Ouarzazate

Trip Start Aug 28, 2013
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5
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Trip End Sep 16, 2013


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Flag of Morocco  ,
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

(War-zaz-zat). Can we start with a holy crap? We drove ourselves over the Tichka on highway M9 from Marrakech to Ouarzazate - Which is considered among top driving roads in the world According to National Geographic. N9 road, Tizi n Tichka between Marrakech and Ouarzazate through the Atlas Mounatins that offers amazing scenery with several twists and turns through the mountains. Small Berber quant towns add a unique feel to the area. It is worth it to drive slower and take in the view -and save our marriage. The road is a bit bumpy in spots but for the most part its quite good. Everyone that we talked to was freaking out that we were going to drive it. We heard that it was scary, dangerous, and super shadey. Then we looked it up on the Internet. By way of pictures it looked newly paved, 2 lanes and pretty normal for a mountain road. So, in Brian and Marisha style, we went for it. Although definitely a mountain road in a foreign country... It's wasn't THAT bad. No guard rails made it a bit nerve racking in parts, and passing busses etc.... But no where near as bad as some of the roads we have been on in a bus in other countries. I guess in a bus it would look worse, being so high up and all. That goal again, get off it BEFORE dark. What it was....was freakin long. Holy cow. We were in steep, winding mountain roads for over three hours. Plus regular roads before that. We saw some really great scenery, and were glad we did it in a car and not a bus. In a bus we can see where it could get scary being perched that far above the edge...looking down at cliffs...
Ouarzazate Is located on the edge of the high atlas mountains covered by stony desert broken by green oases and steep canyons. Beautiful. It also boarders the Sahara desert with 300 foot high dunes covering the edge of the country and spreading into Algeria. Life here centers on the great "wadis" (rivers) which have created landscapes of canyons and gorges and oases date palm groves.
We decided while planning this trip that we would break from the normal tourist trails and get a little deeper into local life and desolate scenery. Through a friend we were introduced to Peter, a Hollander living and traveling in Morocco for the past 30 years. He has been a resident for 10, married a Moroccan girl and runs trekking, off-roading and motorcycle tours through Morocco's back country. 7 days total (5 in the rough) we would trek through the Draa valley, up,over and through the High Atlas, Anti-Atlas, the stony desert, and the Sahara. We really had no clue what we would be seeing. Peter told us: "We have a simple plan, but I will tailor it for you with what we do and see by how you are feeling at the time. We can change it up day by day or hour by hour." Free flowing....just like us.
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Comments

Cochia Anna on

"...we would break from the normal tourist trails and get a little deeper into local life and desolate scenery" Since when do you two ever think about being "normal tourist " that just isn't in you and we are all greatful for the vicarious adventure you offer us all! Love ya Cochia Anna

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