The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: Todra Gorge & Boumalne Dades

October 19, 2018
The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family in Boumalne Dades by Posh, Broke, & Bored


How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family...


THE MOROCCO DIARIES, PART 5 of 10: 
TODRA GORGE & BOUMALNE DADES 


Before I had embarked on my virgin trip to Morocco my perception of the country was that of a barren land. But after being unexpectedly rained on in the Sahara Desert the night before, I now knew to not judge a book by its dusty cover. A visit to Todra Gorge - the Grand Canyon of the Sahara - would challenge everything I thought I knew about this beguilling country.


MUCH MOROCCO




The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family in Boumalne Dades by Posh, Broke, & Bored


The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family in Boumalne Dades by Posh, Broke, & Bored

The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family in Boumalne Dades by Posh, Broke, & Bored
TODRA GORGE 

Morocco existed in my imagination as a sun-scorched land. The numerous dried up wells and abandoned kasbahs I passed on my drive through the High Atlas Mountains fueled that impression. Yet, almost every rocky corner would yield a green patch - the life source of which seemed to be a mystery. 

In Todra Gorge, at least, there was no shortage of water to be found. Located in the eastern part of the Atlas Mountains, Todra Gorge (also spelled Todgha Gorge) was birthed by the Todra River and the Dades River. The rivers carved out what is called the Grand Canyon of the Sahara. Todra Gorge is a literal breath of fresh air: a constant cool breeze skims over icy-cold streams and rivers that gush through terracotta-pink corridors of rock. The limestone walls of Todra Gorge reach up to 400 metres, providing a cool shade uncharacteristic to Morocco  I was told that during wetter times of the year, the canyon floor is flooded with strong torrents; but in this dry season, hikers and rock climbers come to explore and conquer its unusual landscape.

Todra Gorge is not as remote as it once was, but it is still somewhat off the beaten track. The nearest town, Tinghir, is tiny and decidedly untouristy. How wonderful to have explored, albeit briefly, Todra Gorge while it is still a little-known treasure.

EVEN AGAINST THE PINK AND RED ROCKS...
...THE CLEAR WATER APPEARED ICE-BLUE IN PARTS.




The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family in Boumalne Dades by Posh, Broke, & Bored



BOUMALNE DADES

Another path less-travelled, another pleasant and unexpected discovery. An hour way is the town of Boumalne Dades. If Todra Gorge was off the beaten path, Boumalne Dades is even more so. The town is small (population 12,000), unassuming, and has little attractions to offer aside from its lively markets on Wednesday and Sunday. Indeed, the few visitors it receives are usually those making the town a base for exploring Todra Gorge.

But it was at a traditional nomad guesthouse, near Dades Valley, that I had one of the more memorable and hilarious moments of my Morocco trip. We had dropped in for a cuppa at Kasbah Ait Kassi; a family-run guesthouse, prepared in the authentic Berber way by the owner’s wife. There, amidst the traditional surroundings and old-world hospitality; I sat on the carpeted floor, across our hostess, as she demonstrated how to make a proper Berber brew: with water boiled in a silver teapot over hot coals; poured from a height into cups of freshly plucked mint and rocks of sugar. The mint tea was more potent, more flavourful, and fresher than anything I’d ever tasted.

The real tea was when our smiling hostess shyly and cheekily joked - through our guide who translated for us - that she would like for me to marry her son!



The Morocco Diaries, Part 5 of 10: How Todra Gorge completely changed the way I see Morocco, and how I got married off to a Berber family in Boumalne Dades by Posh, Broke, & Bored
At least, I think she was joking. My potential mother-in-law offered my mother 100 camels and 2 houses in Morocco for my hand in marriage - a prospect that was very welcome to mummy dearest who squealed, joyfully: “Yes! I can finally wash my hands off my daughter! And I get to have holiday homes in Morocco!” Thanks a lot, mother. Although, 100 camels does sound rather tantalising...I mean, I may be spoken for but my boyfriend doesn’t have any camels. All he has are 2 cats...and I’m allergic to cats.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are now looking at the future proprietess of Kasbah Ait Kassi in Boumalne Dades, Morocco. Get 10% off your stay with us when you use the code “PBB10”.

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