The year 2019 has seen the inaugural edition of the Grand Moroccan Escapade – the newest desert rally of the Travel Scientists, which takes you in a big circle through Morocco from Marrakesh to the edge of the great Sahara and back to Marrakesh again.
We were happy to see some faces familiar from other adventures but also new ones to take on this amazing challenge with us. And we surely can agree that we all had an amazing time during this desert rally, exploring remote parts of Morocco not many people get to see, eating all the food and even switching our rally cars for camels for a while.
But see yourself! These pictures should be all the motivation you need to sign up for the Moroccan Escapade 2020!
1. The Teams
One of the best things about all Travel Scientists events are, without a doubt, all the amazing people you’ll meet. Arrive as strangers, leave as family – as cheesy as it might sound, it is true. Braving the challenges of a car rally traversing the remotest areas of the world brings people together like nothing else. Just like the old saying goes: Petrol is thicker than blood. We hope to meet the extended family, which we made during the Moroccan Escapade 2019, again soon for another great adventure, be it through the deserts of Central Asia or the jungles of India.
2. Driving through the Sahara – duh!
It takes some special skills to drive through the ever changing terrain of the desert, but this year everybody handled the challenge perfectly. Even if you get stuck in the sandy dunes of the Sahara, you’ll be out in no time with the (moral) support of your new travel companions. And after all, it is an official rule that you haven’t really participated in a Travel Scientists rally, if you didn’t have at least one serious breakdown during the trip – that’s where all the good stories come from!
3. Exploring authentic villages
Traditional Moroccan architecture appears to be one with the desert with its sand-colored towers rising up in the sky, the small windows keeping out the heat and unwanted gazes and the occasional date palm providing some desperately needed shade. Life is still slow here, where not much has changed in the last hundred years. The perfect illusion is only interrupted by some teenagers who, like everywhere else in the world, are absorbed by the screens of their phones while they are taking their donkey for a ride.
4. Desert oases
Nothing makes you appreciate the color green more than a week, or even just a day, spent in an endless, seemingly barren desert landscape. Even though enchantingly beautiful in its emptiness, the Sahara keeps reminding us of its hostility towards most lifeforms, with modern humans being among the least well equipped ones for survival under these harsh conditions. Oases are what makes life in the desert possible. Here green means water, green means life and with that green means hope. It is no coincidence that the color of Islam, a religion born in the deserts of the Arabian peninsula and also deeply rooted in Morocco, is green. And isn’t an oasis like this just darn pretty to look at?
5. Food, food and some more food
Let’s be honest here: One of the main reasons we all like traveling to the remotest parts of the world is, because the kebab place around the corner and the Indian restaurant across the street just don’t cut it anymore. We want the real deal! Food is the soul of a country and we want to eat it all. Authentic and fresh from the street stall which sells the tastiest olives or from the little hole-in-the-wall restaurant where you’ll get the most delicious tajine, the opportunities to indulge in the best food are plenty during the Moroccan Escapade. Sometimes it takes a little courage, sometimes your stomach needs some time to to adjust, but you will always go home with a new favorite dish.
6. Exploring the markets
To us “Westerners” who are used to getting our groceries in (more or less) orderly supermarkets, a Moroccan market with all its sounds and smells can be quite overwhelming. Busy vendors are pushing their goods loudly from all sides – although these days they often leave the yelling to a recording and some speakers, while they are enjoying a cup of tea with their buddies from the next stall. The smells of spices and tea mix with freshly butchered meat and some fish right next to it,which needs some adjustment – or the very special skill of knowing exactly when to breath in to just inhale the good stuff. But nothing can beat having amazing memories of the Moroccan Escapade every time you cook with the spices for which you’ve haggled down the price successfully to a special deal just for you – or have you? That vendor was just smiling too contently when you left, wasn’t he…
7. And switching the car for a camel for a while
Let’s go back to the basics and join the ranks of the Berbers and the famous desert explorers, who’ve been travelling the Sahara on camel back for centuries. If they can do it, we can do it – at least that is what we thought. It might look easy, but let us tell you, it is a true adventure! Rising up to high above the ground on a camel’s back gets your adrenaline pumping, the constant swaying back and forth is nothing for people with a sensitive stomach and the hard saddle is a test of endurance for your buttocks, but like true adventurers our participants and we enjoyed every minute of it!
Now, if we’ve tickled your adventurous side, don’t be scared and sign up for this crazy desert rally! You can find more information about the Moroccan Escapade here and here. Or just drop us a line with any questions you might have to [email protected]