Mhamid to Taouz, Morocco   (Part Two) Week 92 17th - 18th January 2013
Day three we headed east.

With no radio and no mobile phone we have time to contemplate - and thanks to people for support.

I write the blog lest I forget, but I'm also pleased others find it interesting. I tend to avoid hyperbole but some of the sights we've seen and the people we've met are quite amazing to us.

We expected some dunes along the way.

Not sure how many.

Just a couple of hundred meters this time.

There's an auberge on the other side.

And some stones laid to help the track about 100m to our left (saw it too late)!

We've occasionally wondered if some of the tracks are made by people having fun rather than getting from A to B.

Basically headed north east.

Still parallel to the Algerian border (a few km away on the right, closed to us).

As well as the occasional auberge and oasis there's the odd tent.
An auberge.
The old watercourse and lake. Left a few islands.

We wonder at the forces that moulded this land.

Another Tafraoute.

A center for fossil (trilobite and other) collection.

Near Hasi Fougani.

The maps have different names for the same places.

The two buckets to the left of the well are full of water.
A few km east of Tafraoute. The track is on the north side of the valley. We drove towards the south side to camp.

Hit a patch of soft sand.

4wd didn't get us out.

Time to let the tyres down a bit more and use the spade.

Yes, we have a compressor to re-inflate them.

Nothing serious.

Just a gentle reminder that we aren't invincible.

Also how dry we became after a little exertion. Its difficult to keep a good fluid balance with low humidity, hot days, and cold nights.

The north side of the valley.
These are the size of a 10 cent coin.

The very sharp thorns stick into the soles of our shoes. Sometimes through them.

Then stick into fingers trying to remove them.

Just us and the goats.

Not a herder in sight.

We watched the sun go down (again).
We have interminable discussions about colours.

To me this is dark blue and pink.

To Ali its black and apricot.

And the camera never lies!

But we can at least agree the colours and patterns are fascinating.

Looks like they had to dig a few holes before they found something worthwhile.

There's a handful of small mines around.

Heading more east now than north.
We are west of Ramlia.

There's a point on Olaf's Map that says "bad dunes".

We think they are only a "little bit bad". A bit like the road in China that was a "little difficult". People drive there.

There's at least 3km of them. From the point on the map to Ramlia.

2nd gear, 4wd, just follow the tracks.

There's an auberge at Ramlia and a small village.

Barbed wire either side of the road in from the west, among the palms.

Much drier on the eastern side.

We are leaving the Oued Daoura and heading east up the Oued Ziz.

North west of Taouz (another day away) the Oued Ziz is a documented site of pre-Islamic settlement, back to the neolithic.

Its a mirage in the distance as we cross hard clay.

We hope!

Erg Ouzina.

Hopefully we'll see more of it tomorrow.

We turned off the main track to camp in a narrow valley. Old vehicle and camel tracks.

Within a half hour the only vehicle  we've seen all day came past (a touring landcruiser).

Followed by a herderless herd of goats a half hour after that.

So the intrepid duo climbed up the nearest hill.

Erg Ouzina in the distance.

And three buildings (probably auberge) jspread out past where the road disappears.

Truck at lower right.

The other end of our short (about 500m) valley.

Looking over Oued Ziz.

To the west.
And after a fruitless search for anything geological other than rocks we return to a cleverly camouflaged truck!

The pile of stones in front is someone's old campfire. There's a few more at the other end of the valley.

Another quick hike to the top of the ridge to watch the sunset on Erg Ouzina.

We wonder at the mix of erosion and wind that collects the sand in some places but not others.

And sometimes slowly enough for vegetation to catch.

And the differences in colour of the sand.

And ...

Mhamid to Taouz, Morocco   (Part Three) Week 93 19th - 20th January 2013

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