. It's wasn't THAT bad. No guard rails made it a bit nerve racking in parts, and passing busses etc.... But no where near as bad as some of the roads we have been on in a bus in other countries. I guess in a bus it would look worse, being so high up and all. We gave ourselves the same goal, get off the mountain BEFORE dark. What it was....was freakin long. Holy cow. We were in steep, winding mountain roads for over three hours. Plus regular roads before that. We saw some really great scenery, and were glad we did it in a car and not a bus.
We made it to Our destination on time.
Ouarzazate Is located on the edge of the high Atlas mountains covered by stony desert broken by green oases and steep canyons. Beautiful. It also boarders the Sahara desert with 300 foot high dunes covering the edge of the country and spreading into Algeria. Life here centers on the great "wadis" (rivers) which have created landscapes of canyons and gorges and oases with date palm groves.
We decided while planning this trip that we would break from our normal routine and get a little deeper into local life and desolate territory. Through a friend, we were introduced to Peter, a Hollander living and traveling in Morocco for the past 30 years. He has been a resident for 10, married a Moroccan girl and runs trekking, off-roading and motorcycle tours through Morocco's back country. 7 days total (5 in the rough) we would trek through the Draa valley, up,over and through the High Atlas, Anti-Atlas, the stony desert, and the Sahara. We really had no clue what we would be seeing. Peter told us: "We have a simple plan, but I will tailor it for you with what we do and see by how you are feeling at the time. We can change it up day by day or hour by hour." Free flowing....just like us.
(War-zaz-zat). Can we start with a holy crap? We drove ourselves over the Tichka (Tish-ka) on highway M9 from Marrakech to Ouarzazate - Which is considered among the top driving roads in the world According to National Geographic (we looked it up). N9 road runs between Marrakech and Ouarzazate through the Atlas Mountains and offers amazing scenery with several twists and turns throughout the entire pass. Small Berber quant towns add a unique feel to the area. It is worth it to drive slower, be safer, take in the view ....save our marriage. The road is a bit bumpy in spots but for the most part its quite good. Everyone that we talked to was freaking out that we were going to drive it. We heard that it was scary, dangerous, and super sketchy due to the huge busses that take up the entire road. Then we looked it up on the Internet. By way of pictures it looked newly paved, 2 lanes and pretty normal for a mountain road. So, in Brian and Marisha style, we went for it. Although definitely a mountain road in a foreign country..