View from the top of the Dades Gorge
The Dades Gorge is first on our list but since we've traveled from Ait Benhaddou we miss the best time for photographs down the Gorge and out of the sun, which is early morning. That being said the road is in good condition and the climb to the top of the steep pass has wide bends and able to accommodate even a large camper.

At the top we consider our options; the road does go on further but descends and then deteriorates and instead of going on much further we decide that a lunch stop is once again in order. The restaurant overlooks the pass in a prime position with 30 or more tables peering over the edge with spectacular views, although we're the only ones present.

We order a 'Tajine' and expect the usual couscous and meat, but what arrives takes us by surprise. There is egg, saffron, turkey, coriander and countless other spices along with the obligatory side serving of frites, at the price of £5 per head - not bad considering the location.

Hotel Camping Le Soleil
The entrance to the Todra Gorge was an unassuming turn off on the edge of a busy town and true to form the road on the approach was terrible but the views from the top of the pass were breathtaking. In the valley as far as the eye could see was a sea of green palm trees and crops growing in the basin, contrasting with the deep reds and oranges of the surrounding land. The Campsite Hotel Camping Le Soleil was like a little Oasis and a perfect base for exploring the Todra and also to get a couple of loads of washing done!

From the Campsite the road continues until reaching the mouth of the Gorge where it becomes concrete slabbed and you may or may not be requested to pay 5dh (40p) towards the upkeep. The sheer sides and narrow floor is what differentiates the Todra but doesn't seem as spectacular . We carry on past it for 10km but the truth is there isn't much to see once you get out of the narrow section and you're better off concentrating your time here. We did meet a few locals on our way through the gorge in brightly dressed Moroccan attire.

After a few relaxing days back at the site we set off for the Sahara Desert, we're not sure what to expect apart from sand and camels so watch this space!

Erg Chebbi

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