I make my way to Morocco, my first African country, from Spain. I take the ferry from Algeciras to Ceuta, an autonomous city of Spain located on the North African side of the Strait of Gibraltar. It’s about a five minute drive to the official border crossing into Morocco, where my passport is stamped and a “police number” is assigned, which is required by hotels and campsites.

A drive through the Gorge of Oued Orika along the banks of the River Orika through the mountains takes one to a Berber village.

Not surprisingly, the city of the film (which was mostly shot on a sound stage in Hollywood) has nothing to do with the real city.

The Medina of Fez is a modern-day labyrinth—delve deep enough and one can probably still find a Minotaur.

A mountain resort built by the French in 1929 as a colonial retreat that is also known as Little Switzerland.

There are many more Europeans in Marrakesh than in Fez and the streets, though just as full of traffic, are certainly wider.

Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg.

It’s a 4:30am wake-up call to drive to Tangier and catch the morning ferry to Tarifa, Spain. I’d hoped to actually spend some time in Tangier, though it appeared to be a large port city, similar to any other large port city. I’d left wanting to spend more time in the dessert and wishing I’d gotten the chance to ride a camel. Little did I know I’d get my chance soon enough, the beginning of my not-so-fortunate experiences with camels.

Back to Africa

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust

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