Cameron Peters spent some time in Morroco with a box full of Kodak Portra and a Leica M5.
Wild Moroccan Eucalypt Forests
Words and Photography by Cameron Peters
Wild eucalypt forests, arid plains, mountain ranges, rolling green hills, vast deserts and a coastline filled with pumping surf breaks. Call me naïve but I never knew this combination existed outside of Australia.
As soon as we landed, we were hit square in the face – “Morocco, how ya doin!?.“
I’d heard many stories of travelling through Morocco, not all good. It’s not a place for everybody. It’s a place where you have to throw yourself into the unknown and give huge amounts of trust to strangers. This may not be fruitful for all but the pay is handsomely rewarding.
A place where religion, culture and architecture date back thousands of years. With the medinas of cities largely the same – around every corner was a new sight or sound to behold. I honestly couldn’t capture the amount of possible imagery available with my camera. It forced me to get out from behind the lens and be amongst the wild country.
Our trip consisted of three main locations; Marrakech, Fes and Erg Chigaga/ Sahara Desert with short trips to Essaouira and Chefchaouen. We covered a huge distance of the country by train and car, yet we didn’t even scratch the surface.
We feasted on the abundant complexity of chaotic and harmonious movements of culture, gastronomy, religion and craftsmanship. No one image could ever capture the variety of this city.
Inside the walls of the medieval medina there are no cars or scooters, the only form of transport is via donkey or on foot. A compact maze of riads filled with workshops showing off artisanal crafts, exquisite Madrasas/Koranic Schools and the famed Chouara Tannery. It is the most bewildering but also exhilarating part of the city. Letting go of the fear of inevitably getting lost was one of the most memorable lessons learnt.
Marrakech – Ouarzazate – Erg Chigaga
The drive from Marrakech to the Sahara Desert took us across the High Atlas Mountains. One side covered with greenery and forests and the other arid deserts. The journey took about 2 days each way – covering an array of breathtaking scenery and villages. One of those was the Draa Valley, a valley of date palms that runs for hundreds of kilometers
Situated in the shadow of the Rif Mountains and formerly part of Spanish Morocco, Chefchaouen is a relaxed and visually stunning city. The mountainous surroundings enhanced and contrasted the vibrant sky blue painted medina.
A low-key port city with a Medina that heralds a blend of ancient and colonial architecture with Muslim, Jewish and European influences. A short distance from Marrakesh, Essaouira is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Atlantic Ocean air mixed with traditional spices and the constant grilling of fresh seafood.
Erg Chigaga/ Sahara Desert
We spent two days camping with Nomadic Berber guides. The understanding and knowledge these men had of the desert was incredible. No GPS, no maps, nothing more than an underpinning knowledge of their landscape.