As we left Ouarzazate the terrain became more desert like but still mountainous. We pssed through several Berber villages in valleys thick with stunning palm trees. At the end of a wide valley is tthe mafnificant Todra Gorge. A massive fault in the plateu dividing the High Atlas from the Jebel Sarho with a crystal clear river emerging from it. We chose the campsite we wanted from our guide book which said it was right in the centre of the gorge. We drove through and the further and further we got into the gorge the road got narrower and narrower. We were now on single lane roads and evidently they must have had bad weather in the last couple of months because where the stream at the bottom of the gorge met the road it had been washed away and replaced merely with hardcore. We passed several areas like this very rough and very narrow and in the end had to abandon our efforts to reach the campsite as we may not make it in a motor home. We turned around with difficulty and headed back to another campsite we had seen on the way in which turned out to be excellent and we found out later that the origianl one wasn't too good (see pics).
The next day we did a walk that was described in our book as a strenuous 3 hour loop. We set off on our scooter and went right up the gorge where we couldn't reach the day before and had a coffe at the campsite we had been trying to reach. We were glad we never made it as it wasn't as good as where we were, and only had 12v electricity supply.
On the walk we folled the track leading up into the mountains which was well defined for most of the route as it was well used by donkeys and mules. We met several Berbers on the way down with their donkeys but never discovered where they came from. The climb up was fairly easy and we reached the top of the gorge after abou one and a half hours but then the path went off in several directions none of them very clear. Luckily we had a compass and carried on in the direction indicated in the book but not really sure if we were on the right path. The path was by now very rocky and we had never seen anyone else on the walk only goat herders with thier herds of small black very agile mountain goats. We stood looking around us when a young girl aged about 17 appeared wearing brighly coloured shawls and she was the goat herrder. She said a few things to us in French and we eventually realised she was saying Tizgui which was the village we were heading for. She indicated to us which way to walk. We didn'tt have any change on us whatsoever as we had just stopped off for coffee and the estaurant owner didn't have any change for a note of about £7 and we just about managed to scrape together the money for the coffee in change. We couldn't really give her £7 as it was probably more than she earned in a month so we gave her a cereal bar which she sat and ate.
Eventually we could see the village and the girl was by the side of us again and again pointed the way down to the village. What we didn't realise though was she probably pointed out the route she took as a goat herder, even though she had on what really only amounted to a pair of ballet pumps. There was no path so we were just about to set off down the steep rocks and she bent down to her lunch pack and produced some dates which she offerred to us. They didn't look up to much but she wouldn't take no for an answer, so rather than offend her we took one each and though it was marvelous that she did that as it didn't look like she had much.
We scrambled down the rocks jumping from one to the other and eventually reached the path and finally got back down to the village where we called into a Berber coffee for a well earned coffee taking off our boots and socks.
We spent 3 nights at the campsite in the George. It was a great place with clean showers, a traditional Moroccan restaurant and lovely swimming pool. The staff were hospitable always stopping for a chat, the Moroccans love a bit of banter, and nothing was too much trouble. On our last day we intended to leave early in the morning but got talking to an English couple in a Santana which is a a Landrover made by Suzuki in Spain. We got talking about overlanding to Africa and swapping ideas and didn't leave until after lunch after drinking the mint tea one of the lads from the campsite provided to keep us cool while we chatted.