Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Painted rocks .... why????

Tuesday 5th February

Still at Tafraoute, we're not planning to leave until Thursday so that will be 9 nights in one spot, a record for this trip!
Tafraoute's painted rocks

Originally painted by a Belgian artist in 1984

We've been going out on foot and in the motorhome and we've really enjoyed this area.  It's especially appealing at the moment as all the almond trees are now in full bloom, different varieties, some white, some pink and different densities of flowers.

Napolean's Hat
We had a ride on Sunday to the painted rocks, a tourist attraction that you used only to be able to get to by 4 by 4 or on foot or bike. However, we had intelligence from the motorhomers who rescued Nigel and his flat tyres that the road had been improved and the piste was now suitable for motorhomes. So we went and were to be honest slightly underwhelmed.  Can't really understand the point but anyway, we saw them and also saw the strange rock outcrop which locals call Napolean's hat.

We stopped in town on the way back to get new inner tubes for Nigel's bike, however the bike shop was closed so we were forced to go across the road for a doughnut and coffee, would have been rude not to! 

Omar's chicken tagine
We walked back into town yesterday and got the replacement inner tubes and they were duly fitted in the afternoon. The dogs came with us for the walk. No doughnuts today! We had however booked a chicken tagine from the campsite proprietor and this arrived in all its bubbling and steaming splendour at 6.30. It was far to much for one night, so that's tomorrow night's tea taken care of too!
More almond trees!
En route to the gorge

Rather a windy road today!
Ait Mansour gorge

Today we went off to the Ait Mansour Gorge which is a huge 10k long palmerie. We snaked up and up single track roads, hairpin after hairpin, some of them very tight and steep. the majority of the slopes on the way up were arid and dry, just very occasional flocks of goats or sheep looking for a meagre meal. Suddenly we reached the top and the vista opened up into a flat topped landscape dotted with the most beautiful almond trees and occasional hamlets of pink walled homes with a mosque in the centre. Eventually we started to wind downwards again, steeply until we came into the gorge proper and  the palmerie where five or six other motorhomes were parked. Nigel set off on his bike and I took the dogs for a walk and was thrilled to see three eagles soaring above the gorge which was very beautiful and atmoshpheric. The photos just don't do it justice.



Sadly, I had just got back from my walk, had been back less than 10 minutes when I saw Nigel pushing his bike back.......yes.......more punctures of 2 of the new inner tubes. A "discombobulation" between inner tubes and tyres apparently as he found out as suspected that the valves had come away from the tubes, so that's his biking over for this holiday! :( 

On the way back we climbed up out of the gorge and then stopped at the side of the road before the descent into Tafraoute to wait for the sunset. 


Sunset from on high

The photographer capturing the moment



Huge herd of goats crossing the road
 and heading down the hillside

Today I have been to the souk again just for a look really and a few bits of fruit and vegetables. It was as always fascinating to see and I especially wondered what these local ladies found so appealing.....turned out to be second hand handbags!

Grabbing a bargain

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