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Tidgy's Dad

Day One ; Locality Five

Sahara Desert

19th February 2019

 

An advert for Erfoud, the fossil capital of Morocco. But no time today, the sun is setting. 

"Tomorrow", Anouar promises me.

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And then suddenly we are out of the mountains and on the fringes of the mighty Sahara Desert, the largest hot desert in the world. (Antarctica and the Arctic are bigger, but cold deserts) 

Many think of the Sahara as being sand, but actually, only a fraction of it is composed of the ergs (sand and sand dunes), most of the desert is hamada - rock desert. It is often fossiliferous. In the west, around Agadir, it is often yellow and contains Cretaceous fossils such as ammonites, south of there, the whitish yellow rocks of the Palaeogene where whale fossils can be found in the desert, but in the east, such as here, the rocks are often grey or black , hence the term, "Black Sahara".

They range in age from the Precambrian stromatolite reefs near Ouarzazate through to some Lower Carboniferous patches North of Merzouga near Erfoud. Here in Merzouga they are mostly Devonian in age. Also nodules and geodes containing crystals and desert roses and other strange geological features may be found.

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And those aren't mountains in the distance, those are sand dunes. The dunes of the mighty Erg Chebbi up to 150 metres high.

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But no time for collecting today. :( The sun was setting and it was time for dinner and a sleep.

We were going to stay in a Berber desert nomad tent, but they're mostly a bit touristy and some have been forcibly shut down since i was there, but the temperature was going to be only i degree above freezing tonight, so, no thank you very much, a hotel it shall be.

 

 

 

 

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where is the eating popcorn emoji?

 

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
23 minutes ago, jpc said:

where is the eating popcorn emoji?

 

:popcorn: got ya covered. 

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Tidgy's Dad
3 hours ago, jpc said:

where is the eating popcorn emoji?

 

 

3 hours ago, Brett Breakin' Rocks said:

:popcorn: got ya covered. 

Sorry. 

Here are some of the local mines. 

Lead is still mined here and they used to mine quartz as well, but I think that stopped. 

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Just as a heads up I went to a place near that big "Moroccan style" advertisement and I was shown rooms upon rooms of fake and composite pieces, if your going there it's good for a laugh but was also for me a major disappointment. But looking forward to seeing what you find I have a few spots written down on co-ordinates for kem kem bed deposits, hematatic ammonites, crinoid and Orthoceras if you want any of these.

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Tidgy's Dad
1 hour ago, Haravex said:

Just as a heads up I went to a place near that big "Moroccan style" advertisement and I was shown rooms upon rooms of fake and composite pieces, if your going there it's good for a laugh but was also for me a major disappointment. But looking forward to seeing what you find I have a few spots written down on co-ordinates for kem kem bed deposits, hematatic ammonites, crinoid and Orthoceras if you want any of these.

Indeed. 

Rooms and rooms of dodgy fossils to follow on "Day Two"! ;) 

I will be posting positive information about Erfoud also. 

Yes, I would be interested, thank you. :)

PM sent. 

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Tidgy's Dad

Meanwhile the sun was going down on our first day. :(

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But there was still time for me to find some more fossils..................

wifey likes to take photos of every inch of each hotel room we ever stay in :

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"Take a photo of the sink!"

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'Orthoceras Marble' You find it everywhere, it's even the counter of our bank and the Hotel Batha in Fes where we first stayed when we came to live here. 

It's not Orthoceras, which is now only used for a genus found in the Baltic area. Could be Geisonoceras, some say. And it's a hard dark limestone.

 

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lovely think,I sink

Would like to own one

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Tidgy's Dad
4 hours ago, doushantuo said:

lovely think,I sink

Would like to own one

There are dozens on sale in Erfoud. 

With a bit of haggling it would be pretty cheap too. 

Postage would be pretty high though, I expect. :)

We also found this in the light of day the next morning.

Set into the bar by the swimming pool.

The bar wasn't open, it's not the tourist season and still pretty cold, no one used the pool during our time there.

Orthocerids and goniatites, obviously all separate pieces set into the 'matrix', but still nice to see.

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On 3/17/2019 at 7:42 AM, Tidgy's Dad said:

Postage would be pretty high though, I expect.

 

There are always ways to arrange that , let's say that a cousin of mine is going to travel north in a few weeks and then ...

The amazing thing is that is works ....

On 3/15/2019 at 6:39 PM, Haravex said:

Just as a heads up I went to a place near that big "Moroccan style" advertisement and I was shown rooms upon rooms of fake and composite pieces, if your going there it's good for a laugh but was also for me a major disappointment.

If your guide is knowledgeable enough , he should walk in and direct you , very diplomatically for all parties involved , to the correct stuff. That was my experience . Even though the first time the hint was so subtle that I did not catch it . But he has to preserve the feelings of vendors too ...

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Tidgy's Dad
On 3/18/2019 at 9:19 PM, taj said:

 

 

There are always ways to arrange that , let's say that a cousin of mine is going to travel north in a few weeks and then ...

The amazing thing is that is works ....

If your guide is knowledgeable enough , he should walk in and direct you , very diplomatically for all parties involved , to the correct stuff. That was my experience . Even though the first time the hint was so subtle that I did not catch it . But he has to preserve the feelings of vendors too ...

Many of the guides have particular vendors that they always visit as they get a percentage of any sales. 

My friend and guide took us to the factory shop in Erfoud to which he takes his tourists but politely asked me to refrain from pointing out any fake pieces either to the guy in the shop who showed us around the place and explained what they did or to anyone we might encounter..............

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Yep , that is good practice . And basic politeness over there ... Oh I remember these specific stops also ! We even stopped twice at the same place during the trip !:DBut that's the deal 

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Tidgy's Dad
14 hours ago, taj said:

Yep , that is good practice . And basic politeness over there ... Oh I remember these specific stops also ! We even stopped twice at the same place during the trip !:DBut that's the deal 

Indeed, cultural differences can be fun. :)

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Nice someday will have to visit this area, just very cool.  Thanks for posting the photos

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Tidgy's Dad
4 hours ago, Troodon said:

Nice someday will have to visit this area, just very cool.  Thanks for posting the photos

Pleasure. It''s a beautiful country with a unique and wonderful geological past. 

I'm sure you'd love it.:)

7 hours ago, Scylla said:

:popcorn::ammonite01::trilo:

:)The next part is here: 

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/93407-black-sahara-erfoud-morocco/

And still ongoing.............

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