A very small adventure in the wet Anti-Atlas
After the violent thunderstorm on the evening before in Ourzazate a sunny morning welcomes us, after breakfast we plan to drive to Agdz and the Draa valley. While we are still sipping our coffee we hear deep rumbling outside and within half an hour the morning darkens and again the sky opens its locks and a downpour, followed by heavy hailstorms, goes down over the city. Even our room is not spared, under the balcony door water is pressed into the room. So we postpone our departure, marvel at the spectacle, the masses of water and the increasingly white city. And again the drains are overloaded and the streets in Ourzazate are under water again.
Ourzazate during thunderstorm
After about an hour the situation calms down and we leave with delay for our planned excursion. Leaving the city already turns out to be complicated, the main road is impassable. We are diverted over smaller side streets, which are also flooded, but our rental car masters it in the walking pace very well.
Let's go to Agdz.
The highway behind Ourzazate is free, almost no traffic, ahead of us still the dark, black clouds of the thunderstorm. After half an hour's drive we see a standing convoy of vehicles, traffic jams in the desert? No, the thunderstorm has turned a wadi into a wide, torrential river. It was impossible to drive through. Even SUV drivers and trucks find it too tricky. So wait and see, walk a little along the wadi and get used to the idea that you have to turn back, because the wadi swells more and more and you can't imagine that it will be passable on this day.
On the opposite side of the wadi there are no vehicles, probably there will be another flooded wadi. After about an hour and a half the wadi starts to sink noticeably and all waiting people are hopeful. Who makes the first attempt? And then it's really a truck driver who dares to be the first to cross the tides. We all follow his attempt with excitement.
From now on there is no stopping anymore, like a start signal all jump now into their cars, dare the crossing, also from the other side come now vehicles. Some try to drive through very fast, others sneak through. I also prefer slow speed, so no water can get up into the air filter. But it takes another fifteen minutes until it is our turn, because now the oncoming traffic crosses the wadi and one prefers to drive through the wadi without oncoming vehicles. A Moroccan tries to direct the chaos, gives the oncoming traffic signals to start or stop, at the end he gives up and everyone has to see how he gets over there.
In the end we made it without any problems, five minutes later the same wadi actually crosses the road again in a similar width. But also here the passage is risk-free. After that the track is completely clear, in places the excrescences of the thunderstorm can still be seen, white desert landscapes, other wadis filled with water.
The rain has completely changed the color of the landscape, the already colorful, contrasting Morocco is now even richer in colors and structures. One hour later we are at our destination and have only blue sky for us, a warm sun, only in the distance you can see the thunderstorm.
The return trip was dry and unspectacular. All wadis had no more water.
Like nothing happened.