Today was the final day of our three day walk and just like the previous two days, it was a day of stunning landscapes and geology. However, the end of this walk brought hot showers and a chance to wash my hair. Important things.
All up today, we did about 14km with a long break over lunch as Brahim was hoping for an afternoon breeze to pick up to make the afternoon walk a bit more bearable. A fair portion of the walk in the morning was through the gorge which was cool and shady. The afternoon walk though was going to be along the road and that is just a recipe for baking reflected heat.
We left the gite at Alemdoun and headed down towards the gorge that we would be walking through this morning. Some of the group were quick to describe it as the gorges from the Larapinta trail on steroids. It was stunning. I strongly recommend having a look at the map below and following our trail and flying over the landscape, it was quite a speccy walk.
Strangely though, I didn’t take as many photos as I thought I had today. One of the non-photographed highlights was seeing the “advertising” for local gites painted on the gorge walls! There were two plant highlights for me today, both common garden plants here in Australia but here they were in a mostly wild form in Morocco! Lavender & Alyssum
Mum and I had quite a good time picking up bits of fabric and trim in the gorge, that were washed through on the river and caught in the oleanders or under rocks. The mule crew and Brahim, thought this was quite a hoot, especially when we proceeded to wash one of the large pieces in the river before strapping it on the backpack.
Eventually though, we did come out of the gorge and then we were back walking through red earth country. Back to those curling geological formations and that reflected heat.
We passed through some small villages till we got to our lunch time destination, an old kasbah that had been mostly restored and served as a restaurant and accommodation offering. The view from the roof top here was quite something.
We said good bye to the mule team at lunch, they were going to push through to our gite to drop off our luggage and be off on their next adventure. As I mentioned above, we had a long lunch siesta here waiting for the weather to hopefully change. Not ones to rest for too long, Mum, Michelle & I headed out for a little explore of the area around the kasbah and the river below. This was a nice little jaunt and a chance to observe the river life.
As I mentioned earlier, the walk this afternoon was along the road, we started off on the red dirt road before eventually hitting the RP1502 which would lead us into to Bou Tharar. This was an interesting section of the walk as we had quite a change in the geology and landscape on the south western side of us. You can see it in those slabs in the photos below. Quite interesting! After seeing patches of quartz on the walk yesterday, today we hit the motherload. Large seams of it, some probably close to 15cm thick. I was thinking, how great it would be to lug a big slab of this home to use as a counter top!
We walked through the village of Bou Tharar which is also on the Assif el Oati river that we had been walking along all day but also joins the M’Goun river which we had walked alongside on the two previous days. We had to
Our accommodation tonight was Gite le Mont M’Goun, a very striking kasbah that had been very well restored. When you entered the long hallway at the front gate, you had no idea what to expect! It was such a lovely place to stay. It had lots of rocks on display from the local area as well as very interesting old wooden doors.
In addition to a hot a shower and a chance to wash my hair, the other task at hand was washing the fabric and trim that we had collected along the way! Once those jobs were all done, we had a lovely afternoon tea down in the garden with some very nice biscuits and nuts. Afterwards though, Mum and I and maybe Carol as well walked into town. I was in search of an ice-cream and Mum was after some rope to use as a washing line. She got her washing line rope. I did not get my ice-cream but I did get some lovely almond brittle.
I actually ended up sleeping outside on the roof terrace outside our room. Of course, I may have gone to sleep earlier if I had slept in my bed and not outside as I spent a very long time watching the stars!
And that was the end of our 3 day walk in the Southern Atlas mountains, as you can see form the combined map below, we could have walked for another day and ended back at our starting point at Ait Youl.
Tomorrow we drive again 😀