Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Tamnougalt, 2 weeks with Michael.

Flag Morocco Dried Chilis

Saturday, March 23 2005

8 month, 1 day

Tamnougalt, Morocco

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Land Rover 21.392km

Trekking 243km

Ferry 621km

Train 150km

Other cars 4.633km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > africa > morocco > 20050323-tamnougalt

Desert route across the mountains to Agouim

Map: Journey South of the Atlas.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Children: "One Dirham, Un stylo, One bon-bon"
Children: "One Dirham, Un stylo, One bon-bon".

Children, these individuals we happen to have the most intensive contact with. Sometimes demanding, not letting us go and continue our journey before giving something, anything, a sweet = a bon-bon, a ballpoint, a little notebook. But how can we deliver, be just to all of them.

A truck-load of ballpoints (stylos) would not last a week. Sometimes when the number of children becomes too big (more then 50, clinging at the vehicle, blocking the road) I try to explain, how many stylos (pens) I would have to carry travelling Morocco for weeks or month visiting a couple of villages every day with more then 50 children in any of them. They nod in disbelieve, somehow understand and let me go, sometimes.

Road from Aboulouz to Agouim

After Marrakech we go to Essaouira on the coast and further down to Agadir. A standard tourist drive. On 19th of March after stocking up in Agadir with food and beer supplies we go east.

Via Taroudant, a laid-back but busy place which I want to come back for we head north-east. We don't take the Tizi-n-Test route but the piste some 50km further east which goes north to Agouim just after Aboulouz.

A rough mountain track takes us higher and higher most of the day to an altitude of 2.250m. Following a valley with a stream that forms the source of live for the Berber population living here, furnishes enough water throughout the year to allow basic agriculture. Spring is just about to arrive to this mountain region.The higher we climb the chillier temperatures get.

Driving piste
Driving piste (dirt road).
higher we go
Higher and higher, south of J. Toubkal.
Land Rover road to Agouim, snow covered High Atlas peaks in the back
Road to Agouim. Toubkal in back!?
Piste just before Agouim, altidude above 2.000m
Altitude is above 2000m.
Children blocking the road and demanding bon-bons
Road blocks.
same children
... but ...

me talking to children on road just beforee Aguime
happy to pose for a picture.

Not sure about the mountain in the back. It is definitely not J. Toubkal (which is a few kilometres further to the left of the picture) but belongs to the same mountain range.

After 108km and 8 and a half hours we settle in Agouime for the night, Mike in a hotel, I in the Land Rover.

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Road from Telouet to Ouarzazate

Next day we make our way to Telouet, a bastion of the Glaoui rule in the High Atlas. This place was inhabited until 50 years ago with up to 1.000 slaves serving the pasha.

The Glaoui are infamously identified, amongst other things for helping the French's colonial ambitions. As a monument to treason not much care is taken to date to preserve an astonishing building complex that forms a central part of Moroccan history of the region.

Telouet Kasbah
Kasbah de Telouet, storks (cigognes).
inside the Kasbah, Mike
the road and valley
The road, a real challenge ...
To get down there was the hard bit
... especially the decent into the valley.
Spring in the oasis valley
It is spring, it blossoms.
young girl carrying her brother on road Talouet to Ait-Benhaddou
My favorit face.
Village and cactus

From Telouet we go south following the oasis valley.

The road is steep and narrow, winding up and down for hours. This keeps my adrenalin levels high and at some stage I feel pretty exhausted - not just from the heat.

Ait-Benhaddou
Ait-Benhaddou.
Back on the tourist trail, the girl is leading the pack over the river at Ait-Benhaddou
She is leading the pack.

Ait Benhaddou

We join the main (sealed) road and the tour busses just before Ait-Benhaddou. Ait-Benhaddou is a marvel and one of Morocco's' main tourist attractions.

The town featured in various Hollywood productions and was actually rebuilt and modified by film directors to more adequately conform to what their image of a desert town is.

Tourists don't care. Nor did we and it is beautiful indeed. But read this, a résumé outlining what the typical (Africa) traveler/tourist wants to see, perceives and is being delivered.

We stay in Ouarzazate some 30km south of Ait-Benhaddou for the night. Ouarzazate is the regional centre and the place to stock up with beer.

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Desert Crossing Foum-Zguid to Zagora

On 22nd of March we leave Ouarzazate go south-east to Agdz then east to Tazenakht and further south to Foum-Zgui. Just before Foum-Zguide, already in the afternoon, we leave the tarred roads behind us and for 120km of desert piste to Zagora. Some where in the middle we camp for the night.

Mike showing off
Mike and his bike.
Mike riding his bike
Our final days of touring together.
waving the Austrian flag
I am Austrian. Getting the flag out for the first time.
Visibility detiriorates: Sand and the desert and Mike on his bike
Dust gets flying in the evening.
Getting clean after a dirty and dusty day driving desert roads
Wash of the dirt of the day.
Cooking food, it is usually pasta
Cook food.
Camplife, i.e. getting drunk
Get drunk.

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Draa Valley

Land Rover in Draa Valley near Tamnougalt
Draa Valley below.

We reach Zagora in the Draa valley late in the afternoon the next day.

The Draa, one of several big streams in Morocco, drains the Anti Atlas mountains and flows south for some 200km to dissipate in the Sahara. The beauty lies in the contrast between the blue sky, sunbaked molded desert mountains and the lush green of the palm groves in between.

A system of irrigation channels makes sure no drop of the precious water is being wasted. All housing (kasbahs and ksour) is confined to the desert wasteland at the edges of the irrigationable land.

The kasbahs and ksour are built of mud and earth. Colours reflect the colours of the surrounding ground. These structures don't hold forever and decay effortlessly back into the ground once their time of use is over

Palm Trees Draa Valley
Draa valley in all its magnificence.
Girls with henna tatooed hands carrying palm leafs
Henna hands carrying plm leafs.

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Tamnougalt

Kasbah near Tamnougalt
Another Kasbah.
Kasbah and door near Tamnougalt
Noone at home.

Kasbah near Tamnougalt
They last a max of a hundred years.

At the top of the Draa valley near Agdz is Tamnougalt. It is marked as an attraction in the guidebook. It has two hotels but not many visitors. It's kasbah and ksar is easier to be visited and reached then elsewhere. Locals are used to tourists.

But the Draa valley has many places like this. Just that in other places it would be more intrusive to walk in.

Rashid shows me round the Tamnougalt Kasbah
Rashid shows me round ...
Rashid and Tamnougalt Kasbah
... the Tamnougalt Kasbah..
girl and boiy and chicken
Last day of a chicken. The girl has a knife.
she has a knife. for the chicken?
Sharp enough to kill the chicken? Doubt it.

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