Road trip to the Algerian border

Trip Start Oct 01, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Friday, January 13, 2006

There are two ways to get to Oujda from Nador. One is along the coast and then down along the Algerian border, the other is through Berkane. I have driven both roads and I strongly recommend the coastal route.

Just East of Nador is a small village called Karait Arkmane. The village is set on a lagoon and is surrounded by salt marshes. If you are a bird lover you will want to get off the beaten track and head east. The lagoon attracts various sea birds including greater flamingos. The drive to Karait is wonderful to say the very least. The road is nestled in the Rif Mountains and surrounded by ruel life. It is not uncommon to see a herd's man herding his sheep or a donkey plowing the fields.

Further along the road is a wonderful beach town called Ras el-Mar. I've been told that its know for its beaches and I was egger to see why. Just as we approached Ras we slowed and started to get ready to walk on the beach. Then we noticed a military post that was manned by two armed Moroccans. Hmmmm, interesting. The countries most beautiful beaches are armed by the Military. We decided not to get in trouble and elected to drive further down the road. Only to find a military post every kilometer. There is something very alarming about being on a beach in your 2 piece and being watched by men that carry automatic weapons. The lonely planet mentioned the vast beautiful beaches but neglected to mention the GUNS. The Algerian Border is around 40 kms away and I imagine they are looking for illegal immigrants. Morocco and Algeria are not the greatest of buddies and the fully manned military posts makes that apparent.

As you continue your drive towards Oujda you leave the coast and head north through the Beni-Snassen Mountains. This entire area is known for its oranges and tangerines. Along the highway you can see orchards of rip Oranges growing on the trees. If you are interested in a taste make sure to stop and pay for your treats. Muslim countries frown upon thieves and they will think nothing of beating you in the street for your sins (No pun intended).
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bathmate mateus on

wow nice article


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