Friday, June 02, 2006

I woke up early today, so I have a bit of time to elaborate on my journey to date. I had to change my camel caravan plans because the place in Erfoud that I was going to stay at is no longer in business and my backup place had a problem with their camels! I spoke to the guy who ran my riad in Marrakech and he told me that they have camel rides in Zagora, so I got a reservation there instead. (Apparently their camels were in good health...)

Unfortunately, however, Zagora is much further from Fès than Erfoud was, so I had a longer drive back than I would have had from the other place. Zagora was closer to Marrakech, however, so my drive to the desert should have been much faster. Unfortunately, because the mountain roads were so narrow and winding, it took me 8 hours to get there. (Had the roads been straight and I was on an American interstate, it probably would only have taken three...)

The beginning and ending parts of the drive were beautiful, however, and I got to see a lot more of the Moroccan countryside than I would have seen if I had driven. This is a photo that I took on the beginning part of the drive. There were all of these beautiful pink flowers everywhere!

As I got closer to the desert, the landscape becme more barren...

I did stop at Ait Bennadou, a kasbah near Ouarzazate that is often used in films. These beautiful kasbahs made of mud brick are everywhere in the south of Morocco. If I had not been pressed for time (I wanted to arrive in Zagora before dark) I would have stopped at more of them.

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