Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Glamping!

GLAMPING is of course a buzz word for glamorous camping. The kind of camping where you stay in luxurious tents that are carefully decorated, enjoy great food and nice wines served by friendly staff and experience nature in a truly five-star setting. The only way we would ever do nature or camping.

Scarabeo luxury camp in the stone desert, just a one hour drive from Marrakech

Last year we spent some days in the stunning ERG Chigaga luxury camp in the Sahara desert. That was a truly amazing experience with the great dunes, dramatic sun rises and sun sets and lots of activities and pampering. The Sahara desert is a very unique experience and you need some 2 days of travelling to get out there. Read about our Sahara desert adventures HERE!  

But you can enjoy "glamping" closer to Marrakech. Just a one hour drive from the red city you find Scarabeo camp, situated in a stone desert surrounded by mountains and dunes. This is by no means the real Sahara experience but never the less a very nice option for a luxury camp in a dramatic landscape. 

This is a picture from our trip to the Sahara desert last year, amazing dunes and "the real thing".  

The months June to September are too hot to spend time in the desert so we came out last minute in the end of May. The days were very hot but there was a nice breeze and the late afternoons, evenings and mornings suprisingly nice! The food was excellent and we really loved relaxing under that beautiful stary skies after dinner. Amazing.

We headed out with our friends for some fun and relaxation. We also got some Red City PR work done as well as scouting locations for a future desert photo shoots.

This was our home, a very spacious tent with comfy beds, beautiful decorations, hot showers and water flushing toilets. Camping in style, aka glamping.
 
Our luxury tent, very Lawrence of Arabia (or Ralph Lauren). The Scarabeo suite tents (like this one) are 50m2. There are also standard tents of 25m2. The total number of tents are 10 of which 3 are suite tents.
 
Good Morning Adventure!

There are several lounge areas at the camp site
 
Scarabeo Camp

Dramatic sceneries 

Hey Nature!

Glamping with dear friends Chris and Maryam - Cheers guys!
 
Beautiful light and perfect for photo shoots!
 
The Red City PR mobile office

The food was delicious and the table settings gorgeous

Some camp fire tales waiting to be told
 
There is no electricity at the camp but the staff light hundreds of candles and lamps both outside and in the tents.
A desert selfie
 
Practical Info:
The Scarabeo camp is located in the stone desert, a one hour drive from Marrakech. The luxury suite tents are 50m2 and cost approx 280 Euro/night including both dinner and breakfast. The camp is open mid September to mid June. To visit the real Sahara desert you need minimum five days, which includes three days of travelling (beautiful landscapes all the way make the trip fun though) and two days in the desert. ERG Chigaga luxury camp is the best one in the Sahara, a five day trip including car/driver and all meals/activities is approx 1.200 Euro per person.

The Scarabeo camp was a very nice experience and a good option if you want a unique excursion close to Marrakech. But nothing beats the real Sahara desert, we must start planning to get back there once the summer heat is over.

Keep Exploring!
P&P

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Summer in the City

The red city is heating up and as we approach end of May the temperature rises to 35-38c and the summer is now here for sure. This is the time when we move our outdoor activities down from the roof terrace to the courtyard (or patio as they are called in Riads). It is still possible to enjoy breakfast or dinner on the roof terrace but during day time it is simply too hot to be exposed to the sun. So we seek shelter in our shaded lounges, cool courtyard and swim in our pool. 

This marks the start of the season where we go to country clubs with great swimming pools outside town or visit the Atlantic coast. Daily life goes on as usual in the medina but at a slower pace. The warmest period is mid July to mid August but we have stayed many summers in Marrakech and as long as you take it a bit slow and drink a lot of water it is actually no problem at all.

Summer is here and the red ciy is heating up. Blue skies and 30-38c

The courtyards of the riads stay cool and fresh even during the summer heat (here one of our favorites, Riad Palais Lamrani)

May and June are perfect months to relax by a pool

Summer time at Dar JL

Relaxing and lounging at Dar JL

The stunning infinity pool at Dar JL Luxury Villas

Breakfast on the roof terrace is still fine, but around noon you need to hit the shade.

These guys seem to like the heat as long as they have access to shade and plenty of water.

The heat in Marrakech is dry so even when it's hot it is still ok compared to the humid heat in Asia. When the real heat wave hits Morocco in July we will leave for the cooler summer in Sweden and stay in our summer house on our island out in the Stockholm archipelago. Before that there is a lot of work to be done and tomorrow we are going on a desert trip, now that will be really hot...

Keep shining!
P&P

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The Donkey Sanctuary

As you all know, we do love animals! So last weekend we visited the amazing project Jarjeer Mules, a retirement home and orphonage for donkeys and mules in Morocco. This is a fantastic and important initiative that the lovely Susan Machin and her partner Charles Hantom started up a few years ago at their property just outside of Marrakech.

 
Susan Machin together with the donkeys
  
At the moment 27 donkeys and mules are living at the sanctuary after being rescued from different harsh circumstances. Some donkeys have been working hard in the medina of Marrakech for many years and others in farms in the rural parts of Morocco. When they become too old or worn out the options are limited and most of them end up being put down, but a few manage to find their way to Susan and Charles farm. It was an amazing experience to visit these lucky ones at their new home with spectacular views of the beautiful Atlas Mountains.
 
Lunch time at Jarjeer farm.
 
Jarjeer is a large property of 6 hectares set in the foothills of the High Atlas just half an hour south of Marrakech. The project is run by the couple Charles Hantom and Susan Machin who take care of these abused, old and disabled equines. They also have a team of a dozen local people who help them.
 
Here at Jarjeer the previously abused donkeys and mules can enjoy their last years with humans caring for them.
 
In June the donkey sanctuary Jarjeer will open up for visitors so you will be able to see this place for yourselves, enjoy the amazing nature and have a coffee or tea in the little shop.
 
Donkeys very seldom have names in Morocco but as soon as they arrive at Jarjeer Susan and Charles comes up with an appropiate name for them. Tommy, Max, Jules, Pablo, Elizabeth and Vicotria are a few of the names we saw on their collars. Susan told us it is important to give them names in order for the workes to truly bond with them.
 
 A brilliant day at the donkey sanctuary Jarjeer.
 
 
There are also some 12 happy dogs at Jarjeer farm.
 
Sometimes you just need to take a rest.
 
Learn more about the impressive project and important work HERE!
 
We enjoyed a great lunch in this beautful home. We can reveal that Charles is a fantastic cook!
 
If you are in Marrakech we strongly recommend a visit to the Jarjeer Mules sanctuary!
 
It costs around 1.000 Euros a year take care of each donkey including all the vaccinations and medical care and the Jarjeer project would like to take care of even more donkeys so please donate to this important charity HERE!
 
Come on, support a donkey today, it's the coolest thing you can do!
P&P