Valleys of the Shadows

(friday) Surfacing with my first sore head of the holiday we drove South thru the unfortunate driving rain along the Dada Valley. Once the sun broke through we were in Palm lined valleys. Lunch at Timboutou cafe and then onwards to the Sahara, well there were a few sand dunes, not enough to cause a sand storm anyway. She camels were sleeping due to the lack of tourists so we decided against waking them to preserve our postures at least! After looking at a few deserted and quite spooky hotels, we took rooms in another deserted hotel but at least one that was quite nice. After the sunset and the dogs stopped barking – there was a completely peaceful night lit only by the nearly full moon. I drifted to sleep with the sound of berber drums and singing in the background.
Being the only tourists in town has its advantages sometimes.

(saturday) back thru Ouarzazate for an uneventful lunch where a cheese sandwich turned out to be “la vache qui rit” on bread, and then we headed east to the Dades Gorge. This road was not quite on a par with the Phnom Pehn to Thai Border road last November (actually it doesnt come close to being as bad) but still the car was hitting a lot of pot holes as we travelled the 27k thru the gorge which was amazing. Red and yellow rock formations on either side and then a river and olive, walnut, date and orange tress growing at the base of the valley. Our accomodation was a very cheap auberge with no heating and only a generator to power the electricity. After cous cous/poulet next to a (smoky) log fire and the locals playing berber drums and singing I was cold but content. However I would probably say I have never been so cold in bed before, not even in Reading. 4 thick sheets, clothes and a hat and still freezing. Still it was worth the cold to wake up in a gorgeous valley with a little river flowing past my window

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