|Old town alleys of Marrakech|
|The streets of Marrakech|
|Another town scene, market day in Jorf|
|The wetter flanks of the Atlas|
|Climbing Tizi N'Tichka Pass|
Deep twisting gorges, the Dades and the Todra, coming out from the Atlas Mountains. As we rode inside them, I felt infused with the orange light that bounces off their walls. A line of palm trees, some patchwork strips of irrigated fields and occasionally the glint of a stream, give testament to the fact that this mighty passageway is indeed a watercourse. Along the sides of the gorge, and where it opens to more comfortable widths, villages are built from the earth on which they stand, now orange, now ochre, now brown houses clustered above their small green plots.
|In the Dades Gorge|
|The Todra Gorge|
|Villages in the Ounila Valley, Atlas Mountains|
|The upper Dades Gorge|
|With one of the nomadic Berber|
|Our track through the Atlas, between the Dades and Todra Gorges|
In the huge orange dunes on the edge of the Sahara. The locals call them Erg Chebbi. They change in shape constantly, but are always there. Small groups of desert nomads still eek out a living amongst them, raising camels and goats. But with the Algerian border cutting through their traditional roaming grounds only 30km from here, it is now much harder. More of the nomads have now settled in villages on the edge of the desert, and many have found a way to continue in their beloved Sahara by working as tourist guides and hosts at the desert camps. A truly wonderful sea of sand, be it a little tracked out by tourist 4WD, camel and foot traffic.
We've also had some wonderful meetings with some special people. With Youssef at his mountain auberge (hostel) where we were welcomed more like friends than paying guests; we were told to use it like our own home, and we shared our meals together: tomato pasta with Berber omelette; porridge with bread and home grown olives.
|Youssef and Ollie|
With Barek and his nephews under the striking (Mount) Djebel Rheriss, where we spent the evening learning a new game with coloured pebbles, sitting around the fire, drinking mint tea and then sleeping in their tent made of camel and goat hair. African dream!
|Anna, Abdul Ali, Barek, Hammad and Ollie|
With Lessin and Muhammed one cold morning in N'Kob, where they invited us into the carpenter's shed by the local shop and we shared lots of the sweet mint tea, hot fresh bread and the Christmas truffles I'd just made.
|Anna, Muhammed and Lessin. Muhammed was serious about his tea making, and was determined that the photo would show him pouring the tea he'd been preparing for us!|