Blogs from Erfoud, Meknès-Tafilalet, Morocco, Africa

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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud June 8th 2015

Starting our day in Fes, we headed east for a bit to visit Ifrane and its university, then headed south. Ifrane is known as the Switzerland of Morocco. Situated in the sparsely populated middle Atlas region, it sits at an elevation of about 5500 feet and regularly gets snow in winter. It was the site of the lowest temperature ever recorded in Africa (-24oC, -11oF), and has a ski resort. Four our visit, it was just a pleasant high mountain town with plentiful conifers and few people about. The main purpose of our visit was for Robert (OCU President) and Steve (OCU Dean of Business) to meet with some of the administration of Al Akhawayn University. After this brief diversion, and a visit to the carved lion for good luck, we headed south across the mountains ... read more
Morocco 2015 0820 Buddy, Jennie Ifrane Morocco 052215
Morocco 2015 0830 Atlas Mountains Morocco 052215
Morocco 2015 0832 Atlas Mountains Morocco 052215

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud September 15th 2014

Today we started the long drive south with a visit to a ski resort. Yup, a ski resort in Morocco - I feel a little stupid for not knowing that such things exist but the Sahara does not usually share countries with ski resorts. Fortunately the sun was shining and the shops selling postcards of snow-covered mountains seemed a little incongruous. The whole town seemed to have been modelled after a European ski resort with Swiss-style chalets and gardens everywhere. Odd but quite nice to stop for tea (they sold actual tea, not just the usual coffee or hot mint-water with enough sugar to put anyone in a coma that is usually the only thing on offer), before heading on. Next stop was unscheduled and brought about by someone screeching that there were monkeys next to ... read more
Camels
Ready to start
Miserable weather for a camel ride

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud April 12th 2014

Once we were all set up we went to a local restaurant for an evening meal, which was brochettes, with mixed salad for starters. All of which was excellent. The next day we had a bit of a boring day. It started off nice with a small tour of the village and then a look at Benny, our guide’s, house. Inside was a real difference, to the outside which was just a simple mud hut look, but obviously made of concrete, but inside was a small garden of palm trees surrounded by a shaded walk way. Upstairs was a work in progress still as he is building some small rooms for tourists to stay. At the end of the tour we all sat down next to the garden and had tea with small cakes, dates and ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud September 8th 2013

Morocco 31 Aug to 8 Sept 2013 (Section 2) DAY 4 THROUGH THE ZIZ GORGES TO ERFOUD AND WESTERN SAHARA. We left the bustle of the city behind and headed for the spectacular High Atlas Mountains which are snow capped in the winter. We then passed through Ifrane before reaching the great cedar forests of Azrou. We also travel up through the magnificent Ziz Gorges, past palm fringed towns to Er Rachidia, built by the French at an important crossroads. When we arrived in Erfoud, we saw the red sand buildings contrast against the surrounding desert. We then were divided into groups of 4 and 5 and jumped into jeeps from our hotel and travelled 50 km to the sand dunes of the Sahara, which took us to a point where we witnessed the glorious sunset ... read more
Fes to Erfoud in Morocco (1)
Ifrane Morocco (1)
Fes to Erfoud in Morocco (2)

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud May 24th 2012

We decided to ride straight from Fes to the Sahara dunes because the map showed little of interest for a stopover, a fact reinforced by the shabby settlements we were to later pass en route. As Vince would say decidedly “one-horse”. We figured we could always duck out at Midelt or Er-Rachidia if we were just too fatigued. It would have been a long day’s ride on European roads with European standards of driving – the Morocco factor doubling the effort required. Unusually we decided to take heed from the folly of our previous departure at midday and determined to set off early to get as much riding as possible before the heat of the day started proper. Panniers packed from the night before and arising at 6 am had us under way before 7. It ... read more
Nothing for miles
Who needs Imodium when confronted with this?
At the start of the off road piste

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud October 30th 2011

The road you should take...... A journey to Morocco takes most people to the bigger cities of Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, and Marrakesh among others. This is all well and good, but there is so much more to this country than just the large cities. This statement is true of most countries of course, but the emphasis here is on the magical countryside of Morocco, where there is so much to take in with limited time. In our case, it really helps to have a wonderful guide who is very familiar with the entire country and it’s history. It is even more helpful as he also does the driving, freeing us up to take in all the beauty. The perfect plan….. Casablanca and Rabat are both on the Atlantic coast and rather close to one another. We ... read more
Flavors of Morocco
Donkey on duty
Construction worker

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud February 23rd 2011

I am going to devote this entry, even though I am not finished writing about our trip to Morocco, to the lovely people of Morocco who will not hesitate to ask for money - for nothing. So many people in this country think they deserve money for doing absolutely nothing. Nada. Not a damn thing. And I am not talking about beggars who are homeless and hungry. I'm talking about people who were better dressed than Enis and me. Or working as traffic police. Or at the airport in passport control or baggage screening. SOB's they are and they really pissed me off. Here are some of the experiences we had with people trying to extort money from us, although Enis was the real object of their interest. I don't know what the hell previous Turkish ... read more
Big Mosque in Agadir
Baksheesh Man
Lovely Work

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud May 13th 2010

Saharan Adventure Most of the next day was spent on the bus, in various stages of sleeping or reading. We had a rest stop at a very nice hotel where they offered us tea and pastries, and we found out we would have lunch there on the way back from the desert! img=http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-sjc1/hs504.snc3/26469_1319006178622_1334790173_30957525_7174626_n.jpg img=http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs484.snc3/26469_1319006258624_1334790173_30957526_560232_n.jpg img=http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs484.ash1/26469_1319006338626_1334790173_30957527_5310723_n.jpg img=http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs484.ash1/26469_1319006378627_1334790173_30957528_7503192_n.jpgMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Lunch wasn’t until four PM, but we didn’t exactly exert a lot of... read more

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud February 13th 2010

SAHARA Day 23 I arrived in Rissani at 7am and was picked up by the land rover to drive me out to the hostel in the desert. The sun was rising and it was beautiful to see it through the palm trees. I arrived at the hostel, Les Hommes Bleus, and it was really amazing. It was exactly how I had pictured Morocco. My room was huge with its own sofa. The whole building was made out of clay and hay. They made me some breakfast, which was something between a pancake and a naan. It tasted like a pancake but it looked like and had the texture of a naan. It came with honey and jam and was really good. I also had some freshly squeezed orange juice. After breakfast I went for a ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Erfoud February 13th 2010

SAHARA Day 24 Since I wasn’t able to leave the desert until the night train again I had to fill my day with walking around Rissani. First I went to a Touareg, one of the four types of desert people, camp to see some of the creative works from the area. The Touareg people are also referred to as blue men because they would paint themselves with indigo to keep mosquitoes away from them. This group is night travelers; when the sun goes down they travel to a new place using the stars. The Berber nomads on the other hand just constantly travel to find new sources of water. After spending some time there I went on to visit a mosque. In each mosque there is a tower that announces prayers five times a day. ... read more
mosque 008
mosque 009




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