Agadir, Amata Mogadorensis, Argan oil, Atlas Kasbah, BBC Wildlife, Berber, James Lowen, Morocco, Philip Precey, Thekla Lark, Volutaria Lippi, Western Sahara, Wildlife Travel, Woodchat Shrike
Until a few weeks ago, ‘Agadir’ meant to me ‘just’ that awful 1960 earthquake which killed some 12,000 to 15,000 people. Other than that it was on the coast somewhere in North Africa, I couldn’t have told you its location. Now I know it is to the southern end of the UN-recognised part of Morocco, which itself is on the left-hand – as you’re looking at it – ‘shoulder’ of the continent. (I mention the UN because Morocco itself lays claim to the next country south, known to the rest of the world as Western Sahara.)
The improvement in my geography has come about because three days ago I returned from a very enjoyable week’s holiday in that Maghreb country, organised by Wildlife Travel for BBC Wildlife readers, and we stayed in a beautiful ecolodge half an hour’s drive from Agadir airport. We got back just in time. Last night, Monday 16th March, at midnight, the Moroccan government banned travel to and from the UK, having done the same to 25 other countries the day before we left.
It was a nearly four-hour afternoon flight from Gatwick to Agadir. With a window seat I had splendid views of:
It was late by the time we arrived at our ecolodge, but a welcoming meal awaited us.
Breakfast was always at 8.00, and we were out at 9.00. Here we are on the Sunday morning, 8th March, at our introductory briefing from Philip Precey, from Wildlife Travel, as big James Lowen, BBC Wildlife contributor, looks on reflectfully. Apart from these two leaders, there were ten of us, plus Mohamed, our excellent driver and sometimes guide.
Outside, Philip introduced us to the Argan tree, a staple of Moroccan life, and providing employment for women in co-operatives, as they make argan oil, and products for cooking and beauty from it.
Here are the inner gates, with the name of the ecolodge written in Arabic:
and Berber, the language and tribe most widespread in Morocco.
We started walking down to the main gates.
We set off for a local walk, looking back at our kasbah.
We approached the sound of many sheep and goats, anticipating a delightful rural scene. We were very disappointed.
Wow, you do go to some very interesting places, thanks for sharing.
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My pleasure, Susan.
Olive Simpson said:
Wow – what a lovely place. The blue moth is rather spectacular. Lovely pictures as always – many thanks for sharing! (I still think the the hotel itself looks rather like a cardboard cut-out!)
We saw two of those moths in flagrante delicto shortly afterwards. Modesty forbade a photo. As for cardboard – very much not, as my next post will show!
Beautiful pictures of a lovely place, a most inviting start to your holiday. I look forward to more.
Am so glad you got home just in time
That looks very interesting. I liked the picture of the bird on the arch a lot. Most artistic.
Clearly a creative shrike, normally more well-known for spearing their prey on long thorns. Plenty of such spikes in Morocco.
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Et c’est parti pour ce “rétro-voyage” ! Tu as eu beaucoup de chance d’en revenir juste à temps.
Impressionnant ton écolodge ! J’utilise parfois de l’huile d’argan. J’ai hâte d’en apprendre plus sur cet arbre.
Bravo pour tes photos de blue moth et shrike, ainsi que l’homme sur son âne.
What do you use argan oil for? I had never heard of it before.
Efficace en cas de peau sèche, Ce serait aussi un soin anti-âge, antioxydant. “teneur en oméga 3-6 et vitamine E remarquable”. Utilisée aussi pour les cheveux,
Le site wikipedia en français apporte plus de précisitions que celui en anglais, https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huile_d%27argane
Thanks – though I won’t use it on my hair. I haven’t put anything in my hair but water for the last 8 years!
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