day 148 to 154 Erg Chebbi to Todra Gorge, Morocco

 

day 154 - Todra Gorge

day 154 - Todra dog

day 154 - Todra Squirrel

 

day 154 - The Tuareg, Tina and Jay at the Todra Gorge

The Giant 'Mole Hills'
day 153 – The Giant ‘Mole Hills’

day 152 - campfire in the desert with the Lobsters & Europe by Camper

day 152 - She loves me yeh yeh yeh!

day 152 - Me flying

day 152 - Jay flying

day 152 - ready to fly

day 151 - We meet Adam, Sophie, Chris & Catherine

day 149 - The well known sport of Dune Polybag Riding

day 149 - Camel Train

day 149 - Loli, Tina and I watching the Sahara Sunset

day 149 - Tina & I 'Dune with a view'

day 149 - View from the top

day 149 - Jay & Ju joined us in the Sahara

day 148 – Shadows on our way back at Sunset

 

day 148 - Lunch in the Oasis

 

 

day 148 – Post Snow/sandboarding down the Dune

 

day 148 My camel

day 148 - Tina's camel

day 148 - We're going on a camel ride!

day 154 – Todra Gorge, Morocco

Sunday 5th February 2012.  We headed up the road to experience the gorge today courtesy of Dave as he is the shorter and narrower of the terrible two motorhomes although as it turned out there is plenty of room on the road up to the gorge.

We drove up the gorge until it started to begin to look a bit narrow and parked up next to a ‘touristic’ minibus near what seemed to be the centre of the village.  As it happens we could have driven further we know this because we were passed by full size coaches as we walked up the road but it was nice to have a walk.

The narrow part of the gorge was awesome with towering walls on either side of the river and the perfect wind funnel too so a great opportunity to don my Tuareg scarf.  

As we walked along we noticed people with ropes around them and as we turned the corner where the gorge walls started to open out again there were a number of climbers scaling the gorge walls. The gorge has been cut out by the river at some stage but it was now nothing more than a trickle and had obviously seen better days.

We ambled back towards Dave and found a nice terraced restaurant for lunch which was a fab omelet and chips.  We bought some groceries on our way back to dave who was safe and sound when we got back.

We decided to large it up and go out for a meal so we wrapped up warm and wandered up the road to find the nearest welcoming restaurant.  We found a  tiny and cold restaurant with a warm welcome.  The food was fabulous and really good value for money as most of Morocco is. [Camping Morocco, page 128, TINERHIR, Hotel-Camping Le Soleil, 45800 Tinerhir, Maroc, www.hotelcampinglesoleil.com from www.vicariousbooks.co.uk].

day 153 – Merzouga (Erg Chebbi) to Todra Gorge, Morocco

4th February 2012. We left our haven of tranquillity after seven fabulous days today heading in the direction of the ‘Todra Gorge’ for the next leg of our journey.  We had planned to travel in convoy but to use Jay’s description after he picked up a couple of French hitchhikers he forgot about us and drove off.  The drive over to the campsite at Todra Gorge was fabulous.  We passed some really interesting rock formations which were like giant mole hills over an underground river.  When we arrived at the campsite Jay and Ju were settled in and we had a great spot.  We ate in Dave and planned to ‘ride’ the Todra Gorge the next day. [Camping Morocco, page 128, TINERHIR, Hotel-Camping Le Soleil, 45800 Tinerhir, Maroc, www.hotelcampinglesoleil.com from www.vicariousbooks.co.uk].

day 152 – Merzouga (Erg Chebbi), Morocco

3rd February 2012. Another beautiful day in the Sahara even though Chris Evans who we can listen to was telling us all about the snow in the UK and how 4 inches had fallen in the Sahara.  Well it wasn’t the bit we were in!

We did have a bit of wind which meant Jay and I could have a go at flying my power kite.  It was our last day at the Kasbah so the ‘Europe’s’ and ‘Lobsters’ came over again and we had a few cheeky beers.  Bari our ‘host’ popped to see us and organised a camp fire for us in the desert.  As we sat round the fire Hassan who owns the hotel next door popped over to see us with his friend.  The Moroccans seem to have an amazing skill to grasp languages he could speak English, Berber, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Spanish and bit of Japanese and has never been to school.  I was really interested in how you could not go to school and end up owning a hotel in Morocco but I never got to find out! [Hotel Kasbah Tombouctou, N13 just before Merzouga, N37.137250, W4.727864]

day 151 – Merzouga (Erg Chebbi), Morocco

2nd February 2012.  We all decided to take advantage of the wonderful hotel facilities so it was Hammam day.  We had the Hammam to ourselves, it was hot and an experience having a layer of skin rubbed off you but I did feel clean afterwards.  Jay, Ju and I walked into the village with Loli and Charlie to pick up more supplies.  As we walked around we saw a sign for a campsite and suddenly realised that Adam & Sophie of the blog ‘Europe by Camper’ and Catherine & Chris of the blog ‘The World is our Lobster’ were staying close by so we popped in for a visit and a cheeky mint tea.  

In the evening the ‘Europe’s’ and the ‘Lobsters’ walked over to our hotel for a drink and a chat.  It was really good to catch up with them and exchange stories. [Hotel Kasbah Tombouctou, N13 just before Merzouga, N37.137250, W4.727864]

day 150 – Merzouga (Erg Chebbi), Morocco

1st February 2012.  Jay & Ju arrived this morning so we had tea and a catch up.  We then walked up dune for the sunset. [Hotel Kasbah Tombouctou, N13 just before Merzouga, N37.137250, W4.727864]

day 149 – Merzouga (Erg Chebbi), Morocco

31st January 2012.  Chillin day today with such a great view we read and relaxed.  We needed a few supplies so ‘Brommie’ came to the rescue and I rode to the nearest village for supplies.  Other than main roads there are no tarmac roads near Erg Chebbi a 4X4 is a really useful thing so it made for a really exciting ride on the brommies little wheels with 6 bottles of water on the rack.  [Hotel Kasbah Tombouctou, N13 just before Merzouga, N37.137250, W4.727864]

day 148 – Merzouga (Erg Chebbi), Morocco

30th January 2012.  Today we went on our long awaited camel ride.  You can’t go all the way to the Sahara without riding a camel.  We decided to do the ‘day tour’ which meant a trip to an oasis for lunch and then catching the sunset on the way back.  The weather was perfect our camel guide Ali was really nice and we arrived at our oasis to meet another Ali who welcomed us with a fabulous ‘Berber Whiskey’.  The oasis appeared to be literally in the middle of the desert although we were fascinated by the number of people wandering across our path with their shopping.  Behind the oasis was a massive dune and leaning against a tree there were snowboards and ski’s which were just inviting me to have a go.  WE had heard that people skied in the desert but had never seen it.  As I hadn’t brought my ski boots on the camel I grabbed the snowboard and started the long walk to the top of the dune.  I had probably got two thirds of the way up before I realised that the best way to climb a dune is not straight up but to zig zag side to side.  The view from the top was amazing you could clearly see Algeria across the ravine.  The ride down was huge fun see video Snowboarding in the Sahara

We had a typical lunch of tagine watched by about 10 cats who were Ali’s pets and who looked very well fed and then chilled on beds outside. 

We climbed back on our trusty camel steeds for the ride back and it was then I noticed how uncomfortable it is to ride a camel for a few hours.  However we took a slow walk back and caught the sunset on the way back.

Lots of Japanese tourists used the hotel and they were treated to food, live music and a campfire.  Thing was most of the tourists were old and they didn’t want to sit outside round a fire in the cold so Tina and I grabbed a chair and we had the whole fire to ourselves until Bari and his friend cam along for a campfire chat.  We learnt that Hilary Clinton and Chelsea had stayed at the hotel and been on the camel ride while Bill stayed at home smoking cigars with Monika l or that’s what the Moroccans believed.  [Hotel Kasbah Tombouctou, N13 just before Merzouga, N37.137250, W4.727864]

 

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