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"All-Access" Makes It To Morocco

The latest "All-Access" adventure began sooner — or later — than expected, depending on how you want to look at it.

Sooner because Dave Price and trip recipient Julia Clough had to battle the elements even before heading overseas.

Later because they arrived in Morocco a day later than planned after their departure from the United States was held up by a snow and ice storm.

But, Dave says, once there, they found Morocco enchanting.

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He featured highlights of their whirlwind adventure on The Early Show Thursday — also a day later than usual!

Clough, who lives in Pittsburgh, was picked from a crowd at UPMC SportsWorks at Carnegie Science Center in the Steel City.

Amine El Farissi of Royal Air Maroc told them they'd be making the six-hour flight to his homeland in premium class, first to Casablanca then to Marrakesh.

But Dave and Julia's flight was cancelled, and they wound up going from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., then by train to New York.

With El Farissi, as Dave put it, moving heaven and Earth to help, Dave and Julia finally got to Marrakesh — 24 hours late — and missed a date with Sir Richard Branson.

By the time they got back to the U.S., Dave had logged some 8,204 miles for a five-week "All-Access" total of 72,477 miles!

Once in Morocco, Dave and Julia rode in a van on a scary, though beautiful, winding mountain road. Dave likened it to an amusement park ride.

They ventured to their first stop, Kasbah Tamadot, the private retreat of Branson, the British billionaire.

Since they showed up late, Branson wasn't there to greet them.

Dave joked that he and Julia were the "only two people in the universe ever to stand up Richard Branson."

But Branson left behind a video postcard greeting, calling Kasbah Tamalot his "oasis in the Atlas Mountains" and saying Dave and Julia would have full run of the place, while joking that, "If you break it, you buy it!"

Nestled in a Berber village, Kasbah Tamadot is, Dave explains, an eighteen-room sanctuary filled with Middle Eastern antiques. It's also the center of a sprawling hotel complex.

Even though Julia said she'd like to stay there all day, Dave knew there was something else in store — a ride on mules around the Kasbah's grounds.

Mules are, Dave pointed out, a vital part of Moroccan life, transporting everything from produce to people — when you can get them to move.

In the distance, Dave and Julia spotted Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa at almost 14,000 feet.

Next up, the most famous place in Morocco, a huge marketplace called Djemaa el-Fna, where Dave and Julia saw snake charmers, acrobats and monkeys, among many other attractions.

Then it was on to rides on camels. They passed a sultan's palace dating back to the third century.

Morocco's not known for its shoreline, but Dave and Julia hit the city of Essaouira, built around a marketplace and featuring gorgeous views of the sea with some of the "most stunning coastline" in all of Africa, Dave marveled.

And the market there features bargaining over prices, which Dave engaged in.

Dave summed up what he and Julia found during their adventure by calling Morocco a "country of contradictions, with one foot firmly placed in the 21st century, and the other, centuries back in its rich traditions and customs."

The trip was arranged with the help of the Moroccan National Tourist Office and Hotel Essaouira.

What's your fantasy adventure?

Tell us and if you can be in one of the cities Dave is visiting across the country on Fridays through March 23, you could be whisked away on an "All-Access" weekend, too.

If you can't get to the cities Dave is heading for, you can win an amazing "All-Access Pass" weekend by playing at home. Each Wednesday through March 28, we'll ask a question about his past weekend's "All-Access" adventure. Every correct answer gives you a chance at the ultimate "All-Access" weekend — a trip for two to the Tony Awards, to be broadcast live on CBS on June 10, 2007.

The question about Morocco was:

Which animal did Julia and Dave not ride while in Morocco?
A) Mule
B) Dromedary (Camel)
C) Elephant

On Friday, Dave will be in the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque, N.M., to select the next lucky "All-Access" trip recipient!

Click here for details and to enter.

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