A Trip Into the Desert

First apologies to all I have put the last few posts under the “Home” button rather than the Portugal to the Caribbean header. Hopefully this will be back in the right place – all part of the learning process. Apologies also for scaring Ray and Gill in stating we would pick them up in Gran Canaria when I meant Teneriffe.

Sim and I hired a car yesterday Wednesday 25th September  and set off to Taroudant about 80km off into the desert. It is a walled town of around 6000 people with wide streets except in the old souk where there are only tiny alleywaysImage

 

This is the little car we hired outside the city walls.

Our first stop was a corner cafe for a coffee and here we asked directions to the local Berber market which is held on Wednesdays and it was at an adjoining table we met Hassan Mohammed who used to work for the local tourist office and volunteered to be our guide around the city. He was a great asset and took us to places we would never have found.

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Hassan is the one on the right!!

He took us through tiny alleys into the heart of the town past specialist areas of wood carvers, tin smiths, a maize and corn market, here you could buy anything from cooking pots to secondhand bikes, refurbished 30 year old TV’s, car parts – you name it it was there, I even saw a kitchen sink. This is where the nomad tribes come to trade their handmade carpets, spices and animals for the things they can’t make or get in the desert. The noise and bustle is fantastic.

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More spices for sale, I could photograph the goods but not the stallholder.

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This is the wood working and carving area of the market where they make doors, furniture, wall panels etc.

Hassan was known by everyone, himself a Berber who was born in a village nearby, he stopped and greeted many people on our journey around the town and around 1 o’clock took us to a restaurant where we all ate brochettes and chips and freshly pressed orange juice for the grand sum of 120 dirham which is about £10.00 . 

Hassan suggested taking us to one of the hill forts in a village called Tiout some 30 kilometres further east into the desert. We went up a very rough unmade road to the fort from where we had a panoramic view across the surrounding countryside.

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Here is the village of Tiout with the oasis behind.

Back down in the village Hassan introduced us to a guy who organised donkeys to take us through the oasis.

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This next photo shows the 400 year old fort from the Oasis.

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At around 3.30 we set off back to Agadir via Taroudant to drop off Hassan and cross his palm with silver for his splendid tour of his countryside – a real gentleman and a pleasure to meet.

Tomorrow at around noon we will be leaving Agadir and heading off to the Canary Islands, we have really enjoyed our 3 week stay here and learned a lot about the culture, religion and lives of the people. The highlight of our brief stay has been the people we have met, always polite, interested in us and our venture and the epitome of kindness and generosity. It must be something in the simpler life that engenders a greater interest and compassion for their fellow man. 

If all goes to plan we will cross from here to Isla Grasiosa to the north of Lanzarote arriving in 2 days time.

2 thoughts on “A Trip Into the Desert

  1. Thanks for a really interesting update. You are obviously seeing some fantastic sights and your blog is helping us share them with you. Sim is looking well considering his recent stomach upset – not much weight loss? We look forward to your next update when Nancy and Kate are with you.
    Cheers
    John

    • That’ll be Tenerife wi’ wan ‘f’ then. See that enjoyin’ yersel? Gonnae no dae that? Coz there’s folks back here tryin’ tae be miserable wi’ huvvin tae go tae wurk an’ pay bills an’ stuff.
      Onywayz, ah huv goat wan ay they Celtic taps ye kin huv that ah’ ll send oan, seen as yon blue yin duz nuhhin fur ye. Guid tae see yir havin’ fun.
      Safe jurney an’ that, ken. Ah pure luv the Canaries, Man.

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