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Demnate to Ouarzazate. crossing the High Atlas.

Flag Morocco

Saturday, May 28 2005

10 month, 6 days

Ouarzazate, 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 24.186km

Trekking 305km

Ferry 621km

Train 150km

Other cars 4.633km

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"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 > 20050528-ouarzazate

After H.

Map: Journey High Atlas, Demnate to Ouarzazate.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Ihri, these very nice and happy children
What a welcome.

How can you be sad when this lot engages you? I leave Marrakech on May 22nd 10 month into the trip. Going east, passing Ait-Ourir I follow the route to Tizzi-n'Tichka. Half way up the Tizzi-n I leave the main road, turn left to go further east.

Ihri is where I spend my night. Lahcen, the guardian of a truck for road building, invites me in his tent for an omelet and tea. In return I prepare b/fast and morning coffee.

Village of Ihri
Village of Ihri.
Lahcen

Lahcen.

My face in the mirror
My face in the mirror. South of Demnate

Next day I follow the piste further east. I reach Demnate early afternoon where I turn south towards the higher summits of the High-Atlas. I cross Tizzi-n'Outfi later in the day. 2,175m - nothing spectacular yet.

Local rider in front of spring
A road side spring makes everyone stop.
ms and road side spring
There is even a cup.

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Valley of the Oued Tessaout

In the early evening hours I reach the Valley of the Oued Tessaout. I leave the tarred road and follow the piste that leads up the valley to the east. Nothing is marked on my Michelin map. A new piste, only built fairly recently, I am being told.

The valley, it's more a gorge than a valley, is by far the most spectacular thing I have seen in Morocco. It looks, feels untouched, preserved for 100s of years only to be revealed at this very moment. Slowly my narrow path winds its way east. Soon night falls. I need to find a spot to stay soon. The sun has set already when I reach the crossing of just another valley that leads a to the north.

I park the Land Rover right in the bed of the stream. An old man, Mohamed I ask for permission to stay. It feels good when the locals know that I am here and who I am. After all it is their cultivatable land. Knowing about the beauty and calmness that surrounds me I sleep well. To late for sunrise but still early I get up and walk parts of the valley to the north.

Camp morning
My camp in the morning.
ms morning in front of rock face
Rock face lit by morning sun.
Mohamed gave permission to stay
Mohamed gave permission to stay.
fertile land
In the valley, fertile land.
ms and LR morning

I continue my journey late this morning. The scenery stays fantastic. It actually gets better through out the whole day. Villages I pass Ishbagen ??, Imi Mikes ??, I am not sure about the spelling and Amezri.

Land Rover and goats and a stream
Fertile, there is lots of water.
Land Rover and Valley and field
Harvesting is still a bit away.
What a valley that opens up here
One spectacular valley after another that opens up.
Imi Mikes ?? is the name of the village. Altitude 2.150m
Imi Mikes ?? is the name of the village. Altitude 2.150m.

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M'Goun in the distance and the Tizzi-n'Oulaoum

Amezri is where the route turns south. The M'Goun, further to the east, more then 4.000m, is the setting for the pics that follow. The sun sets in west. You raise the tripod and then it all happens by itself.

M'Goun and boy, the start
M'Goun one of the High Atlas peaks in back.
M'Goun, other boy and girl
Boy and girl.
M'Goun, myself and boy jumping in
Steps into image.
M'Goun and all of them
More of the lot.
Myself and the 4, one behind the other
In one line.
2 boys and myself, close up, M'Goun in the back
Close up the 2 boys.
M'Goun and the 2 girls
2 girls.
M'Goun and all 4
M'Goun and all 4.

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Not far away another episode

M'Goun and Marika
Marika, spellt Malika.
Marika again
a bit shy.
Boy and M'Goun through door of Land Rover
I like this bold boy.
Bold boy and M'Goun in back
My favorite.

Driving towards the Tizzi-n'Oulaoum, the road takes me up to 2,800m. The sun sets just as I reach it. What a day. I still shiver when I write this.

Road to sunset
A road to sunset.
Road to Tizzi-n'Oulaoum, Land Rover, ms and sunset light
to Tizzi-n'Oulaoum.
Tizzi n'Oulaoum in reach, catching the final rays of light
Catching the final rays of light.
Tizzi n'Oulaoum
I reach 2.700m.

After going over the Tizzi n (2,800m), I park my car for the night in one of the turns The altitude still 2,600m. It takes a while to believe what I have experienced. Too plentiful and beautiful are the images and dizzy my head.

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The descent

Lahcen joins me for b/fast and the ride to Skoura
Where does Lahcen come from?

I sleep like a stone after cooking an Italian risotto. Until 7. Much too late for sunrise. Coffee and leftover risotto for b/fast. "Bonjour" it is Lahcen who wants a ride to Skoura, I have no idea where he comes from. And he speaks as much French as I speak Arabic.

His mother tongue would be Tachelhit anyway. Together we descend the mountain on narrow roads passing one village after the other. And Lahcen seems to know everyone. Often we stop and are invited for tea.

I do understand very little what is being talked about but am fascinated nevertheless of the seriousness with which some matters are being discussed. I sit down and watch and begin to understand a little and a little more every time.

Brahim, a local chief, tea and b/fast we have in one of  the houses in the back
Brahim, chèf de village.
Roofs
Roofs.

Leaving the Atlas behind, it's dessert country now
After the Atlas crossing.

When we reach the sealed road it is late in the afternoon.

I have crossed the Atlas via a fascinating route.

On this side of the Atlas all is a lot different.

Vegetation is very scars. This is the desert and it is hot. Well this is end of May.

Via Tondoute I reach Skoura. Skoura does not inspire a great deal. So I make my way to Ouarzazate which I reach before sunset. Ouarzazate is familiar territory. I find my way round, know the Cyber Cafes. Chez Dimitry is where I have a Tagine Poulet Citron and a few beers. I need them badly after all the driving of these past days.

I am relaxed. Tranquille. Full of confidence. Happy. The images of the Atlas crossing are too vivid in my head. Ouarzazate is about to change a few things. I can feel it already.

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