-- From 2014/11/17 to 2014/11/23
-- From Arfoud to Foum Zguid

The GPS road tracklog
From Arfoud to Foum Zguid
From 2014/11/17 to 2014/11/23

Erg Chebbi

Ta track, the ancient sites of Taouz

On Monday morning 17/11 around 9:00 I took again the road after a weekend of rest. At the program of this week the Erg Chebbi with the track from Taouz to Zagora. From Erfoud to Taouz the road is asphalted, then the track becomes dusty. In hors-d'oeuvre Gandini proposes the visit of the ancient sites of Taouz. On two hills the fortress of Ouafilal offers to the visitors a wall still delimiting what it was. More far from rupestral engravings are hammered on rocks of volcanic origin, but in my humble opinion, not very old. Bad luck the adjustment of my camera had remained on night landscape!!!

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Ancient fortress antique of Ouafilal
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Rupestral engravings
Ancient sites of Taouz

Tb track, from Taouz to Zagora

The Tb trip by Gandini vaticinates in off-tracks for the approval of the DPM, which I am not. My friends, Michele & Henri, indicated to me that Pascal Poublan gives on his website, here tracks for over-sixties travellers, which I am. I thus occupied part of my Sunday to download the waypoints by Poublan. His trip is similar to that by Gandini minus the off-tracks. From my bivouac of the 17/11 in the neighborhoods of the km 31 by Gandini leaving in off-track and of the Waypoint 551 by Poublan I adopted the trip by the latter.

Poublan's track, from Merzouga to Zagora

Tuesday the 18th was one day at the risk. At the exit of Ramlia after the crossing of the gardens a zone of fechfech expects the recipients of the track cunningly. Informed by the roadbook so much by Gandini than by Poublan as of the exit of the village I engaged the low gear box as well as the differential interlock of the back knowing than the central differential is always blocked on track. But contrary to the recommendations I did not deflate the tires, by lazes! Finally I drew some honorably certainly without plume. But isn't the plume to only travel without other (s) team (s) in arid zone? Then in the plain without tree I stopped to have lunch, to make controls under my truck then bivouac on the spot; I take my time.

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Remlia on track
Ramlia, fechfech

On Wednesday, November 19 I undertook a long morning of track in varied ground without any difficulty. Halfway close to the Algerian border I arrived at a military station whose employee controlled my passport, took the plate number of my truck and wished me a good journey in Morocco. On the way I have a pleasant surprise to meet a signpost giving me the direction to be followed; the beautiful bird hearing the sublime voice of Montserrat Figueras launched its song of love. I bivouacked at the summit of the pass.

Sunrise at my bivouac
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Signpost Go there to the track
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Pass, bivouac
Progression in varied ground

On Thursday, November 20 I went down in early morning from the arid pass. While arriving in the plain, a new ilitary control to make sure that I had left the border zone well; the soldier asked me besides if I had passed a good night in the mountain. He expected me, the guy. At the end of 30 km I found the tarred road from M'Hamid to Zagora where I arrived around 10:00. With the 3G keys of Maroc Telecom and of Inwi I tried to publish the photos and the videos to my website; but the overcast sky did not support the wave propagation. I cannot  send the videos. Then I looker for a track to traverse the palm plantation into the valley of Draa. It was a slalom between walls of rammed and the pieces of the cultivated fields. Again on asphalt I reached the Defile of Azlag. Finally I found a spot to have lunch then to camp a little away from the road between an elevated concrete irrigation canal and an electric line, nice. The sky was very black and a storm threatened.

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Plastic-bag tree Well
Panorama under a overcast sky
To Zagora

Tc track to Foum Zguid

It rained all during the night, in the morning I waded in mud. On Friday, November 21 back to Zagora in cloudburst I made my shopping. Then I was installed on a car park to again try to publish the four videos of my website with the 3G key byf Maroc Telecom. It took nearly two hours without being able to control the good end of the transmission. It always rained, I inspected the two camp-sites considered to be very correct by the Gandini guide book. Bof, it was there too necessary to be in mud. After information near two travel agencies, the track from Zagora to Foum Zguid would be asphalted. Indeed the beginning was it up to the km 53.7 by Gandini. Then during several tens of km it was a slalom between work. Finally the last km were correct. I crossed the town of Foum whose gravers were completely closed, here the Moroccans are of strict obedience. I stopped in full desert for the bivouac in the wind but without rain. My choice to take the road towards the south was judicious, to follow.

To Foum Zguid

Trip to go to Icht but blocked in Foum Zguid

I wished to leave early to go to Icht via Tata in a day. At 7:00 I took again the road but 500 meters further on I was stopped in front of the Zguid wadi in rising. I drove slowly, cautiously also far I could then I noted in the headlights of my truck that the strom was very powerful and carted plants. I stopped my progression by examining the situation. I decided that it was not reasonable to continue. While returning to Foum Zguid I met people of the village who came to examine the situation because Foum was also blocked in north. The royal gendarmerie explained me that on the road to Tata there were at least four or more other wadis in rising. It was necessary to expect the fall in the days to come knowing that it was impossible to envisage it. The inhabitants of Foum had not seen such a rising of the wadis since of very many years. Foum Zguid was insulated! After having lunch in front of the royal gendarmerie I returned towards the south for a camping out of village. The weather forecast had announced breaks on Saturday afternoon then a dry weather on Sunday. Patience…

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Wadi souern of Foum Zguid
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Wadi northern of Foum Zguid
Wadis in rising
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Foum Zquid

Situation dimanche matin

Downpours fell all the night with a strong wind. Around 9:00 I went at the edge of Zguid on the road to Tata. The situation had developed favorably but the wadi was still not passable. Perhaps several days will have still to be waited knowing that the ford will have to be practicable. Indeed I went in Foum Zguid to note the state of the northern road towards Zagora. The situation was worse because the bridge was carried. According to the royal gendarmerie, it will be necessary to wait a long time so that traffic is restored. The Zguid wadi crosses the mountains by a Foum, the mouth, at the northern entry of the village close to the Afriquia station then it makes a loop in the plain to cross the road to Tata in the south of the village. The level and the power of water in north give an idea of the level and power at the south after the trip in the plain. Yesterday I had tested the operationnality of the 3G key by Maroc Telecom, it was not it. This morning it was it; I hope that it will be to it still this afternoon for the publication of the page of my website. At middayweather seems to be put at beautiful!

Morning visitors
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Route to Tata, Zguid wadi southern Foum Zguid
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Northern Entrance of Foum Zquid, bridge out Foum, the mouth