Driving East To Mhamid
February 7, 2018
One of the main reasons for the long drives we did during these few days is that we’d planned to see too many places in too short a time in Morocco. The country is quite big and there’s plenty to see. Whether you’re interested in nature or history, Morocco has a lot to offer.
We were heading to Mhamid because we wanted to see the famous sand dunes of Erg Chigaga, where the highest dune towers over 300m (about 980 ft).
From the cold Anti-Atlas we were approaching the hot Saharan climate again. Needless to say, the view along the way really is breathtaking. We covered a long distance again, so we arrived in Mhamid quite late where we planned to stay in Auberge Kasbah for the night. According to Lonely Planet, they organized tours to Erg Chigaga, so apart from having great reviews, we were also able to book a tour with them. Erg Chigaga, one of the largest areas with sand dunes, is literally in the middle of nowhere so we didn’t want to attempt driving there on our own.
Arriving to Mhamid, a small oasis town at the edge of the Sahara Desert, we experienced the trick of how the locals make guests stay in guest houses.
While you’re driving slowly on the narrow streets, they try to stop you by shouting out, “Are you so-and-so from England who booked my guest house?” Out of courtesy, you roll down the window a little bit to answer, “No, we’re not,” but then you’re already in the middle of a conversation with them. They are quite convincing and probably harmless, so if you don’t have a booking or a guest house in mind, it’s hard to say no to them. We politely refused to book a tour with them and headed for Auberge Kasbah.
Auberge Kasbah is an awesome place. Built in the traditional Moroccon style (I think it’s mud and clay, but I’m not totally sure), the atmosphere there is great. They meet you with a hot mint tea and the cook is quick to prepare some great shashlik or tajine for travelers. If you’re in Mhamid, I don’t think there’s a better place to stay in this price range.
Ahmed, the owner of the place and who is also a desert tour guide, is a wonderful and funny host.