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  1. #81
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    May 2012
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    Another batch of good shots.
    Interesting seeing all of the water in the desert and how they have built things to handle it.
    Would not have expected gumbo like mud. Your car seems to be handling it ok. How is the FWD RV doing with it?

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Another batch of good shots.
    Interesting seeing all of the water in the desert and how they have built things to handle it.
    Would not have expected gumbo like mud. Your car seems to be handling it ok. How is the FWD RV doing with it?
    When we 'missed' the turning for the campsite due to a 'glitch' in the Morocco map in TomTom as the road to the campsite did not exist! We pulled over and left deep grooves in the mud, then used a garage to do a 180 turn.
    Set off back down the road and met the FWD RV coming towards us, they then pulled over onto the soft side and we thought when they got going again after being asked to turn around at the garage, they were not going to make it off the mud! Thankfully after a bit of wheel spin the wheels gripped or slid onto the tarmac and they hauled off to the garage! But it was 'fingers crossed' for a short while!

  3. #83
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    Stage 26B “Another day around the campsite ”

    “Salam Alaikam”

    As we have a change of plan on the horizon we decided today to head off to take a look at a place called Meski and the campsite at Source Bleue de Meski….

    Mountain road the majority of the way with stunning scenery….



    As we arrive at the very large signpost for the ‘Tourist Attraction’



    After finding a place to park ‘Flamenco Red’ which was in the Community Transport Parking area, as the only other place really was on the campsite, we went down a set of steps to the area ….



    Then after a few yards we find the ‘source’ where the water comes out from under a large opening in the rock face which you are advised not to dive into….



    This in turn feeds a ‘swimming pool’….



    Which after seeing the bottom of the shallow pool I would not consider putting either of my feet into ….



    Then we saw that it also contained Fish....





    While from the pool, the water makes its way along this ‘canal’ section which as you go along you see one heck of a lot of GARBAGE lying at the bottom of as well as all sorts of other GARBAGE along the opposite bank and in the stream/river below ....



    On the far bank of the river fed from the water is this collection of plastic bottles and other GARBAGE….





    Continuing along the waterway….





    We then came to this wide open area where people had tried to burn some of the GARBAGE but not been totally successful and the ashes and what had not burned were just left lying around …..



    Moving to the edge of the cliff, we could see downstream and while there were obviously agricultural fields on the opposite back of the river….



    Looking closely we could not help but feel sorry for this lady who was doing her clothes washing in the river, while a man rode his donkey across….



    Panorama of agricultural fields.….



    Ancient Kasbah on opposite bank….



    Atlas Mountains ‘Snow’ in the distance…..



    Being very disappointed and rather disgusted with what we found here in Meski as with a bit of care it could be made very nice, but seems to be nothing more at the moment but a GARBAGE Dump, we decided to head off to Ar Rachidia while from a health point of view I would not recommend going there for a visit….



    Not long to the Town Gates…..



    With these strange roof shapes on a building as we head to the centre of town…



    Then after parking we head to the Outdoor Market, which I think was in the process of closing for the day as stall holders where ‘Bringing Down The Curtains’ on their stalls as we did a little bit of shopping…..







    Market entrance……



    Note all the Satellite Dishes that provide TV when business is slow for the stall holders…..



    Then after a lazy lunch it was time to head back to the really nice campsite we are currently staying at….









    While some maintenance will be carried out on the ‘Tin Tent’ tomorrow we are planning so far a ‘lazy day’, with a change of plan in terms of next destination for Tuesday…..

    P.s. Pleased to report that the Moroccan ‘Mud Boots’ on Flamenco Red, did not wear very well so have a ‘questionable quality’ and while they came Free Of Charge, the wheels have returned to being cleaner from 'Tarmac & His Mates' offering a 'Mud Crushing & Dispensing Service' ….



    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)
    Last edited by XCovlov70; 01-20-2014 at 01:23 PM.

  4. #84
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    Stage 26C “A third day at Camping – Caravanning Hakkou”

    “Salam Alaikam”

    Woke to a brilliant Sunrise this morning…..





    While looking the other way is this picture of the Moon and a Camper that came in late last night and virtually woke everyone up when he did!….



    While I was hoping for a ‘quiet day’ today it didn’t happen as you will see as you make your way through the day’s events…..

    After sorting out the ‘stiff leg/steady’ on the ‘Tin Tent’ with the grease and getting some washing done, after a bit of lunch we set off for a Music Festival in a village not far away, and on route called into a Co-operative that produces Olive Oil for the community…..

    Each area and the Olives inside the logs on the ground belong to separate families who have picked the Olives from their own trees…



    The Olives from one area/family are then crushed in the wheel which is Donkey Powered but the Donkey was away for lunch when we visited…..



    The crushed Olives are then put into shallow containers made from Palm Leaves by the ladies of the village and put into a hand operated press which is then screwed down allowing the Olive Oil to run into a container underneath…



    Next stop is the Music Festival via the village road, then the National Road with some crazy drivers along the way…..















    After parking ‘Flamenco Red’ and a short walk we arrived at the entrance and find that it is also a Market…..









    All the music had stopped at this time as the musicians were attending the Mosque and also having lunch, then as we walked around we actually found a ‘Fish & Chips’ stall, so the order was placed for 5 Fish & Chip dinners in a Kebab style….



    This is what we got ‘Sardines, Pomme Frites, Spicy Tomato Sauce, Onions & Olives, in half a loaf’….



    After which we had ‘Berber Whiskey’ (Mint Tea) courtesy of Ahmed the owner of the campsite we are stopping at who has been extremely helpful and courteous during our visit, and came with us to the Music Festival to show us around ….



    Then after lunch, ‘The Lads’ get back and the music starts….
    While at the end of each piece of music performed by this group of players, we find…..



    Several trays of a very large ‘Loaves’ which are around 18 inches in diameter, are brought in and sold to the public at 10MAD/loaf (Less than £0.90) and within a couple of minutes every loaf was sold…..



    While the next band of musicians arrived , and made the way to their area….



    The intensity and speed of the drums and other instruments increased….



    Which put a number of people into a trance like state, the man in jeans in the picture below was causing some ‘problems’ as he fell into a number of people in his trance….



    While the lady in the next picture started weaving to the music with her eyes closed and then took some Palm leaves, (lower right of the picture) lit them up and started waving them around, but they were quickly grabbed by one of the people who were keeping an eye on things and extinguished….



    After the drum beat stopped, it took the people in a trance like state some time to recover, as we then moved on to a group who just used their voices with no instruments….



    Then making our way out we see these ladies in their beautifully embroidered Berber shawls which they make themselves……



    As the daylight starts to fade we head back to the campsite.….



    Then watch the setting Sun turn the cliff face into a really nice colour….



    Tomorrow we have a change to the tour plan as we are a number of days ahead of ourselves, so we are heading East…..

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)
    Last edited by XCovlov70; 01-20-2014 at 01:53 PM.

  5. #85
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    Stage 27 “South of Ar Rachidia to Mengoub”

    “Salam Alaikam”

    Thanks to being way ahead of our planned tour we decided to head East to see if we can reach Figuig which is around 387Km away.
    However both Google Earth & the Morocco Map in the TomTom GPS cannot give us a complete route to Mengoub as the road according to them goes through Algeria!

    However the hard copy Michelin Map disagrees.

    Ahmed the owner of Camping – Caravanning Hakkou has advised us after a telephone call to his friend in another city further East assures us that the road is ‘OK’ so we are giving it a go, but not all in one day! …..

    21:30hrs last night as the Moon climbs over the hills…..



    Then 07:30hrs the next morning after a very clear night and heck of a drop in temperature ‘Flamenco Red’ is frozen stiff, now where did I put that Hot Water Bottle and Blanket? ….



    After getting ready to depart after a really nice time at Camping – Caravanning Hakkou, we were invited to take tea with Ahmed which was really nice and then he offered to take us to the Women’s Co-operative in Assfou, so off we go, and when we get there this sign greets us on the door .….



    While in the window are some of the products offered by the Co-operative….



    While inside…..





    Manufacturing area, which was spotlessly clean with stainless steel production tools…..



    As we were offered some samples of the products to try on fresh bread, it was that nice I tried to sneak out with the ‘samples’ but it didn’t work much to the amusement of the lady behind me, but we did purchase a few different items which are all based on Dates and from the samples we know will be really nice….



    So after getting some other ‘shopping’ items it was finally time to say goodbye to Ahmed and make our way to Mengoub on the next stage....







    Nice low ‘Growl’ out of ‘Flamenco Red’ as we start ‘Hill Climbing’!....



    With rather nice scenery to take in as we travel along…..





    The ‘Doorway to nowhere and anywhere’….





    Nomad encampment, and we saw a few of these along the roadside….









    Spotted the ‘Old Water Well’ just left of centre in the picture at a ‘T’ junction ….





    Then we come into….











    Stop for a bit of lunch on the far side of town…..





    Good job this Donkey and cart were well over as his load was wider than his side of the road!....



    While up ahead was this rather ‘wobbly van’ who could not go very fast due to his ‘roof load’….



    ‘Resident Engineer’ maybe as it was quite far from the closest City…..



    Now entering…..



    While the recent rains had left a small problem on this river crossing in the form of sand which was being cleared away by the maintenance crew….





    Then we come to the town of Bouanane….









    Then just as we get a few miles out of the town on the other side, the TomTom Map runs out and we are presented with a ‘Turn around’ voice and a 240Mile ‘Detour’!
    The decision was ‘No way Jose’ as we had also just passed through a Police Checkpoint where for the first time we had to present our Passports and they said nothing about our declared destination of Figuig, so we carried on….







    After a few more miles and as we then came to this small Military Lookout Post as we are very close to the Algerian Border, TomTom ‘came alive’ found the correct road and calculated the route to Mengoub!....



    Then as we get around the next bend we see this reservoir on our left….





    More Communications Masts and a large village off to our right….



    While not much further on and we come to our next ‘campsite’ which is on a Farm….



    Dishwashing & Laundry sinks, while behind the doors are the very clean and modern WC’s & Showers, all operated by Solar Energy & Solar Water Heating, which I have to say 'failed miserably' the following morning when my good lady went for a shower and got no water either hot or cold through the pipes, while the Mains Voltage read 184V, so problems also when trying to cook breakfast…



    Then after Herbal Tea with the owner, we get to meet some of the resident animals…..



    This little brown & white Lamb was only a day or so old, and had to be carried by a farmhand when all the sheep went out to feed from their pen….



    Loved the Horns on the Sheep in the middle of the picture, but did not get to close!....



    While up on the roof is, which takes 7 days to fill using 6 large diameter pipes and holds 400 Cubic Meters of water….



    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  6. #86
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    Stage 28 “Mengoub to Bouarfa”

    “Salam Alaikam”

    Off again this morning after a very quiet night but a very ominous sky with large black clouds nearly obliterating a rising Sun…..



    As we got to the outskirts of Bouarfa we passed this Donkey who was stood like one half of a town gate.….



    As we got closer we could see the airport while the broken black line running across the picture is one half of the track of the now falling apart Railway that used to come here from Oujda which is over 200 miles North….



    As we approach the city which is a main administrative centre (Lots of Offices!)….



    We reach the city sign…..



    With this impressive Mosque on one side of the traffic island as you come in….



    Up the main road we go..…..



    Then hang a right and pass through ‘the road of trees’ as some of the branches remain on the roof of the ‘Tin Tent’ as we travel along….



    As we get to the Hotel/Camping which is called ‘Hotel Climat du Maroc’ a lady in a side door motions for us to go to the rear where the entrance gates are, which she comes to and opens, we drive in and are asked to park on the Tennis Court, so get set up and my good lady then goes off to have the shower that she could not get this morning, while we also find that the Mains Voltage is much better!....



    The front of the Hotel which is also owned by the man on whose Farm we stayed last night in Mengoub….



    While the ‘Farm Influence’ and self-sufficiency is evident at the rear of the hotel as we see Broad Beans being grown and lots of them….



    With other vegetables (Onions, Lettuce & Herbs) in other sections.....





    While opposite too us is this other ‘Tin Tent’ from France, but unoccupied….



    Cup of coffee and thought I would try the Dates that we bought at the Co-operative yesterday. Must admit that I have not tried Dates in this semi dry condition before but have to say that they were delicious, and as you chewed them after taking out the stone, the sweetness came out….



    Then we set off for a walk around the city…..







    Taxi Rank & Bus Station…..



    Relatively new bus waiting for passengers….



    While the Orange Trees in front of this house have had all the Oranges removed from the lower section of the trees, as the upper Oranges remain…..









    We saw this group of men walking towards us and thought for a minute it was some sort of protest, but it was a funeral in process, and as the group approached everyone not walking as part of it stood perfectly still, as a sign of respect, even small children on their way home from school until the cortege had passed.

    While the hearse was a pickup truck with the person who had passed away lying in the back, not in a coffin as that was too expensive, but wrapped in heavy blankets. A sad thing to see, but at least we were able to pay our respects….



    While in one of the side streets we see the man in the picture below making ‘Freezes’ for customers to have fitted between the room wall and ceiling, the moulds for the Freeze section are each side of his bench and after one is set up, the other is lifted over, placed on top and clamped till it dries out. An example of a finished section can be seen in the top left of the picture….



    Wood machining and aluminium double glazed window makers…..



    This is a house, but initially we thought it was something else…..



    Military Barracks entrance…..



    While on the far side of town....



    With the City Gate further away….



    Then making our way back we see several Satellite Dishes all pointing the same way while they are upside down, could not work out what station they would be watching…..



    This evening the rain has returned, so will have to see if the road on our next stage has been affected……

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

  7. #87
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    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
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    I have enjoyed all of your pictures but this last batch seems to be the best. The town that you are in now looks to be a growing concern or better looked after than some of the others. Someone is spending some money. Judging by some of the trees you must at a higher elevation. The entire area seems greener.

  8. #88
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    Bouarfa is an Administration Centre for a large area, it also has a large military & police presence due to being close to Algeria although not quite at the border, which is our next stop.

    Not sure about the height of the place but last night was warmer than when we were at Hakkou as I didn't need my Thermal Hat when I went to bed!

    However we did notice that the place looked a lot cleaner and also saw a refuse/garbage truck going around the buildings, while outside the city there was still a large amount of refuse that hadn't made it into the truck!

  9. #89
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    Stage 28A “A short evening stroll around Bouarfa”

    “Salam Alaikam”

    We had been told that a water fountain in the centre of the city is lit up at night with a colourful display, so we set off last night to have a look…..






    The water fountain and its colourful display……











    The ‘French/Paris influence maybe?..…..



    Even the light in the centre has a French style about it…..



    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)
    Last edited by XCovlov70; 01-23-2014 at 12:32 PM.

  10. #90
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    Stage 29 “Bouarfa to Figuig”

    “Salam Alikam”

    Off again this morning for the final stage of going East which will bring us to Figuig and a place where there are reputedly over 200,000 Palm Trees….

    As we left Bouarfa we pass the water fountain that is still going but no colourful lights now…



    While on the road we pass through the Town Gate where the road narrows from 4 Lanes to 2 lanes.….



    And it starts to feel like we have entered a very BIG ‘Bowl’ as we become surrounded by mountains as we drive through the middle…..







    As we get close to this cart we see that it has 2 Donkeys in harness which we have only seen a couple of these ‘2 Up’ configurations in Bouarfa and we think it is because they belong to families who live outside the town in Tents as Nomads…..



    As we then pass by a communications tower in concrete with a number of Microwave Dishes on, maybe due to being very close to the Algerian Border.…..



    While the road goes off into the distance the scenery continues to be amazing and cannot really be justified with a camera….



    A school, but no sign or sight of a village, so again we think that this is for the families who are living in tents in the area....



    As we get closer to the ‘V’ between the mountains….































    After a few more miles we come into another small village, and notice that the road is new as the old one was washed away after the rains came….







    Construction equipment left out on the ground….





    New houses built we think for people who have been living in tents as we saw some houses in the process of being finished while the family still occupied the tent that was alongside....



    The Gates of one of many Co-operatives we see as we get near Figuig….



    While the Gates and walls either side are not very long the boundary is then fenced off as the Oasis starts and plants are seen to be growing…..



    Then we have to stop at a National Police Road Traffic check when we are asked for a ‘Fische’ which we don’t have as this is the first time we have been asked for this document.

    The ‘Fische’ is a piece of paper that normally contains all your Passport information plus the CIM Number of your Police Entry Permit for Morocco and also has the details of the vehicle you are travelling in with where you left and where you are going to.
    As we didn’t have it the Policeman wrote it all out for both of us on a piece of paper he had, which was very nice of him….



    Then as we get onto the 4 lanes of the road into Figuig we come to a Local Police Road Traffic Check (Red Circle on picture) when we are once again asked for a ‘Fische’.
    We explain that the Police check up the road also asked for this document which we didn’t have so they just check our Passports and we are on our way again!....





    While not very far into town and the road comes down to 2 lanes….





    Then we get to the campsite at Hotel Figuig…..



    With the following views from the Terrasse….





    Hope to have a look around some of the Palmerie tomorrow….

    tisbah `ala khair (Arabic ‘Good night’)

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