Arriving at Todra Gorge was one of those rare instances in my life when I was so breathlessly in awe that I forgot to take photos (indeed, I shot these on the back wall of our hotel in Ouarzazate a few hours later, once I’d realised). As you drive down into the valley, the stone walls on either side of you gradually rise higher, the road is infinitely quieter, and the vehicles become increasingly reminiscent of Indiana Jones. As if I hadn’t been amazed enough, with half my body out the window admiring my first ever Oasis (they really are that green) – the dust settled, and the crowds parted and an operatic choir struck some glorious chord, and there was Morocco’s answer to the Grand Canyon.
But, after an hour swimming with the locals at the base of the sheerest cliffs I have ever seen, I had no desire whatsover to ever see the Grand Canyon. Compared to the everyday-cross-Golden-Hollywood appeal of Todra, my subsequent Googlings of the Grand Canyon made it look like a giant hole in the ground. Walking along the straight stretch, one would just as much expect a Spaghetti Western Clint Eastwood or Henry Fonda to burst out of a crevice on a frothing horse, as you would a Moroccon jewel merchant loving life and not really making too much effort to sell in the sunshine. Not even the widest lens I had with me could capture how sore my neck was getting trying to absorb 360 degrees on every axis, so the best I can give you is atmospheric photos an a hand-on-heart word that, if you can endure a relentless sun, a bit of dust, and hilarious local kids, Todra Gorge is worth both your’s and Quentin Tarantino’s time.
But for real, Tarantino – what the hell are you doing in America?
Get yourself to Morocco.