THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS.
Salama Ayurveda is a holistic center located at the base of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The scenery and the area is beautiful quiet and this is a place where we can breathe fresh air all year around. Winter can be very cold with snow falling on the mountain slopes. April is wonderful, a great possibility to clean the body and the mind close to the river falling close by and listening to the birds singing while you are having a full body massage or a meditation course.
The establishment is made of a Berber style. Khalid the owner of the centre has a magnificent spirit focusing on using all tools such as Ayurveda cooking, massage, yoga, silent walks, meditation, chants, to uplift the mind, and to make you tuned with yourself, so you can truly understand the principles of equanimity. His aim is to make every traveler, a unique journey, with excursion in the Moroccan desert Merguza and Zagora which i am also taking care off. Options to visit the city of Marrakesh and its Medina as well as Ouarzazate and surrounding Berber villages close by, are other services the retreat center provide.
The experience this year has been one of its kind, close to nature, silent walks to waterfalls, and other trip such as camping in the desert, practice yoga and eat lot of Tajines! I was hoping for more Ayurveda type of food, and a more intensive program to detox my body and mind.
The Excursion was nice, the 4 of us, our guide, a girl from Holland and a men from Germany and myself. First camel ride for about an hour and a half felt like a full body workout! My legs started shaking and my back sore, so I decided to continue the journey walking and following our guide. Arrived at the camp we had more Arabic mint tea and a Tajine with vegetables and meat. The evening was clear and the stars shining above our heads.
The next morning, we dealt with a little disagreement, when the weather changed to blow sand on our faces most of the day and therefore we had to cancel the yoga classes and head back to Ouarzazate that same day. The time we spent driving hours was animated by deep spiritual talks and listening to powerful sounds of music.
A good rest, a shower and a light meal and we were on the way back to Salama Ayurveda in the morning. We stopped on the caravan trade route to visit the ancient Ksar Ait Ben Hadou, the famous fortified village or Ksar in Arabic. This village is made out of natural material, covered by red mud plaster, and surrounded by high walls. I was able to take impressive shots from the UNESCO heritage site, renowned for it’s natural and cultural importance but also a site where many films have been made, such as “The Mummy”, and “The man who would be king”.
Apart from villages, public establishment such as a mosque, and a saint school and a public square where built. The trans-Saharian route connected Europe and North African coast. Because of such a traffic on the road with merchants transporting gold, salt and also slaves, gave no choices to locals but to build towers and high walls to protect the customers living on the site as well as local inhabitants.
The beautiful day became cooler and heavy winds have started to blow in this month of March. We kept driving toward the Mont Tishka in 2260 m altitude where snow started falling. We were driving slowly on this wet road slope after slope, turns after turns, until we arrived in the beautiful valley of l’Ourika. I conducted a yoga class the next day at Salama Ayurveda under the soft sun and with beautiful people.
Reference of the KSAR ofAIT Ben Haddou UNESCO World Heritage Site.