Africa travel

Inside The “Door To The Desert”

Never thought I'd find myself at the door to the desert. I was always trained to retreat from shady locals.

We had seven days in Marrakech. A place my boyfriend and I had never been to before. Upon stepping foot in the ancient medina, we were in awe of the beauty and action that danced before our eyes on the bus ride into the city. Once actually mingling in without surroundings however, we were overwhelmed and frazzled.

A day or so of getting used to the pace of things, we started looking into ways to retreat, relax and taking in the vast desert landscape that is associated with Morocco. After doing a bit of research and getting a recommendation from our Moroccan cooking class teacher, we booked our trip Ouarzazate – the door to the desert.

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Where are we bro?

The door to the desert! I was excited (and so was my boyfriend) to see a bit of the Sahara, or just get close enough to it. I had never been before and we thought this location sounded like a perfect way to squeeze in the “roughing it” portion of our trip without straying too far or investing too much money. We hopped on a bus from Marrakech to Ouarzazate (about 5 hours ride) and then took a car up to The Fint Oasis.

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It’s hard not to be charmed by the ride and the views. Everything was so rural and earthy. We saw people walking along the side of long stretches or road, dunes, greenery and more. That may sound so “touristy” or privilege like of me but I found everything so sweet and real, if that makes any sense. It wasn’t like being yelled at in the ancient medina to lunch somewhere or buy something, but peaceful and beautifully savage.

We road in a car for what was about 20 minutes, absorbing every shock and bump of the rural terrain. That was fun. I felt like I was on a safari ride or in Jurassic Park. haha

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Aren’t the colors and the sky just amazing. It really is so different from city life.

We soon settled into the oasis and walked to our room through this courtyard pictured above. It was beautiful but the place did not scream or look to add on any bells and whistles. It was a retreat for you to relax and recharge, away from all things digital. Absolutely no real WiFi unless you were next to the one little hub that moved around from room to room based on the staff member who controlled it. At first I thought, how dare you but then I realized, “I’m at the door to the desert, I need to explore!”

But wait, I needed food. I was getting hangry. The oasis provided free breakfast and dinner and had a lunch menu we could order bits from. I decided on chicken skewers and my boyfriend went for the tagine.

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Chicken skewers and chips
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Lemon chicken tagine

After our meal, we went out trekking. Exploring the wonders and walking up hills that looked a bit scary.

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I was trying out funny perspective.
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Never appropriately dressed for any portion of this trip, lol

We really loved our time alone and made the best of everything. We went on long walks and scaled some tall heights. Everything was exhilarating with a hint of scary (my dad told me to be a bit wary of things and now it has stuck) but we made it out alive.

All in all, I’d say staying at the Fint Oasis and exploring the door to the desert was a once in a lifetime trip. If you’re about luxuries, this place won’t be for you. It’s quaint but the resort has no WiFi and it also has one set menu – you get no choice on your food. It’s good local food but it’s the one standard nonetheless. If you plan on spending a week here, make sure you have access to a car because you can exhaust your wandering after a day. I think a short two day trip works (that’s what my boyfriend and I did). Come here to explore the tip of the desert and have a digital detox. That’s what I think it’s good for.

Have you accidentally detoxed from digital? Purposefully? Why? How was it?

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