mohammed and his mountains

May 30, 2011

The Dadès gorge at its narrowest where the flanking rock profiles tower above. The valley widens and disappears along the length of the Dadès river from beyond Msemrir (4 x 4 necessary to climb towards the source) flowing down to Boumaine. Little tracks up the mountain sides access every patch of land used for growing produce. I think this conical building is for grain.

The Sunday market at Aït-Arbi and an old door on a refurbished pisé building – beautifully mellow. The foothills of the mountains above Aït-Arbi have been sculpted into soft rounded forms by the westerly winds and rain contrasting with other strong angled formations – all breathtaking. Our guide, Mohammed, lead us through the village and into the bowels of the rocks . . .

. . and pointed out the small openings that formed viewing points along the interior paths used by those living in the caves years ago.

This formation is named ‘Cobra’

The following day, Mohammed lead us north through ravines and across high land to about 2000 metres. It’s a harsh landscape with little animal life now but artemesia, a type of perovskia/salvia, small lewesia, echinops, ligustrum and euphorbia thrive. The most prolific plant at this time of year is gorse with wild mint and thyme billowing over the stony ground.

Fossilised forms make quite beautiful patterns. Grateful for some mint tea in a cave occupied by a Berber family and this young kid.

To the west the snaking line of the river shows as vegetation . . . .

. . . and Mohammed. Shukran Mohammed!!

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