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MARCH 29TH, 2007 – DAY 653


In 4X4 in the Merzouga desert

Last month, we have finished the southern part of our loop in Morocco. We have given the first aids to a student in the verdant Ziz Valley and we cruised in 4X4 in the dunes of Merzouga. It is in the region of the Dades Gorges that we met Olivier, a fellow Quebecois traveller, with who we passed two weeks.
With him, we have explored the Dades Gorges, the city of Marrakech and attempted to ascend Mount Toubkal, the highest peak of North Africa (4167m). A snowstorm when at 2300m forced us to renounce to reaching the top. OK... we also have to say that we forgot to bring snowsuits... but isn’t it supposed to be Africa here?

Olivier Lachapelle at the Dades Gorges


Storm in the Atlantic

In every family with whom we have passed some time, we were very well greeted. Each member does what he/she can to make us feel comfortable. They treat us like brothers and sisters. We are slowly adapting ourselves to their hospitality. These precious and passing moments with our host family let us rest and recharge our batteries. They are becoming more and more essential to make this trip a success. Without them, we would feel exausted and have trouble appreciating good things offered to us.

As weird as this may seem, the routine of a person in perpetual movement is fatiguing. The more the trip advances, the more we sense the need to stay a couple of days in the same place in order to know better the people and nice places.
Gradually, our priorities during this trip evolve. During the first years, we were looking for beautiful landscapes (mountains, beaches, lakes, dunes, sea...). It is certain that each country has its must-see attractions and we don’t want to miss them. However, we now give a lot more importance to the acquaintances. We made some extra efforts to make detours to meet people that had left us their address or to visit friends of our friends.

Majida and her son Mohamed


From left to right : Délie, Jolan, Enora, Alize, Frank and Jonathan

The Perez family
We have passed two very pleasant days in the company of a French family in exile now living in Casablanca. We have met the Perezs for the first time in the Merzouga desert. New friendships have been established with Frank, Délie and their three lovely children. We stayed the first evening with them and three other couples, also exiled from France. The night was filled with laughter, political discussions, delicious food and good wine. Their kindness and hospitality were greatly comforting. This relaxed moment allowed us to build up on energy, providing that no one gets the gastroenteritis spreading from one child to another. We keep our fingers crossed and wash our hands !


As we have already mentioned, we have no set itinerary. Everything is subject to change according to encounters and desires of the moment. Only a couple of days ago, we thought we’d fly to Senegal but received a very interesting e-mail. Caroline’s aunt and her partner were going to Burkina Faso at the end of the month for a humanitarian project.

Dromedaries in the Sahara


Caroline and Patrick in
the High Atlas mountains

Humanitarian aid in burkina faso
We are now preparing to meet them. We will pass six weeks in the south-western part of the country, more precisely in the village of Beregadougou. We are working on our DignImage project and on marketing products derived from the sugar cane. We are only a few hours away from take-off and have just received our visas. We hardly know anything about this country. Nevertheless, visiting Burkina Faso is the best way to discover it!

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