Travel Theme/Distance – the Atlas mountains

The travel theme chosen this week is:

Distance

To bring your most distant, faraway places to the foreground

My choice is to bring the Atlas mountains to the foreground. I attended a photography workshop there in May of this year. It was a trip not to be forgotten. Peter Sanders, the photographer, said, Morocco has a special charm for photographers, as in having a special natural light effect.

In the Atlas Mountain, Morocco

In the Atlas Mountain, Morocco

I took this picture when we stopped for refreshments in the Atlas mountains crossing one of the highest pass of Tizi-n-Ticka (2260 m above sea level) of this area, on our way from Marrakech to the Ouarzazate.

Atlas mountains

We had to stop a few times for people not used to the mountainous routes with all of its curves, the driving temperament of the Moroccan drivers as well as the ascending heights, which can lead to the so called “mountain sickness”. The motor highway through the mountainous region however surprised me very positively; rarely seen roads in such a good shape in the mountains! South Africa was another positive experience in this aspect!

Atlas mountains

Whenever we stopped, I availed the opportunity to make some “for the record” pictures, fully aware, that the light may be far too stark. I was intrigued by the small villages “sticking in the mountains” at the most incredible spots. The connection to civilisation is the modern motorway. A few times, we saw kids walking with school bags along the roadside on their own.

Redstone villages in Atlas mountains

Redstone villages in Atlas mountains

Redstone villages in Atlas mountains

Redstone villages in Atlas mountains

The south of Morocco is famous for Argan oil, as I already wrote in my other blog. Along the road there are womens’ cooperations, where Argan seeds are roasted, peeled and then ground by hand according to the old tradition of the Berber women and sold at these cooperations. Argan oil is used in cosmetics, can be eaten and is a luxurious souvenir form Morocco.

Argan oil production

Argan oil production

After a refreshing lunch, our trip continued to reach the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate, just before sunset

Ait Ben Haddou

Ait Ben Haddou

Being tired is an understatement, but to avail the light of the “golden hour” before sunset, we rushed to the Kasbah with our cameras and then for dinner.

Morrocan Restaurant

Morrocan Restaurant: Wairing for us

We asked if we could have dinner on the terrace of the restaurant. The real reason being, to have dinner under a free sky and as a bonus, escape the warm temperatures inside the non- air conditioned rooms. We were granted this wish and it was worth it: we had the most beautiful star studded sky above us for the dinner!

..

Tips:

  • For people not used to mountainous road trips, please do bring along your medication against nausea and have something with lemon flavour and/or ginger sweets/drops with you. They also help against nausea and vomiting.
  • For people prone to mountain sickness or not knowing if they will, ask your physician about it. It can occur if you ascend a height quickly. Usually low blood pressure, headache and vomiting are the first symptoms.
  • Get air conditioned vehicles, it is worth it!
  • For photography workshops, try to keep the distances and the number of itineraries limited, so that everyone can benefit from the photography course and not waste too much time (and energies) on the road!

 
 

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This post is a contribution to Travel Theme: Distance

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