|I was suffering from the apathy of familiarity in Marrakech and had to get out, having failed to find a bus into the mountains I took one over them. Unfortunately the two options to Ouarzazate (which I can't pronounce and can be typed entirely on the top row of keys on a French keyboard) were 7am and 3:45pm neither of which were ideal. I don't like Marrakech bus station at the best of times so didn't want to have to go there before the sun rose. Therefore I went for the 15:45 figuring that it would most of the way over the Atlas before sunset and hopefully offer some wonderful views. Except that the 15:45 from Marrakech only took me to the CTM station where I had arrived a few days ago, those passengers not going to Agadir were told that we needed to change busses here. There were 3 busses in the station and for whatever reason all were going to Agadir. My bus finally left at 5pm.
It turned out to be a bit of a white knuckle ride once the road turned upwards, I had the star seat, front row direct view out of the windsceen, it's the first time I've put on a seatbelt unprompted on a bus. The only good thing was that for most of the journey I was on the inside for the bends and dropoffs. I'm not sure how high the road went but we were well above the snowline for much of the trip. It was 9:30 by the time I arrived in Ouarzazate and I had a very numb bum, unfortunately I made a bit of a tit of myself on the main street, I was looking up for the hotel sign when I walked into a pothole and ended up tumbling down the road. Only half a dozen people saw me.
Ouarzazate is as dull as the base of a witches pot, but it does have a picturesque Kasbah and good views to the hills. It's main attraction however is a short busride out of town, Oua... is the centre of Morocco's film industry and one of the main studios Atlas allows visits. Today I've been to Egypt, Israel, Tibet and possibly a few other places on the sets of films that I've actually heard of if not watched. The Tibetian monestary for Kundun was very realistic but it wzs interesting to see how flimsy some of the sets are and the polystyrene showing through in places.