Fort & Sandstorm

Leaving Ksar Tifnidilt was not an easy decision as the whole complex is in great shape and the staff is very friendly and helpful. Last night we experienced a heavy storm (with no rain however). There was sand everywhere so we escaped to the restaurant because sitting outside was not an option. The next morning the weather had cleared up a bit but it was still very windy. As Tan Tan doesn’t seem to offer much we decided to head back towards Guilmim and then on to Amtoudi – a place recommend by the nice french couple we’d met i Abaynou earlier. Amtoudi is at the end of the road and squeezed into a narrow canyon. The trip to Amtoudi turned out very adventurous as the sandstorm picked up and visibility was getting worse. It felt like driving in a blizzard, with the exception of the color. The sand got into everything. We arrived the only campsite in Amtoudi which was pretty run down and had seen better days (we hope). The staff made up for the bad condition and was extremely friendly and helpful. We were even offered to spent the night inside the restaurant if the wind to become to strong for sleeping in our rooftop tent. The next morning indicated a change of the weather conditions. It was less windy and visibility had gotten much better. Together with a local guide we took a hike up to the Agadir.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Amtoudi, which sets it apart from other oasis settlements, is the ancient grain storage facility, or agadir, perched high up on a hill overlooking the village. It is considered to be both the oldest and most well preserved agadir in North Africa and is well worth the visit, especially for travelers who are interested in the history of Morocco. Although this 800-year old granary is no longer in use, in the past it was of great value as it stored the grain that could mean life or death for the inhabitants of an area where rain is very scarce. However, bandits and rival tribes also had to eat, and would often invade villages with agadirs in an effort to help themselves to the stored provisions. The position of the agadir of Amtoudi village made this a very difficult task for would-be thieves, as visitors will come to appreciate.

After a great tour of this historic landmark we continued to drive east to Tata, where we are arrived on Wednesday evening. The campsite is located right on the river bank on not far from the lively village. At the campsite we met 2 of the couples that we celebrated new year with – it’s such a small world. In the meantime the weather has changed and the sun is back with high temperatures. I guess we’ll stay here for the next couple of days.

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