I was under the misconception that this would be an easy book to review. It’s a guidebook after all, not a story, so if time was tight I wouldn’t have to read every word to get a good feel for what it was about… Sadly I used way more than the allotted time, because I couldn’t stop reading it.
This, the 3rd edition, covers the southern two thirds of Morocco in detail and is written in a wonderfully accessible way. At its core are 65 routes for those who want to explore this fascinating country – gorges, desert pistes, mountain passes – but it’s much more wholesome than that. It offers advice for those wishing to use 4 wheels as well as 2, from perhaps the world’s foremost Saharan sage. This is no corporately produced, rehashed holiday guide, it’s a book that’s grown from hundreds of Chris Scott’s journeys and his passion for a part of the world that is like no other.
It has a good intro to appreciating the cultural difference which we all too often hear we should currently fear, and goes on to provide all the info the travel-wary (and travel-worn) among us may need, from where every bit of paperwork can be attained, to maps of each arrival port. It provides off-road riding and machine preparation advice and vehicle rental info in case you have only a few days. There’s info about wildcamping and protecting personal health, and details of every fuel source. Routes are graded for difficulty and there’s even a grading system for available mapping; electronic and paper.
Chris can’t impress enough how important it is to slow down, appreciate climate, distances and the rugged beauty and friendly people that’ll be surrounding you. As Europeans there is an incredible experience available on our doorstep and this book provides the key to open that opportunity.
Paperback 288pp, 40 colour and 120 B&W images (£19.99)
Published by Trailblazer Publications (Nov 2017)