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Morocco

Anonymous
Thu, 09/01/2011 - 12:09

Hi, just signed up for this, any other travellers out there?  Anyone been before? Tony

Anonymous
Fri, 11/04/2011 - 19:49

Hi Tony, Im going as well. never been to Morocco before but really looking forward to it and escaping christmas too.

Paul.

Anonymous

I checked with Exodus and they did say we were a full group of 16, but not heard from anyoner else yet.  Also looking forward a different type of holiday for me and escaping christmas as well.

Tony

Anonymous
Mon, 11/21/2011 - 20:39

Yes we are full because according to the booking part of the website I booked the last place, too close for comfort . I guess most of our fellow travellers will have a similar motive as well as wanting to see the country, really looking forward to it. Paul.

Anonymous
Mon, 11/28/2011 - 15:56

Hi Tony & Paul

Im also booked onto your trip with my Mum Barbara & my boyfriend Mike - I think we got some of the last places too. Looking forward to it but can't decide what the weather is going to be doing and whether to take a big coat or not! Quandaries....

We were all in China last Christmas so Im pretty confident it'll at leasy be warmer than that (-6 to -22).

 Should be fun, not long to go! 

Anonymous
Mon, 11/28/2011 - 16:53

Hi Pippa,

Im taking warm clothing, the desert nights will be pretty cold, Im guessing the nights elsewhere will be as well!

Paul.

Anonymous
Mon, 11/28/2011 - 16:55

Yes, I think Im going down the layers route with an emergency ski jacket on hand. What about sleeping bags - are you really going 4 season? I have an adequate one...not sure Im keen to shell out £100 for a new 4 season....

Pippa. 

Anonymous
Mon, 11/28/2011 - 20:57

Blimey, a ski jacket, have you got room? I shall just bung on the layers. I own a 3 season bag which I am taking. I plan to wear warm clothes inside it. According to something I read on the website it hasnt been that cold in the desert for the last couple of years but you never can tell.

Paul.

Anonymous
Mon, 11/28/2011 - 23:03

Well you can never be too prepared - I hate being cold so I will have layers and a jacket. Im aiming to travel light...that's the plan anyway...

Anonymous
Thu, 12/01/2011 - 15:12

Good to hear from another fellow traveller. With your mum and boyfriend, you have more than doubled the "known" travellers.  This type of holiday is a first for me, so went shopping yesterday for some of the recommended kit.  I think I have most of it covered now.  Really looking forward to the trip.  Only 3-weeks to go!

Tony

Anonymous
Fri, 12/02/2011 - 09:31

Should be able to spot you Tony in all your gleaming kit! Coincedently I was out yesterday buying a gortex jacket. Looked up the weather in Casablance, not suprisingly no rain! The jacket is needed elswhere though. Temperatures have been 17 - 18 degrees.

Paul.

Anonymous
Fri, 12/02/2011 - 10:26

I think it's going to be pretty chilly in the Atlas Mtns, especially as there may be snow around so Im just taking a ton of layers - still searching for the elusive warm jacket! Am suffering a nasty cold at the moment so am hoping to shake it before we set off!

Where are you guys from? We're all UK - getting the group flight from LHR on 23rd Dec. P x

Anonymous
Fri, 12/02/2011 - 10:36

Good point about the mountains, I hadnt thought of that , note to self, add more layers. Im an Essex boy Pippa, I live in Hornchurch. Will be staying in a Hotel near Heathrow before we set off at that ridiculous hour in the morning. Colds usually dont last more than 10 days so you should be fine.

Paul.

Anonymous

I am also on the group flight from LHR on 23rd.  Hope my new gear is not that obvious.  As Paul says, you should be well clear of your cold by then.

Tony.

Anonymous
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 09:19

Hi everyone! Just back last weekend from this trip and i have to say it was flippin' freezing in the desert at night, the gorge and the mountains. The hotels in the gorge and the mountain gite do not have heating so a v warm sleeping bag and thermals are certainly recommended by me! They also supply blankets but i basically slept in thermals, a four season sleeping bag and had a blanket over the top. We also hiked in a blizzard in the gorge so my advice is to be prepared for all weathers! Pretty much all of us on our trip were caught out by thinking it might be warmer than it was. Most days were tshirt and/or long sleeve top till we got to Essouiara and Marrakesh. If you have any Qs re the trip then happy to answer. It was an amazing trip with something new round every corner and loved it all!

Anonymous
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 09:27

Hey Seon,

Thanks so much for your email, that is a massive help - will definitely pack for some severe weather. Great to have some recommendations - anything else you think is indispensible? Pippa. 

Anonymous
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 10:16

No worries Pippa! Trip notes had said it had been unseasonably warm the last few years in November so we were all underprepared. Casablanca was tshirt weather and was pretty much round to about Fez when it got cooler. Saying that, even in Marrakesh, it gets cooler around 4pm so then a long sleeved top was needed, and by time sun went down around 6pm we added a fleece layer. We got some rain in Rabat, and in the gorge so a good quality rain jacket/shell would be good - who knew it could also rain in the Sahara, not for long tho!! Our todra gorge hike started in a right downpour and ended up blizzard up top so was glad to have my goretex shell with me. Typically the day we left though it was sunny again so just your luck i guess. Hat and gloves are also a must. Slept in my hat a few nights too. There was already some snow patches on the hike from the mountain gite as we went up to about 2500m. I hiked in a base layer, merino long sleeve top and at various points had gloves, hat, fleece and goretex shell on. It was v sunny but just a bit chilly. To be honest tho would rather have been doing it then than in 40+ degrees! By no means do i want to put anyone off! Despite the lower than expected temperatures it was sunny and blue skies a lot of the time but better to be prepared. Layers layers and layers! 

Didnt take hiking boots and didnt need them. Had hiking trainers and these were good enough for both the gorge and the high atlas walking. Wore these every day in fact.

In the mountain gite they dont supply towels so if you want to take a shower then bring a travel towel. The rest of the hotels provided towels so just really here that you need one. And a nice hot shower after the hike was soooo nice!

Would def take a sleeping bag. Couple of people on our tour didnt and although they had blankets the warmth of a sleeping bag was much better. Even a three season and buy a fleece liner from an outdoor shop. 

Cant think of anything else from kit list perspective.... but if anyone has specific Qs then do ask!

Anonymous
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 10:30

.... oh one last thing (sorry dont mean to hijack your thread!)

Shopping seemed to be cheaper in Essaouira than in Marrakech and those that were doing a lot of shopping wished they had got more in Essaouira. They seemed more open to bargaining and starting prices were cheaper - fewer tourists i guess. If you are shopping in Marrakech prices seemed cheaper and willingness to bargain increased late afternoon/evenings. 

Anonymous
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 11:16

You're an absolute star, thank you so much for that - really really helpful, now I can get my head around packing a bit more. Definitely helpful to hear from someone who has just been - I think my sleeping might be a 3 season, so I will get an extra layer to put inside.

Shopping is a definite  important factor so I will keep that all in mind, ha ha! Im going to have to rein my mum in I think till the end of the tour!

Im chilly just thinking about the desert, but I know it will be a fantastic experience, so Im very excited! 

 If you think of any other hints, please do send them through, really appreciate your input!

Pippa x 

Anonymous
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 12:24

Nice one Seon, good to know what we actually might expect. I was already going to take lots of warm layers and did envisage using the sleeping bag more than once! I shall probably end up boiling hot with lots of layers on. Dont envisage much in the way of shopping, nowhere to put it but you never know!

 

Paul.

Anonymous
Sun, 12/04/2011 - 09:47

Hi Seon,

we have to buy our own lunch and dinner on most days during the trip, how much were you spending on meals and what was the food like?

Paul.

Anonymous
Sun, 12/04/2011 - 14:26

Hmm we actually spent more than we thought we would. Tended to be taken to proper restaurants most days for lunch where the set menu was usually about 100 dirhams - moroccan salads to share, tagine or couscous and fruit for desert. If the place had a la carte menu then it was usually around 50-80 dirhams for a main course. Evening meal costs were about the same. Some of our tour couldnt do two big meals a day so missed out the big lunch or then just had soup or something lighter at night. Hope that helps!

Anonymous
Wed, 12/07/2011 - 18:03

Really helpful thank you.  One question, I see that we need to buy our dirhams in Morocco.  Do we need to change enough for the complete trip, or can we easily get access to ATM's if we need more? 

Tony

Anonymous
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 11:56

There are ATMs all over. Guide can tell you if you are going to be somewhere without any for a few days ie sahara/gorge/mountains. But even then we stopped off in a wee town on the way to the gorge for supermarket and ATM.

Anonymous
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 14:33

That's great.  Did not want to be carrying too much cash.

Anonymous
Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:09

Hi All,

Hope you're all well and packed! Seon, I had one last (probably) question for you - how much of the tour is likely to be super cold and how much will be mild. Im trying to pack and it's proving challenging...don't want to end up taking too much but I hate being cold! Any advice much appreciated,

Pippa. 

Anonymous
Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:11

Hi all, yes I am more or less packed. I checked some temparatures on several websites, today it was 20 degrees in Marrakech, casablanca, Fes, Rabat, Essouria, etc but these were above average temperatures  something like 16 to 19  seems to be average day time temps in some places, I expect night time to be quite chilly average night temps are about 7 or 8 but I would guess the desert will be colder at night and other places could of course be below or above average. Its still sunny during the day so dont forget those shades.

Is anyone staying near Heathrow on the 22nd? Dont forget you can check in on line on BMI's website 24 hours before the flight so this will save a bit of time, just need to drop off luggage at the drop off point , where ever that is!

See you all on 23rd, probably in Casablanca as I can never spot people at the departure point.

 

Paul.

Anonymous
Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:15

Thanks for the temperature update.  I don't think you will be able to check in on line, as this is a group booking.  I did ask Exodus and they said that I could not.  Maybe they will group us together for the flight?  See you all Friday.

Tony

Anonymous
Wed, 12/21/2011 - 14:19

Hello! Am so jealous you are all packing!!! I would say night time the two nights in the gorge (if you are lucky mild in the day - in our rain/blizzard i hiked in thermal top, tshirt, fleece and goretex shell, hat, gloves, trousers), night time the night in the desert but we were lucky and it was sunny and warm in the day till around 4 when long sleeve top was needed, and 2 days/nights in the gite 2 days/nights. Altho when you are hiking you are a bit warmer anyway. For rest of time some long sleeve tops to layer up when it gets cooler in the afternoons. If i was going again i would take a fleece, a hoody or second fleece type thing, 3-5 long sleeve tops for layering (wearing over tshirts so dont get too smelly), tshirts and def thermals. 

Wont be online tomorrow as travelling but will pop by tonight for any last minute Qs. Hope you all have a fab time!! 

Anonymous
Wed, 12/21/2011 - 15:34

Thanks for the advice all! Am nearly fully packed - phew...can't wait to get there now and turn off the blackberry!

Anonymous
Wed, 12/21/2011 - 16:00

Talking of smelly, what is the availability of hot water, do all hotels have hot water? I guess the gite may not?

How are we driven around, is it a bus or converted truck or something else?

Do the locals mind having a camera pointed at them. For instance I was thinking of videoing the activity in a souk. I had a bit of trouble in Syria several years ago when taking pics in a souk.

Paul.

Anonymous
Wed, 12/21/2011 - 18:01

Pippa, remember that cold you had, well Ive got it now. Its not too bad should have improved by Friday.

 

Paul.

Anonymous
Wed, 12/21/2011 - 18:15

Oh no, get well soon Paul! The thought of some sunshine should get you through...

Anonymous
Wed, 12/21/2011 - 19:47

All hotels have hot water, even the gite although you need to pay 10 dirhams for a shower there but it is well worth it! Towels provided everywhere other than gite. 

Locals didnt like getting photos taken so you need to do it sneakily!

Transport was like a large mini bus. 

Oh and take ear plugs!! The early morning call to prayer can be v loud in places! First one is around 515am!

Have fun!!!!

Anonymous
Thu, 12/22/2011 - 11:28

This is a bit late but I managed to check in on line and now have my boarding pass. I was presented with a list of 8 of us, just had to un tick everyone except me. Seats have been allocated so we will probably be sitting next to each other, Im in 15F.

Paul.

Anonymous
Thu, 12/22/2011 - 12:55

Cool - thanks for the message, going to check us in now! Pippa.

 

Anonymous
Thu, 12/22/2011 - 15:33

Thanks, so much for the feedback from Exodus. I too have managed to check in on line.  I am in 8F, so I guess we are not sitting next to each other. Looking forward to meeting you all tomorrow.

Tony

Anonymous
Thu, 12/22/2011 - 18:16

I've checked in and we're 12F, 9F and 25F - err...not too impressed they've split us up so effectively - but hopefully they csan rectify at the desk! See you all tmrw, Px 

Anonymous
Sun, 01/15/2012 - 14:48

Well as we all found out checking in on line is a waste of time. Massive queue at the bag drop for BMI. Anyone else going on this tour  and flying BMI dont check in on line, you wont save time at all. The normal check in queue was a lot shorter in our case.

Paul.

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