38 Above and Below: Pictures by Just Booked A Trip @ ﬂickr.com, CC BY 2.0
4x4 guided PERU self-drive Mystical archaeological sites, stunning scenery, and wildlife make for an unforgettable South American adventure.
‘Sometimes it’s like Disney does the Middle East’ created a great deal of laughter around the campsite when the topic came up in the Pyrenees!’ The couple visited the Pyrenees in 2016 and, having smoothed things over with their guide, Russ, they made the enquiry as to whether their Lightweight would be able to hack Morocco. Normally Russ would have reservations about the volatile nature of these older Land Rovers, but being so impressed with the Warwick Lightweight, the decision was simple. ‘Following the Pyrenees, we knew the vehicle was well screwed together,’ says Andy. ‘And we’ve always been quite nosey and wanted to look at other
aspects of life other than sitting on a beach. You look at some people who just go and do things and you want to be them.’ ‘I’m happy to go along overlanding in the Land Rover too, we both sing from the same hymn sheet,’ states Karen. ‘I’m quite handy at passing over the spanners or oil anyway! I’ve done my share of driving too, and in Morocco it’s like a lunar landscape at times. The dust can get a bit much, but you’re getting the authentic experience.’ Andy adds, ‘There are bits in Morocco where it’s like driving on a ﬁlm set, you can drive for hours with just a track or two, or sometimes none in
front of you at all. It’s quite inspirational, and takes you back to a time when few people would have ventured here.’ In a Lightweight Land Rover there’s even more reason to feel a sense of nostalgia. Plus with a driving experience that doesn’t numb you from the environment around you, is it any wonder you’ll feel like you’ve (quite literally) breathed in your surroundings. It’s not all about the dust and lunar landscapes either. ‘It’s like two separate worlds. There are a lot of contrasts in Morocco,’ describes Andy. ‘Out in the desert and off the beaten track you won’t see anyone, but in some of the towns it’s like Middle Eastern madness – it can test your comfort zone!’ laughs Andy. ‘Tyre ﬁtters on one side of the street, people splitting carcasses on the other – but head down the alleyways and you’ll come across leather and weaving workshops and it becomes more atmospheric. Sometimes it’s like Disney does the Middle East.’ In a spectacle not too dissimilar to the opening scenes from Aladdin, on one occasion in Marrakesh, the Warwicks found themselves in a chaotic square. Snake charmers were showcasing their unique gift, monkeys roamed around the place and here you could buy items such as a tortoise, rather than just a bunch of bananas. ‘It’s the type of place where you pass vans with sheep on top,’ laughs Karen. ‘No one there has ever come across the term health and safety before!’ At one point, Andy was taken aside by Andrew, one of the tour leaders at Ardent. ‘He pulled me over to look at a zebra skin. “I’m not sure if I should buy one or not, what do you think?” he asked me. So I said to him, “To be honest, I think it looked better on the zebra!”’ chuckles Andy. ‘It was just one of the many crazy stalls in the souk!’ Away from the busy streets and souks of the cities, though, the Lightweight was able to take centre stage. With the Ashcroft selectable 4WD
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