67km Zagora – Tamezmoute
It’s always hard to leave good friends behind and we were very reluctant to carry on after such a good time in Zagora. Over the past 10 days we enjoyed a return visit to the grand dunes of Chegaga, an afternoon in Ali’s garden and best of all just sitting with our friend Brahim in front of his shop on the main street of Zagora and “watching television”, voyeurs peeking in on the world passing by in front of us.
We were also treated to so many wonderful meals which we are sure will have us drooling in our dreams for weeks.
A big thank you to Brahim, his brother Mohammed, cousin Mohammed, Hamzou the shopkeeper and all the guides who worked with us. You made our stay one that we will remember for a very long time.
After stopping at Zagora’s souk for vegetables and olives we rode steadily up the palm-tree lined Draa Valley. It was not as difficult as we’d expected, with very gentle climbs, and we were surprised how much progress we made despite a late start. At this time of year the valley is very lush and the Draa river flows quickly, its muddy waters made colourful by dozens of women in each village doing their laundry on the river banks. Just outside the town of Tamezmoute we stopped at an auberge to ask if we could camp, a place recommended by Brahim for its great view over the valley.
Language was a problem as no one seemed to speak anything other than Arabic, despite plenty of French and English on their sign. After a few minutes a woman arrived who spoke French and through her we asked the price – 100dh, more than the cost of a basic hotel room! We said no and offered 30dh, which was immediately accepted.
We were glad to have a tranquil place to pitch the tent (wild camping is a bit difficult in the Draa Valley with people around every corner) but even the new price seemed a bit high when we discovered that all the water was shut off in the bathrooms: no shower, no toilet, no sink. We did manage to wrangle some water out of the family’s private kitchen but certainly won’t be in a rush to spend a second night here!