[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of the first things we did when we arrived in Morocco was book ourselves onto a quad bike tour. Our hotel, Le Cinq Djellabas, organised the whole thing for us and also luckily for us, the quad bikes were just a short drive from the hotel itself. We chose to go on a two hour tour rather than a whole day expedition, which was a relief in hindsight as it was SO tiring! There were two pit stops on the tour- one at a palm grove and another at a Berber village. By the end of the day, I was covered in red dust and I’ll admit…I felt pretty badass, hah!
The company that ran the quad biking tours also ran camel riding tours- I don’t feel right using animals in that way but to be fair the herd looked healthy and well fed. Those beautiful big brown eyes!
The concierge at our hotel advised us to go for the morning tour when it was still cooler- an easy breezy 30 degrees which is positively chilly in Morocco at the height of Summer! It started at 10am and ran for a couple of hours. When we arrived, they fitted us out with helmets and a really unflattering cotton shower cap thing to wear underneath it. The quad bikes are all automatic so it was just a matter of showing us how to accelerate, brake and then we had a test drive out in the dirt track. After getting a feel for the quad bike- it’s pretty straightforward and easy- we headed out!
Even though we never went over 40mph, it felt amazing riding down a main road with the wind whipping around my t-shirt. We turned off into a dirt road, and then up and down dusty red hills until we got to a palm grove where some donkeys awaited us.
At this point, my feet and legs were covered in red dust already and my god was I sweating! Hot desert and a hot bike meant a hot bum!
After petting the donkeys on the nose and a quick stretch of the legs, we got back onto our bikes to make our way to the village.
Not too thrilled about having to put this thing back on my head though…however, I did love my speedy Orange Fanta, as I named my bike 😉
The further we went, the terrain became rockier and bumpier. I had to really work to keep my bike on track! Our final stop was at a Berber village, where we sought some shade and relief with sweet mint tea and some hospitality from these little faces…
This little dude was clearly the boss around these parts.
We met a really lovely family on our tour, and we chatted to them over sips of tea. Feeling refreshed and ready to head home, we got back on our bikes, and the kids chased us goodbye as we left. My arms felt like jelly by now and the midday sun was beginning to rear it’s head. Up and down, twisting and turning, it was a relief to hit the main road again and ride the last few minutes on smooth asphalt.
We pulled over into the quad bike garage (the camels didn’t even bat a long eyelash at our return) parked up, returned our helmets and washed up a little. It was SO fun and I really felt like we were looked after- the guys rode up front and set the pace so we didn’t fall behind or feel pressured into going too fast. They had their eyes on the road and signalled to pull over if any large vehicles were ahead. The family we met on the tour had also arranged it through their hotel, so I think this is probably the safest and easiest way to book yourself onto your own quad biking adventure.
I was so glad our hotel was nearby as I was beat! After a quick lunch and a shower, I headed for a massage to soothe my tired muscles- another amazing suggestion by our hotel concierge. Our first full day out in the desert had completely lived up to my expectations!