Tourist in blue scarf in the sahara desert of Morocco.

“Exotic kingdom!”

I don’t know how to begin to thank you for the amazing journey you arranged for us…so I’ll start from the top:

OUR DRIVER: When we first arrived, he was Rachid…or maybe even Mr. Rachid because he was so proper and professional. But by the time we left he was “Our Rachid”. We really could not have asked for a better companion. First of all his driving skills are unparalleled. I knew it was a good sign when, after a particularly steep mountain pass, my husband (who prides himself on his own driving skills) turned to me and said “that’s exactly how I would have done that”.

But more than the logistics, it was Rachid’s personality that completely won us over. He was charming, funny, knowledgeable and compassionate. Some of our favorite memories from our journey involve the times when Rachid’s silly side came out. For example, helping us to know if the price we were haggling over was a good deal or not by coming up with an elaborate secret code “if I touch the rim of my baseball cap it means the price is too high”. Or when we were having a fossil wrapped up to bring home and he realized they were using bubble wrap, how he couldn’t resist grabbing a section and with an impish grin…pop, pop, popping it! But the moment that will truly stick with us was when he silently pulled over in an impoverished mountain town to give out a candy bar and some vitamins to a small child who had touched his heart. The look of kindness on his face completely melted ours. Our Raschid. Family.

THE RIADS: Wow, wow, wow! What an amazing job you all did picking out places that were both gorgeous and unique. From the exceptional family style food (and world-class massages) at Lina Riad and Spa, the truly stunning décor and gracious hospitality of Riad Myra to the exquisite gardens at Ksar El Kabbaba and modern Moroccan comfort of Riad Joya…we were blown away. Our favorite though, was the night spent in the desert at Jaimas Madu. In our wildest dreams, we never thought we would ride camels at sunset in the Sahara to spend the night in a Berber tent under the stars (complete with a bonfire and tribal drumming). Followed the next morning by the opportunity to witness a peaceful sunrise sitting on a sand dune in pajamas half a world away from home. Amazing.

We did have one hilarious mishap regarding that sunrise. We set our alarm to go off leaving just enough time to roll out of bed and hike up the dune behind our tent for the best view. Peter is notoriously slower at getting ready…so Lili (our daughter) and I left the tent before him. The Berber tents lock from the inside when you are in them, but from the outside when you are not. Without thinking we carefully closed and latched the door behind us as we left. We climbed the dune and sat quietly mesmerized by the pastel pink and apricot colored show the morning put on for us. When Peter didn’t show up, we laughed it off as “he must have gone back to sleep”. We drowsily stumbled back to the tent expecting to needle Peter about not waking up, only to find out we had trapped him inside. Needless to say, Peter (a professional photographer) was not too happy about missing his chance to film our Sahara sunrise. Gulp.

MOROCCO: How do you capture in words a country as varied and glorious as Morocco?  All of it…from the frenzy and humanity of the medinas and the indescribable beauty of Chechaouen indigo, to the mouth-watering tagines and open smiles of the Moroccan people…will linger eternally in our memories. I have a feeling we will be peeling back and reliving our experiences for years to come.

YOU: From our first phone call with Lorre who cheerfully described your unique, family-style approach to tours, and Amy’s willingness to answer our pesty questions with confidence and kindness, to Jill’s in-person check-in to make sure everything was going as expected…we felt exceptionally well cared for every step of the way. Thanks to your team’s expertise and personal knowledge of this exotic kingdom, we honestly feel that our journey wasn’t just another ‘trip’, but was instead, an adventure…a collection of unforgettable experiences carefully curated and customized for us…by you. 

We can’t recommend Experience It! Tours highly enough. Kudos to your entire team and SHUKRAN a thousand times over.

Alf Shokr,

Jeanne.

(May of 2022)

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