Our eye-opening time in Morocco ended with a dash of adventure. After enjoying an incredible honeymoon, my husband and I went out with a bang. The day before our flight home, we enjoyed an adventurous excursion: camel rides and quad drives!
Our van picked us up in our neighborhood in the Medina and drove us about 30 minutes away to the palm oasis. There, the guides prepped us and the rest of the group for our camel ride, wrapping scarves around our heads and….well…that was about it. Riding a camel is pretty self explanatory.
It wasn’t the most comfortable ride (given the humps), but the camels were good natured as they plodded through the clusters of palm trees. My camel, named Madonna, was the mother of the baby camel scampering alongside us, riderless. The baby camel screeched often. Was he hungry?
After an hour, we stopped for lunch, giving the camels a break as well. Baby Camel stopped crying and trundled over to Madonna. Lady Madonna, children at your feet…wonder how you manage to make ends meet?
Moroccan mint tea, served from high up with appropriate showmanship, accompanied snacks of fried flatbreads—followed, of course, by tagines.
As the camels carried us back to the prep area, EZ noted they didn’t have hoofs or horseshoes (camel shoes?), and this area was not the camel’s native desert landscape. While camel feet were likely accustomed to the soft sands of the desert, how did they fare along this dirt path, occasionally riddled with pebbles?
The dismount was a bit rough—the camels basically buckled their knees, first the front set, then the back—meaning you were dropped in two jerky motions. It was kind of funny to watch…but not so much to feel!
Overall, the ride had been pleasant. A unique experience. We bonded with our camels, sweet and gentle beasts, and with each other.
But the setting seemed all wrong. If we had to do it again, we’d ride the camels on their home turf, across the Sahara desert perhaps. Where they would feel more comfortable and, perhaps, more free.
The quad rides required a bit more preparation than the camels. Instructions on starting, stopping, pulling over, etc. But once we finally revved up, a thrill of anticipation came over me. I love going fast. Speed makes me feel alive.
First, we followed our guide in a straight line, at a moderate speed, back to the palm oasis.
But then we peeled off onto the highway for a bit, finally pulling onto a dirt path that cut through a meadow. Now things were really heating up.
Clutching the gas, tight-knuckled, I zipped forward with a rush of adrenaline. The surrounding scenery was breathtaking—fields and fields of vibrant wildflowers. I felt like I was in a Bollywood movie. My heart leapt as the world opened up to let me rush forward.
A couple of sharp curves made me nervous, throwing me slightly off balance and forcing me to pull over. But otherwise, I found quad driving exhilarating, especially amidst this gorgeous landscape. As the path forked and re-merged, EZ veered off and drove parallel to me until I let him pass. So much fun!
Getting the heart racing, together…what a wonderful note on which to end our honeymoon.