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NORWOOD CHALLENGES SAHARA TREK ITINERARY Sunday 29 January ­ Sunday 5 February 2012

The Sahara Desert conjures up images of vast unending sands, desert oasis and starencrusted skies. This environment is the perfect setting for a sponsored charity event. It offers the challenge of trekking and camping in an extreme location surrounded by breathtaking scenery and fascinating culture. We will access the Sahara Desert via Morocco. After the trek there will be time to explore the imperial city of Marrakesh with its bustling central square and exotic traditions. Day 1: Sunday London - Ouarzazate We will be flying from London to Ouarzazate via Casablanca and take a short transfer (15-20mins) to our hotel for the night. This former French administrative centre is now the centre of Morocco's film industry. The spectacular rugged mountains surrounding Ouarzazate have formed the backdrop to many well known movies including Star Wars, Gladiator, The Mummy and Lawrence of Arabia. Flight information 29 January ­ London Heathrow ­ Casablanca ­ 17.10 - 20.30 29 January ­ Casablanca ­ Ouarzazate ­ 23.35 ­ 00.30 (arrive next day)

Day 2: Monday Ouarzazate ­ Oued Lemhasser Oued Lemhasser ­ Cheggaga Dunes

Transfer approx 5hrs 4 ­ 5 hours / 16kms approx.

We will start with a 4x4 transfer to the start of our trek. We will break for lunch under the shade of tamarind trees, a welcome respite from the heat. Towards the end of the day we will cross the great golden dunes of Cheggaga which regularly host film crews shooting on location. Towering up to 300 metres, these are the highest dunes in Morocco and offer incredible views from the top. Overnight camping. Terrain: low dunes, walking in sand, dry river beds, across high dunes down to camp.

Day 3: Tuesday Cheggaga Dunes ­ Bougarn

7 hours / 19kms approx

We leave civilisation behind at the Cheggaga Dunes and head deep into the desert. It is another day of breathtaking landscape under the constant glare of the sun. We will occasionally encounter nomads and their cattle but the general feeling of space and solitude is amazing. Our destination is the magnificent dunes at Bougarn where we stop to camp. Optional camel ride this evening! Terrain: low dunes, hard terrain (not sand), stony plateau.

Day 4: Wednesday Bougarn ­ Oued Nâam

8 hours / 20kms approx

We set off through more sand dunes beautifully sculpted by the wind. After three days in the desert we will feel far removed from the pressures of everyday life. We may see the occasional "caravan" of camels trading perhaps in rock salt or dates. The Arabian camel is one of the bestadapted desert mammals and can live for 40 years. Valued greatly by nomadic Tuareg people as a means of transport, almost all parts of their body can be used. Tents are made from camel hair cloth, dung is used as fuel on cold desert nights and skin makes excellent leather. Throughout the day there are superb views of the Jebel Bani mountain range as we head towards Oued Nâam for our last night under the stars. Terrain: low dunes, sandy underfoot Day 5: Thursday Oued Naâm - Mahamid

8 hours / 23kms approx

After breakfast we trek further south towards the village Mahamid passing the Oueds River and dunes en-route. The village is build near the river Draa that flows from the Atlas Mountains into the Sahara Desert and marks the border between Morocco and Algeria. Overnight in hostel accommodation. Terrain: dry river bed, stony at times Day 6: Friday Zagora ­ Marrakesh Today is spent driving through ever-changing desert scenery. Our route is lined with palm plantations, ancient kasbahs and impressive village strongholds known as ksours. We stop several times during our journey to discover the finer aspects of desert life. The total transfer time is 8-9 hours approx. This evening we will enjoy a celebratory meal and overnight at a hotel in Marrakesh. Day 7: Saturday Marrakesh Today is free to discover the sights and sounds of Marrakesh. The starting point is bound to be Djemaa el Fna, the city's central square. It is a bustling place full of traders, snake charmers, musicians, acrobats and storytellers. Marrakesh has lots more to offer souqs crammed with Moroccan crafts, the enormous Koutoubia Mosque and a vast array of museums, palaces, gardens and cultural sites. Day 8: Sunday Marrakesh ­ London Return flight to the UK via Casablanca. Flight information 05 February ­ Menara ­ Casablanca ­ 10.40 ­ 11.30 05 February ­ Casablanca - London Heathrow ­ 12.45 ­ 15.50

Please note this is a complex itinerary which is subject to change. © Copyright Classic Tours


The Sahara Desert conjures up images of vast unending sands, desert oasis and star-encrusted skies

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