Deep into the Anti-Atlas   23288
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1 Direction Izerbi
2 Igmir
3 Direction Aït-Herbil

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Location: Oued Smouguene valley (1000 m)      by: Pedrotti Alberto
Area: Morocco      Date: 21-04-2011
In the region of Tafraoute the Anti-Atlas takes the shape of a wide and ever-changing table-land, which in places resembles the Asian steppes, while in others it looks like the Corsican inland.
Deeply graved into its margins, on the Sahara side, are several valleys: meander after meander they seem to seek with zealous effort their way into the core of the massif.
Typically, a flat riverbed of white stones seems to refuse the idea of gaining height, until a final gorge winds up steeply among the surrounding stratified rocks.
The present picture was taking from the piste leaving the Djemaa-Ida-Ousemlal to Izerbi route to reach, with a sudden and breathtaking descent, the Oued (=river) Smouguene valley. The last bend seems to lean out quite vertically over the underlying Igmir palmeraie. Following for 16 km the white oued track, occasionally interspersed with further palmeraies, one meets a fairly wider valley descending from the Tizerkine gorge. It takes other 40 km of stony and desert riverbed (in my case, with a fierce head wind raising gusts of sandstorm) to reach the oasis of Souk-el-Had-Issi-d'Afella-Ighir, where one finally meets the tarmac leading to a nearby gold mine. Some km before the oasis lies, in wonderful isolation, the prehistoric site of Ukas, featuring some significant engravings with elephants and rhinos. Unfortunately, I missed all this, worried as I was for having run out of water even before bivouacking in the oued. Actually, after reaching the oasis and filling myself with fruit and water, I did not make any effort to return on my footsteps, such that I will have a valid ground to return to these wonderful places.
The topography of the region is so complicated, the maps so inaccurate, the names reported by different sources so contradictory, that I was not yet able to set reliably the coordinates. I am confident that some research with Google Earth, as soon as I will find the time, will be sufficient to settle the question.

Comments

Looks great! BR, Volker
2011/05/15 23:20 , Volker Driesen
Typisch eingefangen!
Gruss Walter
2011/05/16 09:13 , Walter Schmidt

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Pedrotti Alberto

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