Friday, June 02, 2006

The next day I got back from the camel caravan around 9:30 am, so I took a shower and started the long drive to Fès. I decided to go the southern route, because I knew that to go the northern route (via Marrakech) would take a really long time (because of the mountains). This was the right decision, but the southern route was pretty boring. The drive back to Ouarzazate was nice (I got to see all of the kasbahs again), but the route from Ouazazate to Errachida was long, straight, and dull. Here is a picture of the one aethetic view I had on the trip.

(photo of Errachida removed)

Shortly after I got to Ouarzazate I got to learn two new words in French - "panettes de freins" and "mechanique". Yes, my breaks were making terrible sounds and I was worried about my drive through the mountains. I called the car rental company, Sixt, and told them that I wanted a new car. They told me to drive 500 kilometers (through the mountains) to Rabat to get the car fixed. I told them they were crazy!! After 20 minutes or roundabout conversation in English and French, they were unable to come up with a solution. Fortunately, the phone was next to a mechanic, so I asked them to take a look. They looked at the break pads (panettes de freins) and told me that everything was OK, that they were probably just hot because I had been using them so much in the mountains. The checkup cost me 30 dirhams; the best 3 dollars I ever spent!

So I continued on for another six hours when I ran into some very crazy weather. It was a combination of a dust storm and rain! I never would have thought that those two could exist simultaneously until I saw it with my own eyes. Unfortunately, because the ground there was so dry, all of rain caused flash floods and I had to drive across a few rivers! By this time I was near Errachida and it was about two hours to sunset, so I decided to spend the night in Errachida instead of attempting to cross the mountains in bad weather. The hotel I stayed at was boring and ugly, but I did get about 11 hours of sleep. The next morning I woke up at sunrise and continued the drive to Fès...

(photo of wiped out street removed)

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