exploring the anti atlas mountains....
04.02.2013 - 08.02.2013
View motorhome adventure on spiderface's travel map.
monday: checked out the internet yesterday aft. in the large wedding reception area (just like a
mosque) - this site is a sort of conference/event/wedding venue - and also relaxed by the van in
the sun. a bit later on we worked out we could just sit on the steps outside the back of the building,
(no need to actually go in) and connect from there, which had the added bonus of being near to some
french vans where there was a man playing the accordian! he was amazingly good, and people were
properly dancing (tango, salsa etc.!) to the music - it was really joyous!
after that we had a bit of a wander around tiznit, it was only a short scooter ride in.
v. quiet - most shops shut (incl. jewellery souk) - as sunday, and also siesta time!
red walled medina town, pretty big inside, with lots of narrow, winding streets which opened out
every now and then into nice little squares and gardens.
we stopped in one where a flock of ibis's had their nests in the trees, all tiny one-bird nests, but
loads of them! ibis's hopping around on the ground, and landing and taking off in the trees....
tried to get the wifi sorted out, visited a couple of tabac's, but they all said we needed a maroc
telecom shop and would have to wait 'til later on when they all re-opened....so gave up and
stopped off at a small moroccan supermarket on the way back to the site to stock up on a few
we had ordered a couscous, veg and chicken meal to arrive at 5.30pm (MT), before we left, so didn't
want to be late for that!
when we got back to the van there were some mechanics re-spraying/mending the van next to us,
so p got one of them to sort out the scrape on the side, in true moroccan form, smiley larbe was on
it in a flash!, it was all done in no time, and we were only charged about £9 for it : )
no dinner turned up at 5.30pm, and we were getting a bit worried, so p went to see what had
happened, and there was a bit of a mix up with our bad french! and the order/day/timing. got it
sorted - with a quick visit to the kitchen - and re-ordered for later!
so as we had a bit more time before dinner we tried - one more time - to find an open maroc
telecom shop (but still no go!) so had another quick whizz around the medina, outside and in -
managed to find the grand mosque (which we had looked for earlier, and missed) with its famous
sticks - before a fast scoot back as we didn't want to be out on the roads in the pitch dark and our
dinner was coming at 7pm! - it was pretty amazing when it did turn up + well worth the wait
too - but it was absolutely huge!, more than enough for 2 people, and we couldn't really make a
dent in all the couscous!!
then woken up pretty early today, as the van was being buffeted by quite strong winds.
lots of chairs and mats were flying around the site....it was a bit overcast to start with, but it quickly
changed to more lovely sunshine.
p off to town after brekkie, to try to sort the wifi. c packing up/sorting the inside of the van, usual
thing. then onto the road, once everything done (incl. wifi), about 11am, not too bad.
headed for tafraout a small village in the ameln valley, about an hour and a half/two hours away. our
friend derek had said was a gorgeous route - and he was spot on! went through some really
spectacular countryside. we arrived at the site, just outside the town, and its great, not too big, and
not too busy either! so, have parked up and got our selves sorted, we plan to stay here for a couple
of days....explore the area on the scoot. just about to have our lunch in the sunshine, and chill for
the rest of the day : ) nice.
tuesday: pottered around the site yesterday, enjoying the sunshine.
chatted to two other english couples, mark and valerie, who arrived after us, and tim and pen who
had arrived yesterday. more english people in one place than we have seen for a while!
woke up a bit colder than usual today, def. noticeable temp. drop! (altitude of tafraout is 1200m,
much higher than we have been for while!).
plan today is to scoot to town, check it out, and then get a map to explore the area.
sun is just coming up, horray, should warm us and the van up in no time! : )
....a bit later on tuesday: had a lovely day....spent the am pootling around the site, chatted to tim
and pen again and had a mutual nose around our respective vans! always interesting....
after that decided to have quick lunch, as 2pm, and scoot to town, get a map and start exploring....
but arrived at siesta time! so nothing open!
a friendly local noticed we were wandering rather aimlessly and took us to his shop, rather nice it
was, and then promptly took his small tourist map off the wall and gave it to us! : )
left there and set off to find the pierres bleues, painted rocks, by jean verame, a belgian who spray
painted them in 1984.
they are only about 3km from the village, past a rock formation called 'napoleon's hat'.
found the huge colourful rocks easily, and thought they were actually pretty odd! we weren't sure we
liked them at all, as the landscape itself was so gorgeous.
then scooted back to town for a bit of a shop....and as such sunny weather had a drink in a nice cafe
before hitting the local souk, which was buzzing!
we wandered around there for a while, and got everything we needed in the little shops and stalls,
before hot footing it back to the van for snappy dinner and a dvd!
p climbed up the rocks behind the site just before the sun went down, got a great view of the campsite,
town and the valley, enjoyed it so much he's going to have another go tomorrow, and hopefully get
right to the top!
plan tom is to take a picnic and explore the ameln valley, close by, and the afella ighir oasis a little
further but do-able on the scoot.
wednesday: nice and quiet at the site, still a bit nippy first thing though! blanket on last night, much
another sunny day, although there are some wispy clouds up there....lots of am activity, but not so
many vans left here this morning.
pottering this am, p doing a bit of cleaning(!), then after lunch we are off scootering with tim and pen,
we are going to head for the gorges and oasis, about 20km or so away, and if time the ameln valley....
p wants to climb the rocks again too.....so lots to do today! better get going : )
....a bit later on wednesday: pottered big time all am, cleaning, chatting, lunch etc.
then set off, with tim and pen, for our scooter ride about 2pm (MT).
the journey took us on the most amazing roads, through the ever-changing landscape until we got to
the ait mansour gorges about 20km away, it took just over an hour. stopped en route to take lots of
pics and sometimes just to stand and look at the far reaching views.
after scootering through the gorge for a while - palm trees and a small river in the bottom - we turned
back for the scoot home. we all really enjoyed it.
it was a bit nippy on the way back, so we def. turned round at the right point!
tim and pen invited us for dinner : ) but ate in our van, as there is more room. it was absolutely DELICIOUS,
homemade lasagne and banana cake, not at the same time! - proper oven cooked food, a real treat for
us. lots of washing up to do in the am! but it was really nice to have a mini 'dinner party' on our travels! : )
thursday: really cold in the night - there was ice on the windows this am! brrrr
slow get up and go as much warmer in bed! ha ha.
its a lovely sunny day though, so it shouldn't take too long to warm up.
lots of movement at the site, its super busy. vans are leaving, but more are coming to take the spaces.
we are moving tom, which will be a shame, but we are aware of time passing and don't want to rush
the end of the trip....
quick brekkie and p's already shot up the mountain (no time yesterday), after that we will potter for a
bit then scooter to the ameln valley, which is not too far, and maybe do the other side of the gorges....
see how the day goes!
....a bit later on thursday: had our usual potter in the am, and then scooted to the ameln valley in the
aft. scenery not as spectacular as our ride the day before, but still a nice pootle along. more small
traditional berber villages along the route, apparently there are 27!, and lots of waving and smiling with
people we passed.
didn't make it back to the gorges, as had invited pen and tim for dinner, so on our way back from the
valley popped to town for some extra bits, then back to get ready! all new this entertaining in the van
lark!! (we didn't even have to make a pud. either, as pen made another (yummy)cake!!).
had another nice evening - with lots of washing up at the end of it! - but wanted to get ready for
our departure in the am, so quite a late night (for us! ha ha) in the end.