Friday, 15 February 2013

On the trail of the rare Bald Ibis.....


Monday 11th February

We ended up staying at Tafraoute until Friday so that was a 10 night stay! It was such a nice spot it was hard to tear ourselves away. Also, the mood swings of the proprietor, Omar were highly entertaining, one minute he was ranting and raving at motorhome owners who didn't want the pitch he suggested, the next he was coming round handing out biscuits, as nice as pie. Carry on like that and you'll have a stroke or a heart attack before you're 40, Omar!

Friday morning we got away quite early for us, 9.30ish, and headed off in the direction of Agadir along the R105.

As usual, Tom Tom was wildly inaccurate in the time it anticipated the journey to take. The scenery was spectacular, the road never more than one and a half vehicles wide, often just one with staggering drops into the valley below. Thankfully it wasn't very busy.

Traffic Jam


We stopped for lunch just above this kasbah, middle of nowhere, extremely remote but as per usual, within a couple of minutes a Berber guy appeared and went to eat his lunch under a nearby argan tree.


Tioulit Kasbah

Later on we had a couple of hold ups caused by sheep and goats on the road, the goatherd's solution is to throw rocks at them to get them to move!

Eventually as we approached Agadir the traffic became increasingly heavy, we weren't too comfortable at this point!


Another Traffic Jam!


A large shopping spree in Marjane followed including a small quantity of alcohol and then we carried on to a wild camping spot that we had been told about in Taghazoute, arriving just before dark, where we spent just one night. The dogs just loved being able to run on the beach again.

Next spot was Imsouane where we were hoping to see some Ibis but they weren't co-operating. It was a lovely spot but access was challenging. Again we were held up by goats on the little bridge we had to turn round on. We thought we could hear distant birds of prey at one point...how wrong we were, turned out to be this lot!
She had 10 puppies!


We had an enjoyable stroll around Imsouane point, hoping to see some bald Ibis but not succeeding.


Imsouane Point

After our one night stay there, we drove back up to the main road and headed for our next destination, Sidi Kaouki. This is where Nigel stayed for a week while I was in the UK over New Year. It is indeed a very nice campsite, we're staying for a few nights before heading to Essaouira which is only 40k further north. Nigel decided we would eat tonight at the local restaurant where others who were here with him had recommended Vietnamese Crispy rolls. 


It really is a restaurant! Bizarre looking place!
He had eaten here with them but the night he joined them was the Vietnamese chef's day off so he was looking forward to trying them and I was looking forward to not having to cook and wash up! So after our dog walk on the beach we both had a shower and wandered along to the restaurant, climbed up to the terrace overlooking the beach, thinking this is suspiciously quiet. Then someone came and told us it was closed for refurbishment!

So very disappointed we wandered back to the motorhome where Nigel made us an omelette and I got to wash up..........again!

It seems you can buy a lot of produce direct from this site, a man came round with little sweet pastries last night and said “I'll be back in the morning with fish.” Indeed he was, we said “No thank you,” then he offered something else which I didn't understand and he then proceeded to open a sack and pull out an octopus!
Another emphatic “No” was issued, much to his amusement.

The wind picked up considerably after our first night here, we've had a few days of being sandblasted and rocked about, still warm but not too pleasant but still, can't complain!

On the beach one day we met a very nice dog, Belle went running up to her like a long lost friend and Nigel said they had befriended her when they were here at New Year. Dash who can be a bit feisty, even tolerated her joining in our walk. She came right back to our pitch with us so we gave her some food and she curled up and stayed with us till we went inside. I named her Layla, don't know why, it just seemed to suit her. You can see why people do attempt to take dogs back with them illegally. She has a lovely nature, looked well cared for and well fed. It is obvious that many bitches have had a litter (or many) of pups but Layla must be quite young as she showed no signs of having had pups.


Layla, lovely Moroccan dog we had to leave behind!
Sitting outside reading yesterday, I was suddenly aware of movement at my feet, a tortoise came strolling along munching little yellow flowers in its path. Another smaller one came on our pitch thismorning, how on earth they don't get driven over I can't imagine!

Layla was on the sleeping bag curled up,
she got up when I reached for my camera...boo!

Layla slept on our doormat last night, she had gone by the morning but came back to visit us again in the afternoon. Thankfully overnight the wind dropped and the day we had decided to leave (Valentine's day!) dawned calm and still. Just as we were preparing to depart, Nigel spotted a flock of Ibis overhead so we watched them and saw where they were heading and left the campsite in the direction they had flown in and we could see them perched on some roofs about 500 metres away. We assumed they would be the common glossy ones but no, when we got close we realised we had come across a flock of 20 or so of the very rare bald ibis. They are really ugly but we were so pleased to have seen them.


Endangered Bald Ibis


Not the prettiest of birds by any means
except to another Bald Ibis

We set off then for Essaouira, only an hour or so's drive away where we were planning to meet up with a couple of barge owners who Nigel has “met” on the DBA forum, and who are seeking some winter sun. The campsite was full so we wild camped in a car park by the beach and arranged by text to meet Cathy and Nigel at 6.30 in the town. Meeting up was straightforward and we all hit it off well and had a lovely meal at a restaurant they had already eaten in. The only downside was the live music was so loud, having a conversation was difficult! We invited Cathy and Nigel to the boat in the summer and they seem keen to join us.


Freshly squeezed orange juice???

Today we moved on to a spot on the coast further north and had a lovely time on the beach with the dogs in the afternoon, Dash spent the whole time running in and out of the surf and digging for stones and Belle chased a tennis ball for hours. Two tired pooches!

Two weeks today and we'll be back in Europe!




Around Essaouira harbour




10 comments:

Jan Gale said...

Another Fab Blog,,,,,,,,,,,so interesting xx
Jan x

Margaret L Crompton said...

Thanks, Jan x

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Layla is well.Love reading your blog x

Margaret L Crompton said...

Hello Anonymous.....are you Annette?

Julie said...

What an experience! It will seem really flat when you are back home-are you already planning your next trip? X

Jean Green said...

Hi Margaret,
Have been following some of your blogs. Ed and I were in Marrakech from the 1st to the 7th Feb with some friends and spent a day at Essaouira. I think we have some of the same photo shots. We had a lovely lunch there at a restaurant in a courtyard but I can't remember the name of it. enjoy the rest of your trip - what a mammoth one it's been!! love Jean x

Margaret L Crompton said...

Just imagine if we'd met by chance in Djemaa el-fna or Essaouira! What did you think of Marrakech? I absolutely loved it! (after the initial shock!!)

Jean Green said...

The souks were an eye opener - not to mention sharing the roads with bikes, motorbikes, donkies and mad drivers!! Thankfully we weren't driving ourselves! Just about got used to the hot days by the pool contrasting to the coat and scarf evenings!! And of course tagines coming out of our ears!! Enjoyed our short holiday though and came away with Argane and Arnica oils. luv Jean x

Chris & Mandy Lefevre said...

Hi, really enjoying your blog and still green with envy sitting here in the UK. We are off to Germany next week and will be there for about 4 weeks so hoping the weather will be kind to us. Safe travel.
Lv Chris and Mandy

Margaret L Crompton said...

Thanks, Mandy and Chris. Just arrived today in Moulay Bouselham, staying for a few days before catching the ferry from Tanger Med, probably on 1st March. Have fun in Germany, hope to see you again in the summer on the boat x