Never camp in a dry riverbed in case it suddenly springs to life. That was the advice we were given by Brahim, one of our friends in Morocco nearly a year ago. Last night we saw his words in action. Thankfully we weren’t tenting in a riverbed but on the banks of a stream. We’d been listening to the steady drips of water on our roof for a few hours when a roaring sound sent us scrambling for our shoes and out into the wet evening to see what was happening. The little water channel, which had been totally empty just a few hours earlier, was now full to bursting.
By morning only a few puddles remained but the events of the night before left a real impression in our mind of just how quickly a river can appear out of nowhere. Our stream went from hardly a drop to several feet of water in thirty seconds. Early in our trip we favoured dry riverbeds because they were flat and often surrounded by high banks to hide us from roads and houses. Looking back it was a silly place to put our tent and we were lucky not to encounter much wet weather.
Our day was rather boring by comparision with mother nature’s show the night before. The heavy traffic continued as we ticked off kilometers. We tried but failed to find an alternative minor road and so once again we could only concentrate on getting past the ugly parts. By the end of the day we finally reached some quieter roads and the ruins of the ancient city of Bishapur. A temple, mosque and large hall have all been excavated here but a little imagination is required when you’re looking at the ruins since the French archaeologists who first explored the site took most of the treasures back to the Louvre in Paris.
A narrow road through a gorge led to some interesting rock reliefs and we made our camp for the night beside a river, although several meters back from the water and under completely clear skies so there shouldn’t be any surprise floods through our tent.