Donkey Crossing

Welcome to Donkey Crossing! Donkey Crossing is an on-line account of one Limey and one Yank living one Dream. From September 2006 until the end of 2007, we plan to visit friends and family on five continents and immerse ourselves into various cultures, natural phenomena and ways of life. We hope you enjoy our tales and visit often! Cheers, Jason and Rachel Napoli

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Two-Wheeling Tafraoute
Tafraoute, the laid back Anti Atlas village where we spent the last few days, gave us a refreshing and different taste of Morocco. We were awed by it's breathtaking beauty, reminiscent of Utah, Arizona and the canyon lands back home. Many of the locals speak Berber rather than Arabic, and can be seen around town in distinctly regional attire. The men wear traditional Moroccan 'djellaba' robes and goatskin 'babouche' slippers, but many also sport headscarves, turban style - definitely a 'desert' look, and the women dress more conservatively than in northern Morocco. In fact, when we passed local women in the street, most covered their faces completely with their veils.
We were greeted off the bus by the usual array of touts, unofficial guides and eager carpet vendors, who we duly fended off. In fact, in sleepy Tafraoute, there seemed to be more touts than tourists, but they were of the friendly, laid back variety.
The stunning scenery and bluer than blue skies enticed us to get out and explore the region, and we were soon pedalling our way into the beautifully barren abyss on rented mountain bikes.
Jason made an informed decision at a fork in the road.
First stop on the bikes was 'the middle of nowhere', but not just any 'middle of nowhere'. In 1984 Belgian artist Jean Verame selected this particular 'middle of nowhere' for his project, "Les Pierres Bleues" - the Painted Rocks. Verame and a team of local firemen hosed a group of random large rocks with 18 tons of paint in the name of art. Conveniently, there was a nice flat piece of land in front of the rocks which turned out to be perfect for a bit of frisbee throwing.
Although "Les Pierres Bleues" were quite bizarre and very striking, they were definitely trumped by the sky in both beauty and blueness.
The obligatory action shot....

....and another one. Jason smiles for the camera. This is before he got a puncture....
As we biked off road across the rocky plains searching for an isolated picnic spot, we encountered our second weird phenomenon of the day: a herd of grazing goats. Nothing particularly special about a herd of grazing goats, you might be thinking. Believe me, this was an atypical goat encounter. These goats were determined to go after the sweet almond blossom in the trees. Not to be dissuaded by the blossom being higher than they could reach from the ground, they proceeded to climb up the trees, and quietly nibbled away, like a troupe of agile monkeys. Yes - truly bizarre. If any readers have come across climbing goats, let us know - this is a first for us!

"I can't get enough of these tasty flowers. Delicious! Might need to climb just a bit higher...."

A well earned rest from our off road adventure in the shade of a painted rock.

Check back soon for more pictures and stories from the Anti Atlas.


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