The N12 road heading east from Tata to Foum Zguid was a good road following the course of a mostly dry river along a valley. The road crossed and recrossed the dry river bed and we came across a bridge that had been totally destroyed by the force of water – which was hard to understand as everything was so dry. But the evidence of violent water was there as we crossed on a newly constructed bridge adjacent to the destroyed bridge with its huge concrete components tossed into a heap like a bunch of Lego bricks.
According to our map, the road from Foum Zguid to Zagora across the northern edge of the Sahara was just a dirt track along a river bed, even the TomTom navigator refused to accept the road as a viable route. However, when we spoke to the man at the local petrol station, he assured us that the road was now in good repair but it was a leap of faith when we set off. The road turned out to be fine and we reached Zagora a couple of hours later.
Although the road was quiet and the surrounding countryside appeared deserted, if we looked more closely we could see herds of goats grazing in the scrub watched over by their keeper. We also spotted groups of dromedaries (previously referred to as “camels” but I think camels have two humps and these only had one. Also on menus we regularly saw the word dhromederie).
Our camp site at N’Kob was challenging just to get into it
as the gateway was 3 metres wide and our van was 2.7 metres. The guardian was a 19 year old Berber lad who brought us a pot of mint tea and sweet biscuits once we had settled and were sitting outside enjoying the evening sunshine. Once the sun went in the temperature plummeted from 27° down to 5° overnight. When we were ready to leave at 9 am we looked in the gatehouse office for our host but could find no sign of him – until he suddenly appeared from under a pile of blankets. He had been fast asleep, fully dressed but totally hidden from view, blankets pulled right over his head. Poor chap was still half asleep when he took our money (£7) and helped us manoeuvre out through the gates.