Midelt-Erfoud (140 miles approximately)

Day 8        Midelt-Erfoud

Today we would witness  dramatic scenery as we descended from the Atlas Mountains towards the town of Erfoud, which nestles close to the Sahara Desert.  Our guide, Aziz, was from Erfoud and he  talked with animation about the town where he grew up, enthusing about being a “desert boy.” 

In order to cut through the mountains, the French colonial troops (who else?!!!), during the 1930s, constructed the Tunnel de Légionnaire.  This created a pass through the mountains to the Ziz Valley below.  As the road sweept downwards in a series of flowing bends, a biker’s dream, we could admire the pinkish coloured rock and the fact that the river Ziz had carved it’s way through the mountains creating the gorges below.

  The Chief Biker purred with contentment as he leaned the bike round the bends.  As for Vera, our Varadero, she glided through the curves as if she was floating on the surface.  Throughout our travels, the ride for the pillion passenger, was comfortable with not the slightest sign of a ‘numb bum’ developing.  I, also, had a very good view of the passing landscape due to the height of the machine.  Perched on my throne at the back of the bike, I felt like royalty!

Gradually, we descended towards the valley and the surrounding countryside became more and more arid.  It was obvious that we were now approaching the town of Erfoud and the Sahara Desert.  That afternoon we were to enjoy a typical Moroccan meal with Aziz’s family.  It was a pleasure to be invited into his mother’s home and sit round a table enjoying this communal repast.  I write about this elsewhere on my blog. htt://www.naomiflashman.co.uk/travel/morroco/desert-storm/

After the meal we set off for our overnight stay in a Bedouin tent. We hadn’t gone far along the road when the wind began to rise and sweep the desert sands along the road. Eddies of sand swirled round our heads and grains of it entered places we carefully will not mention!   The chief Biker was heard to mutter something about sand being abrasive and damaging to the paintwork of his precious machine.  He was clearly more worried about that than the impending sandstorm.  Just as we thought we could go no further, we arrived at an hotel to be told that despite the weather, we would be going on a camel-ride to our overnight accommodation.  I cover this in my article called “Desert Storm.”  We had an interesting night but were pleased to depart for our next destination on the morrow.  Lack of basic facilities brought home to us how difficult it must be for nomadic peoples to live in the desert.

Naomi Flashman


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