Friday, July 22, 2011

From Marrakesh south to the border

For me Marrakesh symbolised Morocco. It is rich, lush and prosperous, with more local than foreign tourists. The people were open, casual and friendly.

Fortified village in a lush valley south of the Atlas.
Town on a hill near Sidi Ifni
From here we took another pass over the High Atlas, and descended down a pleasant valley into the desert once more. Here we found the modern equivalent of the Roman Latifundi: enormous farms under irrigation. Orange orchards that ran for kilometers, vast areas with bananas under plastic, and enormous vegetable farms could be seen from the road.

We staged in Agadir, where I had to attend to some car problems at a pleasant camp site complete with swimming pool. And then we started our long trek south, some 1500 kilometers to the Mauritanian border.

Boujdor was only a waypoint on Saint Exupery's flights. Today a monumental
 entrance leads to a big town with major fish canning factories. 
The further south we went the more desolate was the terrain, and the more frequent the police check points. As we proceeded, we saw enormous housing projects in what used to be tiny desert towns. Massive fishing developments exploit the rich sea potential, and the towns have vast welcoming arches, broad boulevards complete with lamp posts, new palm trees and even benches to accommodate boulevardiers.

It was clear to us that Morocco will never let go of this piece of desert. They have too much at stake, too much face to lose.

Our last camp in Morocco: Pat's surf camp. Managing the sun
becomes important, the panel provided more power than the
Cruiser's alternator 

The long, long road south

No comments:

Post a Comment