While it was burning hot down in Marrakesh there was snow on the mountain peaks.
The road up through the Atlas Mountains was winding and steep. It largely followed the trails that the caravans had used, except now there were no caravans and the road had been considerably developed and much work was being carried out to make it wider still.
This route connected Marrakesh with the Tourag communities over on the Sahara side. All along the way were little Berber villages with their fields and agriculture.
Even though we were on the tarmac road it wasn’t hard to imagine what it would have been like trekking across these cold and barren mountains on a camel – quite a contrast to the heat of the Sahara on the other side. But this was a major trade route and Marrakesh was the destination.
The mountains had a rare beauty with their contrasts of greens and browns and the snowcapped peaks.
Along the way were stalls selling luridly colored geods and fossils.
Once upon a time these nimble goats climbed up argan trees to eat the fruit. The people collected the nuts the goats left littered underneath and ground them up to extract the oil.
Nowadays they put the goats up in the trees for the tourists and use an industrial method to extract the oil from the nuts.
But it is a weird sight!! You don’t often see goats up in trees!
Here’s some women extracting oil from argan nuts in the traditional way for the tourists.