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A series of links to my various locations visited February 2019 1. Ifrane http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/93193-ifrane-middle-atlas-morocco/ne 2. Azrou http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/93256-azrou-middle-atlas-morocco/ 3. Midelt http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/93271-midelt-high-plains-morocco/ 4. Tizi N'Talghaumt http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/93325-tizi-ntalghaumt-pass-high-atlas-morocco/ 5 Merzouga .http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/93362-merzouga-sahara-morocco/ 6. Erfoud location http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/93407-black-sahara-erfoud-morocco/ 7. Erfoud shops http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/93823-fossil-shops-erfoud-morocco/ 8. Ait Ben Haddou http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/94222-ait-benhaddou-sub-sahara-morocco/ 9. Tizi n'Tichka http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/94803-tizi-ntichka-pass-high-atlas-morocco/ 10 Marrakech. I didn't get any photos of the fossils for sale in Marrakech. The Marrakech area doesn't produce any fossils itself, or at least not of any commercial value so all the fossils are brought in from elsewhere in the country. There are some beautiful specimens but also many composites and out and out fakes. Top Tip : Don't but any fossils in Marrakech unless you are very wealthy, can't resist a specimen whatever the price or aren't visiting anywhere else. Marrakech is the tourist capital of Morocco, home to the rich and famous and prices reflect this even after a good haggle, especially as the fossils aren't local so transportation costs and middle men are usually involved. Everywhere else is cheaper than Marrakech in my experience so i have never purchased a fossil there. But as I say, there are excellent pieces and some honest traders as well, so it's up to you, of course.
Day One; Locality Two AZROU February 19th 2019 A little further on in the High Atlas Mountains, at the heart of the cedar forest, lies the Berber village of Azrou, which means 'rock' in the Amazigh language of the locals. There is a huge and famous boulder just outside the town, hence the name. Many of the towns and especially villages in the mountains and the south of Morocco are populated by the Berber people rather than Arabs, so knowing a bit of Berber can really help get prices down and make the people extremely cooperative as speaking Arabic is not as impressive here as it is in the larger cities and towns elsewhere. Top Tip : A little Arabic is helpful, but a few words in Amazigh goes a long, long way. See the monkeys in the trees? Check out the Nature Photography Thread for more pics of the trees and monkeys. While wifey and the guys became acquainted with the famous Barbary Apes, actually a type of macaque monkey, I spotted the fossil shop opposite. And hurried across. The big ammonite is a man made beastie, often seen outside fossil shops to attract attention, but the quite large one near the front is real and from the local area. This is just the first of a whole row of shops set in a line running away from the road. However, the prices were very high, even with haggling and local languages, probably because this monkey area is a tourist hot spot. The local rocks seem to be Middle Jurassic and also contain some beautiful, large high-spired gastropods. Sorry, no photo, the cameras were back with the others. I managed to get some information on where to find some specimens only a ten minute walk away, so i set off into the forest, carefully avoiding large dollops of snow falling from the trees as the temperature rose. But the snow became deeper, the terrain dipped and it became impossible for me to proceed any further, so sadly, I sobbed and retreated back to the road. Caradhras had defeated him.