Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Morocco part 4: into the Sahara

Before leaving Tamnougalt, we stopped to see a nice view of the view of the Draa Valley at the nearby ksar (fortified castle).

We drove through valley (what a nice part of Morocco, by the way, so pretty).  Roads were a little rough:

We stopped at Tamnougalt Kasbah, which is like a small walled medieval village. 28 families live there now but in the past as many as 300 families lived there.

We had mint tea inside one of the living rooms. They film a lot of movies here!
A nice view from the roof:

We head eastward through the valley towards Tansikht, with many stops for photos.

A quick stop on the road so Azziz could show us the henna flowers used to make the red dye:

Lunch was in the small town of Alnif, famous for potatoes and trilobites. We met some fossil dealers here including some that go to the mineral shows in Tucson every year. Most fossils looked real but it takes practice to spot the fakes.

As we continue east we begin to see patches of sand and...camels!

Baby camels!  And when we arrive that evening at our hotel in Merzouga what is sitting out front?


Before dinner there is time for a walk into the dunes at sunset.

Next morning is a trip to the famous vanadinite mines at Taouz. On the way we stop to see some petroglyphs (took awhile to find but we saw them eventually).

At Taouz there were mineral dealers set up, we also collected some small pieces of orange vanadinite on a black goerthite matrix.

Underground, orange vanadinites on iron oxide.

This evening was one of the moments we were most excited about, the camel ride at sunset!  There were a few options, a short ride and return to the hotel for the night or a longer ride to sleep a Berber camp and return the next morning. All members of group one chose the short ride and 2/3 of group two chose the overnight at the camp.

Looks like a lovely evening for group 1!
Things did not go so smoothly for the next group. Some camels were a little grumpy.

It was ok at first, but then we noticed this heading towards us:

Ok, no sunset tonight, sandstorm instead.

Dinner was nice, a little sandy but very comfortable tents.

The ride back the next morning was much more scenic!


  1. thanks for posting

    it seems like people are having blast in Morocco

    I was just wondering about vegetarian guys
    I think its all non veg round the trip

    Morocco Travel

  2. thank you for sharing , great but hard life area ! thank again