Morocco for More
To save for our trip we
In this we would be wrong. (Except for the carpets).
3rd world country developing nation, it is. Or ought to be. In truth, some things are cheap: rent is cheap (although rents are on the rise), local transportation (with the exception of domestic airfares) is still cheap, and anything made of leather is risibly inexpensive, but it pretty much ends there. Between holiday housing developments sprouting like poisoned mushrooms along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and the Western predilection for building guest houses and renovating derelict ryads in Morocco's medinas, real estate is starting to go through the roof. All this, in conjunction with the hoards of cash-carrying tourists disembarking from cut-throat European airlines, is serving to not only test the local infrastructure but to ensure that prices will go up up up.
Soon, to paraphrase Yogi Berra, nobody will come to
But I digress.
Eating at restaurants - even fairly modest ones - can add up quickly. It's impossible to find a cup of coffee in
Of course, I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who lives here rather than someone who is visiting. But even when Mr. CinR and I visited those handful of years ago with those fistfuls of foreign currency, we didn't exactly find Morocco to be a bargain destination - in order to experience Morocco-on-the-cheap we stayed in fleabag hotels (nondescript rooms with shared squatty toilets) with large cockroaches the size of small rodents, small rodents the size of large cockroaches, and ate a lot of street food.
So imagine my surprise when I read that I could enjoy Morocco for Less ... that
" ... Take an escorted tour of Marrakech, the
Ooooh, tell me more ...
Your trip will include a mountain bike ride in the hills, with mountain bike rental included; a guided nine-hour hike through the mountains of the Tamatert Valley; a stop at the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou; and a stay in a tent among the limestone cliffs and unusual rock formations of the area around the Dades Gorge ... Be sure you are in shape to handle treks of about four hours per day, long bike rides, or flat-water kayaking in humid conditions.
Hope bottled water is included.
So, sounds nice – how much is it? Covered in the price of $990 US (gasp!) is 8 nights' accommodation (including a stay at Marrakech's Hotel Ali - Morocco's quintessential budget hotel/hostel), transportation & entry fees, bike rentals, payments to local guides & nomads (don't get me going on the nomads), 8 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 2 lunches. You're on your own for those other 5 dinners and 6 lunches but hey! - breakfast is included and isn't that the
cheapest most important meal of the day?
You can opt for other excursions at additional cost, such as a cooking demonstration of staple dishes, such as tajine and couscous, for about $17 per person.
a tightwad, frugal, Spartan, tight, niggardly, parsimonious, penny-pinching, stingy, scrimping, sparing, abstemious, penny-wise, prudent thrifty cheap - but I just don't think that qualifies as a "budget" trip. But Budget Travel does and they should know ...
Why It's a Deal: Consider that the $990 rate (including the $140 local payment) breaks down to about $124 per person per night and covers accommodations and local transportation. An English-speaking tour leader is available (I should hope so, you're paying for him - CinR) throughout the trip, especially handy for learning local information on the best markets on this itinerary.
So there you go.