Saturday 2nd February

We are still at Granite Rose campsite, tonight will be our fifth night. The weather is still wonderful, nothing but blue sky and sunshine and temps in the mid twenties but very cold at night.

Help, I can’t get down!
Nigel’s view from near the top
Well, Nigel has had a walk up a local hill, all the boulders look quite small from here but when you get up to them they are enormous so he had a bit of a struggle finding places that both he and Belle could manage to get up. He said coming down was much easier, which is usually not the case. Whilst he went off  on his walk having decided to just take Belle, Dash and I went in the other direction to explore the little village of Tazka just a short distance away. 
Large rock formations in Tazka

We’ve had a day out in the motorhome, we drove around the Ameln valley, a wonderful long steep sided valley with 26 small villages clinging to its base, some of which can only be reached on foot. 
On the way from Tiznit we were flagged down by a motorist who asked if we were heading for Tafraoute. He said he had come from there and had just realized he had forgotten to hand in his room key at an auberge he had stayed in and would we mind taking it back for 
him. We said we would and it turned out to be in one of these 26 villages so we parked at the end of a rough track and walked with the dogs up to the village to find it. It was in a lovely spot at the base of massive granite cliffs.
Having returned said key, we set off to complete our circuit of the valley which took a couple of hours. We found a pleasant spot to stop for lunch, Dash ran off after a ground squirrel but wasn’t quick enough to catch it. Think Belle may have done had she seen it first!

Tazka Mosque
After that we went to do a little shopping….have wanted a tagine and a charcoal burner to cook on for some time and so having seen some we liked here we went and bought one. Nigel also bought one for a friend back home.  We didn’t haggle, we were quite happy with the price asked. We had a stroll around the village prior to buying the tagines, I got some argan products too and we found another doughnut seller so we had a coffee and a doughnut too. This doughnut seller had a great way for people to take them away…when I bought some in Sidi Ifni they were put in a paper bag and by the time I got them back to the motorhome they were very soggy. Here, the seller puts them through a tied loop of palm leaf which is how we saw them in the first place. We saw a young lad with a couple and asked where he had bought them.
After our snack, we then went in a rug emporium to look for a rug for the boat. We found one we both liked but the price was too high, we said we’d go away and think about it, the proprietor was most insistent that we tell him a price we were prepared to pay but we didn’t want to be pushed into anything. We will probably go back and offer a lower price and see what happens.
My first tagine, smoking away!

When we got back to the campsite it was too late to cook a tagine so Nigel decided he would just try the charcoal burner ready for tomorrow (we had bought some charcoal and firelighters). After about 20 minutes he heard a crack and lo and behold it had split asunder!

So today I went back to change it and Nigel went for a bike ride to see the painted rocks….a Belgian artist painted rocks here blue and pink about 20 years ago which are a local tourist spot. I got back to the MH first and got a text to say that Nigel was walking back 10k having punctured  his last remaining inner tube and was unable to mend it. So I set about preparing the charcoal and the tagine, not expecting him for a couple of hours but it turned out he got a lift back with some Dutch campervanners who kindly stopped and asked if he was ok (he had walked about 4k by then.)

Now, several hours later we have had our tagine, the chicken was very good but the veg needed longer and it was all a bit dry….. still, not bad for a first attempt.
The finished tagine,
certainly getting our
5 a day in Morocco!