Next day we crossed the dried up bed of Lake Iriki and looked at fossil beds along the way. Another day of rock art followed, during which time we had a simple picnic in a delightful oasis. We discovered rock pools full of frogs and fish, and found rock art that has probably never been recorded.

We explored  the ‘mud falls’ known locally as Sea Caves and from all our investigations prior to the trip it seems a spectacle unrecorded in most travel and geology journals. In to the fertile Souss valley where Taroudant was our next major town. We spent the afternoon and night in a peaceful countryside Riad set in a banana plantation. The wonderful swimming pool proved to be very popular on that hot afternoon!

More WOW countryside as we climbed the Tizi n’Test pass at 2092 metres that cuts through the heart of the Atlas. Nothing can describe the scenery on this journey – you just have to experience it yourself to believe it.

One of our travellers requested a stop at the Tin Mal Mosque, which turned out to be an absolute delight. This roofless, traditional Almohad mosque, was completed around 1153. It is no longer used for prayers so we were able to walk around inside. 

We arrived at Oukaimeden, the winter ski resort at lunch time. Not much sign of snow in April but a perfect time for a walk across the valley to look at some important rock art, including a lovely panel of beautifully etched elephants and figures.

It was hard to believe our eight days in the south went by so quickly, and we were sorry to say goodbye to our wonderful drivers on arrival in Marrakech. They looked after us so well and their driving was impeccable and safe on every hair-pin bend from beginning to end.

Here they are having a well earned rest while mad passengers relentlessly hunted for fossils in the midday sun, and, in the most unlikely places!

I think everyone agreed that Morocco has so much to offer and is a really delightful country to travel in.

Our thanks go to Colin Reader who made the trip a treat for the would-be geologists amongst us. Seen here in true, fossil hunting mode!