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My travels to Turkey in 2015 – part 3

Today I was going to visit Dalyan and the river delta.

The river town of Dalyan.

The river town of Dalyan.

At the town of Dalyan, traditional turkish boats take tourists along the river delta to the various attractions for 35 TL (approx. £8.75). Along the way I got to see the rock tombs, the mudbaths and Iztuzu beach also known as Turtle beach as well as Kaunos ruins.

A traditional fishing boat on the river.

A traditional fishing boat on the river.

The small boat was packed with over thirty tourists and was very crowded. Most of them were inconsiderately smoking in such a small confined space!

The Lycian tock tombs at Dalyan.

The Lycian rock tombs at Dalyan.

On the way to Iztuzu beach, we passed the Lycian Tombs.

Crusing past the rock tombs.

Crusing past the rock tombs.

After a few kilometres, the boat arrives at the back of Iztuzu beach.

The boat jetty at the rear of the beach.

The boat jetty at the rear of the beach.

Iztuzu beach is a reserve and turtles lay their eggs there, it is lovely and unspoilt.

Many daytrippers boats are here.

Many daytrippers boats are here.

Turtles can be seen in the waters around the boats.

The beach is 7kms long.

The beach is 7kms long.

The beach is very busy with daytrippers from all of the nearby resorts.

Walking along the beach.

Walking along the beach.

You can walk the 7km along the beach from one end to the other, but take plenty of water as there are only two beach cafes on the beach and very little shade.

I walked to the very end of the beach.

I walked to the very end of the beach.

The beach is closed to the public at nighttime due to turtles activities.

Tracks of a turtle running up a sand dune.

Tracks of a turtle running up a sand dune.

Beach wardens protect the nests.

A protected turtle nest.

A protected turtle nest.

After spending a few hours on the beach we headed to the mudbaths for a quick bath in the mud.

A quick bath to rejuvenate my skin.

A quick bath to rejuvenate my skin.

The mudbaths are said to have mineral properties to rejuvenate the skin.

Our last stop on the boat trip was to visit the Kaunos ruins. Kaunos was an ancient and important seaport. It has both Greek and Roman influence. The ruins date back to the 10th century BC.

Kaunos was a important seaport.

Kaunos was a important seaport.

Due to the silting of the bay of Dalyan, the ruins of Kaunos are now located about 8kms from the coast.

The theater has seating for 5000 people.

The theatre has seating for 5000 people.

The theatre is still used for performances.

The Heraklion fortress above the ruin city.

The Heraklion fortress above the ruin city.

A little lake forms what used to be the main seaport.

The old seaport.

The old seaport.

The city was abandoned in the 15th century AD following a malaria outbreak.

A Grecko sits on the wall.

A grecko sits on the wall.

On my return back to my appartment I was horrified to see a Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa) on my balcony.

A Prayer Mantis on my balcony.

A Prayer Mantis on my balcony.

Fearing for my life, I had to run away! Something that I am well used to from my army days.

A close up of the Mantis.

A close up of the Mantis.

On my last day of my holiday I was going into the mountains to Saklikent Gorge. It is 50kms from Fethiye. The gorge is 20kms in length and 300 metres high.

Saklikent Gorge is over 20kms long.

Saklikent Gorge is over 20kms long.

The gorge is one of the longest in the world and I was going to walk several kilometres inland. With the water running down the gorge, the walk requires wading through the water up to waist height or in my case (as I am only 30 cms tall) being totally submerged.

A wooden walkway at the start of the gorge

A wooden walkway at the start of the gorge

A wooden walkway at the start of the gorge is the entry point into the gorge. After a few hundred metres, the walkway ends at a cafe. From here onwards, tourists must wade through the water. Safety ropes are in place for handholds. Tourists can only wade through the gorge in the summer months for safety reasons.

It is one of the longest gorges in the world.

It is one of the longest gorges in the world.

Finally, I went white water tubing down the river. After a knackering day at the gorge I headed back to the apartment where I spent my last night to a night of love with a sexy gal (I had to pay her fifty Euros). Then it was back to work the following Monday *sniffs*.

– The end –

For more information about Turkey please visit:

www.goturkey.com

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My travels to Turkey in 2015 – part 2

After a relaxing day at the swimming pool with a sexy bikini gal, today I was going to visit the ruin village of Kayaköy. The village is abour 8km south of Fethyie.

The bus drops off tourists at the bus stop and from then it is a short uphill path to the centre of the village.

A path leds uphill to the centre of the village.

A path leds uphill to the centre of the village.

Whilst walking up the path I nearly trodden on a path.

A snake on the path.

A snake on the path.

This village has over 300 desserted buildings. The Greeks lived in the village untill 1922.

The abandoned village.

The abandoned village.

Many of the abandoned buildings were damaged in the 1957 Fethiye earthquake.

I was looking at the ruins.

I was looking at the ruins.

In the messy fallout of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to the land grabs of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922). The resounding loss of the Greeks in this war ended with violence and retribution, which was often aimed at the remaining Greek Orthodox community within the new Turkish borders, and in turn, against the Muslim Turks in Greece. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks fled the violence in Turkey, which led the governments to agree to a mutual compulsory population exchange starting in 1923 in order to staunch the bloodshed.

I made it up the path.

I made it up the path.

Nowadays it is a ghost village popular with tourists. The village is preserved as a museum village, consists of hundreds of rundown but still mostly standing Greek-style houses and churches which cover a small mountainside.

This village has been abandoned.

This village has been abandoned.

The admission fee to this village is 10 TL (approx. £2.50).

Some of the building you can safely go inside.

Looking out one of the buildings.

Looking out one of the buildings.

The centre of the village is a a very prominent church.

A church in the middle of the village.

A church in the middle of the village.

This church is currently under restoration.

This church is currently under restoration.

Mosaics flooring aside the church.

Mosaics flooring aside the church.

Goats and other livestock are in this village amongst the ruins.

A goat resting in one of the ruins.

A goat resting in one of the ruins.

In 2014, Kayakoy also took centre stage in the closing scenes of Russell Crowe’s film “The Water Diviner”.

I had the village all to myself.

I had the village all to myself.

The houses were crumbling.

The houses were crumbling.

Overgrown paths.

Overgrown paths.

Inside one of the churches.

Inside one of the churches.

In the quietness of the village, wildlife can be seen.

A gecko on one of the walls.

A gecko on one of the walls.

The other side of the village is a hill with a chapel on top of it.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

The whole village can be looked down at from the chapel.

Looking at the village from atop of a hill.

Looking at the village from atop of a hill.

Over 500 abandoned buildings.

Over 300 abandoned buildings.

Looking down on the village.

Looking down on the village.

I was at the top of the small chapel hill.

A small chapel at the top of a hill.

A small chapel at the top of a hill.

I was going to trek from the village to the coast.

It was windy on this hill.

It was windy on this hill.

The Lycian Way is a 540km way-marked footpath around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya.

Looking over the hill to the coast.

Looking over the hill to the coast.

I was going to walk the 8km section from Kayaköy to Ölüdeniz. This little section of the Lycian Way goes from the village over a hill line and follows a path downhill to the Ölüdeniz and the famous lagoon beach.

Ölüdeniz beach and the lagoon.

Ölüdeniz beach and the lagoon.

The walk takes about two to three hours.

I made it to the beach after my walk.

I made it to the beach after my walk.

After a quick beer I took the bus back to my appartment and for some quality time with my sexy gal.

Tomorrow I was going to visit Dalyan and Turtle Beach.

To be continued….

For more information about Turkey please visit:

www.goturkey.com


My travels to Malaga, Spain in 2015

After my defeat in the elections and my fall from grace as leader of the Monkey Party I decided to spend more time with my family and go on a holiday to Spain for a week.

The flag of Spain.

The flag of Spain.

My accommodation was a self-catering rental in the centre of Malaga old town.

Not only were we in the heart of the town for the tapas bars and nightlife but we had a lovely roof top terrace with sunbeds, a roofed patio and a BBQ.

I was relaxing on the roof top.

I was relaxing on the roof top.

This meant I was able to sunbath away from the crowded public beaches and thus bathe in the nude which is great for getting that all sexy tanned cotton fur.

I was able to sunbathe in the nude.

I was able to sunbathe in the nude.

The next day we went to look at the Moorish fort in the centre of Malaga. The Alcazaba fort is well preserved fort and was built in the 11th century.

The Alcazaba of Malaga is well preserved.

The Alcazaba of Malaga is well preserved.

The fort has free entry on Sundays.

Next to the fort is a old Roman theatre.

A well preserved Roman theatre that is still in use today.

A well preserved Roman theatre that is still in use today.

After many days of being lazy and sunbathing we took a hour long bus to Antequera and then a short taxi ride to El Torcal Nature Reserve for some trekking. The park is some 30kms north of Malaga.

El Torcal Nature Reserve is famous for it rock formations.

El Torcal Nature Reserve is famous for it rock formations.

El Torcel Nature Reserve is famous for it unusual limestone rock formations.

The limestone has formed unusual shapes due to rain and wind.

The limestone has formed unusual shapes due to rain and wind.

The whole area was under the sea untill one hundred million years ago. The movements of the Earth’s crust forced it upwards into hills, the limestone kept rising in layered horizontal rock formations.

The rocks are layered.

The rocks are layered.

Over the years, rain and wind had chisel away the rocks to form unusual shapes.

A cow walks by.

A cow walks by.

Our walk begins at the visitors centre.

The start of our walk.

The start of our walk.

A number of walks are marked out with different coloured arrows. The green route is the shortest at 1.5 kms and is cluttered during the day of school children field trips.The yellow route follows on from the green route and is 2.5 kms whilst the red route is the longest at 4.5 kms. The red route has a viewpoint at 1339m altitude where the coast of Africa can be seen on a clear day.

The route was clearly signposted.

The route was clearly signposted.

The green route was very noisy with school trips. Once we had left the green route to join the yellow route, we more or less had the whole route to ourselves as very few people do the yellow or the red route.

It was cold and windy in the mountains.

It was cold and windy in the mountains.

It was quite cold and windy up here despite the warm sunshine at the coast before we headed up the mountains.

Unusual rock formations.

Unusual rock formations.

Rock stacks.

Rock stacks.

I was admiring the rock formations.

I was admiring the rock formations.

I was enjoying the sights.

I was enjoying the sights.

The nature reserve is captivated with 30 varieties of plant growing in the park.

Plenty of plant life.

Plenty of plant life.

The flora within the park is protected.

Out in blossom.

Out in blossom.

We decided that the next day we would take the three hour bus journey to Seville. When the next day arrived, we were so tired and knackered from our trekking the previous day that we decided to stay in bed. So no three hour bus trips.

I got myself a new hunting knife from an outdoors shop for a fraction of the price of UK shops. This made me feel like a big boy now.

I also went to a sex shop to top up my porn DVDs collection.

Shopping in Malaga was great.

Shopping in Malaga was great.

Soon our week was over and I had to head back to the barracks for duties.

For more information about El Torcal please visit (you need to be able to read Spanish!):

www.torcaldeantequera.com


My travels to Greece in 2014 – part 2

Today I was going to visit the Acropolis of Athens, a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO.

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.

Acropolis of Athens is a World Heritage Site.

Acropolis of Athens is a World Heritage Site.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike.

I was taking in the sites.

I was taking in the sites.

It cost 12 Euros to visit all six sites of the Acropolis of Athens and the ancient Agora.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site ticked off on my bucket list.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site ticked off on my bucket list.

The slopes of the Acropolis has many statues and monuments.

This poor fellow lost his arms.

This poor fellow lost his arms.

The theatre of Dionysus is at the base of the Acropolis and it was used for festivals in honor of the god Dionysus. It has seating for 17,000 spectators.

The Theatre of Dionysus is an open-air theatre and one of the earliest preserved in Athens.

The Theatre of Dionysus is an open-air theatre and one of the earliest preserved in Athens.

The Parthenon is a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.

The Parthenon is a former temple.

The Parthenon is a former temple.

The Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.

The Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis.

The Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis.

On the north side, there is another large porch with six Ionic columns, and on the south, the famous “Porch of the Maidens”, with six draped female figures (caryatids) as supporting columns.

In 1801 one of the caryatids and the north column of the east porch together with the overlying section of the entablature were removed by Lord Elgin in order to decorate his Scottish mansion, and were later sold to the British Museum (along with the pedimental and frieze sculpture taken from the Parthenon). The new Acropolis Museum holds the other five figures, which are replaced onsite by replicas.

The Erechtheion is a temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.

The Erechtheion is a temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.

From atop I could see all across Athens including the ancient Agora down below.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

The ancient Agora was the central spot in ancient Athens. The Temple of Hephaestus is located at the north-west side of the Agora.

The Temple of Hephaestus is a well-preserved Greek temple.

The Temple of Hephaestus is a well-preserved Greek temple.

The ancient Agora has a small museum.

This statue was proudly showing off.

This statue was proudly showing off.

I headed to a viewpoint to look across the ancient Agora.

Looking over the ancient Agora.

Looking over the ancient Agora.

It was mid-November and warm enough for me to wear t-shirt and shorts.

Looking across the ancient Agora to the Acropolis.

Looking across the ancient Agora to the Acropolis.

Next on my sightseeing was the Panathenaic Stadium. The stadium is a multi-purpose stadium used for several events and athletics and hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic Stadium is the only major stadium in the world built entirely of white marble.

The Panathenaic Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

The Panathenaic Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

In the 2004 Olympic Games, the Panathenaic Stadium hosted the archery competition and the finish of the Marathon.

It could once seat about 80,000 spectators on fifty rows of marble steps and currently holds 45,000 spectators.

It cost 3 Euros to visit the stadium.

It cost 3 Euros to visit the stadium.

The next day, I headed to the mountains surrounding the city of Athens. I came across a wild tortoise in the forest.

A wild tortoise.

A wild tortoise.

The Kaisariani Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery built on the north side of Mount Hymettus, near Athens.

The Kaisariani Monastery is just outside Athens.

The Kaisariani Monastery is just outside Athens.

The monastery was probably established in Byzantine times in ca. 1100.

It is high up in the mountains within the forest.

It is high up in the mountains within the forest.

I took the metro back to Athens city centre.

Graffiti is everywhere in Athens.

Graffiti is everywhere in Athens.

Shopping in Athens is a favorite pastime for tourists and Athenians and one of the best places to buy just about anything is the Monastiraki Flea Market.

The many stalls of Monastiraki Flea Market at Avissynias Square.

The many stalls of Monastiraki Flea Market at Avissynias Square.

After my shopping I headed to the marina on the coast.

I was invited by the Qatar’s former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani to have dinner on board his supersize yacht (that was probably paid for by taxes and corruption). At dinner we discuss FIFA 2022 World Cup bribery and rigging. We decided that Germany will win the cup in 2022. The Al Mirqab yacht is one of the largest motor yachts ever built at a length of 133 metres. The yacht is normally moored at the Faliro coastal area of Athens.

The Al Mirqab yacht belongs to former Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

The Al Mirqab yacht belongs to former Qatar’s Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

It was time to head back to Britain and to put up my Xmas decorations.

The sun sets over Athens.

The sun sets over Athens.

– The End –

For more information about Greece please visit:

www.visitgreece.gr


My travels to Greece in 2014 – part 1

After a hard few months drilling my troops on the parade square, the Colonel has given me a weeks leave. My Auntie decided that we should go to Greece for some winter sun.

I arrived in Athens, the capital of Greece. Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its history spanning around 3,400 years. It was a somewhat hot day with temperatures of 21 degrees and blue skies so I was looking forward to stripping down to my speedos when we hit the beach phwwooaarr…. I made sure that I had my speedos packed as I wanted to flash my assets to the greek gals.

The flag of Greece.

The flag of Greece.

My first tourist attraction was the Parliament building just off Syntagma Square and to inspect the soldiers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The guards stand in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

These guards stood motionless even after I had farted!

These guards stood motionless even after I had farted!

The elite Evzones light infantry unit, provide a 24-hour honor guard, with an hourly guard change.

Not even a blink!

Not even a blink!

The Changing the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in particular has become a tourist attraction, with many people marvelling at the guards, who stand motionless during their one hour shifts.

They change the guards on the hour.

They change the guards on the hour.

On the way back to my hotel, I stopped by one of the many sex shops that are in Athens.

I stocked up my porn DVD collection.

I stocked up my porn DVD collection.

The next day my Auntie took me island hoping and the chance to enjoy some winter sun. We took the ferry to the island of Aegina 17 miles (27 km) from Athens. It was a really hot day and definitely a day for sunbathing and sexy gals.

The sea was so calm, definitely a day for swimming.

The sea was so calm, definitely a day for swimming.

From the ferry I could see the Temple of Apollo.

From the ferry I could see the Temple of Apollo.

Coming into port.

Coming into port.

Aegina is a small island and it is the nearest island to Athens and so it is popular vacation place for the Greeks especially in the summer.

Old fishing boats in Aegina harbour.

Old fishing boats in Aegina harbour.

Aegina town has many side streets for a pleasant walk.

The cathedral of Saint Nectarios of Aegina.

The cathedral of Saint Nectarios of Aegina.

Olives growing on trees.

Olives growing on trees.

Aegina is famous for it pistachio nuts. A 500g bag of nuts cost 6 Euros.

A pistachio nuts stall.

A pistachio nuts stall.

Before we headed to the beach, my Auntie wanted us to see the Temple of Apollo.

The ruins of the ancient settlement.

The ruins of the ancient settlement.

This temple is only a short walk from the port.

I was taking in the sights.

I was taking in the sights.

It cost only 2 Euros to visit the ruins.

This temple is dated from 600 B.C.

This temple is dated from 600 B.C.

It was built in the 6th century B.C. and only one pillar is left from the temple.

Only one pillar remains in the ancient sanctuary.

Only one pillar remains in the ancient sanctuary.

I could not believe how hot it was and so off to the beach we went….

What a beautiful day it was.

What a beautiful day it was.

….and the beach was quiet too!

The beach was quiet and we had it all to ourselves.

The beach was quiet and we had it all to ourselves.

I slapped on some suncream and eager waited for my Auntie to strip to her bikini…. Then disappointment – she had forgotten her bikini. Oh well naked sunbathing was in order. Then more disappointment grrrr…. nude sunbathing is illegal in Greece. Boo hoo….

It was great to strip off on the beach.

It was great to strip off on the beach.

We headed back to the ferry port just after sunset for our trip back to Athens.

Sunset over Aegina Town.

Sunset over Aegina Town.

Tomorrow I was going to visit the Acropolis of Athens, a World Heritage Site.

To be continued….

For more information about Greece please visit:

www.visitgreece.gr


My travels to Morocco in 2014 – part 4

I was up at 4am so that I could be ready for the 5am ascent to the summit of Mt. Toubkal.

At 4,167 metres (13,671 ft), it is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains and in North Africa.

After my night of gas choking at the refuge, I had a splitting headache and vomiting. But I soon recovered after I got some fresh air that was lacking inside the awful refuge.

From the refuge the path crosses the stream and then begins a climb of a steep scree slope.

Looking up the scree slope from the refuge.

Looking up the scree slope from the refuge.

Putting my feet up.

Putting my feet up.

The path crosses a stream.

The path crosses a stream.

A waterfall next to the stream crossing.

A waterfall next to the stream crossing.

Looking down at the refuge.

Looking down at the refuge.

Looking down the scree slope.

Looking down the scree slope.

It was a clear morning but cold.

It was a clear morning but cold.

Getting higher up the slope.

Getting higher up the slope.

It had snowed overnight here.

It had snowed overnight here.

The sunrise over the peaks.

The sunrise over the peaks.

Looking down the scree slope.

Looking down the scree slope.

Seeing the peaks of distance mountains.

Seeing the peaks of distance mountains.

The route then climbs another steep slope to reach a col (Tizi’n’Toubkal at 3,940m).

The Tizi'n'Toubka col at 3,940 metres.

The Tizi’n’Toubka col at 3,940 metres.

Looking down from the col.

Looking down from the col.

At the col the route turns left (northwards) to the summit ridge of Jbel Toubkal.

The first sighting of the summit.

The first sighting of the summit.

Not far now....

Not far now….

Almost there....

Almost there….

The summit is reached.

The summit is reached.

The 4,167m summit is crowned with a curious pyramidal metal frame and views take in most of the Atlas Mountains.

It was crowded at the summit.

It was crowded at the summit.

The metal pyramid is covered in graffiti.

The graffiti metal pyramid.

The graffiti metal pyramid.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

Rock stucture at the top.

Rock stucture at the top.

Me on the summit of Mt. Toubkal.

Me on the summit of Mt. Toubkal.

Enjoying the view from the top.

Enjoying the view from the top.

I could see for miles.

I could see for miles.

I could see all of the Atlas Mountains.

I could see all of the Atlas Mountains.

I made it to the top!

I made it to the top!

It was cold at the top.

It was cold at the top.

I did not have a pen on me!

I did not have a pen on me!

Not sure how they got this stucture up here?

Not sure how they got this stucture up here?

After heading back to city I decided to get p***ed!

– The End –

For more information about Morocco please visit:

www.visitmorocco.com


My travels to Morocco in 2014 – part 3

Today I was going to climb up to the base of Neltner Refuge and the new Refuge du Toubkal. It is a seven hour trek from the village of Imlil.

These refuges are used as a base camp for trekkers heading for the summit. They are at a altitude of 3,207 m (10,522 ft).

The refuge is crowded but camping is allowed for a small fee.

From my lodge in Imlil I was having a traditional berber mint tea breakfast.

Having a mint tea for breakfast.

Having a mint tea for breakfast.

It was cold now that I was at a higher altitude but I was glad that I had my berber scarf on.

Seeing the sun rise in Imlil.

Seeing the sun rise in Imlil.

The route from Imlil reaches the village of Aroumd. Here are more tacky (fake) fossil stalls.

The mosque in the village of Aroumd.

The mosque in the village of Aroumd.

After leaving the village soon a floodplain is crossed.

Looking over the floodplain towards the valley.

Looking over the floodplain towards the valley.

In 1995, a flashflood killed 150 people in this plain.

The floodplain just beyond Aroumd village.

The floodplain just beyond Aroumd village.

The mountains can be seen in the distance.

The mountains can be seen in the distance.

The route then follows the left slope of the valley southwards.

The path then enters Toubkal National Park.

A sign marking the entrance to Toubkal National Park.

A sign marking the entrance to Toubkal National Park.

Climbing up the valley.

Climbing up the valley.

It got colder as I climbed higher.

It got colder as I climbed higher.

I could see the snow peaks in the distance.

I could see the snow peaks in the distance.

Even through it got colder, the sun was still strong.

Even through it got colder, the sun was still strong.

Looking back down the valley.

Looking back down the valley.

My mule was doing all the hard work.

My mule was doing all the hard work.

Looking back down the valley.

Looking back down the valley.

I was cold!

I was cold!

About three hours from Aroumd is the small village of Sidi Chamharouch, which has grown around a shrine. The village is centred around a large white rock that is a old berber shrine.

The village of Sidi Chamharouch and the shrine.

The village of Sidi Chamharouch and the shrine.

A mosque was built next to the rock and the whole area is now a islamic holy site closed to non-muslins.

As a non-muslin I cannot enter the shrine.

As a non-muslin I cannot enter the shrine.

At the village is numberous drink stalls and cafes as well as touts selling (fake) fossils.

A drinks stall at Sidi Chamharouch.

A drinks stall at Sidi Chamharouch.

This is the last village before the refuge is reached.

I stopped here for a mint tea or two.

I stopped here for a mint tea or two.

The path then leads over the stream and runs steeply uphill to the right side of the Isougouane valley.

I was getting closer to the mountains snow.

I was getting closer to the mountains snow.

Not sure what the danger is?

Not sure what the danger is?

Nearly there....

Nearly there….

Almost at the refuge.

Almost at the refuge.

Soon the two refuges are reached.

The first sighting of the refuge.

The first sighting of the refuge.

The refuge with it green fields.

The refuge with it green fields.

Arriving at the refuge.

Arriving at the refuge.

Soon after my arrival at the refuge it began to snow really badly.

It began to snow.

It began to snow.

In fact it was really bad….

My mule in the snowstorm.

My mule in the snowstorm.

I checked into a bunk at this refuge and soon I became very unwell due to faulty gas heaters in the rooms held together with duck tape. The smell of leaking gas is obvious as you enter the refuge. The heaters are lit with cut off DIY garden hose held with tape! So much for health and safety here.

After vomiting I decided to sleep outdoors for my own health and soon I became better again. Despite mentioning the gas leaks to the hut keepers, they laugh at me and insisted that I had altitude sickness (AMS)! So much for service. As I said I got better within moments of leaving the refuge so it wasn’t AMS at all nor could it had been food poisoning.

I strongly suggests that anyone climbing this mountain bring a tent and sleep out in the open rather than sleeping in gas fumes with 50 people stuffed into a tiny room shoulder to shoulder with the hut keeper shutting the shutters just to make sure that we all did get either carbon monoxide posioning or carbon dioxide poisoning. Either way oxygen was in a short supply in the refuge. DO NOT stay here and bring a tent instead!

Tomorrow at 5am I was going to start the five hour final ascent of the mountain and the summit.

To be continued….

For more information about Morocco please visit:

www.visitmorocco.com