0284. Real, live Snow Monkeys (Mor 117--new)

Timahdit Travel Blog

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Got back to Mrirt and soon find a grand taxi north to Azrou.   Don't want to dwadle here to long--as I already explored Azrou quite throughly just a few months ago...

But all the buses are headed to already parkbenched routes--Meknes, Fes, Ifrane... I want to go to "Timahdit", but I can't even find a grand taxi going there... There seems to be an overall shortage of grand taxis with people milling about and no taxis going much of anywhere... But just as I'm about to give up hope to explore a new location today, a driver calls me over.  A couple of folks are jostling for the last spot to Timahdit, but they're not going all the way there and don't want to pay the full fare--so the driver tells me to climb aboard...

And then, less then a mile out of Azrou, there it is.

Snow.  Not way off in the distant mountains.  Rather right there next to the road, up close and personal.   Maybe I should've stayed in Azrou. I cross my fingers hoping, hoping that the snow won't run out by the time I get to Timahdit...

The snow gets thicker and thicker, until it covers the entire landscape.  And then, suddenly were driving through this canyon of snow, 2 meters deep on both sides! 

Clearly I'm not the only one appreciating African snow.  There are lines of cars parked along the way and folks exploring and sledding down the slopes.  Here and there locals rend out sleds by the side of the road...

Suddenly, I see a whole cluster of vehicles stopped in a forested area--everyones attention focused on.

.. yep... those are monkeys frollicking in the snow! 

Wild monkeys in the snow... I never thought I'd see that... In fact, I'd always scoffed at the suggestion that there are wild monkeys in Morocco--but there they were...

But then the snowdrifts started getting thinner and thinner and ugly patches of brown dirt started appearing... The forests also started fading off into the horizon... it looks like I might not get my "parkbenching in the snow" clip after all...

...And then we reach Timahdit... and I'm safe, barely.  Not a whole lot of snow on the ground.  But there is a nice backdrop of a snowy cliff that I can take.  So, yes, I will finally get my video clip in African snow.  I quickly take my clip before dusk and then continue down the highway a little further on foot.

  Can't really go much of anywhere off the road because the ground is so muddy. 
The local folks look very tough, hardened by the fierce weather.  Gone is the green I've been enjoying over the last couple of days.  Clearly not an easy thing to eck a living out of this rugged land. Nearby wheat stalks are piled on long rows of rock walls set out to dry. 

The town of Timahdit itself is not very attractive.  In fact, if it weren't for the snow, it would be downright ugly.  Even the steep, tile roofs can't give this town a whole lot of charm.  I hike out to the east end of town a ways to a little lodge.  Very warm and cozy inside (and not a single customer)... it would be nice to spend the night here--but in the end I decide to look for something cheaper in town... Kind of regret that later, as the hotel in town is just as expensive and pretty bad quality too.  Not a whole lot to do in the evening anyways except walk up and down the main highway running through town...

Next morning, I find a muddy path up the cliff, on around the hill to where I get an excellent shot of a snowy mountains in the background... It's market day, and clearly the cold doesn't slow folks down in this part of the world... I wander around a bit, soaking in the vibe of this tough little town... and head on my way...

 

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Timahdit
photo by: nathanphil