Day 25: The two Gorges

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Mon 29 Nov 2010 07:40
Day 25: Monday 29 November 2010. Hotel Timboctu, Tinehir. N31 30.918 W005 32.029 Distance driven 163 km
Not wishing to be discovered by the locals we got up at first light and drove out of the wadi where we had camped.  It was bitterly cold. Just 5 km down the road we came upon several hotels and auberges, many of which offered camping - if only we had known how close we were! We stopped at one for breakfast and a welcoming log fire. At breakfast we met a small tour group of two Canadians, Barbara and Keith and one Kiwi, Paula with their charming local guide Essalah.
For the last several days I had been aware of a smell of diesel around the car and this morning I traced it to a diesel leak from the high pressure injection pump.  Not catastrophic, but serious. Essalah recommended a diesel mechanic in Tinehir, so that's where we headed.  Essalah's charming father, the local chief of police helped us find the diesel shop and we made an appointment for tomorrow.
We then headed up the Todra Gorge in an increasing sand storm.  We were rather disappointed in the Todra Gorge after yesterday's Dades Gorge.  Both were incredibly impressive gorges deeply cut through the sandstone rock formations, but somehow Dades was less touristy and impressed us more.
After a windy lunch break by the river and the palmerie we found the Timboctu Hotel recommended by Essalah and checked in there.  It is beautifully furnished and decorated in traditional Moroccan style and has HOT showers! Dinner was served in a heated tent decorated in bold red and green motifs and we were joined by the friends we had met earlier in the day.