Well, let's continue on, shall we? After we left the desert, we drove to Todra Gorge. We stayed at Palmeraie Guesthouse which is located in the surprisingly lush valley of Todra Gorge. The three brothers that own the guesthouse were really helpful and hospitable. They also have a cute donkey hanging around!
The next day, we headed into Todra Gorge for our hike. A friend of the owners of the guesthouse had offered to do a guided hike with us, but we declined. There was an appealing route described in Lonely Planet and we felt optimistic about doing it ourselves. Bad idea! We missed the main lookout point and then had trouble actually finding the start of the path. So we just wandered along for a few hours. It was beautiful but we probably would've seen better stuff on an actual hike. And was it ever hot!
After spending two nights at Todra Gorge, we planned on spending the night in Dades Gorge as well. However, we were feeling pretty defeated by the heat and one of the owners of the guesthouse urged us just to stop in Dades Gorge and then keep driving. This meant we would end up having an extra night by the ocean which sounded pretty ideal at the time.
So we passed through Dades Gorge and made a brief stop at Ait Benhaddou, an ancient fortified city. When I was researching it before the trip, some people highly recommended the spot and others said to skip it. It's been fixed up quite a bit so it doesn't feel very authentic. We decided to stop by anyways since it was sort of on the way. When we got there, it was totally deserted. There were some random Moroccan guys hanging out by one of the entrances and charged us some money to get in. They didn't seem legitimate at all (especially for a Unesco Heritage Site!) but we didn't really want to argue with them, so we dolled out the cash. We wandered around for maybe half an hour and then left. Not a trip highlight, that's for sure.
We carried on to Telouet. We stayed at Maison D'Hotes Dar Aissa. It seemed over-priced for what it was and we got kind of weird vibes from the owner. However, he brought us by a nearby kasbah which was actually quite neat.
Next up: the beautiful seaside town of Essaouira!
Ps. As some of you may have seen on instagram, Mike and I are moving to Vancouver at the end of the summer! As Vancouver is hailed as the most expensive city to live in North America (gulp!), our overseas travels will likely come to a grinding halt. On the upside, this will allow to finally get caught up with this blog. We still have photos from Lisbon, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, and Nepal coming up!