No, winter conditions as we know them do not occur in Morocco and that is precisely why we and many more Europeans prefer the relatively warm winter of Morocco to the cold, wet and harsh winter in Europe.
On January 1 we start our new year with the introduction of a German couple who have almost finished their tour through Morocco. They tell stories about the cold in the desert nights and the beautiful landscapes. They are on their way home again, we are all going to experience that.
We sleep one more night on the coast…
and then go inland, on the way to Marrakesh where we will meet Willem and Jacqueline and their sons.
After camping in the wild for the night we are ready for some luxury, a real shower and a possibility to discharge our dirty water and waste. We stop in Ounagha, a great campsite in a typical roadside village.
We visit the women’s collective Mogadir that makes argan oil products and Sonja takes part in the production …
On the way to Marrakesh we suddenly see all kinds of trees along the road that goats climb in to nibble the leaves off. A very special sight, we have not seen this anywhere else.
Marrakesh is a beautiful city and in this season still fairly quiet with tourists, so we can spend the afternoon to see some of the highlights of the city. The images speak for themselves…
We have parked our Milady behind the big mosque, there is a parking place where we can be guarded.
In the evening we agreed with Jacqueline, Willem, Bram, Jules and Herman to have diner together, very cozy and we have a nice view over the city from the roof terrace.
We leave early the next morning, Jacqueline mentioned that they would visit a beautiful waterfall, unfortunately they did not succeed in their tight schedule, but we want to go to Ouzoud today.
There is a campsite in the town, the Zebra Camping with excellent sanitary facilities and nice flat places, we enjoy.
The waterfall is indeed spectacular, despite the limited amount of water that flows in this season.
The surroundings of Ouzoud are also beautiful, extensive olive, almond and argan orchards, beautiful flowers and adventurous paths through the rolling landscape surrounded by mountains of the High Atlas.
From Ouzoud we have plotted a beautiful route through the High Atlas, a few steep climbs and furthermore beautiful mountain landscapes and snowy peaks.
Demnate and Imnifri
Our first stop is Imnifri, Sonja is not feeling well and all those winding mountain roads are not exactly beneficial. We find a quiet spot at Riad Aghbalou d’Imnifri, we can park our car behind the gate. We are welcomed with tea in the beautiful garden and I eat a tagine together with a couple from New Caledonia who is staying in the riad, Sonja sleeps a lot to let her belly relax again.
In the morning we walk to the natural bridge of Imnifri, you can pass it all the way underneath, only that we do not do today given Sonja’s condition.
Demnate is a busy crossroads town with small shops and stalls. The most striking is the main street that is decorated with “beautiful” street lanterns.
The drive through the High Atlas is beautiful with splendid views and in the evening a lonely camping spot on an almost dry reservoir.
After a quiet night at the reservoir, we drive to the highest peak of the Atlas, the Jebel Toubkal. We can drive up to a height of around 2,000 meters, then we have a beautiful view of the snowy summit (4,167 m).
The further climb is another 2-day trip, we will let that pass.
In Lonely Planet Morocco, Sonja reads about the Tinmal Mosque, located on the Tizi n’Test pass (2,092 m), we drive to it and are shown around by Yousef (to whom Sonja donates her vest …). The mosque is certainly worth the stop-over, the origins lie in the 12th century when the great mosque of Seville was built. There was a thriving trading town here at the time, with nothing left. The mosque is no longer in use, it is much too large for the small village that surrounds it.
Slowly the landscape changes and more cacti appear.
But the road remains challenging with steep climbs and sharp hairpin bends.
On the way, refueling is easy, even in the smallest towns you can find gas stations. And the price is very affordable (10 Dhs = € 0.9).
And everywhere you come across small shops where you can buy bread, water and in this case honey. The tea is on the house of Hassan ;-).
We drive through Paradise Valley and visit the Cascades de Immouzzer which must be impressive in the rainy season, now some water is dripping down and the pools are clear but shallow.
We drive through the mountains until we reach the ocean again at the surfing beach of Taghazout.
We drive through Agadir and do some shopping at the Marjane supermarket. Then we find a beautiful unpaved coastal road that leads us along the cliffs and beaches of the ocean, a beautiful ride where we see several beautiful camping spots. We choose a spot on the edge of the cliff at Sidi R’bat where we spend a few days enjoying the sun, the beach, the view, collecting and eating mussels, fishermen who come by and just the peace and quiet.