Four wheel drive adventure in the Sahara Desert, Mauritania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Chinguetti, Mauritania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to Morocco on January 31st.

Monday, January 16, 2023

We were sure he was going to tip over!

We headed over to the big city of Meknes (population 650,000), but there really wasn't anything we wanted to see there so we took a route that avoided much of the city to get to the southern outskirts where there is a big modern shopping center with a big Marjane superstore.

Got there just before 11am on Sunday morning, and it was pretty quiet. Tons of space in the huge parking lot.

Marjane is a grocery store chain here in Morocco, but they have several outlets that are superstores, with appliances, TV's, clothing... everything. So we went and looked at induction hotplates, and they had a couple of models. But they're fairly big, and not cheap. They also had several models of the older style of electric hotplate, and we thought to ourselves that we really don't need anything fancy. So we bought a single burner unit for 155 dirhams ($20 CAD, $16 USD). 

Then we did some grocery shopping. They have a decent gluten free section, so we stocked up on bread.

Then we walked about one km to get to a BMCI bank. Our Canadian bank is Scotiabank and they have agreements with many banks around the world for zero ATM fees. We find ourselves going through a lot more cash here in Morocco because we are paying camping fees which we're not used to doing, and they are all in cash. 

This is the entrance to a technology school.

We had some lunch, then hit the road southeast towards the town of Azrou. 

This one section had a row of butcher shops, with meat hanging. They were also cooking, and some of them were really busy with customers. We think maybe this is a Sunday thing. Another Sunday thing is washing your car! There are a lot of self serve car washes around.

No idea what that says!

Notice the speed limit signs above. The Moroccan police are very speed limit conscious! We often see them out with radar guns, and we are very careful not to go over the limit. They also hang out at traffic circles stopping various vehicles for whatever reason, but so far they haven't been interested in us.

Mosque with a stork nest on top.
There are a lot of storks in this area!

We were stuck behind this guy for a while.

He was way overloaded and going way to fast. We weren't really "stuck" behind him, because we wouldn't have gone much faster had he not been there. Several times, we were sure he was going to tip over going around a corner. At one point, Ruth even took a video thinking it was going to happen. But somehow he made it.

They have sure picked a lot of rocks out of these fields!

He is still going!

Beautiful view arriving at Azrou.

Scenery along the way.

Notice the mountains. In January and February they have a ski area near here. We are at 1,525 meters (5,000 feet) altitude here, and it's going to be chilly at night.

We drove by this huge palace.

Turns out that it's a commercial hotel and campground.

It looks a bit ostentatious, no? And probably out of our price range. But I looked it up, and the camping there is only a couple of dollars a night more than the place we were headed to.

We arrived at Camping Amazigh. That word has no correlation to the English word "amazing", though. Amazigh is a Berber word describing the Moroccan Berber race of people.

But it's a nice little spot where you camp in between the trees of a cheery orchard. Unfortunately, we would have to return in May of we wanted to take advantage of the cherries!

82 dirhams per night ($10.85 CAD, $8.10 USD) per night with electric, WiFi, and hot showers included.

A stork nest near where we are parked.

We're going to stay two nights, so I'll get a photo of Max here at the campground sometime today.

As expected, it was chilly overnight. This morning when we woke up it is about -3C (27F). But we are nice and toasty with our electric heater! Forecast high today is only 13C (55F) but with blue skies and sunshine.

But, we are here for a reason... to see the monkeys that live in the the old growth cedar forest. There are a lot of hiking trails, so we are setting off this morning for a 10 km (6 mile) hike.

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And in Canada...

3 comments:

  1. Hi, I’ve been following you for a while, and thought I’d make contact as we’re both in Morocco. Our route has been different to yours, so it’s been useful picking up tips, and I thought you might find the same,

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for the blog. Looks like we have some reading to do to catch up. Hopefully our paths will cross at some point. Neither Kevin nor I got to when you first crossed into Morocco so don't know how long you have been here?

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