Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'middle atlas'.
Found 2 results
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.
Our Moroccan trip from 19th-23rd February 2019. Day One; Locality One IFRANE Here we are near Ifrane, a village built by the French in the 1930's in a Swiss chalet style so there are pointy roofs instead of the usual traditional flat roofs of Moroccan buildings. This is wifey and Anouar, a Moroccan tour guide, old friend and one time student of English, his brother, our driver Abdullah, is taking the photo. Anouar paid for the trip, accommodation and food in return for me teaching him a little about the fossils, crystals and minerals that we encountered. The trip was mainly an exploratory voyage for me to discover where was worth revisiting when i was alone and had more time to spare. Somewhere in this area are outcrops of Pleinsbachian (stage of the Liassic/ Lower Jurassic) rocks that are stuffed with terebratulid brachiopods including more than a dozen species and subspecies that were first described from this locality, many unique to the site. Unfortunately, it's well off the beaten track, but I think i know roughly where now, so will return another day. Not time today! The area is covered in loose rocks, ploughed up in fields and roadbuilding, eroded from outliers or washed into the area in the autumn rainy season floods or spring melts. The ones behind us look Middle Jurassic to me, yellowish limestones, some with iron staining. Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks are also in the region. The high ridges in the background are basalt intrusions as the Atlas mountains were formed as Africa began to collide with Europe throughout the Palaoegene and Neogene and this resulted in a lot of volcanoes. We moved on north of the village and stopped where we saw a group of the local fossil huts. These are all year round businesses, but in the season, from May til October you will find little stalls selling local fossils and minerals all the way along the route through the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara. But the temporary stalls are all closed at this time of year, as it's pretty chilly and there are few tourists. Top Tip : Always pop into a couple of different shops and check out prices. Tell the next shopkeeper how much the previous one had stated and see if they'll undercut for a similar item. Always, always haggle! Top Tip : Ask which fossils and crystals are local if you don't know already; most of the shops in Morocco have local fossils and others from all over the country. Local fossils will usually be much cheaper, wait until you get nearer to the localities of other fossils and see the prices come down! Top Tip : If you have the time, ask the purveyors of local fossils to show you where they came from. Then go and have a look. They don't mind this at all.