Day 2 : The Romans

Wednesday 3rd April

Today our run took us through Meknes, Azrou and into the Cedar forests for the night.

First stop, only a couple of miles from camp, was the Roman city of Volubilis dating back to the third century BC. 45 minutes was spent exploring through the ruins of the town searching out what appeared to be the temples, bath houses and homes. A huge Triumphal arch dominates the surroundings along with the remains of the Basilica. With the exception of a donkey shouting its head off, sorry not sure of the correct term, there was almost total silence which really helped to recreate the atmosphere of the place. It was almost possible to imagine the people going about there lives in what is an incredibly unspoilt and generally unchanged landscape.

Next onto Azrou for shopping and lunch. Although we didn’t need provisions some fresh bread was purchased. Although not shops in the way we know them at home everything was available. One of the guys needed some gas – no problem. Another returned with two tubes of Pringles!

Mike had rung ahead to book us into a cafe that they use regularly so we were all able to tuck into our choice of beef or chicken turine, or chicken skewers. The beef was wonderful!

The parking at Azrou was limited and chaotic. However the Parking Guardian was on hand. This little old guy with his fluorescent orange tabard shouted and pointed until all 12 cars were safely parked. When it was time to leave he moved all double parked vehicles, stopped the traffic and saluted us on our way, all for the princely sum of 5 dirhams – about 35 pence.

After lunch we experienced our first real off-roading following a rough trail up into the mountains and into the Cedar forest of the lower Atlas. The scenery was breathtaking, the driving excellent.

Finally the evening was spent around a huge camp fire in the forest, watched over by a troop of about 200 wild monkeys.

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