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The Independent Online
The wise traveller will heed the advice of those who have gone before, particularly those who write guidebooks to unfamiliar destinations. But in some cases the danger is that you will be deterred from enjoying a country to the full if the risks are overstated. This, I found, was the case with the section on women travellers in the current edition of Lonely Planet's guide to Morocco.

"Western (and especially blonde, fair-skinned) women will find they have constant male company at various times during their stay in Morocco," it said. "Harassment usually takes the comparatively harmless form of leering, sometimes being followed and occasionally being touched up."

Arriving in Marrakesh, I was therefore prepared for the sort of hassle I had experienced in northern India earlier this year. So at first I dressed and acted like a Victorian governess - long skirts, long sleeves, no eye contact - and was reluctant to wander the souks and streets by myself.

This, it turned out, was an alarmist attitude. During the week that I spent in the city and up in the mountains beyond, the men I encountered were courteous and helpful and kept a polite distance.

Perhaps it's time for Lonely Planet to revise their doubtless well intentioned advice.

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