The Journey North to Tangier

We stayed overnight in the town of Midelt, 5000 feet above sea level between the High Atlas and the Middle Atlas. When we arrived at the campsite the guardian invited us to take tea with him, he spoke very good English and asked if we had any goods we wanted to swap for a nice Berber carpet (no thanks). He also asked if we had gifts for his family – we gave what we could. I told him we needed bottled water and fresh milk and these were promptly delivered to our van after tea.  Due to the altitude, the temperature overnight dropped to 0.5° and by the time I walked to the shower block in the morning it was still a chilly 2°.  When we left Midelt at 9.30 am it was already 15° and rising.

We were much less squeamish about toilet facilities than when we first arrived in Morocco and we found the campsite facilities adequate.  The water in the shower was boiling hot but the shower head was partially blocked and only let through a fine spray of scalding water.  I tried another stall and managed to get a reasonable shower – but having to make continuous adjustment to both the hot and cold taps.  Some fresh blue paint had been applied to the walls but no-one had bothered to repair the broken window or replace the absent wash basin.  But we have seen worse and these toilets smelled OK.

Herds Of Sheep Often Blocked The Road
Sheep Transported On The Roof Of Vans
As we continued our journey north the sun got higher in the cloudless sky and the temperature climbed above 27°. The driver of the van in front had to stop to rearrange the animals on the roof as some of the sheep lying down were in danger of suffocation.

On the subject of animals, everywhere in Morocco we saw groups of dogs on the outskirts of towns and along the motorways, apparently running wild and many of them extremely emaciated.  When I asked our taxi driver about these dogs he warned us to carry a stick with us when out on our bikes in case we were attacked.  He said a ten year old boy from his village had been bitten on the arm by a dog and had later died of rabies in a Casablanca hospital.  He told us the authorities came to his village and shot all the stray dogs.