0230. City on a Mountaintop (Mor 078--new)

Taounate Travel Blog

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Between Fes and Al Hoceima there are no bold type towns--so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that Taounate will have some sort of lodging.  From a distance I can see that it's going to be a fascinating town to discover.  The town is perched way, way up on a mountaintop with a clear view of the whole region in every direction.  I quickly get out of the taxi and scurry around town to enjoy the views and take some pictures before it gets dark.  Find great views at all 360 degrees--vast valleys to the south, rugged mountains to the north... there's even an open air market positioned right at the edge of a cliff...

My favorite spot is on top of what looks like some sort of old, earth covered bunker which provides a great view in almost every direction.

  A couple of locals are there also enjoying the sunset.


Now that it's dark--time to find a hotel... wander all over town with no luck--finally something catches my eye up an alley--yep... it's a hotel--but more expensive than what I'd usually pay... Noticing my hesitation, the clerk does the unthinkable--he tells me that there's a cheaper hotel down the road that I might want to check out... Poor guy... if only he knew that I would have stayed there if he hadn't told me that...

The "cheap hotel" doesn't even have a sign in front--but it does have a great view of the valley to the south from the roof (unfortunately, it’s pretty hazy next morning).

Head back up to the town plaza to parkbench and soak in the mountain town vibe.

  Actually, in spite of its size and rather isolated location, Taounate has quite a modern feel to it.  In fact, few girls here seem to be wearing traditional garb...

After enjoying a delicious panache fruit juice, I find an empty park bench on the main plaza--and play away... a couple of fellows stop by--mainly college students who are home for the holidays who fill me in a bit on life in Taounate.
"There are a few foreigners that make it here--but they don't come for the view... the just come to buy hashish..."

One of the fellows is a decent guitarist himself and sings a couple regional favorites for me--including a song about nearby Ktama...

...and that's just where I’m heading next...


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photo by: nathanphil