Agadir, Atlas Kasbah, Cap Rhir, Common Bulbul, dung beetle, Euphorbia, grey heron, Little egret, Marsh Harrier, Moorish Gecko, Moroccan Lizard-toed Gecko, Moroccan tea, Morocco, Northern Bald Ibis, Oued Tamri, Raven, Tamri, Thekla Lark, Yellow Scorpion
On the Monday (9th March), we took our first trip out in the minibus, with several stops along the Atlantic coast, to the north of Agadir. The first stop was at Cap Rhir, mainly to look at vegetation, though we saw fauna of interest too…
I got the giggles at this. Philip, Don and Alison take photos of the lizard, a young shepherd boy on his donkey looks on in puzzlement, and his sheep follow.
And the ovines catch us up.
Believe it or not, these two plants are both from the euphorbia family. The cactusy-looking one is not a cactus!
This is a Moroccan Lizard-toed Gecko, or three-quarters of one. Philip had picked it up, but it escaped, leaving its tail behind to wriggle and distract the predator.
Philip was mortified, saying that this had never happened to him before.
We moved further north to Oued (River) Tamri, in search of the endangered Northern Bald Ibis. The total world population (in the wild) is only about 800, and near here was a known breeding site. When we stopped in the car park, alongside the vehicles of some surfers, we knew we would see some of the birds, as one of our number had spotted some high on a cliff to our right.
They flew around a bit.
A Marsh Harrier came to join the party. Well, not really, but it was good to see it.
After eating a very copious packed lunch provided by the lodge, we walked further along the dunes to the mouth of the oued.
We enjoyed walking along the sand, with its fresh breeze and wonderful surfing waves, and were reluctant to leave, but our next stop was explicitly for us to enjoy even more some sea action.
Our route back to the hotel took us into Agadir, and we climbed and climbed, to our puzzlement. It turned out we were being taken to the Kasbah (fort), which was very severely damaged in the 1960 earthquake, especially inside.
The views explained the setting.
Before our evening meal, we were invited into the salon of the Atlas Kasbah, which in a Moroccan home is a room near the entrance used only for entertaining guests. According to Moroccan tradition these can (and do) turn up completely unannounced, have the right to stay for up to three days, and it would be the height of bad manners to ask how long they were intending to stay. They sleep in the salon.
We stayed for about an hour, to be introduced by Hassan to the very elaborate traditional tea making ceremony. Ibrahim – or Hussein, I never did manage to tell them apart, as both were so charmingly smiley – assisted.