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Draa Valley

Draa Valley

1. Impressions


  • Agdz

  • Tamnougalt

  • Zagora

  • Tamegroute

  • Tinfou

  • M'hamid

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    The green desert rift

    Draa Valley, Morocco

    Draa Valley, Morocco

    Draa Valley, Morocco

    The Draa valley is a more than 100 kilometres long belt of date palms. Plus some few people, some mountains, and a river disappearing gradually while you make the journey -- even in winter time. When travelling down the Draa you start off in Ouarzazate, and I hope you have your own vehicle. Just as when travelling to places like Laayoune, speed, comfort, and the freedom to stop where ever you want, is more important than the nice people you could meet in a crowded bus.
    Ouarzazate and Zagora, you follow the river, which is like one big plantation, normally some 20 metres wide on both sides of the river bank, before the desert takes control. All the way, small irrigation systems secures the survival of the palms, and more important, the people living of the crops. Every now and then, you pass a small village, where the modern ages haven't had any impact. In these places, all women are veiled and dressed in clothes with patterns changing from village to village. Even the men are somewhat suspicious towards you. Once I tried to make a photo of a large group of women washing clothes in a small canal running close Zagora (nobody's face would have been visible), but in few seconds half of them had cleared off.
    After Zagora, true desert starts, but only slowly. Some few places, a dune is standing out from the stone desert, and you wonder if it's real or not. Perhaps somebody just left the sand there? Actually you have you ride all the way to M'hmid, and then walk some kilometres before endless dunes cover the whole horizon.

    By Tore Kjeilen