The changes in scenery were quite spectacular as we drove south through the Atlas Mountains. We were now 1500 miles south of the UK. We left Azrou and drove through snowy landscapes before descending into the valley where the sun warmed the streets of Zeida to 15 degrees. The main street of the town was lined with stalls, shops and cafes; we stopped for coffee and pancakes at one of them. Each cafe had someone cooking on a barbecue; joints of meat were hanging up outside the cafes and also they were cooking individual tagines of meat and vegetables on the barbecue. Whole sheep carcasses, including their heads, hung in butcher’s doorways.
Our drive then took us up to 2000 metres and then down again, passing through fertile valleys and then arid plains and finally through a gorge deeply carved in the red earth to our campsite. We arrived soon after 3 pm but the sun disappeared almost immediately behind the mountains high above us.
We ate a delicious meal in the local restaurant, soup, chicken tagine, followed by fruit, yoghurts and dates at a cost of £10 a head. We brought our own wine. It turned out to be a good evening, after the meal the waiters arranged our chair around a wood fire and played their drums, cymbals and a type of castanet