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The Sahara desert: Where better to get away from it all?

Everyone knows the feeling that you get when work is getting on top of you, people are trying your patience, or your favourite football team has just been beaten again. You are often left standing amid the chaos of the UK urban rat race thinking: "I wish I could get away from it all".

I've gone through this episode on a number of occasions and recently I bit the bullet and took some time off to recharge the batteries. I needed an escape, somewhere that was the complete polar opposite to the monotony of nine-to-five Britain. I was headed for the Sahara desert.

Hustle, bustle and tranquillity - Morocco offers a bit of everything

I've always relished being part of a crowd, which proved to be a handy trait in the thriving markets of Marrakech. In the midst of all the action - where traditional snake charmers stand side-by-side with people selling leather purses and other authentic wares - it really is a case of blink and you will miss something. While the sight of locals and tourists bartering over a terracotta vase may be a bit of a cliche, there is something unbelievably exciting about being part of the Moroccan capital's racing heartbeat.

Atlas Adventure 24/04/11 - 01/05/11 Photos

Hi guys,

I've attached a few photos from last week below - I don't know if this is the right place but it seems as good as any. I've tried to leave out all the moving pictures of the floor.

It was good to walk with you all - a really good week. Shall maybe see a few of you again some time.

All the best.

James

Cardiff Air Cadets on Atlas Mountains Expedition

14 staff and 20 cadets from 1344 Cardiff Squadron, Air Training Corps, have just returned from their first overseas adventurous training expedition in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco. The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range across a northern stretch of Africa extending about 2,400 km (1,500 miles) through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.  The expedition lasted a week and included a day in Marakkech before being transported to Oukaimeden at 8,600 feet in the Atlas Mountains to begin trekking.

Atlas adventure

I had never been trekking or on a group trip on my own, so I landed with some trepidation at Marrakech airport. My fears were soon allayed, when the group received a warm welcome from our guide, Lahcen, and I was soon surprised at how well we all got on.

Saharan Sands

Leaving behind Ouarzazate,after our late evening arrival the day before, we drove over the barren landscape of the Tizi-n-Tiniffift pass into the Draa Valley and on to the small oasis town of Tazzarine. Our camp for the night in the old part of this small desert town was itself a lush oasis of date palms and pomegranate trees. 
We had the place to ourselves and while we the adults relaxed with glasses of mint tea and got to know each other in the communal tent of the camp the children set about exploring and making friends with each other.

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