventure is as exclusive as it is intimate. We really are off the beaten track, here!
Agafay Desert And The Imposing Atlas Mountains
Back on track, literally, we pass through a few last villages and arrive at the Agafay Desert: its rocky immensity, its stolid sand dunes, and the Atlas Mountains, a backdrop. The imposing mountains conjuring the image of their mythical namesake, the Titan holding up the sky.
We rush ahead: the wind sweeps our faces as we contemplate the horizon’s ever-changing contours. The desert is magnificent, vibrant and still on a human scale: as we round a hill, we see a shepherd herding his flock. We stop to greet him and watch the flock retreating. And then, there’s silence. Silence and a breath of wind. Silence that speaks louder than words.
Suddenly a familiar, yet unexpected noise: Felix has opened a bottle of white wine. We drink it together, gazing upon one of the most beautiful views in the world. Another moment in eternity.
Sunset Over a Eucalyptus Forest
We drop off our luggage, but there’s no time to linger because nightfall is nigh and Felix has promised to take us to see a truly magnificent sight: a eucalyptus forest in the middle of the desert. Behind it, the sun sets and the night seems to scatter thousands of stars across the sky.
Scarabeo Camp Slumbers Beneath The Stardust
We head back to the camp now twinkling in the dark: the bivouac is lit with a hundred Arabian lanterns. We are to stay in tastefully decorated tents. We feel affinity with travellers who have gone before us, who knows, that trunk doubling as a table might have belonged to Lawrence of Arabia!
Campfires are lit and we meet up with Rachel & Felix watching the embers. We share stories of our travels, of shared experiences: our life in China, and Ireland where Felix grew up, Rachel’s historical research on a district in Marrakech. We share anecdotes which give way to laughter. Soon we are sharing a Moroccan feast. A delightful evening beneath the Milky Way.
Scarabeo Camp at night- © Scarabeo Camp
The Most Beautiful Café In The World
Waking at Scarabeo Camp and contemplating the Atlas Mountains with a cup of coffee, it’s as if we’re conversing with the Universe; in silence. Feeling alive, this is the first day of the rest of our lives. It’s mystical.
It’s time to make our way back; serene, bathed in the beauty of the desert as clouds scurry playfully over it.
At last, Marrakech! Its effervescence, hustle and bustle, the scent of spices, the medina… what a contrast!
Time to bid farewell to Felix and Rachel who now feel like old friends.
At the time of writing, Rachel & Felix are planning to come and visit Madrid.
Useful informations for the experience
Book a motorcycle (2 people) for 855 € / two days and one night / with :
- English / French / Chinese
- Pick up at your Hotel, in Marrakech
- A motorcycle and its rider
- Meals (One lunch and one dinner)
- One night at Scarabeo Camp + breakfast
- Return to Marrakech, wherever you want
- The activity is also kid friendly
Ne manquez pas la publication de notre prochain billet, …