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Thread: Overland to and then a tour around Morocco. Winter 2016-2017

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    I have been around sloughs and mud holes on and off for years and have always heard the toady frogs but never caught a good look at them. Here you are in the desert and boom. Full visual with pictures of toady frogs.


    Hope that the drugs are making your better half better.
    Hee Hee! That Full Visual I hope just got better, but if you need any tips on how to spot them, then you know where I am!

    My 'better half' had a not to good night last night, but has taken it easy today with a slight change of medication and so far so good.
    Thank you for asking.

  2. #62
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2016-2017



    Stage 12B – A Day at Borj Biramane

    After a rather lazy morning letting my good lady rest up to see if it would help with removing this ‘problem’ she fancied some fresh air this afternoon so I took her over to the stream at the back of the Borj Biramane complex and we sat for about an hour listening and watching the little Frogs….

    Being conscious of the trouble that ssicarman has in getting to see these guys I thought we would try and get a few ‘In my Face’ pictures and I think we succeeded!……

    This first one is a 'Video' which I hope you can open and see by ‘Clicking’ on the Centre of the Small picture below……

    While I zoomed in on the first guy who was not very cooperative, I then swung over to another fellow who clearly saw he was ‘On Camera’ as he then turned to face me, with the following results!......




    For the other pictures below we got in nice and close as you will see!......







    This guy was happily doing the 'Breast Stroke' in the water across the weeds!!!



    As these two were chasing each other in the water!!!





    While the last picture shows this guy getting ready to ‘Croak’ as his little air pockets on the side of his face fill up!……



    Then after a very relaxing time watching and listening to the Frogs, it was time to wander back through this fantastic scenery to the ‘TinTent’……












    Good night!
    Last edited by XCovlov70; 01-10-2017 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Improved Video (Hopefully!)

  3. #63
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2016-2017



    Stage 12C – Sightseeing around Tamanart

    Tamanart is a village that is around 11 miles from Borj Biramane and on the old road to Tafraoute.
    I think it fair to say that it is in 2 halves with the old section of the village on one side of the river and the new one on the other that is much closer to the road between Tafraoute and Icht……

    So our visit commenced in the new part of the village outside the Community Hall!......



    Part of the view of the village from the main Tafraoute/Icht road……



    As we head down to the village centre……





    New Metal Door Panels waiting for buyers to purchase and then have welded into the door frame and then painted……





    As we then find ourselves walking down the roadway to the river Draa and on the other side the old part of the village……



    Dates ripening in the sunshine……



    The river bed which must be over 100meters wide and is normally full of fast flowing water in August/September, while you can see the wire cages around the rocks on the right of the picture to stop the river water getting into the properties close by and washing them away!……



    As we then get our first view of the old part of the village as we walk over the concrete traffic & people bridge……





    When the rain starts the river flows right across the bridge……



    While at this time of year it is just a continuous trickle in a concrete duct……



    As we then start to enter the old part of the village having crossed the bridge, while can you see the ‘lump’ lying on the ground to the right of the Power Pylon and at the left side of the rock that looks like a Pyramid?......



    It’s a small CANNON but we cannot find out why it is here or where it came from!......



    As we then start to ‘Explore’ the old part where even though a lot of the buildings have crumbled over the years, a few as you will see later are still occupied……



















    Palm Tree roof beams while Bamboo canes make the first layer of the floor……



    With the distinctive shape of the windows in this building and from the tour we took last year, we think this was the former old Mosque……











    One of the places still occupied, which was only accessible through a warren of undercover passageways…..



    While this was a second one, for which access was quite easy……
    .


    The view up from standing outside the occupied house……



    One of the passageways that was very dark, until I turned on the camera flashlight!......



    As we then came back outside and round to very wide steps that went up to the top……



    As we went up, you start to see the view up and down the valley and the river bed……





    As we continue up, having passed through the entrance……



    Continuing to the top we then see the roof of a very large building with the shaped bricks along the top edge of the roof, and from the young man who we met on the way, we think this had some military connection…..





    The white tower of the building in the centre of the next picture was the residence of a high ranking military person based here……



    While lying on the ground behind us was this larger Cannon barrel……



    As we then start to make our way back down we get to see some of the military persons residence, with the grey entrance door, which was locked while the property is now unoccupied……



    We made our way back across the river and ‘Explored’ a bit further, but that is for tomorrow, as there are too many pictures to upload and put together!......

    Good night!

  4. #64
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2016-2017



    Stage 12D – Tamanart then up the road for some fantastic scenery

    As we came down from the top of the old part of the village we got a good view of the river Draa......





    Then the upper buildings in the new part of the village……



    As we got back across the ‘Wadi’ ant entered the new part of the village, we wondered if you still had to knock on this door as the wall to the right of the door had disappeared!...…



    The previous day here was the day of the Souk (Market) so it was clean up time for the villagers after the Souk had packed up and left……



    Meanwhile this would be where you would bring one of those metal door fronts to have it made into a complete front door. Interesting to see the 6 cylinder engine block on the floor in front of the workshop as though they use this as a small stand for holding the frames up while they weld them together……



    Time for a snack of Mint Tea (Berber Whiskey!) and a couple of Millfuille’s with small Nutty Biscuits that were very nice……



    The view from the Café Terrace……



    As we then watched the poise of this lady as she went past with the food for her animals balanced on her head……



    Then these two ladies appeared, again one balancing the load on her head while the other lady had the ‘tilling’ tool on her shoulder ……



    Snack over then we were back in ‘Flamenco Red’ and off along the road to see the scenery, so sit back and enjoy, while I don’t think the pictures do the actual scenery justice as it was fantastic!……















    The darker line running along the edge of the light grey river bed is a wall of rocks held together in wire cages to stop the river, when it flows from eroding the top soil of the fertile area behind that the houses use for vegetables……



    A new addition to the road ‘Cat’s Eye’s held in place with Tar that stays solid even in the high temperatures of Summer!......





    Hopefully you can see the old houses built on the face of the hill, while the newer property is now painted……



    As we then come down to the river bed once again and across on another ‘Wadi’……



    Which was the end of the Tarmac section of the road and became Piste as we got to the other side……



    So we started to make a 180 Degree turn to return……



    As we then stopped on a safe part to see where part of the ‘Wadi’ had collapsed from the water of the river washing away the foundations at that point……









    As we then had reached Tamanart, it was back to the campsite for the remainder of the evening.

    Good night!

  5. #65
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2016-2017



    Stage 12E – Our last 48 hours at Borj Biramane

    First was a visit over to the village of Fam El Hisn as Wednesday was Souk (Market) Day which was not as large as we expected but it allowed us to get some fresh vegetables, because for the local people they can only ‘stock up’ once a week, otherwise they have to travel a fair way for more......

    The main road through the village……



    Bit of activity in the village square......



    While a significant number of these machines were parked up around the village square that are now being called ‘The Mechanical Dromadery’ and some of them looked quite nice with their ‘add-ons’!……





    Another new born waiting to be taken home……



    As we then took the road out of the village the view was spectacular but we didn’t go far before we turned around and came back……



    Passing this wall that looked like it was part of a school and had been painted by the children to brighten the place up!……



    The coming back into the village we had to stop as this Moroccan Army Tank Transporter slowly manoeuvred its way through the narrow street and around the corners!
    Even the motorcycle driver did not chance slipping through when there was a gap between the Transporter and the wall!……



    While on the other side of the village this was the view from the road……



    After we got back to the campsite a little later in the day this ‘Camper’ rolled in.
    I could not figure out why the Rear Wheel was around twice the size of the Front Wheel?



    So I asked the owner who spoke excellent English and was very happy to tell me about his ‘Rudel Panther’ Camper that he has had for 30 Years and was built as a Camper.

    The Camper is 35 Years Old, and has covered over 100,000Km going when it was possible over land to the border of China, all over the Middle East and Africa, as well as all over Europe & Scandinavia! …………



    When the Camper is in the Desert on sand, the Tyre Pressure in the Rear Wheels can be reduced to 2Bar (28Psi) which makes the tyre twice as wide on the part that is on the sand and the Camper has never become stuck or has sunk in the Desert sand.

    The Camper weighs 7 Tonnes and has a ‘Straight 6 Cylinder Engine’ while each cylinder is 1Litre!
    I hope you saw the 2 ‘Spare Wheels’ up on the roof, while the BIG one has to be lowered with a built in hoist?



    On the day after it was ‘Walkies Time’ for us as finding those rather large ‘Thorns’ on that dead branch we did not quite fancy going for a bike ride and ending up with multi punctures! So we set off on a track at the side of Borj Biramane......







    While very soon we found ourselves looking along dried up tributaries to the river that has got all those Frogs in!......



    Then your eyes light up when you see views in front of you like this one!!!......



    I looked at this wall from the river bed and thought of the Ice Walls in Antarctica and how in films you see large chunks of them falling into the sea as they melt and break up.
    Well it is happening here while this is due to the temperature extremes of day and night and the river when it flows eroding the bottom of the wall……



    As the river has done here and the ‘chunk’ on the right of the picture broke off......



    In the river bed as we walked along we came across these honeycomb very hard rocks that looked like Dead Coral that you sometimes find on the beach in a resort……



    Looks a bit like ‘Popcorn’ stuck together but it could play havoc with your teeth if you tried to chew it!……





    Rather nice but quite small Butterfly……



    As we continued along the river bed as we were hoping to find the place where the water that is still flowing was coming out from as this part so far was bone dry……



    Just to give you some idea of the depth of the river bed……



    As you walk along you come across little pockets of Sand......



    And the odd very hard piece of dried mud that has not crumbled in the river water when it was flowing……



    As the river bottom narrowed a bit here there was some vegetation starting to grow……



    Then we saw this ‘Dung Beetle’ successfully climbing the wall…….



    As we reach this small pool of water we could see a small trickle coming from under a rock just in front, and this was the point at which the water appeared……





    As I looked up the bank I could see how the river when it flowed had eroded the soil from around the roots of this Palm Tree......



    While going back to that rock that was at the water outlet point, when I lifted it up, underneath was what I think due to its size a ‘Toad’ who made no effort to move, so I took the picture and put the rock back!......



    A bit further ‘downstream’ the water which was flowing slowly had carved out what looked like a miniature ‘slalom course’ on the river bed!



    As we were not far from the campsite at this point we decided to head back and start preparing for tomorrow as we are back on the road for the next stage to the town of Tata......

    Good night!

  6. #66
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    As always interesting pictures and scenery. That Rudel Panther is not a pretty looking RV but it does look like it would go nearly anywhere.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    As always interesting pictures and scenery. That Rudel Panther is not a pretty looking RV but it does look like it would go nearly anywhere.
    Thank you.

    The owner of the Rudel Panther did tell me that from his past experience it will not go over the sand dunes as he does not have the clearance to get over the top due to the length, but anywhere else has not been a problem, while it is NOT a 4x4 drive!

  8. #68
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2016-2017



    Stage 13 – Borj Biramane to Tata

    Back on the road this morning for the 90 mile run to Tata as the road starts off as a little bit wider than single lane, but when a vehicle is coming towards you then you normally slow down and go for us ‘3 wheels on and 3 wheels off the tarmac’ which makes passing safer and easier……



    We thought all the white shapes in the next picture were a group of ‘Campers’ who were ‘Wild Camping’ as this practice has now been banned by the King of Morocco, while if you do, and are found by the Gendarme then you will be told to move and go to a campsite for your own safety……

    When I got the picture off the camera, and looked closer, the white shapes are in fact the accommodation tents of Construction Workers…..







    When you get onto a ‘Wadi’ the road is wider and if your timing is right then the vehicle coming towards you can pass easily without slowing down. In this case the Truck was too far away so we continued and then went ‘3 on and 3 off’ while slowing down to pass each other.
    You actually need to slow down as getting back onto the tarmac can cause a blowout on your tyre from the rough edge of the tarmac as you get back on from the ‘piste’ at the side …..





    Pockets of wind driven sand held back by the natural rock wall……







    A very large ‘School’……



    Perfect ‘poise’……





    ‘Road repairs’ as the bridge collapsed so a new ‘Wadi’ has been built alongside……



    The new ‘Wadi’ made of concrete……



    A solar powered water pumping station from the river that the ‘Wadi’ is on……



    The construction site that produced the concrete for the new ‘Wadi’ which was about 500 metres away while this was also the start of the 2 lane road with a white line down the middle!......









    As the road continued we passed through a very high sand dune on each side of the road which you can see on the left in the next picture and then on the right in the picture after that ……







    Then out of nowhere we see this small cultivated area, and a man standing in the middle……



    As we approach the town of Akka……



    Then pass through the Town Gate……





    Thankfully a little bit further down the road this ‘Dragon’ is still sleeping!......



    Shortly after we come to the Town Gate for Tata……



    Then into a garage for some Diesel which has increased in price again! We see this JCB being put through the ‘Car Wash’ by using a High Pressure Wash Gun!......



    With ‘Flamenco Red’ all fuelled up for the next couple of stages we cover the final couple of kilometres and a sharp left turn to get to our next campsite called Camping Hyat, which has more campers staying on it than we saw last year……



    With this view from the campsite ground……



    Time now to get set up, then lunch and a relaxing afternoon……

    Good night!

  9. #69
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2016-2017



    Stage 13A – Our first day & evening in Tata

    Just before we set off into the town this morning a Camper and small trailer arrived on the campsite and the driver decided to go down a rather steep path to a lower level.

    After getting there and unhitching the trailer, he changed his mind and decided to come back to the upper level except he got stuck as his front wheel drive lost the grip & took a good chunk of tread off his tyres!

    The grooves he dug in the path were deep enough to plant Potatoes in, while we could hear the rear of the Camper dragging along the ground as he went backwards and forwards trying to get up the slope!

    I think he might have just been a bit heavy in the ‘Garage’ at the back of the Camper making his steering and traction rather weak……

    The Camper is at an angle in the next picture left of the other Camper that is facing forwards……



    View from the Wadi, upriver towards Tata…..



    View the other way, down river……



    One of the main roads in the town that due to the time of day was virtually deserted…..



    Not sure if this should have said ‘Boulevard To Far’?…..



    Still this fruit & vegetable stall holder was very pleased to see a customer at this time of day and actually invited me to take the picture, as we told him we were English!......



    So this is how to stop your ‘Tent’ over your Market Stall taking off on a windy day when you cannot knock in the Guy Rope Pegs! ……



    A couple of views as we made our way back to the campsite……





    Our ‘pitch’ on the campsite as we decided to stay along the back wall this time……



    Evening starts to draw in, so we head off back into the town and see the changing colours on the surrounding hills and town as we make our way back in……





    While a bowl of Harari Soup was on our list for tonight, that while nice, in comparison to the bowl we had in Sidi Ifni we have to say that the Sidi Ifni Harari Soup was nicer……



    Then a stroll around the town as it comes back to life in the evening……





    The entrance to the Municipal Camping place which is all on a concrete surface, with not very good facilities, that’s one of the reasons we don’t stay there!……



    The main square in town……





    The cabinet makers workshop was still operating……





    OK, try sorting out a nice pair of trousers on this stall in the Amber street lights!......



    Nice place for a couple of palm trees!......



    Good night!

  10. #70
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2016-2017



    Stage 13B – A scenic drive from Tata to Tagmoute

    Having spoken to one of the young men on the campsite whose English was good. I asked about the road from Tata to a place called Tagmoute which is North of Tata and was told it was ‘piste’ which was incorrect as the road number is P1508 and two lane with a white line down the middle, while he also thought the scenery was nice!……

    As we got out of Tata and got into the ‘countryside’ we were in total awe at how fantastic the scenery was…….
    See what you think as here is the first batch of 34 from our trip as between us we took 214 pictures using 2 cameras, so I am picking out the good ones!......

    Here we go to……..



    Car wash day as we crossed the Wadi……



    Now sit back, scroll down.. S..L..O..W..L..Y.. and enjoy the scenery!……























    Is that a ‘Watch Tower’ on top?



    Looks like it……









    Nomad Camp……





    Hope you can see the ‘Giant Man’ in the rock face?......





























    End of Part 1……..Part 2 after a short while!!!......

    Good night!

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