Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Next Stop: Ourzazate

Today we rode through the Atlas Mountains. The views should have been spectacular. However, on this particular day, it was very, very foggy. You could barely see in front of you. We had to go very slow. That could very well have been the worst fog we'd ridden through. We did finally make it to the top of the pass (Tizi n Tichka Pass).

After we rode over the pass, the fog seemed to clear and we were able to get better views of the scenery. The landscape was dry and desert like and there were only a few villages around.

We took a narrow side road that took us into the valley of Oued Imarene. This was a fun road to ride on.

Where we were the landscape was very dry and arid but in the distance you could see snow capped mountains. I thought the contrasting landscapes were very pretty.

I love this picture...there was a random white horse on the side of the road.

We stopped along this road and had lunch under a berber tent. This was a very neat place to have lunch. The tour must stop here all the time because the owner was very glad to see Christian. He gave him a kiss on each cheek. Christian was thrilled!! The lunch was the Moroccan usual...tagine.

After lunch, some in the group took a tour of a nearby kasbah. While they did that, Mike and I rode a little farther down the road. We went until the road turned to dirt. The road was also very rocky. Some of the local kids helped us move some rocks out of the way so we could get turned around.

After our lunch, we made our way to Ouarzazate. We made one more detour along the way. We turned off of the main road and headed toward Ait Benhaddou. It all of a sudden got extremely windy. You could really feel it pushing the bike around. It was a bit scary. At that time, I thought it was one of the windiest conditions we'd ever ridden in. Later in our trip, however, was definitely the windiest we'd ever ridden in.

Ait Benhaddou has an unbelievable labyrinth of hundreds of houses and towers. One old Berber castle grows out of another. This village has been featured in movies such as Sodom and Gomorrah and Indiana Jones. It was still crazy windy when we got there and the sand would sting your face it was so windy. To get to the village, you had to cross a river and the water was up enough that you really needed to ride a horse across. We decided to just take a picture from a distance.

The hotel we stayed at this night was the worst one of the trip. The tour guides warned us that it wasn't very nice. They said they'd complained to the home office but the reservations had already been made. In our room, our shower head was no longer attached to the wall and was sitting in the tub. So, to wash your hair, you had to hold the shower head up, then put it down to shampoo up, then hold it up to rinse. You get the drift. It was a bit of a challenging shower.


Lisa said...

I love seeing all the pictures from your trip.. I am terribly jealous though!

Susan said...

Fun stuff!