"Because it was a safe trip, we felt encouraged to communicate with the local people."
October 2023 Jun & Mai

I had skimmed through a guidebook before the trip, but there is indeed a different level of reassurance and persuasiveness from information provided by someone who actually lives there. Previously, my trips were somewhat haphazard—I’d pack with a mindset of "Well, this should be good enough!" However, this time, thanks to detailed answers to my numerous queries about the weather, safety, and daily expenses through emails and sometimes Zoom, I was able to depart with virtually no worries or concerns.

Scenic view from the trip

Especially since this trip was just one month after a major earthquake, I might have canceled if I hadn't had the connection with Mr. Iwama and hadn’t been informed about the current local situation. Being promptly updated on the local conditions by Mr. Iwama was one of the major reasons it felt great to have his assistance.

I used to think of tours as strictly scheduled affairs, where it's all about moving quickly from one point to the next. However, Bakar always suggested flexible plans, like "If you want a leisurely morning, we can delay our departure," or "If you want to get to the next town earlier, we can leave a bit sooner. Just let me know your preferences!" This approach allowed us to thoroughly enjoy each location at our own pace.

Continuing the journey

This trip's itinerary was fully packed with all the places I wanted to visit, which meant several long travels. I was concerned whether these long periods of travel would be physically exhausting or dull. However, Bakar was very considerate, frequently checking if we were awake and asking if we were hungry or needed a toilet break during the long drives.

As we drove, watching the changing scenery from the car windows, Bakar would share all sorts of interesting tidbits like "This town is famous for its apples," "All these trees are olive trees," "This area has many nomads," and "Many people come to this river to do their laundry." Such facts made the five to six hours of travel fly by, never feeling dull for a moment.

In my previous travels, I was mostly focused on reaching the destination safely and not being deceived. I think I traveled with a bit of anxiety and distrust towards foreign places and locals. Usually, all that remained after these trips was the fact that I "went there."

This time, with reliable local advice like "This area is a bit dangerous, but you’ll be fine if you do this, be careful about that, and remember I’m here to help anytime," I was able to establish my own standards for safety, explore the streets with ease, and engage with the people.

As a result, I feel like I was able to touch slightly the shy warmth and the proud souls of the Moroccan people. I've grown to love Morocco and its people.

Hikali Safari SARL
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