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November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

Wales
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November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

Hi, we are a family of 3 and will be in Marrakech from mid november for 10 days ( what will the weather be like?) and want to spend some relaxing time and have some adventures too, thought of the desert, but wondering if the distances are too great to cover in the time we are there, not wanting to rush from one place to another in 3 days really, but perhaps Quarzazate, Zagorra then M'hamid, back up to Q then onto Marrakech for a few days...and will it be warm down there, heard it might?

Alternatively reading other postings saw the trip to Mezougga was exciting, not sure exactly how to go about it, who to book with , when , because we need to book our accomodation before we go.

Any help there, please? Is that all abit too far as little ones not neccessarily wanting to be racing about from location to location.

Considered just going down to Tarroudannt at the palais salam and relaxing with day excursions from there for 4-5 days, any suggestions with timings of how long it takes to get around and temperatures too, don't want to pack the BIG coats with the sandals if not neccessary. Did spend 5 days in January in Marrakech with friend, and it was 72F - 68F so the thick jumpers were enough, but with family want to travel fairly light also.

I would appreciate experienced parents and fellow adventures to share suggestions. We have flights already and we are so excited...I do hope we get to the desert. Thankyou.

Medford, Oregon
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1. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

I would definitely say that 10 days is more than enough time to do the desert. We went to Merzouga and the Erg Chebbi dunes in March with our kids ages 11 and 14. It was definitely an incredible experience. We stayed at Haven La Chance in Merzouga (http://www.desert-hotel.com/) and had our camel ride and night in the desert with them. We drove from Marakkech to Ouazarzate, spent the night there, and then Ouazarzate to Merzouga spent the first night in the desert and then the 2nd night in the auberge in Merzouga. I would highly recommend it. As long as your 5 year old can ride the camel and is adventurous - I think they would enjoy it. The car rides are a bit long, but there are stops along the way to break things up.

We booked the majority of our trip with Blue Men of Morocco (www.bluemenof morocco.com) and used their driver to take us out there. Said was awesome, and great with the kids.

Can't speak to the weather as we were there in March.

2. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

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Marrakech, Morocco
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3. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

ignore the touts

Wales
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4. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

Thankyou familyof4travels,

Did your trip begin from Marrakech with the blue men, and continue back to Marrakech? I ask because if we wanted to stay longer say in Quarzazate and go on from there to Taroudant and back up to Marrakech we wouldn't be with the safari any longer....I am wondering if we can pick up the desert trip from Quarzazate and back, so we can have more freedom to move. We are not going to be hiring a car however, so I am not sure about the logistics....from the rough guide it looked like many stops and starts with changes with the buses and as for taxis not sure...perhaps we are being abit ambitious...any thoughts?

Thankyou also Veronique, I am sure too it will be one of the great highlights fo the adventure....and the memories will be anchored in those wonderful scents.... so by mid november we will be wearing our hats and coats in the desert, yes?

Truebeliever, thankyou for responding to my other question about the riad and costs into Marrakech, I hadnot seen in their information about any shuttle bus so I presume we would have to pay 50dm, etc.

Who were the touts you were referring to, will we easily be able to organise something when we get there. I read your notes about the men around the cafes who could organise things but I would like to sort something before we go as we don't want to turn up somewhere with children and find there is no room and as we are not with our own transport it looks like it could take some time moving from place to place....any thoughts?

Marrakech, Morocco
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5. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

touts are travel agents or simply free lance drivers who use foreign names and bogus location to recount their trips to the desert or elsewhere.

Now to answer some of your questions, I'd suggest since you 're interested in the routine desert trip offered by travel agents either to Zagora or Merzouga, is to arrange for transportaion from Marraekch to Ourzazate. Once inOurzazate you can look at different options. ypu may want to spend more time exploring the desert and the Kasbah routes. Once you 've had enough, you can charter a taxi to taroudant. There are lots of travel agnecies in Ourzazatz, Zagora and Erfoud. if you book the entire trip with a sole travel agency you'll have to pay for a driver who may be for a day while you bask in the sun

Wales
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6. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

Thankyou again, True believer, we wouldn't want to be tied into such a trip, so picking up from Ouarzazate sounds best, from there they goin all directions, Mezougga or zagorra?

How long would each option take assuming we decided to go for the camel trek from O to Mezougga, hours travelling by car, then on camel into desert etc and what cost each are we likely to pay/

Which trip/dunes would you reccommend?

Is the trip down to Ouarzazate from Marrakech preferrably made by Grand Taxi or bus and how much?

Will we also charter taxis to take us to the kasbahs and sites or possibly able to share with others we meet en route at hotels etc, or buses, the rough guide said quite abit, do you reccommend other reading material - nothing quite like being there and finding out as you go.....

You are saving me alot of time, I really appreciate it - am spending such alot of time researching where to stay en route, is it possible at this time of year november to simply turn up and find good rooms?

For now, please also advise about weather/ clothing , I know worldwide temperature patterns are so uncertain in these times but as an idea..... in the desert, Taroudant Ouarzazate , Masrrakech...?

Of course if you have time, you seem to be a very busy and involved assistant in these forums..... so any one else please do add in.

thankyou for your time and sensible suggestions.

Medford, Oregon
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7. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

Sarah - After Merzouga we went on to spend two days in Fez (highly recommend).

As I recall the drive from Marakkech to Ouazarzate is about 4 hours, not incl. stops, and the drive from Ouazarzate to Merzouga about 4-5 hours, also not incl. stops. Our camel ride was 2 hours out to the tent. We left about 5pm, and got there as the sun was setting. Then a 2 hour camel ride back in the morning.

We have not been to Zagora, but common wisdom seems to be that the dunes at Erg Chebbi(Merzouga) are much more spectacular.

We really enjoyed having our driver and everything planned before we left, particularly since we were travelling with our kids. Not just having someone to drive us but also someone to talk about the country, culture, religion, etc. It was fascinating. However, there are many people on these boards who have planned things as they went along and really enjoyed it, so whatever works best for you.

Wales
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8. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

Thankyou familyof4travels.

We won't reach Fez on this visit, but will certainly be back for more, I just love Morocco,

We will try go onto Taroundant before heading up to Marrakech for the last few days

Is it possible for children to share camel with one of the parents as exciting s it is it's quite far up there!!!!!

I will check out the auberge and web sites....do we really need to take a sleeping bag for this one night, I hear it gets cold in the november night?

What will we expect to pay for Ouarzazate- mezouga-Ouarzazate trip and into desert?

How much to charter taxi to Taroundant.///?

Any suggestions for staying in Ouarzazate, and Dades?

If we return from Mezouga a different way, possibly via Zagorra, is that possible, how much longer?

It will be much warmer down there than in Marakech yes?

thankyou

Medford, Oregon
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9. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

I can't answer all of your questions, but should be able to help with a few.

"Is it possible for children to share camel with one of the parents as exciting s it is it's quite far up there!!!!!" - I would think that is possble, and probably a good idea. I would contact who you are thinking of using and ask them. Definitely one reason to have things booked before you get there. I would hate for you to drive out to the desert, only to find out no camel ride. Although, if you contact a few and they all say no problem, I would assume most would do it then.

"do we really need to take a sleeping bag for this one night, I hear it gets cold in the november night?" - We were there in March and it was fairly cold in the evening, but we did not need to bring anything but a change of clothes. Our tent was set up with a mattress and pillow for each one of us along with THE warmest blankets I have ever slept with - would love to buy one of those.

"Any suggestions for staying in Ouarzazate, and Dades?" - We stayed at Le Petit Riad in Ouazarzate and it was very lovely. (www.lepetitriad.com) The pictures on their website are a great representation of this wonderful riad. The only minor issue was that the owner and her helper didn't speak any English, only French. But we managed quite well with sign language and my highschool french. The dinner we had at the riad was probably our favorite in Morocco with an incredibly delicious dish called pastille. It is a pastry dish with ground chicken inside. The top of the pastry has powdered sugar and cinammon. It is traditionally made with pigeon, but ours was chicken (yea!!)

Wales
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10. Re: November,desert trip with 5 yr old,is it too far in 10days?

Thankyou familyof4

In mid november would there be so many people there that we might not find a camel trip on arrival?

I have just been ogggling some of the websites for the kasbahs and places to stay down there - they are wonderful, I think it would be good to stay there for 2 nights, Merzouga/Erfoud, one in the desert and the other just relaxing too, I like the idea of that, but if we are using a travel company to get us there and then we stay basking in the sun for a day,as True believer puts it so well, we would be paying someone for nothing.... how can we avoid this?

Will also probably skip the loop to Taroundant and just take abit more time being around the Ouarzazate / Merzouga area and going back to Marrakech for the last 2 days.The thought of whizzing through this terrain makes me dizzy...we will have to come back again... a little bit at a time.....

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