Aoreora, Bou Jerif, Bouizakarne, Morocco Week 88 22nd - 28th December 2012
Land Rovers seem to be the vehicle of choice. Though no new ones.
Our lone Brazilian Belgian cyclist was first seen pushing his bike through soft sand and mud below the cliff, swatting mosquitoes then catching his bike before it fell over.

The body language suggested he was not enjoying life.

We helped him bring the bike up the cliff, fed him some water and orange juice, filled his water bottles and off he went - on the way to Cape Town. 

Joined by Swiss and German we began to celebrate Christmas a bit early.
Heaps of space.
Headed south.

The locals in the landrover had stopped once to say hello.

They stopped the other side of the water. Looked like they were just making sure we were ok.

Scratching a living has new meaning for us.

The "plough" barely scratches the surface. The crop is patchy.

Some sort of crane we think.

We disturbed a large flock which circled like a shoal of fish.

Aoreora is on the south side of a dry river.
A bit sandy.
Had to wait a bit while the camel herders moved their water pipe off the track.
Aoreora is the site of a derelict French Foreign Legion fort.

And a few fishing huts.

Rather bizarre.

We listened to some opera standard English language Christmas songs from a Spanish or Portuguese FM radio station.

Freak reception, it disappeared after a couple of hours, never to be heard again.

The fort is partly filled with sand.
And bullet holes (or insect nests).

Just like in the movies.

Definitely arid.
Looking north from Aoreora along Plage Blanche.

Silica, not lime. Golden, not white sand.

One of two Italians who drove along the beach.

Heavy going getting through the soft sand to the firmer river bed.

All sorts of sea birds on the edge of the water.
Keen to move as I got too close.
Even time for some flowers.

Old snail shells were everywhere.

Our campsite for a couple of nights.
On the way out the wind was blowing quite strongly.

This vehicle emerged from the haze.

We decided on the main road to head north again to Bou Jerif.

Windblown, sand streaming across in front of us.

Fort Bou Jerif hotel and camp site has become a bit overpriced. Apparently a change of owner. European prices. Our English friends had already moved on.

We celebrated Christmas Eve with three Germans. The only other occupants.

They provided the Spanish beer. We provided the Stollen - they saw the funny side.

Fort Bou Jerif is another Foreign Legion fort.

Some of the mud bricks.

Much bigger than Aoreora and sort of L shaped.
Then the phone rang.

Daughter Jennifer.

In some ways it feels like what a Roman fort may have been.

But of course the materials and archways are quite different.

There's also what look like stables as well as barracks.

A bit elaborate for a fort we thought.

We've struggled to find much of the history. Morocco was under French control for only 44 years up to 1956.

That's been time for the forts to have been built, used, then abandoned and fallen into ruin.

Something seems to have happened in 1937 but we aren't sure what.

And so to Bouizakarne.

We are the only occupants of the campsite. Looks like an ex-army ordnance depot. We can recommend it - the shower is hot (unlike Bou Jerif).

Eating mince pies, courtesy of Ian and Janice.


To be followed by Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce.

We were embarassed to only have Scottish shortbread, crystallised fruit, some dates and chocolate.

Most important though, lovely to speak English to English people with an English sense of humour.

Finally managed to recover the missing photos.

A tedious task but got there.

And of course caught up a month's blog.

The Moroccans seem to have carried on the French approach of having visitors provide all their details for the police.

Bouizikarne is a small place. Much more manageable than Guelmim further south west.

This is the town hall. Next to the fire station where we weren't allowed photos.

Nothing obviously set up for tourists. Just shops for day to day Moroccan needs.

Amtoudi, Morocco (day one) Week 88 28th December 2012

Lorraine Sat, 29 Dec 12 17:51:56 +1100
Julian and Ali - you are having such a great adventure - I read your blog constantly but this is the first time I have been able to comment. Such memories you are building and I am so glad you managed to recover your lost photos.

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