18 Feb

As I prepare for my upcoming trip to India, I can't help but reflect on my previous adventure with Bushtracks Expeditions. The "Lions, Tigers and Tradewinds" private jet excursion took me on an incredible journey spanning Italy, India, Oman, Seychelles, Kenya, Ghana, and Morocco. It was an immersive experience that left me eager for more. Over just over three weeks, I was fortunate enough to experience a plethora of once-in-a-lifetime moments that allowed me to immerse myself in various cultures. Even though I was sad to bid farewell to my fellow travellers upon our return home, I was eager to create new memories. After all, my memory bank had yet to reach full capacity! One to the beautiful Ourika Valley in the High Atlas Mountains, specifically the small towns of Imlil and Setti Fatima. 

The taxi ride was an authentic experience of local life, complete with goats, chickens, and other passengers sharing the wooden benches in the back of a van. As I didn't speak the local language, I could silently observe the people sharing the ride with me, almost like a ghost in the taxi. The men had calloused hands indicative of hard work, while the women had tanned faces and high cheekbones. Their physiques spoke volumes about the daily hardships, as they lived on the edge without many of the luxuries, we in the western world consider essential for survival. However, all the locals had these intense, dark eyes that reflected the warm hospitality and friendly smiles deeply rooted in Moroccan culture. Along the way to Imlil, we passed the Kasbah Tamadot hotel, owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Limited Edition. The Kasbah Tamadot is located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, roughly 37 kilometres (23 miles) north of Imlil. The stark contrast between the hotel and my shared taxi ride made me realise that society always has different layers. In western culture, we often choose what and when we want to experience, excluding ourselves from certain aspects of real life. We may only scratch the surface of a place and fail to realise just how superficial our experiences truly are. We may see a place without actually experiencing it at all.

So, if you're ready to step out of your comfort zone and experience the raw beauty and warm hospitality of Morocco's Ourika Valley.  Immerse yourselves in the breathtaking landscape and culture of this unforgettable destination. I highly recommend this destination to anyone who's looking for a unique and authentic travel experience.

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