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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Tighmeght - Camping De L'Oasis first day …..

    One final picture from last night was this Palm Tree that was illuminated by the sodium light outside the campsite which I thought was rather nice…..

    While it seems that Guelmim is still having some ‘problems’ after the flash floods in November 2014 as the electricity for the whole area failed in the early hours of this morning and was not restored until around 16:00 this afternoon, but after breakfast and a nice day, we decided to set off for a walk around part of the Oasis as it is a very large area, and these are the results of that walk….

    Sadly a large building possibly for more than one family & made completely of dried mud that has fallen into ruin…

    Cultivation field which was growing some type of herb….

    Mud/piste road through part of the village…..

    While behind one wall was this water well…..

    One of the three Mosques in the immediate area which is being expanded….

    The Palms in the Oasis with some more cultivated land around ....

    While it was interesting to see this mud wall topped off with prickly branches….

    On the other side of the roadway was this other mud wall topped off with dried Palm branches, both to stop the rain from affecting the wall when it came …..

    However during the storm, this is what happened on one side of the road with the prickly branches....

    While on the other side a Lightning strike killed and burnt this Palm tree as it knocked over the Palm topped wall….

    Landscape view from the road…..

    As we spotted this man carrying out some repair work to the upper part of the wall to his house with mud that he scooped out of a bucket and slapped onto the wall in various places to build it back up again…..

    A little bit further on we came to another campsite called Gite Maison D’ohte Aain Nakhla and as we passed by the owner asked us to come in and have a look around while having some Moroccan Tea that he would make along with some nice biscuits made by his wife which was very nice….

    Waiting for the tea and biscuits to arrive…..

    While the ‘tour’ produced .....
    In the garden a Berber Tent suitable for just relaxation or enjoying dinner….

    Different Murals all over painted by the owner…..

    One of the compact guest bedrooms with en-suite facilities…..

    The small ‘bar’ but for non-alcoholic drinks only with meals if ordered ….

    After thanking the owner for his hospitality which was fantastic we confirmed that we had reached the centre of the Oasis as we had seen a large pond of water which we made our way down too, passing this water running from it for irrigation in the Oasis….

    While just a bit further over was this area in which we could hear Bullfrogs ‘sounding off’ but as soon as we got close they stopped so we could not see them…..

    Moving back from the Pond we then came to what was once clearly a track/road but thanks to the flash flood that also had been destroyed…..

    As we then got back to the campsite I saw the ‘Outside Staircase’ made of sections of Palm Trunk but the rug and chairs had been placed on it to stop visitors from going up as it was not safe to go up…..

    More exploring tomorrow hopefully. As the sun went down it looked like some rain clouds were moving our way!

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Tighmeght – The Hot Spring visit …..

    Hassan the owner of the campsite told us of a ‘Hot Spring’ that is near the campsite but you need to go across country to get there, so with the aid of a hand drawn map and some instructions we set off to get there…..

    “Continue along the tarmac to the end”….

    “At the BIG Palm Tree go onto the Piste”…..

    While we could see a marked piste track as it had white stones at each side we could not find the way at the beginning to get onto it, so we followed some tracks that virtually ran alongside it…..

    As we got to a section that was a bit rougher and the tracks more difficult to follow, while the ‘Piste Track’ was on the other side of the raised mound in the top right of the next picture…..

    As we stopped and went to have a look to see if we could get onto the ‘Piste track’ this is what we found…..

    So we continued going along on the upper level looking hard and managing to find the tracks of other vehicles, as we then saw on the other side of the river the “House on the top of the hill”.….

    At that point looking up the river we should have been able to a “A Bridge” but all we could see was….

    Faced with the sort of terrain in the next picture in front of us we decided to park up ‘Flamenco Red’ and go and check out what was up front on foot and also see if we could find the bridge which was supposed to be “In between the next two hills”....

    It wasn’t far along and we found this next section of the Piste Track that had been washed away in the storm…..

    While there was no way ‘Flamenco Red’ could get over that unless we had a magic carpet in the boot!…..

    As we then came to two lakes one of which was supposed to be a Barrage/Dam where the bridge was supposed to be, but this is what we found….

    The Barrage wall had been completely breached from the storm….

    While looking up the valley we could see more rain clouds moving our way….

    So as defeat set in as it seems that the bridge had been swept away sadly we turned around and headed back to the campsite…..

    It wasn’t long before the rain caught us up and for the rest of the day it was intermittent showers and a drop in temperature, so will have to see what happens tomorrow!

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Tighmeght – The Kasbah Museum visit …..

    In walking the other way from the campsite and heading to the village of Tighmert you come to what is known as the centre of the Caravan Routes which used to pass through this place from all over Africa and is now a Museum with all different artefacts from that time…..

    As we go in through the front door which is over 300 years old and is in Applewood we see a few of the rugs that used to be in the caravan tents….

    While looking up we see the ceiling which is still in its original colours of Bamboo which have been coloured with dyes…..

    We move into a small room which contains some wedding items one of which is the brides dress in which the outer layer is finely coloured silk while the white part of the dress has fine gold sewn into it in a banded pattern and was quite stunning….

    As the Kasbah was an exchange/barter place as there was no such thing as currency due to all the places that the caravans came from there was a significant collection of all different items…..

    Finely decorated swords inlaid with silver and Dromedary bone with Dromedary leather bags below….

    From right to left, Haircombs, Decorated Dromedary Leather Bags with different pockets in that were carried on the Dromedary’s, Various Plates for serving mainly Cous Cous meals.….

    Men’s and Women’s outer clothes….

    A set of scythes for cutting grass to feed the animals while the single Plough would be pulled by a Mule, if the Plough was 0.5Mtr longer it was pulled by a Dromedary…..

    In the middle of the next picture are some bags that would be carried loaded with provisions on the back of a Dromedary…..

    Cous Cous plates in both wood and metal....

    On the left Leather Gourds, and Metal Locks which were introduced to replace the Wooden Locks used previously, while on the right top to bottom are frames that would fit over the Dromedary hump, before being loaded with what was being carried, while below are the grind stones for seeds to make bread while Olives & Argan fruit would also be ground using the stones….

    Manual air blowers for getting the fire started, while underneath are metal jugs for various liquids....

    The first ‘Currency’ to be used in Guelmim which were the Beads in the picture below…..

    On the left side under the ‘Grid’ is a store cellar for grain or other cereals and there are another 7 just like this one in the Kasbah for different things….
    The door leaning against the wall is also Applewood and is also 400 Years old, while the Blue Box never left this room as it held the valuable items from the exchange/barter process…..

    While next up was the old picture of the ‘Caravan Hippies’ they are the faces who have no turban wrapped around their heads….

    Our tour of the Museum completed which was fascinating, we were invited outside to the Berber Tent to take tea with the curator which was made using the Absinthe herb…..
    While various items that were on display on both sides of the tent were for sale….

    While I thought the Palm Tree leaf painting interesting….

    We then left the museum and started to make our way back to the campsite with one of the local people who spoke very good English and was able to explain what had happened during the 10 day aftermath from the Flash Floods, which brought down the wall that was built to stop the river water getting to the houses, as the flood water rose over the wall…..

    Both concrete plinths leading up to the bridge had been cracked and moved with the force of the water ….

    As the water rose up the concrete arches of the bridge all the things that were being brought down like tree trunks and big Palm Tree leaves got jammed against the legs of the arches, so the water rose even higher reaching something like 10 feet over the bridge…..

    When you then see the width of the river…..

    You can understand why the metal railings did not stay in place …..

    Even the pathway on the right hand side was totally under water and an irrigation channel made in concrete was also completely washed away….

    While the grey pipe which supplies drinking water to the opposite side of the village stayed in place, but the supply was contaminated and remained so for quite some time…..

    As we made our way back we then passed through the materials yard for a new Mosque that is being built…..

    With a short walk from there we were soon back at the campsite…..

  4. #84
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Calgary, Alberta


    Interesting seeing all the green by the rivers while outside of the valley you would normally not really see any green but because of the rain you are seeing it spreading further out. Also amazing the amount of damage the flooding water has done.

    Do you know if the amount of tourists is down this year because of the weather there?

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Interesting seeing all the green by the rivers while outside of the valley you would normally not really see any green but because of the rain you are seeing it spreading further out. Also amazing the amount of damage the flooding water has done.

    Do you know if the amount of tourists is down this year because of the weather there?
    I think the number of tourists is down this year due to rumours being published by some countries that are quite frankly not true, as we have not seen or heard anything relating to what has been said, which is quite sad but annoying as it really lets you comprehend how manipulative some people try to be.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    The Cascades of Fask…..

    We had heard there was a Cascade (Waterfall) near Fask so as we needed a few things we decided to see if we could find it…..
    First thing was to get out of the village and across the river then up to the main road….

    It wasn’t long before we came to the village of Fask….

    As we turned left into the village and headed to the far side looking for a an open shop we stopped to ask a man if there was a vegetable shop in the village only to find that there isn’t and the nearest one is in the City of Guelmim which is 15 miles away!
    Just then as I went back to ‘Flamenco Red’ I spotted a small aqueduct and it had running water in, so I am thinking that must be coming from the waterfall and if we follow it we might just find the Cascades, so off we went….

    We were able to travel along the piste for about 1.5 miles at which point it became a bicycle track so it was case of park up and go the rest of the way by foot which turned out to be a long walk of around 3 miles each way following the aqueduct for most of the way….

    Spectacular scenery on the way…..

    As we then come to a very flat section of the riverbed which was at the side of the aqueduct….

    This would have been part of the Cascade if there had been any water flowing down it.….

    While walking on the river bed I guess would be something similar to walking on the Moon!….

    As we went further along when you looked back you could see the small pools which were in the process of drying up as no water was flowing into them….

    As we came to the beginning of the aqueduct with dams made of stones and mud to ensure the water flowed into it….

    As we started to take notice of some of the plants starting to grow and some established flowers….

    As this Cactus seemed to be having a tough time surviving in a clump of earth but on the pinnacle of a rock....

    While all over the ground were small Snail shells…..

    Then we finally got to the Cascades, except there was no visible water flowing over to make the waterfall….

    As we then started to make our way back we came across the occasional rock that was very porous and completely different from all the rest while it looked like a large piece of dead Coral from a sea that was here a very long time ago….

    In making our way back closer to the aqueduct we firstly came across a small pool with several very small fish in…..

    While also in that pool and a few others we see small Tadpoles….

    Then we heard their BIG Brothers, namely the Bullfrogs, but as we got closer they went quiet so we could not see or find them, but as we walked slowly for a bit along the side of the aqueduct I spotted this one under the water…..

    While a little bit further this one jumped out of the water onto the side, and kindly stayed there while I fumbled to get the camera turned on and zoomed in to take the picture, then he jumped back into the water and disappeared!...

    As we then made our way back to ‘Flamenco Red’ and Guelmim to get the items we required before heading back to the campsite for our last night….

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Oasis to Icht…..

    Last night’s Sunset…..

    It was rather sad to have to say ‘Goodbye’ to Hassan the owner of Camping De L’Oasis this morning as he must be because of his hospitality and kindness one of the true ‘Gentlemen’ of Morocco but as ‘Tempus Fugit’ never stops it was time to move on, so off we set to get to Icht and Camping Borj Birmane….

    Our host at Camping De L’Oasis, Hassan and I…..

    On the Route National N12….

    As we then got into some fabulous Mountain Scenery I am going to shut up unless some explanation or feeling is required and let the pictures speak for themselves as you scroll down!….

    The wide river bed and hard mud embankment…..

    As we got a close up of those ‘shapes’ I thought they looked a bit like the Chainwheel on a bicycle!…..

    Passing quickly through a small village….

    As we see the river bed and walls which were a hard sandy colour….

    Not sure if this was a ‘Tea Stop’ as it was in the same place last year!...

    Next wide ‘wadi’bridge….

    As we then pass these houses set in the face of the hillside…..

    Next small village….

    As we then just after turn left onto the piste road for 0.5km to the campsite….

    And there are the entrance gates….

    While this is what awaited us inside the campsite…..

    Reception & Restaurant…

    Auberge/Hotel rooms for rent….

    Camping facilities…..

    Or you can spend the night in a Berber Tent….


    While as we come from South Wales (UK) it’s nice to have a ‘Friendly Dragon’ looking after our backs, but DON’T WAKE HIM UP!….

    With a couple of panoramic pictures from the large tower…..

    Not long after we got here we got a knock on the door and the offer of a tour of Icht with a guide which takes about 2 hours, so we will see what happens on that tomorrow!

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Icht. The Old Town Tour…..

    After getting the clothes washing sorted out and carried out we set off for a tour of the Old Town of Icht with Hamdulla the guide …..

    So we set off ‘Overland’ on foot, while ‘Flamenco Red’ has a day off….

    As we enter the new part of town we see the Old Town at the end of the street which is easy to detect as the mud bricks have not been rendered….

    As we go along the outer wall of the Old Town we come to one of the two gates into the place, and a dark passageway only lit by daylight for a certain distance inside then we need to torch that we were asked to bring as there is no electricity in this part…..

    As we walk down the passageway we come to the front/entrance door to the Grandfather of Hamdulla for which he has the key….

    As we are invited inside we find out that the buildings are around 500 Years Old, and consist of 3 levels: Ground Floor in which the animals are kept in the centre of the 4 walls, 1st Floor for his first wife, 2nd Floor for his second wife…..

    First floor….

    This was the living room for the family of his first wife. All the walls are in a grey colour which seems to be from the mud drying out as no paint has been applied, and there are no windows in any of the rooms, the only lighting was provided with oil lamps….

    While on the second floor…

    Is the family room for his second wife (The circle of light is from the torch we had with us as the camera flash was picking up dust particles in the lens! ….

    While this was our equivalent of the food larder….

    While out of the small semicircle in the above picture, our guide pulled a 300 year old Carrot which was used in Tagines as it was one of the main vegetables….

    Through the right hand window is the entrance to the bedroom for the family which was smaller than the family room and too small to photograph....

    In one corner was this Bread Oven while the walls and ceiling were blackened from the fire as there was no outlet or chimney to let the smoke escape….

    We then carefully made our way up onto the roof, which was in a very bad condition partly due to the recent storm last November, but also due to the age of the property and having no maintenance carried out….

    While in a room on the roof was another Bread Oven but the blackening from the smoke was not as bad as it was more open to let the smoke out…..

    Going back down and outside, as we continued along the passageway we came to an area where daylight came through while the windows in the wall were in traditional Berber design, but no glass….

    We then got to the entrance door of the Old Mosque in which no women were allowed, while the door is around 500 years old and is made of Applewood!…..

    As we go upstairs to the first floor we come into the hall of the Mosque which is very small, while the alcove in the next picture is where the Imam would stand while the congregation would stand behind him….

    While on the ground floor is a trough for water to wash hands and face, and the toilets were at the rear….

    As we continue then back out along another passageway we come to the house of the senior person of the town which has 7 windows in the outside wall….

    Back into the passageways!...

    With another Applewood door still in good condition, as behind it there are 3 families still living in the Old Town, and people living in the new houses move back into the Old Town in Summer as it is much cooler there than in the new houses ….

    We then came to the other Town Gate, which was guarded, with 2 Guards, one on either side of the entrance…..

    One of the Guards would be in this alcove on the right, while the other would be in an alcove on the other side of the passageway, while above the head of Hamdulla on either side of the entrance are large round holes that held the hinge pins of the entrance doors….

    Getting outside we are then heading to the Gardens and each family still has their own Garden for growing a variety of vegetables and fruit, while just in front of us is the start of the Irrigation System that via a series of sliding metal sluice gates feeds the whole Garden area….

    As we then start to make our way back to the campsite Hamdulla takes us to show us the Grotto which is in through the doorway in the next picture….

    It looks like this inside and is very large, which it needed to be as it was the refuge point for the town during the wars that were found in the area….

    When I looked at the thickness of the columns inside as I came back outside I realised that one of the main roads in the village went over the top of the Grotto, and for that they needed to be very substantial….

    That concluded our tour so it was back to camp and get ready for dinner which after that was taken care of we waited till sunset and…..

    Not a bad shot with my little ‘Brownie Box Camera’ of that planet called the Moon….

    While below the Moon is Venus….

    Having found from talking with the campsite owner that there is a Dam at the end of a 3 to 4 km walk we intend going to have a look tomorrow as the forecast is full sunshine here for the next 5 days although the North Wind is keeping the temperature down, so it’s more exercise for the feet!.....

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Icht. The walk to the Dam with ‘No Water’?…..

    After breakfast with a beautiful blue sky but a wind from the North which reduced the temperature we set off for the walk to the Dam which although being advised there was no water there we wanted to take a look, and this is what happened …..

    Off once again on foot via the piste road, while ‘Flamenco Red’ has another day off….

    As we walk along off to our right is cultivated land that is marked off into sections with painted or just small clumps of stones, while what grows here is used to feed the animals that the owners have….

    As we come to a more defined patch on the left hand side of the piste, but we cannot see any pipes or irrigation system to provide water…

    While the piste stretches off into the distance….

    As we then come to the part where the river water flows over the land….

    We then having moved off the pisted road and gone across the land found a section where water has recently passed along ….

    As we find ourselves walking on a dried out and cracked mud base, which was totally weird!….

    While the trees down in this gully have inch long thorns on their branches….

    The dried cracked mud was around one inch thick in like a slab form, except when you stepped on it in some places it ‘cracked’….


    & After….

    The thickness of the ‘slabs’….

    As the little mounds rose from the gully of cracked mud…..

    We then saw as we climbed up to the top of the little mounds this….

    Getting closer to the Dam itself…..

    As we then spotted the small holes in the side of the hill and the disused buildings at the top by the Dam….

    Climbing up onto the top of the Dam wall, I opened one of the applications on my mobile phone which showed a Trapezium on the left hand side of the Dam wall which I could not understand, but then having looked closer it was defining that the area on the left although there was no water in it was totally enclosed...

    Again in the face of the hill on the other side of the Dam wall we found the small holes, but have no clue as to who or what made them and what if anything they were used for…..

    So having brought no swimming costumes and the water was running low we headed back to the campsite….

    On our way as we walked on the ground alongside the piste we spotted some smaller pieces of what looked like Lava, but not sure if it is, as it is a greyish white in colour?....

    Finally getting back to the campsite which is costing us the great price of £5.88/Night! ($8) and that includes the Hot Showers and Electricity, I had a sneek look inside one of the Berber Tents….

    With my feet feeling rather tender after the walk I could have easily slipped inside and had 40 winks, still maybe another time!….

    Back on the road tomorrow….

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales UK


    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015

    Icht to Akka…..

    The Sunset as reflected off that ‘Sleeping Dragon’ whom thankfully we did not wake up!…..

    While on our last morning here in Icht the Sunrise at 06:30 came like this, and it was cold outside which kept the Mosquitoes away!….

    While half an hour later the large hill outside the campsite was lit up like this with Sunrise…..

    Then it was off on the road to Akka and hopefully we can stay at the Municipal Campsite that was under construction when we came last year

    As we passed what looked like a man and his family whom were either moving house or were Nomads who had moved up to a ‘Land Rover Dromedary’…..

    Oh the ‘Open Road’ but surprisingly there was a few cars and trucks moving today!....

    First village called Tizgui Targhen….

    This was the school….

    Roadside Café….

    So we decided to stop and have a nice coffee, and it was not bad, while one milky and one black cost less than £1 ($1.50) which certainly provided the Caffeine ‘fix’ for the morning….

    Eat your heart out Starbucks!…..

    ‘Yes’ just to prove we did stop!....

    This is called ‘Grab a lift’!....

    As this chap gets to ride the Donkey while his wife has to walk….

    Outlying suburb called ‘Ait Ouablli’….

    In which it was Market Day while just before the next picture we had an ‘incident’!
    An old man stepped into the middle of the road in front of ‘Flamenco Red’ and refused to move. As I lowered my window he came around to ask me in French for a belt to hold up his trousers!
    I told him I did not speak French, and engaged first gear and took off up the road….

    As we got through the Market OK and the old man did not catch us up we came to a large Wadi in which we spotted a lady doing her clothes washing in the water that was still running…..

    The it was back on the open road….

    Next Oasis….

    As we pass a couple of ladies out collecting feed for their animals and at various places with different ladies this was repeated as the bundles of green cuttings were either put into onto a Donkey or in the boot/trunk of a car for transport home…..

    Next town. Oops! Sorry can’t read the name, but it’s on the N12!....

    As the road goes straight through the middle…..

    While just on the outside as we pass through is this Water Well, but as there was no rope we wondered if it was still in use….

    Interesting to see how the sand has been driven against the hills….

    Variety of signposts on the outskirts of AKKA….

    As we head towards the next ‘Wadi’ which has been on every one a bit of a bumpy experience as you drop into the section of road across and then climb out on the other side which I think is why they restrict your speed to 60kmph otherwise you could be giving back what you had for breakfast!....

    We are now on the main road through AKKA as there is a Police Checkpoint just by the Town Gateway so no picture…..

    However we did get a picture of the Town Gateway on the other side as we came out….

    As the campsite was 150 meters further on but, it is still ‘Under Construction’ and does not seem to have progressed very much since we came her last year, while the 2 entrances have been built!

    So we push on to Tata as one of these 4 ladies starts waving her hand in the direction of Tata in the hope of getting a lift, which as ‘Flamenco Red’ is fully loaded maybe she expects to sit in the ‘Tin Tent’, but sadly we have to decline her request and head off down the road, which gets better as it’s wider and has a better Tarmac finish!

    Large herd of Sheep with several Shepherds looking after them as we slow right down to stop spooking them and receive a ‘Thank you’ wave from several of the men with them….

    More ladies collecting animal feed, while now we have a ‘White Line’ down the middle of the road….

    As we reach this roadsign we know having been here last year that we are close to the campsite which is a few miles outside Tata….

    Having then reached the campsite and found 4 campers there while there are around 20 places, we get set up and I notice some Dates still in a few of the Palm Trees….

    I manage to get a few which are quite dried out and while trying to see if they will soften up in some warm water, the results will be made known tomorrow….

    While as the Sun departed we were treated to this ‘Glow’ at the far end of the campsite….

    Supposed to be around 22C and bright blue sky again tomorrow….
    Fingers crossed!

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