atlas-mountains, morocco, day 2

Defender and G-wagon in search of remoteness

Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MKIII
Lens: Canon EF 16-35 mm. f/4.0L IS

After a calm night in camp in the beautiful and narrow gorge, Ken and I set off early to explore more of this spectacular place we had stumbled over by luck.

In the fate light before sunrise several locals had passed our camp on their way to herd what the owned of goats and sheep, or maybe to work in the fields. They were extremely polite and greeted us wholeheartedly a wonderful day, some even took a detour above a cliff so they would not bother us, here, - off the beaten track the Moroccans truly are a loveable and warm people.

Further down the piste we had some stunning views to steep cliffs above us, some even overhanging the track, blue skies and a diversity of flowers and plants that is seldom experienced in this dry region of Morocco. Eventually the gorge did widen up a bit, but for an exceptional long distance it stayed quite narrow. The impact from the heavy rainstorms we saw last time we visited Morocco in November last year, was evident, huge parts of their precious cultivated tiny fields had be destroyed. All available hands from the small villages were busy reinforcing the walls surrounding the fields with stones wrapped in steel-fence, they were naturally concerned that another heavy tropical rainstorm would hit again sometime in the future, and did what best they could to prevent another disaster.

After leaving this fabulous gorge we headed south-east in search of lower ground and warmer weather, the night had been a bit chilly. We failed completely to locate an old track show on my old IGN-maps, - well not a total disater, but a few kilometers down the piste it apparently had been in a wide dried-out riverbed, but again we would experience the impact from the November rainfall, the piste had simply been washed away. We had an hour of rough going on the big stones in the riverbed; but eventually we backtracked as time was getting late, and instead we went searching for a place to camp for the night.

Locating a suitable location for a camp, on the other hand, turned out to be a easy one. Within 20 m. of the track we tucked our trucks in the shelter of a small dry riverbed and a big bush. That evening mother nature gifted us with another spectacular sunset.