Friday, 18 September 2015

Morocco: Ouarzazate and the gorges, Dades and Todra

Ouarzazate is a well known town to us now as it was our third visit. The last one was the unfortunate time when our Micky ended up in hospital there. Although she's been fine for several months now and we had a lovely stay there before that, I still think of Ourzazate as the place of her hospitalisation.

This time we stayed near a little town close to Ouarzazate, mainly because it had a pool.

Relaxing by the pool

What Ouarzazate is really well known for is a film studio. Some famous movies that required desert and other African settings were shot there as Morocco offers the safety that lots of other African countries don't.

An afternoon walk in Ouarzazate

On the way to the gorges Dades and Tondra

We spotted this lake on our way out of Ourzazate and were surprised to learn it was natural. An unusual sight in a dry and barren landscape.

Into Dades Gorge

Very much focused on the unusual clouds we didn't pay much attention to what was going on around us until a driver of one of the cars going past us drew out attention and signalled us to turn around.

And here is why: a flash flood, fast and out of nowhere a huge amount of water swept through the village that was very close to the start of our next route. We were on the way there when this happened. Again, we struck very unusual weather in Morocco, as this, apparently, happens once in forty years. 

We spent a night in this village in an auberge hoping to carry on the next day. 
Sunset seen from the auberge

The following morning

Damages in a village a few kilometres up the river

To get to the track that joins the two gorges, Dades and Todra, we were supposed to cross this river. It was our second attempt to do this particular track and once again weather prevented us from accomplishing our goal. I guess we'll do it next time...

Back on the road now to Todra Gorge through which we were going to head North towards the Blue City and then Tangier. 

No water here the day before


Approaching Todra Gorge

Just before the gorge

And that's all we could see as the road ahead of us got closed due to the rainfall the night before. Very disappointed we turned around again and made our way up North.

12 - 16 August 2015

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