Having arrived in total darkness we really had no idea of our surroundings when we woke up. But not to worry, it was just as wildly dramatic as we could have hoped for. Our simple room in an adobe gite with a mattress on the floor had provided us with a perfect nights sleep and we awoke to the blissful sound of nothing. Which was pretty amazing considering when we did venture outside it was pretty apparent that Brahim had been up since first light cleaning the Land Cruiser inside and out until it was completely spotless, less than six feet away from the door of our room.
After the jarring noise of living in a city, for me the height of luxury is to wake up to silence, so things were already off to a good start in my book.
We had a leisurely breakfast and then set off to walk to a nearby waterfall. It was only about a mile away but in true D & C style we took a very long time to get there because we had to stop and look at every plant, rock, bug, bird and frog along the way.
And there were a lot of frogs because of the recent rains. We spent a lot of time photographing the different life stages from eggs
to a whole palette of different adult frogs
I got so engrossed in my frog spotting
that I left Dominick and Said to go the last part of the journey to the fall without me.
By the time they returned I had discovered some very cool bugs and was driving myself quietly crazy trying to catch a decent photo of one.
Between the two of us we can turn a simple stroll into a day long expedition
and in fact we had taken so long on our walk that Brahim had got worried and driven out to find us - oops!
We drove back to the gite, picked up our stuff and headed out.
The road was a little rough in places where it had been washed by the heavy rains and at one point we drove around a bend and there were two very young children in the road, one with a pick and one with a hoe, scraping rather half-heartedly at the road. Apparently this is a local trick used to get money from passing motorists for 'mending' the road. Brahim gave them some coins and we drove on. Later we met two other groups of children doing the same thing but with no tools. They didn't get any money as we were all unanimous in thinking that their 'show' just wasn't as convincing without the props!
The road was very bumpy and twisty and now with the (dis)advantage of day light we could see just how steeply the road fell away at the side too!
Brahim was definitely the hero of the hour for driving us safely through!
The track eventually opened out onto a high desert of predominantly black rock that gave us endless views of emptiness in every direction.
We eventually joined back onto the tarmac road which had huge rocky outcrops jutting out one after another along the road beside us.
We stopped for lunch in a little mining town called Nkob
where we had lunch in a local cafe with a very strange cat that kept falling asleep half way through climbing onto my lap. He soon woke up though when I gave him a little scrap from my lamb tangine! Then we continued on through a seemingly endless expanse of stunningly dramatic scenery.
We eventually arrived in Zagora in the late afternoon and checked into the Riad Lamine which means 'place of peace.' After having spent the last two days driving through wild, windswept, bare, rocky country. We found ourselves in a glorious palm filled oasis resonating with the chirps and croaks of numerous frogs and crickets.
Each room was a separate little structure, this is ours.
and the dining room was quite magnificent
After another wonderful day we settled happily into our room for a good nights sleep, for tomorrow we finally head out into the Sahara.
Photo Credits - CJT & Dominick V
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