Impressions from Morocco
Back in 1994, a group of some 15 2CVs from several European countries started
for Morocco - coming from Portugal. In order to get used to driving on difficult
terrain, they had gained some practice in the Portuguese Serra da Estrela, exploring
it by the rough roads. But what Morocco would hold for them was beyond their
magnificent scenery of the Atlas Mountains proved quite demanding of man and
material... Roads narrowed to single-lane tarmacs, turned into tracks, continued
in drained riverbeds and finally lost themselves on the stony ground...
The conditions took their toll: chassis bended or broke; overweight caused severe
losses in power, inattentiveness on the part of the driver (among other reasons)
inevitably led to undercar dents... and countless tyres were wasted.
Fixing up some of the more serious wounds...
words about the itinerary: Coming from Ceuta (the Spanisch settlement in Africa),
we headed for Chefchaouen, where we were first confronted with the Moroccan
style of life (which certainly caused a sort of shock to some of us - but gradually
we learnt to deal with this problem). Entering a strange new world also has
its price. We crossed the Moyen Atlas and met again in Midelt, where the most
difficult part of the journey began: the Cirque de Jaffar (unparalleled its
beauty, but also the suffering it causes to us) opens up a tremendous panorama
of the Atlas Mountains - and a tiny 2CV desperately clings to the edge of a
precipice... It has long since stopped transporting us, it's rather us who have
to push it on inch by inch with the utmost caution, till finally, after an endless
period of time, it reaches a more solid ground again...
has already fallen when we reach our camp at Lac Tislit - we are worn out, but
happy. It is quite chilly up here... In the morning, at daylight, damages are
being assessed. The Berber village of Imilchil lures nearby... and then we start
off for the famous Gorges du Todra, a scenic highlight of some 14 kms. length.
not really a harmless terrain, it means quite easy driving for us, after what
we had gone through before...
the further end of the gorge near Tinerhir (the more touristic one, that is
to say), there is a comfortable hotel offering us a nice dinner, candlelight
shower, and a place to sleep on the roof terrace under a starry sky (but we
prefer our 2CV, with the roof open, that's for sure).
Tinerhir oasis, we move on eastwards heading for Erfoud in the Moroccan part
of the sandy desert. The first traces of windborne sand on the tarmac road...
We wait for each other in Erfoud, and our Portuguese "organizers"
wrap themselves in the oddest scarfs to protect their heads from the desert
sand. After hours of waiting we start off for the desert, following the telegraph
line first, but somewhere we have to turn off, and then we are left to the compass
and to our guides. To top it all, a sandstorm is springing up, there it is all
of a sudden, pressing the folding window of the 2CV upward with such violence
that I can hardly shut it. But even with the windows shut, you can still watch
the layers of sand increase steadily inside the car...
Sometime or other, it is over again, we spend the night in the desert, continue
our way via Merzouga to Rissani and, after another series of adventures, finally
reach Zagora, the southernmost (and with 42 ° C also the hottest) point
of our trip. From here, it is still "53 days to Timbuktu" (on the
other edge of the Sahara) - as a famous sign says...
take one day for relaxing, before we head on to Marrakesh: meanwhile we are
quite experienced in haggling, and so we take a chance in the souk; the Djemaa
el Fna Square is bustling with activities, mainly in the evening and until late
in the night, whereas it seems deserted during the day because of the heat.
Via Fez and its Medina (old town) with its narrow lanes we head up north to
the coast again - to spend a day at the seaside in Al Hoceima, before having
our big farewell party at Chefchaouen (our starting point in Morocco).