After two medium to hard days of driving across some spectacular scenery we find ourselves in the town of Agdz. You can see the journey on the interactive map and currently we are here:
Taroudantt to Taliouine 06/03/2015
We were a bit delayed leaving as we had too, in no particular order, clean the van, finish the blog and chat to the people in the van next door. After the update on the state of the roads given by our overly chatty neighbours we left the fine city of Taroudantt with some trepidation. We had been told the entire journey was only supported by the old smattering of tarmac and we would spend most of our time off-piste. Well that is just not the case, there is a spell of about 5Km where you slalom around the Argan trees but apart from that the road is good all the way.
The countryside at first is of the vast souss plain and agriculture is very much in evidence. There are co-operative farms lining the road for mile after mile growing in the main; tomatoes and oranges interspersed by the odd banana plantation. As you approach the town of Aoulouz the scenery changes dramatically as the road climbs the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Firstly on the lower slopes the Argan trees are very much in evidence with their circus act goats perched on the top. As an old person I am by now a cynic and I am beginning to think the goats are shimmed up the tree by the herder at the first sign of a motorhome. The goats get their nuts, the herder gets his 10Dh and us tourists get our photo and a dinner party staple for years to come. Everyone is a winner.
Taliouine is a fair town set among the hills and before coming here my knowledge of Taliouine was as a planet or a moon or something in Star Wars. It does not have the surrounding beauty of Tafraout but is pleasant enough. If you would like some extra curriculum activity to carry out in your own time regarding Taliouine you will find it is the centre of the Saffron industry. At this point I could do what most bloggers do and cut and paste something from Wikipedia about saffron, but I won’t. It’s a plant and it is expensive. If you need to know more click here; Saffron
We settled into our campsite for the night, nice and level with some splendid views as one can see here:
As we had been driving for much of the day we went for the restaurant choice and both selected the salad, chicken kebabs, and fruit for dessert option. Total cost £10. After watching the sun go down we settled down for an evening of Midsomer Murders. A landmark episode featuring the debut of DS Scott as Barnaby’s sidekick. Cully was embarrassing beyond belief, no wonder her school chums didn’t like her, the snitch. Campsite fee £5.20
Up bright and early for the drive to Agdz. This was a change of plan as we originally were only going as far as Tazenakht today. But we are getting a pull to head to Merzouga and the Sahara for a few extra days more than planned.
THEFT. As one can see from the picture above we left out our groovy Moroccan slippers, our chairs, steps and bucket. Well in the morning we noticed a pair of our Moroccan slippers have been stolen. Not any old pair mind you, oh no, only the two right feet have been half-inched. Thus leaving us with a totally useless pair of two left-footed odd sized slippers. Look here:
So not only is our thief totally mean-spirited, he is also stupid or blind or both. Take your pick. Anyway I am going to get my own back. I am leaving the remaining slippers outside the door in a very come and get me stance hoping to allure another dimwit to nick them leaving two thieves in Morocco with ill-fitting shoes.
Taliouine to Agdz 07/03/2015
Resorting to my driving shoes we left spot on 10 AM for the drive to Agdz. The Vistas are bang on from the minute you leave Taliouine to the minute you arrive at Agdz some four hours later. I have not completed a video yet as it is going to take a bit of time to get Seven hours of driving cut down to a 5 minute celluloid classic. But I will. I could ramble on tirelessly about the panoramic views we had during the drive but I will let the pictures tell the story.
Before that however I will just give a brief resume of Tazenakht and Agdz. To the point we are mighty glad we did not stay at Tazenakht as planned. It has the feel and air of an old Wild West town, it be a mighty strange place. Women are completely absent, restaurants only sell Chai and everyone looks like a potential gunslinger. To cap it off we were followed every step by a chap who informed us every twenty seconds he had a friend in Bristol and we must take his card. We didn’t bother and headed for one of the many non-food serving restaurants, had some chai, split into two, not literally and sprinted back to the van.
While we wait for the video here some pictures to whet your appetite.
We may have mentioned before the desert is currently in bloom and so on the drive today Tracy went a picking of the desert bloom and arranged them our homemade vases.
The Tamsift valley on the final run into Agdz is particularly carpeted at the moment and this results in bee-keeping being carried out on an industrial scale. There must be thousands of hives lining the road on the final approaches into Agdz. Unfortunately I do not have a telephoto lens and I couldn’t be bothered to trek half a mile across the outback to get a picture.
Agdz 07/03 – 08/03/2015
Another day another change of plan. Well in this case two in one day. This gaff looked gorgeous in the camping book. In reality it is a bit of a run-down, fly-ridden stinky sort of place. Scenically a bit of a looker, but underneath a tad unpleasant. So we will be moving on again tomorrow, hence the blogging tonight. Where we will be tomorrow we do not know. I will leave you with some pics of Agdz.
Love to all