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  1. #91
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Tata. A visit to the town…..

    In looking for places of interest Tata does not have any really defined while it is a town with a large Army presence, however the application on my mobile showed a ‘Viewing Point’ near a large hotel, so off we went for a look see…..
    As we found the steps, we started up….



    Then as we got to the building at the next corner to go up the next section we got a wave from an Army person basically telling us to go back down as we were not allowed to go any further.
    We found out later that the Governor of Tata lives at the top and likes to keep the view to himself!



    So as we were halfway up we got the following pictures….









    Then going back down we headed into town and the old Souk, which a large part of is now disused….



    While going down between these buildings….



    We came to a part that is still in use…



    There is a brand new Souk that has been built but I think either because of its position as it is not in the centre of town or the rents are too high it remains unoccupied ….

    For the last 3 days Tata has only had tap water for a short time at night due to a pipe burst, which as we walked through town we think they finally found as the street was wet and shortly before there was a pump running throwing brown water up like a fountain!....



    While here is the ‘Burst’ as one of the guys was using a hammer and chisel while 5 others stood there offering ‘advice’ to the extent he got hacked off, jumped out of the hole, gave the tools to one of the others and walked off! ....



    As we then continue along the main street….



    Then as we pass the Municipal Campsite which we stayed at on our first visit to Tata and is now in private hands, with an increase in price but no improvement in the facilities as we had a quick look around, I think the best description is ‘Yuk’!

    As we continued up the road we saw the Municipal Swimming Pool, which is also a Café, Restaurant & Hotel….



    As we went in through the entrance we saw that the pool was full of water…



    But when you looked a bit closer you could see a film of something floating on top of the water while the bottom of the pool should have been a light blue colour, the dark patterns, is dirt on the bottom (Glad I left my swimming trunks back home! )…..



    One of the side roads off the main road out of town….



    As we then made our way to the Town Central Square, where we enjoyed a Sardine & Salad Sandwich for lunch while soaking up a bit of sunshine and with no wind to speak of that Sun felt HOT while the sandwich was very tasty!….

    All four sides of the Town Square….









    Back to ‘Flamenco Red’ and on our way back to the campsite we took a detour to a place called ‘Dar Infiane’ which when you get there consists of old houses but instead of being made completely of mud, they are made of stones and some mud, however quite a number are in ruin, but some people still live there….







    As we got to the edge of the place we then got this view across the river, while I hope you can see the old water aqueduct running across the picture.



    As we turned around and headed back this old lady comes towards us balancing her load of dead Palms leaves on her head which is her ‘firewood’ supply for her home….



    As she passed us by…..



    While back at the campsite I tried those Dates I was re-constituting and while they were not excellent they were at least edible, with no after effects!....



    Meanwhile we are looking forward to another nice day tomorrow with more blue sky and temperatures in double digits, but don’t know what is happening yet!

  2. #92
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    Hi ! Everything ok ?
    Nice Morocco .
    Regretting :

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by giorgio View Post
    Hi ! Everything ok ?
    Nice Morocco .
    Prima, Gracias!

    VERY nice Morocco!

    Just putting next update together!

  4. #94
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Tata – Foum Zguid…..

    After a very lazy day yesterday, we are back on the road today for a short trip from Tata to Foum Zguid to Camping Khayma Parc which we stayed at last year, so it will be interesting to see if any improvements have been made to the campsite!.....

    But first we have to get through Tata and on our side of the town that is still in a bit of a mess as there is still ongoing work on the main road to replace a bridge.…..

    Last year as we came to the place in the picture below we had to turn right and take the ‘piste’ road in front of the large concrete pipes which was quite wide and went all the way into the centre of the town….



    While this year we have to turn left….



    Making our way down this narrow and very bumpy section for around 1km, which shortly before we arrived the Coach to Marrakesh came through!....







    Climbing out and back onto tarmac we pass the construction site for the road/bridge works….



    While then having gone through a Police Check we turn right and pass the largest Mosque in Tata….



    With government buildings on the other side of the road….



    Then after about 1.5km we are out in the countryside and the road is good….





    As we roll along we see this ‘Purple’ colour on the sides of the hills but could not make out what was causing it, but it gave the hills a really nice look as it went all the way along…..







    The as we got further along we saw the reason. It was a Purple flowered plant growing all over the hills……





    Then further along we pass the first of several LARGE herds of Sheep who had a number of Shepherds with them but it was interesting to see as we went passed that none of them made any sudden movements to go running off being startled by us going passed….









    We then pass another Nomad with his ‘Mechanical Dromedary’ which seems to be catching on over here….





    Coming to the village of…..







    As we get passed the village we come to the ‘lumpy’ river bed….







    There was no town road sign for the next place but we knew it was called Tissint….





    While just outside the town we pass these three ladies who looked like they were waiting for transport on the piste road….



    Then on to the first river bridge….









    While last year there was no water when we came through, we didn’t expect to see it still coming over the top of the wadi!…..



    While a few kilometres further on we get diverted onto a new section of road with the Yellow Centre Line….



    The reason became very obvious as we passed this sign….



    Once again we find river water still going over the wadi….



    While as we look to our right we see what happened to the original bridge….





    So we crawl across just in case there are any holes which we cannot see under the water….



    Then climb up out of the wadi to continue on the diverted road….



    Not long after and we come to the town gates of Foum Zguid….



    As we continue down the main road to take a left turn….



    To the entrance of Camping Khayma Parc….









    Facilities block, which sadly in using the shower suffers with low water pressure so having a shower is like standing under a hosepipe with warm water coming out, but it worked!...



    While for anyone ‘caught short’ at night there is the ‘Emergency WC’!...



    While just away from the campsite is this WC which is for anyone suffering with ‘Wind’, as can be seen with the state of the fabric surrounding the facility!....



    Swimming Pool waiting for Summer as it’s to cold at present to fill it with Water!



    Lastly we have the ‘alternative accommodation’ which is a mixture of Berber Tents and a few cabins….



    Off to town tomorrow for a look around!

  5. #95
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    The first day in Foum Zguid…..

    As we needed some vegetables and other items before we depart from here we went into the town to stock up and found the place to be a bit busier than normal.
    It was then that we found out that it is Market Day tomorrow so we will stay for a few hours in the morning and see what it is like before we head off to our next destination which if it is open and Google Earth is correct it is in the middle of nowhere, so fingers crossed….

    Meanwhile as we walk back into town along the main road….



    We get this view off to our left….



    Then as we get to the centre we see this market stall set up in the middle of a traffic island!....



    While on the road waiting for a delivery to be requested we see this ‘Fresh Fish Home Delivery’ Motorcycle Trike!...



    As we walked around the fruit & veg market the man in the next picture had the best Bananas in the place so I asked for 1 Kilo as I wanted to see the old style scales used which no one else had or we have seen anywhere else.

    The Bananas were weighed out no problem and paid for while a young Moroccan man who stood next to us started speaking to us in English as it turned out he had been taught it instead of French at school for 3 years and was keen to keep it going, I then asked him if he would ask the man on the stall if I could take his picture with the weighing scales.

    The old man nodded his OK with a big smile and the result is below….

    As I shook his hand and thanked him after I took the picture I was taken back as I felt how dry the skin of his hand was…



    As we then moved on we came to a stall that really intrigued me as it took a few seconds to realise just what the Black Buckets were made of….

    They are Re-cycled Car Tyres!....



    While a bit further along on the same stall are smaller buckets from smaller tyres!....



    With the shopping sorted out we headed back to the campsite to do some cleaning up inside the ‘TinTent’ as we found that one of the waste water pipes that goes through the floor has not been sealed off properly and has been letting sand get blown in, so that needed sorting out.

    Then it was putting a new air filter into ‘Flamenco Red’ as the fuel consumption has increased quite considerably, possibly due to the sandstorms we passed through and other dusty roads we have been along reducing the air flow…..

    After that it was feet up and catch a bit of Sun.
    Well it’s still 20C+ over here…..

  6. #96
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Foum Zguid – Bouazzer - Tasla…..

    A day of Bad Road and short trip but Fantastic Scenery and LARGE update!....

    As we left the campsite in Foum Zguid this morning after a quick trip to get some wood screws to repair a side panel that had detached, then called into the ‘Corner Café’ to partake of the hospitality offered yesterday of a free coffee and a ‘You are very welcome to come back again’ from the owner, we had to negotiate our way through the weekly market…..





    As my good lady spotted this golden skirt on this lady that I must admit looked rather nice…



    Then we were out of the town centre, while being careful not to knock any pedestrians over who were walking in the road and not on the pavement!….



    Then over the bridge which was intact but I remember had safety railings along last year when we came through, as we saw the posts but the cross bars had been taken away by the November Storm!….



    As we then go alongside the river which had a decent amount of water still flowing down it and a good road to travel along with a white line down the middle both of which during the trip did not last!....



    More of the ‘Purple Carpet’ on the hills….





    As we come into the village where you can turn right to go to Zagora or like us go straight on for Agdz, after passing the Police Checkpoint and a short nice conversation with the 2 officers on duty….





    As we pass this lady who was balancing her load very well!....



    As the road went across the flat valley we could make out lots of areas with cloches in to bring on the vegetables underneath…..



    As the workers were camped out in tents….



    Someone was doing the washing and using the trees as a clothes line!……



    As we come to the next village and start to climb….





    Over the top and down the other side and we are back following the river bed…



    Up and over another small hill and as we come down the other side this time we see a number of ‘White Patches’ off to the left hand side which turn out to be Bee Hives….



    While some of the colonies had the honey for sale in various jars at the road side on tables….



    Across another surviving bridge and into the next village….





    While just after the next picture while the white line disappeared, the road got considerably worse as the tarmac became narrower as the road twisted and turned we went from riverside …..



    To a few yards inland….



    Then back to a ‘dusty’ riverside as we caught up to a Camper/RV that left the campsite in Foum Zguid around 20 minutes before us, and with the condition of the road with the lumps and bumps we had to manoeuvre over, the four people inside either became better friends or went home early!







    As we got to this next point in the next picture, the Camper/RV indicated for me to pass & pulled in as clearly he was not a ‘happy bunny’ being followed, so we carried on and passed him, only to find that just around the next corner there were 2 BIG Mechanical Diggers taking away part of the hill face before it too fell into the road, and there was not much room to squeeze through, but in making sure we were OK we forgot to get the picture of just how narrow the gap was! .…





    WOW! An intact Bridge, which was not to be the case as we travelled onward….



    The branches in the left hand bottom corner of the next picture had been deposited during the storm, while worse was also to come as we travelled along the road….



    This was the left behind build up of debris a bit further over on the same bridge….







    While this was the scene at the next bridge which was completely smashed and lots of debris backed up on the side as the water rushed down…..



    The ‘alternative piste road’ had been constructed after laying concrete tubes in the river bed and then covering then with rocks and soil as a temporary repair, but if they get anymore heavy rain then that might also get washed away….









    Next village on the right as we again come down a small hill….



    Back on the ‘sandy base’ alongside the river after the road was washed away….



    As we crawl over what remains of the next bridge



    We then then see this pile of rocks on the far side to tell you that there is a ‘problem in the middle’ and as you pass safely around you can see a large hole but cannot see the bottom of it!....









    As we continue down towards a left hand bend once again across the river…



    We pass another large mechanical digger lifting a large rock as it tries to restore the side of the river to stop the road falling down….



    As we then come to the turn and cross the newly made bridge which again has been temporarily made using the concrete tube and rocks over….



    While a little bit further on as the river snakes it’s way between the mountains which look fantastic we come to the next ‘broken bridge’!...











    Then we get to wash all 6 tyres & wheels as we slowly go through this river water coming over the wadi…..



    Not sure if these guys were taking rocks from the river bed to build a rock garden or cleaning out part of the river but we got some strange looks as we went passed! Maybe they had never seen a ‘TinTent’ along this road?….



    As we then get to take in some more GREAT Scenery!....











    As we get to the last ‘broken bridge’ on this road…..









    Then we come to the ‘Roadworks’!....







    From the next picture it got ‘interesting’ as the ‘Water Truck’ had just been along spraying the road to keep the dust down, which was OK for them but not for us as you will see a bit later on….(Stay with me!!!)





    As we finally reach the right hand turn to Bou Azzer & Agdz



    As we make the right turn our next campsite should have been just after the turn on the opposite side of the road, but….
    The gates were open but no one was there and there were no facilities that we could see, so we decided to push on the Tasla and our next stop….





    As we reach the Bou Azzer Mine….



    With the Pit Head Winding Wheels just off centre to the right….







    While a bit further along as we hang a left we see this ‘Hitch Hiker’ but cannot offer him a lift as ‘Flamenco Red’ is fully loaded and there are no seat belts fitted inside the ‘TinTent’…..



    Not long after and we are on the outskirts of Tasla….





    As the campsite entrance rolls into view….



    Remember that road that the Water Bowser had sprayed?
    Well this is what happened to the ‘TinTent’ and as it had dried like the mud walls of the houses and walls it was rather difficult to get off, while the bulbs in the bottom lights could not be seen!…



    Rest area on the campsite….



    While this is the rear of the facilities block with a wood fired and gas boiler alongside for the shower and one WC…



    As the campsite has no Wi-Fi and the Maroc Telecom wireless signal is GPRS level only while the kettle boils faster than it takes to send a short email, so no update today!

  7. #97
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    As always interesting pictures and scenery. The purple flowers are quite something to see on the hills as they seem to go all the way up. The hills turning green is something as well. Amazing what water will do.

    One of the recent posts you mentioned having to top up the coolant. Any further top ups needed?

  8. #98
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Tasla…..Old Village

    As we had some spare time we set off for a look around the old village of Tasla which is set back from the main road and away from the campsite.

    It also means passing a rather large pond of water at which were a few of the village ladies so no pictures of them as we passed by, however while it is still used for washing clothes it is also used for other household items like…..



    Currently it’s school holidays so the children are following ‘Mum’ around while she does her chores….



    As we then cross the river bed to enter the village…..



    Passing a building which sadly is falling down but still has some interesting shaped windows in its walls….



    As we get through one of the outer gates and enter into the alleyways of the old village….











    While in one of the alleyways we find this water well, which is still in use….



    As this was quite a high building with a couple of floors we think it might have been the residence of the village chief who would have been wealthy to have windows made in that form….



    As we came away from that part of the village we were approached by a lady who is a French Teacher in the village school who then offered us the hospitality of a glass of tea at her house which we accepted as we had not been in a house that was occupied, and this next picture is of her living room/lounge…..

    Rectangular in shape and quite small with cushions placed on the carpet to sit on, a low table for the tea to be served on, a satellite TV and behind that there was a unit that held various items….



    After some time in conversation which was mixed between English & French we had to start making our way back to the campsite passing through her kitchen in which I did not get a picture but was in all honesty very sparse with a couple of pans, a single gas ring being fed by a small gas bottle, all sat on a narrow shelf, there was no sink, however her pride and joy in another room was her fairly new twin tub washing machine, but she has to get her water for it from that well!….
    I should also point out that there were no windows in any off the rooms we saw, all light being provided now by electricity…

    By the time we got back to the washplace there were a few more rugs/carpets hanging on the river wall to dry out…..



    While back at the campsite as I went to pay our bill for our stay I passed a small shed which was open and inside was the water pump engine……



    While outside is the water pump sat on top of the well and driven by ‘rubber bands’! With the 2 exhaust pipes from the engine on the right hand side of the picture ….



    Next stop will be in the town of Agdz where we hope to be able to take a tour of the Kasbah which we missed when we came here last year…..

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    As always interesting pictures and scenery. The purple flowers are quite something to see on the hills as they seem to go all the way up. The hills turning green is something as well. Amazing what water will do.

    One of the recent posts you mentioned having to top up the coolant. Any further top ups needed?
    I really think the human eye is much better than the camera lens no matter how expensive the camera or lens as the scenery we are viewing over here is not being done justice with a camera!

    While I have not added any more coolant to the 'expansion' bottle.

    The last engine oil & filter change was carried out before we came away and while sticking with the 5.9 Liters of engine oil as now recommended by Volvo I checked the 'Head Up' Dashboard display and found that the level had dropped to the extent of one section of the 'reading' which required 200 ml to get it back up!

    Having said that I have noticed a 'leak' from the bottom of the oil filter which has now started blowing back over the engine under the cover, so I am cleaning that in between stages just to prevent any 'problems' and will investigate further when we get back, but I think it is the rubber oil seal at the bottom of the filter casing that is causing the 'problem' while I am also keeping a regular check on the oil level but have not seen any drop so far!

  10. #100
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Agdz…..& the Casbah

    After a very short trip from Tasla to Agdz with some nice scenery along the road….





















    We get into the road leading to the campsite which is called ‘Camping Casbah de la Palmeraie’....



    We were hoping to be able to take the tour of the Casbah on this visit as we were unable to take it last time as the lady was heavily pregnant with her son who is now 2 years old…..

    Luck was with us and we got places with another English couple who were also on the campsite to go at 16:00hrs, so after carrying out some ‘improvements’ on the ‘TinTent’ as I found that large and small tubes that were passing through the floor had not been suitably sealed off on the inside, which was allowing road dust and sand to enter in volume as we travelled it was time to take the tour….



    That’s it behind the Palm Trees, now let’s get inside!….



    As we got inside a group of Moroccan musicians were playing traditional music!……





    Then as we move off we see the inside of the part of the Casbah which would receive guests.
    The other side as it is in two sections, which we would visit later in the tour was the family side and entrance…



    Entering then into one of the guest rooms via the fully opened double doors.…



    We are then shown the outer section of one side which opens outwards while passing through the guest would have to bow there head as a mark of respect to their host….



    While inside the room the ceiling is shaped similar to a Berber Tent…



    With fantail decorations over the windows….



    While in each corner of the ceiling is a small hole. (Top left corner of the next picture) This is to allow the ceiling to expand and contract during hot and cold weather, and without the holes the ceiling which here is also the roof would collapse….



    As we then pass the band who are having a break…..



    To make our way into the other side of the Casbah which was for the family, and while not as grand looking it was totally practical, as behind the wall on the right hand side on the ground floor were the kitchens, so food could easily be transported to any guests as well as the family, while on the first floor were the small animals Goats & Sheep who did not go outside.
    Any Cows or Horses/Mules would be kept in the open area .…



    While on the left side of the family area was the Water Well and behind the windows behind the Well the food collected from the fields was stored for the animals who did not go outside….



    While through the doorway outlined in a broad white line….



    Is a small yard, which when the doors on both sides are open you can see from the front to the living quarters of the family…..



    While this was one of the small rooms on the ground floor….



    Upstairs you had the wives and children’s bedrooms to which each wife had her own key while the husband had none, this was we understand to prevent jealousy between any wives….

    The white rectangular structure in the centre has no middle only bars to stop any children falling through but also allows natural daylight to reach the ground floor, while on the wall on the right hand side of the picture are 2 stumps of protruding wood which have holes in for door hinges to be inserted from a door that would have been in place ….



    While this was the ceiling in the room after going through the doorway with the stumps of door hinge holders in…..



    We then see this door with a wooden lock which if you are inside you can open, but if you are on the outside and want to go in you need to have the ‘key’ that fits into the elongated slot!….



    One of the outside windows that allowed daylight into the rooms….



    As we then made our way to the top of the Casbah we noticed that all the inner & outer walls were the same thickness, at around 50cm (20 Inches) which was in trying to keep the rooms cool in Summer and warmer in Winter…

    Up on this level there were two sections for the Casbah ‘Chief’ who was also head of the village to hear grievances of any of the village residents, and this was done inside the 2 pillared areas, after climbing all the stairs!…..





    The tour guide also mentioned something about the 5 windows in the wall in the picture below and the fact that they are facing Mecca but I have suffered a memory lapse and cannot remember what it was! Sorry, no offense meant …..



    As we then make our way through some of the rooms on the top floor, before we make our way up one of the towers…..





    As we get up on top, the view is spectacular……



    While the Casbah on the other side (It has 5 White Outlined Entrance Doorways) was also built by the Grandfather of the tour guides husband, and it was joined by a bridge, but when the Grandfather passed away the Casbah was divided between the children, so that one has now become a hotel…..



    With a final look out across the land….



    And a view down below of the Moroccan Musicians….



    We go back down and exit the Family Gate….



    As the setting Sun bounces off Djbel Kissane....



    While not long after it disappears for the night……



    A very good afternoon…..

    Now where did January go?

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