Morocco Trip – Atlas Mountains

It’s been a (long) while since I posted photos from Marrakech so I thought I would add a few from the rest of our Moroccan trip.

Our second destination after Marrakech was the Atlas Mountains, in particular a little village called Imlil (which is where the road coming from the East essentially stops). We planned just a single night at a guesthouse in the neighboring village of Ait Souka, as there isn’t really much to do in the mountains except marvel at the scenery, unless you’re an avid mountaineer. We set out from Marrakech a little after midday, expecting to arrive in Imlil before half-past one, find the guesthouse & then spend the rest of the day walking around the mountains. Unfortunately we booked the only guesthouse in the Atlas that had absolutely no signage on its exterior, nor on the road, so we wasted about 3 hours walking back & forth through the villages asking everybody we could find where we might find the elusive place.

By the time we eventually found it (just before we were about to give up & pay for a room elsewhere) there wasn’t much daylight left & it seems that (expired) Velvia doesn’t always play well in low-light (see the red tinge to the shadows?). Luckily we had already been walking around for 3 hours…

After dinner (at the one & only restaurant in Imlil) we started walking up the nearest peak, but the daylight didn’t last long. This was about as high as we got & with no artificial lighting even 1600 film at f1.7 didn’t stand much of a chance.

One good thing about nightfall in the mountains though, particularly when the clouds moved out the way, is how clear the stars & the Milky Way were. Of course I didn’t have a tripod & a cable release with me, but I thought it was worth an exposure or two just on the off-chance I could get anything – luckily the Pentax MV’s light meter can get confused by extremely long exposures & lock open, so even without a cable release I was able to lie the camera on its back on the little wooden table, set f1.7 & infinity & do an exposure for a few minutes. Not too shabby considering…

I’ll do another post for our third destination, Essaouria, in a bit.

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