Pretend you're driving through a desert. You see a small pond on the right side, but as you drive by, you realize it's just a mirage. But it looks so real...you aren't sure now. A little further on, you see a sliver of a huge gorge. In the gorge is a river, and it's surrounded by an epic number of palm trees, lush green grasses and mud houses. You blink your eyes. Drive on, and it's gone. Two minutes later, it's back...and bigger. It's not a mirage. It's a date oasis, and down in the oasis it's as lush as Kauai. Seriously...one of the coolest things ever is to drive in a brown desert and come across and oasis. Next time we come back to Morocco, we're going to stay in one and hike for a few days. In the cool, shady air down of an oasis.
I'm not sure you can even tell how deep this gorge is. The oasis goes on for miles.
Above are all pictures of the Ziz Valley oasis, on the road to Merzouga.
Here is the oasis at the town of Tinghir, where the Todra Gorge is located.
Stunning, huh? There are lots of them in Morocco - if you have any tips, please share them in the comments.