But despite the long drive it was a wonderful leg of our trip. The scenery changed frequently....from desert to plain barren, then suddenly we rounded a corner and a beautiful lake came into view. We would travel via the towns of Midelt, Afrou, Ifrane , Sefrou over part of the high and mid Atlas Mountains then through to Fez.
Ziz Gorge and Atlas Mountains
Date Palm Groves nest in the Ziz Valley....green oases in the red brown of the landscape.
Driving over the Tizi-n-Talremt Pass we descended to a valley through Cedar and Cork Oak Forest with grassed areas spotted with Berber tents and their goats, sheep, horses grazing nearby, and for the first time lots of dogs….big dogs. Noticeable because we had not seen dogs elsewhere in Morocco.
Ifrane National Park and Barbary Apes
From Ifrane to Fez the houses were generally more European in style.
Fez - Finding Our B&B
Eventually we had to stop as the traffic was a nightmare. We had arrived at 6.00 pm so probably peak hour traffic.We hadn’t managed to contact our hostess on her number in the morning……even our hosts tried two different phones to no avail. So we were concerned.
Again we were staying right in the Medina so we knew we had to park outside. The girl we had communication with by email said there was a specific place to park for guests. But how to get there was our issue!
I thanked him but said “We don,t pay” and he replied “ There are good people and bad people and we are good people.” He said they were helping us with no payment. So off we went following the two brothers on their motorbike. Even they struggled to find a way through the traffic, and there were some turns they could make but we in a car couldn’t. I could see the brother on the back talking on his mobile phone as we manoeuvred our way through the total shamozzle of traffic going in every direction…..and no one willing to give up any ground. The pushiest got through.
Eventually we pulled in behind them at a petrol station where a friend was waiting. Their father works in tourism and they had rung him and he sent this guy Rahid, a qualified tourist guide,who it turned out knew the family who owned the Kasbah we were staying at well. It was arranged he would come with us and the brothers left with a wave. They will never know how grateful we were and would love to have had an address to send them some rugby paraphernalia.
In the car Rahid rang our accommodation Dar El Ouedghiri , and after a couple of attempts managed to get through. Had he not rung for us I doubt we would have got there as Khadija’s phone was definitely not working. Khadija the daughter, seems to do most of the contact as her mother doesn,t speak English. She is 21 and in her 4th year of Medical school. Her father died a few years ago apparently and she and her mother found the house quiet, so now do the B &B.
She met us at the carpark and we wheeled our luggage through the Medina alleys to the house, really relieved to have found our way.
The house is beautiful having been recently renovated....... like many ......several stories high so lots of steps. We had dinner up on the terrace which overlooks the whole city. It was very cool.....almost cold after yesterday’s temperature of 47oC!
We were so looking forward to a good nights sleep!