A narrow escape…earthquake

After the violent storm of the night before, we woke up to the blue sky and still air overlooking the little dam at the village. Fresh coffee and overnight porridge with dried fruit and honey puts us in good form for the day as it does most days.  Porridge oats with dried fruit is doused in milk and then put in the fridge overnight a portion each, and by morning we have a substantial breakfast with no fuss.

The morning after the storm, blue sky and breakfast

We had to divert about 200km around the route that was blocked over some very lovely and twisty but rough roads into the Atlas mountains so it was about 2pm by the time we had made it up to the village of Agoudal, we had hoped to make it down the Dades gorge route but Poppy and I decided that it would take too long and would risk us getting to the desert in the mid day heat so opted for the shorter and tarmac trip down Todra gorge instead, leaving Nick and Lillian to head down Dades without us.

Lovely views of the mountains as we detoured to Er Rich

On the way to Agoudal the road was a mix of rough tar and then sections of gravel which was great practice for Poppy who was becoming more and more confident in the truck every day.

Poppy is now used to the rough tracks

At times Poppy was speeding along so smoothly that the Land Cruiser was some distance behind

The land cruiser follows us up into the mountains

When we left Nick and Lillian we did see some really nice views, perhaps not as spectacular as Dades but Poppy had already a good sample of off-road driving so it was fine for us to take the easier route.

The view down into Todra gorge

Still there was some nice rock formations to see and dramatic cliffs and roads

We got to a little campsite with a pool outside the Todra Gorge at Tingher around 6 pm, fully justifying the short route as we planned to leave the following morning at 6 am to get to the desert when it was still cool, so we had some Tangine for dinner at the local restaurant and were in bed for 10 am.

Around 11 I was startled awake by the truck rocking strongly from side to side, at first I was confused having just woken up it felt like someone was pushing strongly on the side of the truck from outside so I jumped out of the truck just as the rocking stopped, puzzled I could not understand what had happened and went back into the truck and back to sleep.

In the morning we set off just before dawn and were surprised to see many people in white robes coming back from the first prayer session in the mosque, only as we drove along and the headlines came through did we realise we had lived through one of the biggest earthquakes for many years in Morroco and that many people had died in the remote mountain villages.

The road our friends had taken was blocked by many landslides but they were fine and made it out into the desert a few days later.

A narrow escape for both of us



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