September 14, 2002 – Merzouga – Tinerhir




At 4:45am sharp, it is time to wake up. Jack can’t go with us he is still ill so we are only 2 to leave Lhamada to walk through the dunes to see the sunrise from the biggest one. As it is still at night, the beginning is very surprising, we have only 2 lights and we only distinguish the shape of the highest dune that will lead us. So it is for 30 to 45 min a move made of ups and downs. After the walk becomes harder as the slope is steep. I am not sure I will reach the top as it is very difficult to move in that sand. Satoshi decide to stop just at 30m from the top, so I leave my bag next to him and I will reach the top only with my camera and I will reach it on my hands and knees. We are now facing the rocky barrier in front of us, this barrier materialize the border with Algeria. At te top I will stay there for 1 hour amazed by the beauty of the place, the colors are really wonderful. The wind runs on the sand, what a show…




We are running on the way back as it is the best solution as you will not fall due to the soft sand!!



As we are back at the campground, the Moroccans are angry against me because they are convinced that it was only my plan to go there with the Japanese guy, it wasn’t.. They are only angry because Satoshi didn’t buy the tour they proposed him late at night. Finally I leave the place around 9am whereas Satoshi and Jack move to Erg Chebbi Auberge the one I visited yesterday because they are pissed off the attitude of the Lhamada staff.


We are 15 in the minibus for Rissani as there are only 11 seats. In Rissani, they thought of everything to leave the town but this time, it is too much so I simply pay what I think what enough for the trip in these conditions and I moved to the Grand Taxi station with 3 Irish guys and 2 Spaniards. It will be very easy as we are 6 for the taxi, the perfect number. The only negotiation is for the extra money for the luggage but the driver is so happy he can work so he offered us the extra charge.


50DH and 2:30 later, we are in Tinerhir, we only have to find a hotel to fully enjoy the area. In fact, the change is here, no more houses in white or grey but everything has the color of the desert with the ochre color. There is also a great palm grove right in the middle.


Satoshi recommended Hotel El Houda for 25 DH a night, so that will be my place. David and Maria, the 2 Spaniards I met in Merzouga followed my choice. After a rest on the terrace of a café and a quick lunch, we decide to reach the gorges du Todra at 12km from the village. We take a Grand Taxi and on our way we can admire the beautiful landscape made of mountains and the green valley between both sides.


The gorge are really nice with high cliffs. The place is a paradise for climbers who have many ways to reach the top right at their vertical. The only problem is that they are building a bigger road in the valley so with all the trucks and machines it is not so pleasant to visit it at the moment.


After testing the water of the river, we decide to walk back to Tinehrir even if it 5:30pm. The night is there very quickly at 6:15-6:30 but hopefully a 4*4 rented by an English guy will stop to drive us back to Tinerhir. It was too long just by walking!!!


Tonight we have a great dinner on the main square with a great Chaï (mint tea). At 9pm, after a good shower and a tough day it is time to fall asleep.



Main expenses of the day :

Minibus Dunes – Rissani: 15 DH

Grand Taxi Rissani – Tinerhir: 50 DH

Hôtel El Houad: 25 DH for a single

Grand Taxi Tinerhir – Gorges du Todra: 6 DH (one way)

Drinks (water, soft drinks, tea…) + evening meal: 50 DH




Other travels (Syria, Jordan, Egypt, USA...)




Useful info

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D1 : Luxembourg – Paris – Casablanca

D2 : Casablanca – Rabat

D3 : Rabat – Meknes

D4 : Meknes – Volubilis – Meknes

D5 : Meknes - Fes

D6 : Fes

D7 : Merzouga

D8 : Merzouga – Tinehrir

D9 : Tinehrir – Ouarzazate – Marrakesh

D10 : Marrakesh

D11 : Marrakesh – Imlil

D12 : Imlil – Toubkal refuge

D13 : Refuge – 4167m –Tizi Ouanoums

D14 : Tizi Ouanoums – Amsouzert

D15 : Amsouzert – Azib Likemt

D16 : Azib Likemt – Tacheddirt

D17 : Tacheddirt – Imlil – Marrakesh

D18 : Marrakesh – Essaouira

D19 : Essaouira – El Jadida – Tangier

D20 : Tangier

D21 : Tangier – Chefchaouen

D22 : Chefchaouen – Casablanca

D23 : Casablanca – Paris – Luxembourg




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Last update : January 2003

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