Shared tours departing from Marrakech to the desert, return to Marrakech. As we did not want to go backwards (since the idea was to continue our trip to Fez), we had to say goodbye to the van and our companions of the last days. From Merzouga we had the option to take the only bus that CTM offers at around 8:00 pm.
It was only dawn and we did not want to wait all day in Merzouga to travel to Fez, first because we did not want to spend the night on the bus and second because we would arrive in the middle of the night, which is not recommended at all. The options were: Travel to Rissani (a village 30 km from Merzouga) and take a local bus that made the journey to Fez (travel time: around 10 hours) or take a taxi that would leave us directly at the blue door of the Medina. As we were very tired from the previous days and especially because of the night we had spent in the desert, we decided on the second option.
In Fes we would stay at Riad Dar Borj. We communicated with the owner who very kindly arranged us a taxi in Merzouga for 120 euros. At that time, we did not imagine that taxi ride, would become one of the most precious memories of our stay in Morocco.
Arrival of Moha, taxi driver superstar
Mohammed (Moha), our taxi driver, who spoke Spanish, French, English and Berber was the one who accompanied us on this unthinking adventure.
Moha picked us up punctually at the Merzouga hotel, where there had been a lot of commotion because we had hired the taxi without going through them (which denied them a precious commission) and they kept asking us: where, when, why, with whom, etc.
To add to the paranoia that we felt minutes before getting into the taxi, the owner of the Riad of Fez sent us by Whatsapp the patent number, a photo and a detailed description of the car that would pick us up and on the other hand he also sent a photo of Moha! It seems like it would not have been unusual for someone in Merzouga to find out that we needed a taxi and he’d pretend to be a taxi driver.
All aboard the Yellow SsangYong. The Adventure begins
Indeed, the taxi was a beautiful yellow SsangYong , with plenty of room to stretch your legs and look out the window. We had in mind sleeping the entire trip to recover from the night we had spent in the desert, but the scenery from the road did not let us.
The desert became an oasis, then a valley, then a meadow, and then we began to climb the Atlas mountain range. Moha kept talking on his cell phone as he made his way through the sharp curves of the cornice path.
At times we saw lonely people on the road lying in the sun or watching the cars go by. We did not quite understand how they would have reached that place, because we saw no means of transport or any people around. Had they walked there? Would they care for animals in the area? The point is that we also did not see animals or plantations in the vicinity. It was them and the vast desert.
Then the mountains were impregnated with forests and snowy mountains began to peer out.
Some of the towns and cities I remember along the way were: Rissani, Erfoud, Ziz valley, Ifrane and Azrou.
Snow in Morocco
The culmination point of the taxi ride was definitely seeing the snow in the vicinity of Ifrane. Snow in Morocco! Obviously something we did not expect.
Local euphoric families came with children to play. We also play with the snow.
We asked Moha to stop the taxi. He ran to take a selfie with a newly constructed snowman at the side of the road. We dive on the floor to feel the spongy snow on our fingers.
Then I roll a prominent snowball to Andrew by the head. He quickly gave it back to me.