Perth, Australia

Perth is the capital of Western Australia. There is now a direct flight from London to Perth! I definitely needed more time to see all of Western Australia but here is what I did cover and would recommend

  1. King’s Park and Botanic Garden for stunning views and walks that can take you all the way to the famous lone standing blue boat house.
  2. Day trip to the Pinnacles desert and Lancelin for sand boarding, passing by Swan Valley where you can try wine, honey, coffee and chocolates. Here is the tour I used which included a BBQ at the Pinnacles desert for dinner while we were star gazing.
  3. Day trip to Rottnest Island for the adorable Quokka’s who are super friendly and will smile for your camera. Be sure to rent a bike to explore the whole island (approx 22km), a much more comfortable option than the bus that does a loop.
  4. Fly or drive for ages to Esperance which is known for its pink lake, however it is no longer pink! There is still a pink lake on an island off the coast of Esperance which you can fly over via helicopter for $300+. Or you can stay on the mainland and enjoy Cape Le Grand National park which is the only beach in the world to have kangaroos roaming around and Australia’s version of Stone henge. You can also complete the short Great Ocean Drive with magnificent beaches, stand under a windmill and see the ‘pink lake’. Here is the tour company I used in Esperance as I didn’t rent a car.
  5. Visit Fremantle from Perth city centre, for their weekend market, do a prison tour and enjoy sunset by the rainbow sea containers.

Morocco

This was the absolute trip of a life time and definitely falls in my top three destinations! Starting in Marrakech and then doing a 3 day Sahara desert tour with RAK adventures, I have so much to recommend:

  1. When visiting Marrakech, make sure you stay in a riad, a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. I stayed at Riad Alwachma where they welcomed me with Moroccan mint tea and I even had a traditional hammam spa for the first time there too.
  2. See the Kotoubia mosque and medina both in the day and at night because of the different atmosphere you can experience. Don’t get ripped off by the people trying to get you to tour around on horse carriages like I did because you can easily walk around yourself and make sure you bargain at the Medina. At the Medina you’ll be able to have the cheapest and freshest orange juice in your life! Other things to do but not a must in my opinion: Bahia Palace (had no signs to indicate what I was looking at) and Majorelle garden (completely man made).

  3. A restaurant I would recommend in the Medina is Le Marrakchi. It’s a bit more fancy and pricy but a good start to getting a full sample of Moroccan food. They gave you so much to try for a set price and there was a little band playing which was a nice touch.

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  4. Learn how argan oil is produced, carpets are made and the use of fire to change the colour of natural plant dye to use in art. Consider buying these local products!
  5. Join the 3 day sahara desert tour to
    • Explore the High Atlas mountains, seen as snowcaps in the background as well. 10872747_10153756255303849_8613450311875366887_o
    • Pass Berber villages10985615_10153756255833849_2754009657113032688_o10959619_10153747088013849_512952712867989933_n
    • View the Tizi n Tichka pass10921670_10153756255528849_4998867960803262710_o
    • Visit Unesco kasbah of Ait Benhaddou1014942_10153747110698849_4520530785395530840_o10866060_10153756253563849_6448495490924231833_o (1)
    • Visit Ouarzazate movie studios
    • Visit Dades and Todra Gorges
    • Camel ride in Merzouga desert
    • Sleep in a desert camp which included a bonfire, and traditional berber music playing under the stars. Try sandboarding too!
    • Wake up early to catch sun rise behind the dunes10560565_10153756257673849_6856786587372321284_o 

Others: Some people say it is worth visiting a tannery where they tan animal skin (leather) but I was too afraid of the smell!

Note: The only time I felt a bit uncomfortable was in Marrakesh where it was very crowded, dusty and people kept trying to convince you to buy stuff. But once I went out into the country side, my trip was just incredible.