“Tame” Camping

Auberge Bab Rimal – Rosé Wine and a Log Fire

Our plan, whilst travelling in Morocco, was to “wild camp” whenever we could. Our truck was designed to function off grid, water being our scarcest resource. If we were careful we could manage for almost a week without having to fill our water tank (420 litres).

However, it turned out that it suited us better to use camp sites – except when travelling off piste in the desert when wild camping was the only option. Camp sites cost about £6 a night which included use of electricity (if they had it), water fill up and, sometimes, fresh bread – meals were extra but inexpensive. In rural areas site owners often existed at subsistence level and relied on income from travellers to survive. Shame on those who chose to park in a rubbish strewn lay-by further along the road and deprive the local people of their livelihood.

Had we been in a hurry to cover the miles, it would have made sense to pull off the road at the end of the day, eat, sleep and set off at first light. But we often chose to stay in one area for a few days and a camp site was the base from which we could explore.

Looking back over our travels, our most enjoyable times were when our camp site hosts went out of their way to be friendly and welcoming. These sites had a convivial atmosphere which encouraged friendly interaction between travellers. Most visitors were European but we also met Australians, a lovely young Turkish family, some visitors from the USA and even a group from China – who didn’t seem keen to communicate although they spoke English.

Hosts Corinne & Said at Agdz

Corinne told us Said was her business partner, no romance involved. I remarked that he was very good looking – she gave a Gallic shrug, “Good looking, good at cooking but bad tempered!”

One of our favourite evenings was when we were camping in the grounds of an auberge and we were the only diners in the restaurant. Our table for two had been set up next to a blazing log fire (it was very cold at night). We had a perfectly chilled bottle of rosé wine and – joy – there was live football on the TV (Liverpool v Spurs). All the hotel staff were watching the match and Tony soon joined them. Wine was expensive in Morocco and that stay cost us nearly £30.

We spent many days at Himi’s site in Zagora when we visited Ali Nassir