Sunrise over the Sahara Desert was truly magical. We woke up early from our beeswax tent and made our way to the hilltops during the early morning rise. The burnt orange and majestic colours lit up the sky and produced a beautiful hue of orange tones across the landscape.
Josh and I truly wanted to enjoy the moment to ourselves, which is why we only took a small number of photos during this experience, so we could take in the beauty of the Desert.
As this experience is one in a lifetime, I thought I would share my Top 5 tips before heading into the desert.
How to get there
From Marrakech, many companies offer overnight tours or multi-day tours which include a camel ride through the desert's dunes or the option to go via 4x4. If you are heading in via your private rental vehicle, then you will need to head south-east towards Erg Chebbi, Merzouga.
What to Bring
Scarf, camera, phone, soft & comfortable clothing, plus warm clothing for the evenings. The weather can change quite drastically so it's always good to be prepared and have extra layers on hands, should you need them.
As the desert tours are normally 1-2 nights, I would suggest bringing a small toiletries bag with your essential items. Travel size toiletries work the best meaning you can slot these into your small backpack.
It is very important to keep yourself hydrated whilst in the desert, as temperatures can reach up to 45 degrees. You want to fully enjoy your trip without worrying about your energy levels dropping or dizziness all because you want prepared.
Protection for technology
If you are deciding to bring either a Camera, Phone or even a DSLR, I would suggest bringing an extra layer of protection due to the sand particles flying through the air. You can bring a cloth bag or as a desperate measure using a plastic bag. Please ensure you dispose and recycle correctly to not pollute the environment.
I hope you've enjoyed these tips and I will see you all in the next post.
Love K, x
Chouara Tannery is one of the three tanneries in the city of Fez, Morocco. Built-in the 11th century, it is the largest tannery in the city. It is located in the Fes el Bali, the oldest medina quarter of the city, near the Saffarin Madrasa along the river.
Visiting the ancient Tannery of Fes in Morocco offers such a unique experience into the natural process of producing leather. The process has not changed since the medieval times and requires the hides (cow, camel, goat and sheepskin) to be soaked in quicklime, water, salt and cow's urine. This helps to soften the skin and get rid of any leftover hair and fat on the skins, before being transferred into the water.
The hides are cleaned with the help of 'smoothing' pigeon faeces.
Workers stand barefoot in vats and knead the skins with their feet, to soften them up, which requires great strength and stamina.
Natural flowers and plants are added and then mixed with water to obtain the beautiful colours. Mint, for example, is used to achieve a green colour; cedarwood for brown; henna for orange; saffron for yellow; indigo for blue; and poppy flowers for red.
Due to the mix of animal faeces, there will be strong pungent smell upon your visit. Mint is provided by some of the viewing points but be sure to be clear and firm, if you do not want to purchase this.
Scams to Avoid
As there are many shop owners in competition with one another, there are many scams that make tourists very vulnerable during their visit.
Visiting the shops - The owners/workers will try usher you up winding staircases, to be shown thousands of bags and shoes to buy. Do not worry about saying no, or potentially hurting someone's feelings. Be firm and stand your ground and your message will be clearly understood.
If you hear any the following comments, ignore and politely decline.
" Street is closed"
"Shop is closed"
" Let me show you the way"
"I can provide you with the cheapest price"
" We have the best view of the tannery"
You have the freedom to visit any shop/tannery and there are no rules on how long you can/cannot stay. This is tactic is commonly used a lot, to move tourists in and out of the medina, so keep this in mind when visiting.
I hope you've been able to take away some tips from this post ready for your trip to Morocco.
See you guys in the next post.
As a lot of us are spending time more time at home, due to the recent pandemic. I thought I would take this opportunity to post some of my travel photography during my travels around Morocco.
At the beginning of our journey, our route led us to Chefchaouen, situated in the northwest of Morocco. The city is famously known for its blue-washed buildings, which stands out against the striking lush green backdrop, in the Rif mountains. The blue powdered paint was believed to be used as a form of repellent for mosquitoes, as well as a way of keeping their homes cool during the cooler months. Although, many locals culturally believe, it symbolizes the sky and heaven.
Amongst the cobbled lanes, you can find leather and weaving workshops, many markets, home furnishings and local patisserie shops. If you arrive on a Monday or Thursday, you can experience the real local markets and you can pick up many different types of fruits, vegetables, and personal goods all at very good prices.
When visiting the restaurants & cafés, make sure to try the traditional Moroccan mint tea and the many different varieties of tagine upon your visit here.
Love K, xx
Good Morning all, I thought I'd give you a quick update as its been a while since I've posted here.
These photos were taken at Conil de la Frontera in Spain, as Josh and I made our way along the coast towards the Ferry Port. We are slowly making our way to Morroco which is very very exciting. We needed some downtime on the beach as we had been busy preparing our route and all the sites we want to see along the way. Applying for tickets, new insurances and preparing our required documents for the van. Stocking up on supplies, planning extended visas for our 3month overstay and sending a box back to France, so we have a little more room play within the van. The list has been endless but we know this is going to be a trip of a lifetime in a country we've wanted to visit for so long.
Morocco is a country rich in history, tradition and culture, authentic food, Architecture and of course the welcoming hospitality of the locals.
Look forward to updating the blog with our new adventures.
Love, K xx
Options of getting to the Cave
Swimming to the Caves | Price – Free
The best time to swim in the caves is between 7am – 10am before the boat tours start arriving. ( You cannot swim to the caves after this time due to safety reasons). Please check with the locals before doing so and view the red & green traffic system on the beach for safety). I would only recommend this if you are a strong sea swimmer as the currents are extremely strong, although the swim is only 100 meters long.
Stand up Paddle Board (SUP)| Price – 30 Euro Per Person
We rented these from the main beach at Praia de Benagil. You can rent the boards and paddle for 30 Euros at a duration of 1 hour. Josh and I shared a double paddle board for half the price ( 30 Euros for 2 persons). We also took a dry bag to store our DSLR and to be able to get the photography shots
Boat Trips | Prices – Various Per Location
You can board boats directly from Praia de Benagil. The trips are very popular during the summer months and you may find yourself waiting for a very long time or at worst boats being sold out. ( Please arrive early or book online to avoid disappointment). As a second option, you are able to board boats using a variety of different boat companies from at the following locations. Armação de Pêra, Lago and Carvoeiro. This would make it easier and to avoid disappointment.
Viewing the cave from above | Price – Free
If you are someone who is tight on a budget and unable to swim directly to the cave, the next best option is to view the caves from up above. You can explore the area on foot by climbing the rocks above Bengali caves and view directly down into the hole. This gives you more of an advantage as you can explore the coastal paths and view other small caves on Route. As well as this you can discover hidden beaches and have views of the Atlantic ocean.
Tip – It’s also a great place to watch the sunset.
If any of you have any further question please don’t hesitate to write them in the comments below and I’ll try to help.
Speak Soon Love, K xxx
Hey Loves. I've missed updating my blog and you guys of my travel journey. A lot has been happening and if I'm being honest, we have been planning our next travel destinations, focussing on fitness and health and worrying about the possible Brexit implications to our van life journey.
As you all know it can be difficult for me to update my blog daily as I am solely relying on the solar panels on our van for electricity. Which makes editing photography and updating posts much more difficult. Especially in the cooler months when there is less sun to top up the charge. So... I just want to say big thanks to those of you who follow me and have messaged me to say they are patiently waiting for my next posts. Thank you for understanding 🙂
So...Here are some photos of our time in Porto Covo in Portugal. It's a small pretty village with a wide stretch of golden sand backed by high cliffs.
There are many beaches where you can explore in this area as well as surfing or simply relax with the views of the Atlantic coast. Josh and I explored the area by bike and witnessed the different rock formations and hidden beaches in this area. The weather was pretty cool but on the plus side, it meant we could explore the area by ourselves without a crowd of tourists. Such a great experience even if it was a bit chilly.
We need to appreciate these moments whilst we can take in all aspects of the beauty. I would suggest heading here either side of the holiday season, to truly enjoy this paradise
See you in the next post.
Love K xx
Good Afternoon Loves. I thought I would share some photos of our time in Vila Nova de Milfontes Beach. I drove the VW and found us a new spot with the perfect beach view ( Josh normally likes to take control the driving, but I decided to take rain of the controls today. ;-)) We pretty much relaxed here and enjoyed the views of the beach from the van. Later on, we took our bikes out for a spin around the village and around the other side of the beach. Hidden around the corner where some of our vanlifer friends from Germany. It was nice to catch up with them and we arrange to meet back up with them in the future. In the morning we made Smoothie bowls filled with Banana, papaya, porridge oats, goji berries, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and desiccated Smoothie. We ate them right on the beach and after we got in some cardio exercise to.
The drone shot gives a better perspective of the beautiful beach we visited.
Love K xxx