Midnight at the Oasis

Midnight at the OasisEven though we have expressed in several e-mails the fabulous experience and memories made on our adventure arranged through you, I want to take a moment to formally thank you and convey my appreciation. What started out as a thread of an idea, turned out to be a journey of a lifetime! I had heard you could take a camel trek in the Sahara and overnight, but stumbling upon your website was the luckiest thing that happened to us.

With our rather extensive travel experience, Gayle and I would normally arrange everything ourselves, to us it’s part of the fun. But due to the time restraint, booking so close in, we really had no time to check things out and were really flying blind when Mohammed came to pick us up at the Riad that morning. We had no idea of the adventure that laid before us.

Every day was greeted with such excitement and anticipation, as we learned after the first day, this was something truly special. And each day did bring with it such diversity and new wonders. I complement you on the layout of the program.

First, the product you are selling is so exceptional, but your execution of presenting it to us was excellent. I can’t think of a single problem we had, which is usually unheard of in travel. Besides the logistics, which are essential and basic to the trip, what makes it truly so memorable are the spontaneous experiences along the way. The only people who can help direct that are the people you have on the ground with us, Majhoudi Mohamed, our guide, and Alla Mbark, our driver. Without them, it just wouldn’t have been the same. It’s not easy for five people in one car for six days, who never met before. By the time the adventure was over, we were like family, and there were true tears of sadness to say good-bye. I can’t express what a difference they made to the trip.

Mohamed is a true professional. Both intelligent and charming, his kindness, openness and sense of humour were impressive. He was able to open doors to experiences that we would not have been able to do on our own. Language and custom make it somewhat restrictive for us, and although that has never stopped Gayle and I in the past, it allowed us to make further in roads to the cultural exchanges we seek in our travels. Mohamed had the perfect combination of discretion and service.

Mbark gave us a great sense of security on the very challenging roads. He is obviously an experienced driver and new the roads well, never putting us at risk or making us feel uncomfortable. He was constantly attentive to his job of staying with the car, making sure we were safe and in good positioning whenever we made unexpected photo stops. He always strove to make our comfort and convenience his number one priority, even up to the point in the airport when he got our customs cards for us. Kind and professional, as well as fun, he turned us all into aficionados of the Berber blues group, Tinariwen. (We couldn’t wait to buy their CDs when we got to Marrakech! ) Although, limited in speaking English, he understood much of what we said, and always understood our needs.

Also, I must tell you that we met some other travellers from your agency that expressed the same appreciation as we felt for your flexibility in finalizing the details of the trip. We changed our program so many times, I’m impressed you could keep up, let alone not scream at us. Thank you for your patience.

I often thought of that poor American couple who cancelled because of the recent protests in North Africa. What a shame for them, they missed so much, not least was the education of what the native peoples of this area are truly like. Having been in Morocco, maybe 20 times (and even living and going to school in Rabat) I learned a whole new side to the Berber culture, I never knew.

I wish I could book immediately to see all the areas we missed. Hopefully, it won’t be too long until we do.

Kindest regards, and wishing you all the success possible.