Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Agadir, a place to chill out.

Flag Morocco

Saturday, April 09 2005

8 month, 18 days

Agadir, 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 22.339km

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 > 20050409-agadir

Down the Draa Valley

Map: Journey the souther desert.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Valley de Draa
Draa Valley, lush green.

On 23rd of March Michael and I go separate ways. He has to use his remaining time in Morocco wisely, make his way north to catch his ferry to make it in time back to Switzerland. New assignments in a new job are waiting to be tackled.

I for myself want to take it a bit easier from now on. I start by hanging around in the area of Tamnougalt and Agdz for another day before making it south the Draa valley once again. I shower and eat in the Auberge Chez Jacob, an old Kasbah, rejuvenated and built into a hotel. It is basically empty. just one French couple.

Later I speak to Lahcen the waiter. I invite him for a beer and he brings along a half empty bottle of Pastis. Sitting on the top terrace of Chez Jacob. He tells me about his family.

His father, berber from the mountain region, lost his eye in a mine explosion. Still had 2 wives and 9 children. 4 died. But still 5 left so not that bad. He wrote to the king to ask him what to do. And the king gave him a taxi, which is now being driven by one of Lahcen's brothers. Another brother, a sculptor married a Japanese artist who happened to be on vacation in Tamnougalt. Crazy story, but the kind of stuff that you want to hear when starring at the stars on the top of a terrace in the Draa Valley.

Going South it is again the children that make advances slow and interaction necessary and great fun.

Kids in the Draa Valley
Not always easy to say what their gestures mean.
make quick advances impossible
Maybe, "Don't take my picture!" Sorry then.

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Mohamed Ali and 50 dromedaries

50 dromedaries
50 camels or dromedaries ...
blocking my road
... block the road.
Mohamed Ali, he owns them
Mohamed Ali.
Mohamed Ali
Good picture opp.
2 dromedaries and guardian

The light is good, and there they are. 50 dromedaries Mohamed Ali and another guy are taking care of them. He explained where they where heading to. A place in the mountains. But I could not determine where exactly or why they were going there.

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Zagora

I arrive here on 25th late, very tired. The piste through the Draa valley which I have chosen as opposed to the road has taken its toll.

I am spending two evenings here mainly with Ali, but also Brahim, Youssef and Mohamed. With Ali now being my main contac in Zagora I will return whenever possible. Zagora is a kind of a centre in the South. Check the internet, check your vehicle and eat some great Tagine Kefta (Tagine with minced meat in a thick, spicy tomato sauce, topped with an egg) on the terrace of the Hotel/Restaurant des Amis. The place looks run down but the food is very good. I sleep in the Land Rover anyway.

Ali works in the shop next door to Des Amis. He cannot read or write. He enjoys my company and gives me insights into how things are working between tourists and locals and what is changing in Morocco. The changement of society away from tradition is going to be the prevailing subject whoever I talk to and not because I am raising it but because people are either proud of the change or reflect on the slowness of it.

The 26th, though the terrace is empty as everyone is inside watching the football, Morocco/Ghana. This nation and probably all Africa is mad about football.

On the 26th I have the Land Rover checked in the garage Chez Ben Karoum Mohamed, which is apparently famous here in the South with 4x4 enthusiasts.

2 brothers
I don't understand yet much about Land Rovers?
Selim, very helpful
It is good to talk stuff through.
Selim in garage
Selim, very helpful.
Selims brother
his brother.
their father
their father-

It is good to have the confidence back before taking the vehicle to the desert.

Checked the wheel bearings, all the oils, discussed leaks, and greased whatever needed greasing. Sometimes talking stuff through is all it takes.

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M'hamid and new English friends

Stuart preparing dinner
Stuart
Mark preparing dinner
Mark, many cooks.

On Saturday 26th amidst the hottest mid-day heat I leave Zagora heading south to M'hamid. While travelling the 100 or so kilometres I am being overtaken by 2 Discoverys and a Defender, all English number plates.

It is Bill (Discovery) leading the other two Mark and Kate (Discovery) and Stuart and Jannette (Defender). They are travelling through Morocco for a month and a half, while updating their story regularly on the internet. Their page is way more up to date then mine.

They invite me to join in for dinner and then it is an evening talking about driving the desert and gear and gear and GPS and driving the desert.

Not knowing which one of the pictures was taken first I believe to remember there was some funny discussion about preparing the sauce properly. Despite the fact that many cooks tried their luck we enjoyed an excellent spaghetti dinner.

Bill has travelled Morocco and parts of Africa extensively. He was very kind in supplying me with some way point information with regard to the next day's route. Furthermore we would drive the morning together and Bill would show me the direction to Foum-Zguid

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Desert crossing M'hamid to Foum-Zguid

Series1: One that did not make it.
Bill: "Series 1: One that did not make it."
Bill greeting a local
Greeting a man from the oasis.
Land Rovers in the desert
Land Rovers in the desert
Bill's Discovery in the Sand
Bill never deflates his tires.

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On my own through the desert.

Leaving Bill and the others I make my way west following the way points that Bill was so kind to supply me with. But desert driving is not all that difficult as long as no sand storms deteriorate your view, and road conditions not too. The heat is what exhausts the most. Keep drinking and allow as many rests as it takes to you and your vehicle! 6 litres of water down, but still, keep drinking!

A tree in the desert
The donkeys have to leave their shady spot ...
Donkeys, the desert and a tree
... under the sole tree in the universe.
Children, very friendly, all with impeccable white teeth
Children, very friendly, all with impeccable white teeth
Desert girl in traditional clothes
Desert girl in traditional clothes.

Dessert girl with tennis skirt and shirt and shoes
Notice the difference in clothes.

Children once again. But very quite, full of shame. Nothing demanding in their behaviour.

A water bottle I give them is handed over from one boy to the other boy (boys first of course) but then over to the girls, who have problems drinking out of a bottle (as girls usually have).

When they talk to each other they talk in a very low, gentle, whispering voice. Showing their respect they give an indication about the decency of their upbringing. And all have impeccably white teeth.

Night camp in the desert, the pictures may go without many explanations (Evening, night, morning). The two who joined me after dinner suddenly appeared. "Guardia Maghreb?!" they introduced themselves. Mohamed (the one with the walkie talkie) and Ibrahim stayed with me for the rest of the evening.

They could laugh about the Bob Dylan that was on, especially his voice (which sounds Arabic at times). Some vache-qui-rit was left and I made them some tea. They had little intention to try the red wine I offered them. Each by himself would have loved it I guess.

Late they leave, making their way back to wherever they have come from. They promised to visit again next time I pass through here and camp here again which I intend to do.

Evening, setting up camp
Evening, setting up camp.
Land Rover against setting sun (sunset) and myself in Morocan flat desert, ms
Sun sets.
Guardia Maghreb, friends in a desert night
Guardia Maghreb, friends in a desert night.
Morning coffee
Morning coffee.

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Road from Tata to Igherm

I reach Foum-Zguid on the 29th of March. In Rachid's little welding shop I have the water-tank welded. It has fallen victim to the rattling and shaking on bad roads of the past couple of days, just broke at the edge. Bad manufacturing. The way Rashid welded it it probably needs rewelding at some stage. For now its is sealed and I can continue my journey.

After finishing the job Rachid has a great idea. "In Tourism you and I could do great business with the Land Rover". I explained him that the way he just tried to rip me off with the welding job I have no interest in doing business with him.

I reach Tata 160km to the west later that day, a nice laid-back town off the main tourist route. Worth coming back for I think. Checking the internet. The result of the day is that Heidrun may join in again, at her speed though.

Stay in Tata or continue the journey, I decide for the latter. I need to find a place to stay a bit longer. I have taken a great many pictures over the past couple of weeks which need processing (digital) and evaluating. On the web-page I am still in London. It is trailing too far behind.

I decide to make it to the coast, to Agadir, a big city with the facilities needed.

On the 30th I leave Tata drive north. Dramatic sceneries accompany me all day. Desert mountains and oasis valleys change. It is days like these that rank 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. The scenery is stunning, breathtaking. This is the desert made by god's own hands.

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Road Tata to Ingherm
Road Tata to Ingherm.
Road Tata to Ingherm
Posing ..
Road Tata to Ingherm
Suddenly an Oasis in the valley.
Road Tata to Ingherm. End of day.
End of day another steep climb before down to Ingherm.

I reach Ingherm in the North the same day. The next day I cannot take anymore scenery especially as the Tata to Ingherm route has yielded everything imaginable even topping the M'hamid to Foum-Zguid and Draa Valley scenery. I would have to come back for the rest.

So I leave Tafraout and the mountains surrounding it for later and drive to Tiznit near the coast. Tafraout, Tiznit and the whole of the Souss region needs a lot more examining. I will be back. Making my way north after Tiznit to Agadir I cross Tifnit beach a small fishing village with a beach.

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Tifnit beach, the first time

Tifnit, hippy beach says the guide book, so I give it a try. And I find "Hippies", or at least people who try to live the vagabond's life. There is Floh and Anna, Stefan, Anshelm and Florish (all German) and Roman and Jasmin (two Austrians). Why not fly the old Austrian flag and chill out a few days.

Land Rover and Ausrian flag
Tifnit in the back.
Roman the Austrian from Villach
Roman is Austrian.
Florian (Floh)
Flo, a new friend.
Anshelm's VW-bus, Florish and Jasmin and Roman
Anshelm's VW-bus, Florish and Jasmin and Roman.

Finanlly on 4th of April I reach Agadir, work on the web-page and spend time in the city's cafes and bars and restaurants.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > africa > morocco > 20050409-agadir

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