Thursday, June 26, 2014

A long drive to see Ait Ben Haddou and an intelligent driver in Morocco

That's our car, waiting to be loaded with a ton of luggage
on the day we flew out of Morocco...

One of the things on my bucket list for our holiday in Morocco, living a Travelife, was a trip to Ouarzazate and a stay at the lovely Dar Ahlam, a Relais & Chateaux property once named one of the most beautiful villas in the world.

At the lovely Dar Ahlam
Again, I'd been to Morocco twelve years ago, but I hadn't had time then to visit Ouarzazate, as it really is quite far.

It's about a five-hour drive from Marrakech if you don't stop, and you've got to cross the Atlas Mountains, which involves a never-ending series of steep and dizzying hairpin turns.

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THE VIEW OF AIT BEN HADDOU

But when you finally reach the area of Ouarzazate, you realize everything is worth it -- especially if you get to see Ait Ben Haddou and then stay over at Dar Ahlam.


Ait Ben Haddou is one of the loveliest kasbah in Africa.

It's really breathtakingly beautiful to see especially from afar, but so few travelers to Morocco actually get to see it because it's a real pain to get there.



PROBABLY THE BEST CAR & DRIVER
IN MOROCCO

Fortunately, the Travel Companion had contracted the best driver in Morocco and also the best car in Morocco.

Our driver was very professional and careful in his driving. He appeared at our hotel everyday impeccably dressed in a well-cut suit and he was on time to the second.


And not once in all our comings and goings everywhere around his country did we have to stand around on a street corner, for instance, and wonder where he'd gone.

He was always waiting for us, or on the lookout for us -- wherever we were, in our never-ending Travelife in Morocco.


The one & only Dar Ahlam,
a Relais & Chateaux property in Morocco


WELL-READ AND WELL-EDUCATED

He was also extremely well-educated and well-read -- in fact, almost shockingly so.

He spoke something like five languages.

And, in between lulls in our chatter with each other, which of course didn't include him, he quoted to the Travel Companion and myself from the works of Islamic and Western philosophers and poets.

He also talked to us about everything: from current affairs topics in Le Monde, the choice read for intellectual Parisians, to the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Just like me, Garcia Marquez was one of his favorite novelists.

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WHAT A DIFFERENCE A COUNTRY MAKES

In a First World country, he might have been a university professor or a journalist for a respected newspaper.

But in Morocco, there he was, driving a Benz for two rather exacting travelers with very definite ideas about what they liked and what they hated -- especially one of them, and that wasn't me.





This made me think about the roles that luck, opportunity and geography play in people's lives, all things being equal.

Either way, we were extremely lucky to have him driving us around Morocco, from one end of the country to another, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

2 comments:

  1. I read every single blog you post. It takes me out of the everyday. I wish I had your life. I guess everyone wishes they had your life. Good luck and keep safe. Best wishes. Keep blogging.

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  2. Thank you so much for your very kind comments. Best wishes from all of us at Travelife Magazine.

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