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New Year in Morocco

Anonymous
Tue, 10/26/2010 - 21:59

Hello

Anyone else going on this trip?!  I've paid the final balance today.... so I'm very excited!!!

Would love to hear from anyone else who is planning on coming on this trip!!!

Nansi

Anonymous
Wed, 10/27/2010 - 10:41

Hi Nansi

Just paid my final balance this morning and I cant wait to get there, sounds amazing!!

Jenny

I paid yesterday as well. They told me there are 4 of us booked currently on the trip. So just one more to find. Hopefully we will get a few more before we leave.

Did you notice that one group is starting this trip on the 19th Dec. Maybe they can let us know what the weather is like ;-)

Anonymous
Thu, 10/28/2010 - 20:29

They told me that there were 4 of us confirmed too, apartently it went out full last year so still plenty of time for more to book.

I debated going on the 19th but wasn't brave enough to miss both Christmas and New Year at home!! haha

I've been told that it does get really cold in the desert and mountains at night... hence the 4 season sleeping bag i guess!!!

I've wanted to go to Morocco for years now so i'm glad i finally am!!! :)

Anonymous
Wed, 11/03/2010 - 15:59

It's me! :D I can't believe I must be the 4th person you're referring to. I didn't expect to see anyone on here so I'm excited now as well!! I bought a sleeping bag, a warm hat and base layer for the nights in the desert last week so slowly building up stuff for the trip. Last xmas/new year I went to Egypt and someone on the trip (quite a discerning guy) really recommended this one and has given it a 5* on the site review but he did warn about the cold...

Anyway, great to say hello! Janet

Thu, 11/04/2010 - 18:25

I am hoping for it not to be too cold, as I am not spending money on buying another sleeping bag. 3 season and extra layers is hopefully OK. Maybe I could combine the 1 season and 3 season bags I have.

I would have happily missed Christmas in the UK again. This one will be my first for some time. It always seems to make the end of December pass so much easier.

Strangely enough a couple of friends of mine have recently come back from Morocco and a friend of theirs was going last week. It seems very popular at the moment. My friends did not camp or need sleeping bags, but their friend was doing a trip like ours, but with the other company. My friends did enjoy themselves although their were comments about the toilets when visiting a Berber camp.
Cheers
Rob

Anonymous
Sat, 11/06/2010 - 11:20

I'm sure it'll be fine. I needed a better sleeping bag and base layer anyway (for sailing) and we had a sale nearby. I bought a season 3 as I don't think it's going to get that cold and it'll quickly warm up...famous last words? Did anyone see Michael Palin's trip to the Atlas mountains? It made me prepare a bit for staying in the gites etc. tho we are in a hotel for most of the trip so don't want to over state it.

I wonder if anyone else has booked yet! Janet

Anonymous
Mon, 12/06/2010 - 15:46

Hello Nansi, Jenny, Rob and Janet. We have now received our plane tickets, etc and are checking what we need to pack. Borrowed two 4-season sleeping bags from daughter so hopefully we wont freeze at the camp.  We are happy to see from your photos that you are all young and strong and will be able to carry us up the Atlas!

Barry & Kenya 

 

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 17:07

I knew there was a good reason for using that old photo of myself ;-)

Anonymous
Fri, 12/10/2010 - 22:40

Lorraine and myself just booked up yesterday, we did not fancy swimming with the sharks in Sharm El Sheikh so Morocco it is.

Lorraine is the seasoned traveller with vocanoes, everest base camp, Antartica to name but a few under her belt. I on the other hand have never been on an adventure type holiday so I have absolutely no idea what I have let myself in for, however I am sure we shall have fun.

Almost went to work in Morocco 2 years ago but it fell through at the last minute so I guess Morocco must be part of my destiny.

On a positive note no matter how cold the mountains are it must still be a warmer than Scotland has been the last few weeks so anything above zero sounds good.

Jim

 

 

Anonymous
Mon, 12/13/2010 - 12:33

Great to see there's more coming, 8 of us now?  I'm wondering how much currency to bring...any thoughts?

Janet

Anonymous
Mon, 12/13/2010 - 15:20

We're reckoning on taking pounds sterling for our spending ......and a credit card for emergencies ....or for anything big that might take Kenya's fancy!

We're reckoning on taking some £500.00 for feeding ourselves ......we don't usually go for the posh places!       But then of course there's all of the tipping that will be needed  ....and the souveniers .....and I've no idea if there are the entrance charges that we come across in other places like Turkey or Tunisia or Greece.     If there are traditional bathing places like in Turkey  .....then I'm sure that Kenya will want to try those as well  ......so some more needed for that!        And then there's the drinks!!   Whether your an alcohol drinker of not  ....I always have a feeling that we spend more on drinks of all sorts when we're on holiday than when we're at home.

I personally prefer not to use the credit card if at all possible.     So it'll probably be all in pounds sterling.    Better to keep to £10 and £20 notes I would say.

I just hope that the snow stays away from Gatwicke over Christmas.  It's bad enough finding that the trains are being very disrupted by 'maintenance works' over Christmas.   I bought return tickets from Reading .....but when the tickets arrived in the post  ......they tell me that the 'train' will be a bus!  .....one laid on to replace the train.   

I suppose that we might just spot each other at Gatwicke ......or otherwise we'll see you all in Casablanca.

Barry and Kenya

 

 

 

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 07:21

I will probably go for a mix of serling cash and ATMs.  No idea how much yet.  Other than some food, drink, and souveniers these trips do not normally require too much, unless there are some optional activities you are likely to do.  I cannot remember what it says in the trip notes about options.

Anyway: I have found out that the trip is nearly full and 15 are booked.  So there is bound to be somebody to get along with ;-)

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 12:16

Hello Everybody....

Not long to go now... and i haven't even started packing yet!!! Always leave it to the last minute!!! Its got to be the worst part of going on holidays!!!

I'm really hoping the snow has cleared up by next week!!! Doesn't look like the group that were suppose to fly out yesterday had much luck and haven't been getting much support from Exodus either!?!?!

Fingers crossed for the 26th!!!

Nansi

Sun, 12/19/2010 - 15:19

We might need more than fingers.  I just checked the forcast for next week and they are expecting more snow on thursday and saturday near gatwick :-(  Just getting there could be fun as I have a rear wheel drive car.

 I was confused yesterday as I was checking for flights from Gatwick for the group that were meant to leave today not Heathrow.  I almost thought that I was going to be heading for the wrong airport!

Sounds like everybody meant to be leaving this weekend lucked out. So here's hoping we don't have the same.

 Rob

PS I was thinking that Christmas day would be a good day for packing :-)

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 18:46

That's not good news... i'm suppose to be driving down to Gatwick on Christmas Day.  Its at least a 5 hour drive, have booked a hotel for that night so hopefully i'll make it there!!!

They first told me we'd be flying out of Heathrow when i asked about the trip but when i actually booked they said it was actually from Gatwick...  I guess it depends on availability.

So far i've managed to avoid snow delays on my last two holidays so hopefully my luck won't run out next weekend!!! :)

Mon, 12/20/2010 - 11:09

Hi ChrisV,

You are likely to be passing my house on the way (assuming you are going up the M3), so you might want to consider staying at mine.  Gatwick is normally 1-1.5 hours drive.  Hotels round Gatwick might be scarce.  Let me know if interested or get a better offer!

Rob

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 12:07

I can see that we are all thinking on the 'getting-away-from-here' problems!  Thanks for the tip on the Gatwick link Chris.   I can see that Rob is really into 'that time of the year' feeling .....looking around to find some room in his inn (is it the stable!) for a traveller  ......but even an hour to hour and a half of distance could be a problem if things don't ease up a bit  ....and it doesn't look as though it wants too ease up!!  

Kenya and I decided to go by train and got the tickets on line  ......but when they arrived in the post they tell us that the 'train' will be a 'bus' because of maintenance work  ......so who knows what will happen!     

I did decide to read through the insurance documents this morning   ....just to see for sure just how much cover we have.        I bet I'm not the only one doing that either!! 

See you all in Casablanca .....probably!

Barry 

 

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 14:31

Hi Guys, I'm one of the unfortunates who was supposed to be leaving on this trip yesterday. We've just been told there are no available flights to Casablanca this week so our trip is definitely off. Just wanted to say good luck and if you make it please let me know how you get on - I still really want to go when I find another chance!

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 14:47

Sorry to hear of your bads luck Vicki.   Keep an eye open and we'll let you know how things go for us!  .....let's see if we get any better luck than you did.              

Tell us what happened can you  .....did you get as far as the airport (Gatwick)?  How did you finally hear that it was off altogether?   Did you have contact with Exodus? 

Barry

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 15:07

Hi Barry, Our group flight was due to go from Heathrow. I live in West Norfolk where we still don't have a drop of snow but we knew Heathrow was shut Saturday and when I woke up Sunday I checked the Heathrow website which basically said there would be minimal flights departing and no arrivals. I tried the airline which I never actually managed to get through to and in the meantime saw on the TV and Heathrow website that there were no flights going from T4 (our terminal). We were fairly confident that our flight was cancelled at that point so took the decision not to travel to the airport having seen the pictures of people on TV, being told not to travel unless flights were confirmed and hearing that some of the roads around the airport were also closed. I contacted the out of hours number (Operations Centre) and they told me Exodus would be opening at 10am to try and help people. Obviously they were overwhelmed with fellow travellers (I think there were about 700 of us going to various destinations around the globe and got stuck) so getting through was a bit tricky but Exodus did get back to me several times with updates (as far as they knew) yesterday. They called me again today to confirm there were no more available flights this week so our trip wasn't going ahead. We can either use monies paid against another trip in the future or get a full refund. If the worst happens getting through to Exodus might be a bit frustrating but I found them to be helpful when you actually spoke to them. My top tip is to watch these forums which people seemed to update as they got information from airlines/Exodus which helped a great deal. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 15:32

Thanks for the info. Vicki.      It looks like it was worse for Heathrow than Gatwick yesterday.    It was good to hear that Exodus was at least trying to do their best under what must have been a landslide of contacts to make for them!      Looks like you were doing the right thing to stay at home and not join the crowds in the airport.   

Are you going to do the trip at some later date?     I hope so ....and I hope it works out well for you then.                                  Barry  

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 20:44

Vicki, thanks - sorry for your troubles but the information is really useful for all of us.

 Rob, thanks - I'll hold that offer open for the time, please.  Lets get some firm weather and road forecasts for the weekend.  At least on this trip I'm bringing a sleeping bag, so any corner (or a manger) will do.  I could not have got out of Devon today, by any means!  I XcSkied for first time in Sidmouth today, even the sea front and beach were still covered in ski-able snow at dusk! 

 You have all probably received the 'travel instructions' from Exodus today.  No doubt they learned lessons last weekend and, perhaps, will it run even smoother next weekend.  One thing they do not seem to be considering yet is a 'cascade' system for each group, which would greatly reduce their work and speed up the dissemination of information.  However this requires some organisation before the 'emergency'.

I want to do some more research tomorrow before approaching them.

By the way, Royal Air Maroc still seem to be selling tickets for Thursday and Sunday, today!

ChrisV 

 

Anonymous
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 00:14

You never know we may just get away on the 26th after all.

See you all soon.

Merry Christmas

Jim

Anonymous
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 11:28

Yes, all seems to have returned to relative normal with no extreme weather forecast (but good job we don't fly a day later!).

As of 1110hr 24Dec2010 Exodus and Royal Air Maroc do not foresee any problems & Gatwick seems to be running smoothly with most flights on schedule.

I'm returning to 'Plan A' but leaving home, by car, a couple of hours earlier (0400hr 26Dec2010).  Rob - thanks for the offer but sleep over not now required (but see below).

In case of last minute problems for anyone, here are 2 useful numbers:

Royal Air Maroc - 0207 307 5800:  press 1 (one) for assistance in english.  There is a strange sound for 30 seconds as the call is transferred to Casablanca.  Persevere, you will get through.  Also useful to ring this now and register your mobile with them so they can contact you with changes.

Exodus Out of Hours - 01582 644 100:  As per your Final Joining Instructions.  They say this number will be manned despite other offices closed and being a Sunday/BH.

 ChrisV

Anonymous
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 11:42

Rob,

Thanks for your offer but I will now travel up early on the morning of the flight by car.

If you are not far off route, would you like picking up?  I will come up the A30-A303 joining the M3 at J8, SW of Baskinstoke.

 Text me your phone number, if interested  -  mine is 07974 192 180

ChrisV

Anonymous
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 11:59

Thanks for the info Chris.  I'm leaving Cardiff at 3am by coach and due to arrive at Gatwick 7.30 so should be ok.  I'll make a note of your number as well if that's ok just in case...

Merry xmas everyone!

Janet

Anonymous
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 13:48

Hi Janet - that's fine.  You should be there first.  Can we have your number?

 As a result of my call to Exodus this morning they have sent me another email, much the same as sent to all in the week.  Here is a precis of the relevant new/emphasised points:

"Please note the following advice if you are due to travel on the 26th or 27th December 2010:

  • Please allow plenty of time to travel to your departure airport, as local transport networks may be affected by snow delays. It also looks likely there will be significant disruption to tube services in London due to strike action announced this morning.
  • If Exodus is advised of a flight cancellation, we will endeavour to contact all passengers as soon as possible, but we strongly recommend you check the status of your flight on the airline's or the airport's website before setting off. Please note that we may not be advised of any changes before you arrive at the airport.
  • Opening times and contact details:
    Sunday 26th December (Boxing Day)
    Please note that unless there are significant airport closures and disruption we are not currently planning to have staff in the Exodus Office on Boxing Day.
    We will be providing 24 hour Emergency Cover on the following number: 01582 644100 (International: +44 1582 644100)
    In a genuine emergency the staff on this number will be able to offer advice and support. "

 ChrisV

Anonymous
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 16:11

That all looks to be great useful information Chris.    

I'm sure that everyone is saying thanks   ....I've noted it all.    Let's hope we won't be needing it  ....but it always feels better to be prepared and at least have an idea of where to start trying to get information from  ......just in case.   On the whole, I'm feeling pretty positive about getting away ok.    Hopefully we'll all meet up in a couple of days and get a really interesting mid winter break!      See you all then.

Barry and Kenya 

Anonymous
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:08

Yes ChrisV, let's hope so.  My number's 07904382203.  I thought it would be useful to have a contacts in the group given the potentially volatile situation.  Although I feel quite positive as well but don't want to tempt fate! 

Janet

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 20:25

Just to let you know if you are parking off airport there is a lot of work going on at the North terminal and the buses drop you off a bit of a walk away.

 Also the trains at Reading, or rather no trains.  The station is shut for 10 days due to soon large bridge being fitted over Chritsmas/New Year.  Hence the bus.

 Thanks to Chris for the offer and he is hopefully picking me up early Sunday morning.

 See you in the queue at check-in

Rob

Anonymous
Sat, 12/25/2010 - 10:36

Hello Everyone....

Hope you all have a great day today!!! I'll be leaving home now in the next half hour and will most likely be having a service station lunch rather than the traditional christmas lunch!!! ha

I'm staying in the airport hotel tonight so no rush for me tomorrow morning!

Chris and Janet i've taken note of your numbers, mine is 07701065439.

So far everything looks positive for our getaway!!!

See you all tomorrow!!

Nansi

 

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