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The Middle Atlas Mountains

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After the hustle and heat of Fes, I’m ready for some peace and quiet in the mountains. I have heard stories of the mighty Atlas Mountains for years, and I am grinning from ear to ear as I drive up into what is known as the “Middle Atlas”. I intentionally stick to the smallest roads I can find, and I’m not disappointed. They are very narrow and winding, often stuck to the side of the mountain. Mostly they are dirt, or else severely crumbling pavement that would be better if it were just dirt. I pass through countless tiny farming towns where houses are made of mud, and people are working in the fields.

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On the way into the mighty Atlas Mountains

As I climb higher and further from the cities I’m shocked to see enormous old-growth trees, and even a few small lakes. It really looks like parts of Canada or the Pacific North West, just with red dirt. I make my way to a small lake called Aguelmame Azigza, which has been recommended by multiple people – on the near end is a small village, a popular spot for Moroccan tourists. I drive the rough road to the far end, where I meet up with fellow Overlanders Mike and Shannon of S&M Boiler Works.

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My spot right on the lake

Mike and Shannon set out on their motorbikes 2 years ago to ride around the world, so we have endless stories and memories to share. It’s always great to meet like-minded people so I don’t have to talk about “why” I’m doing what I’m doing – they just get it.
I’m putting together an “Overland Profile” of Mike and Shannon that will be up on The Road Chose Me YouTube Channel soon.

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Local herders kept wandering through with goats who climbed onto every tree and rock they could find!

Camping on the edge of the lake is beautiful and tranquil, and after a swim and a hike, we know we’ll stay another night. In the morning I’m surprised to be woken by a troop of wild monkeys making their way through our campsite. There are about thirty of them, including tiny babies being carried on backs.

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Posing with a great background

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Yawning, or showing me who the boss is?

After they realize I’m not trying to chase them away, they are more than happy to sit and pose for my camera, even causing some trouble in camp trying to steal stuff out of Mike and Shannon’s tent.

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Family grooming time

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This one was happy to pose for 30 minutes. Fabulous!

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Incidentally, the mountains of Morocco are a great place to catch a lot of solar

I am loving Morocco!

-Dan

5 Responses

  1. You’re right this does look like it could be in the states, but those wildlife shots definitely set it apart. That camping spot looks perfect for some hiking and swimming.

  2. Shawn Quinney says:

    Dan! Glad you made it there after the hard times with the Jeep!

    Keep the youtube videos coming bud…I like how you have done them…they look good! Nice and professional! I’m sure they are a lot of work…but I think if you kept posting consistently and sharing your experience your channel will continue to grow mate. Already a few thousand on all the videos…keep the content coming and I think that will continue to grow. The more it grows, I think some good opportunities could come your way.

    All the best.

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hey Quinney!

      Great to hear from you man! Thanks for the kind words. I’m loving making the videos, and I have a few to upload now, just struggling to find good enough internet. It’s all part of the fun!
      I hope you are doing great, still working on finding the balance we all seek I’m sure!

      All the best
      -Dan

  3. Safwane says:

    These pictures are gorgeous, I’m really enjoying your blog. Shame you’ve seen more of my own country than I did.

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I installed a couple of Blue Sea Dual USB Sockets in the Jeep to easily charge gear. From $17.58 on Amazon