We’ve spent the last few days just outside a town called Tafraoute, nestled in a valley in the Anti Atlas mountains. We both feel that this is the most beautiful part of Morocco we have visited so far; the town surrounded by glowing orange mountains and strange outcrops of granite bolders. We’ve spent our days here exploring the surrounding Ameln Valley, a valley below the rocky orangey-purple Djebel el Kest mountain, containing about 26 small Berber villages in the foothills of the mountain, all about to celebrate the almond harvest; and viewing the surreal “Pierres Bleues” or “Roche Peinture”, rocky bolders painted by Belgian artist Jean Verame back in 1984. Assisted by the local fire department, Jean hosed about 18 tonnes of blue, red, black and green paint over a large area of rocks. They are now pretty faded (pictures from the ‘80s show the blue as dark Yves Klein blue, now a light turquoise) but have a certain charm among the naturally red granite bolders and rocky outcrops.
We also took a wonderful day trip in the car exploring what many describe as the most beautiful part of the Anti Atlas (and we certainly agree); up a steeply winding increasingly desolate mountain pass with views back over Tafraoute and the villages in the Ameln Valley and then down hairpin bend after hairpin bend on the other side before reaching a magnificent gorge leading to a fine oasis, the tiny road lined with palm trees with the backdrop of the magnificent red crags above.