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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Morocco: The Hammada

A road disappearing into the distance
The road across the hammada just goes on and on, into the heat haze...

More eager to get out of M'Hamid than it is possible to express in words, we got up with the sun, kicked the hotel staff awake (who were asleep on mattresses in the driveway), and hit the road back into the Drâa Valley. Driving before the sun has had a chance to melt the desert is a wonderful way to appreciate the hammada without losing your marbles, and we were hoping to make it back up the Drâa and onto Route 6956, heading east towards the real Sahara, at a place called Merzouga. But this was all days away, for stretching out in front of us was some 450km of winding roads through one of the most inhospitable parts of the world you're likely to find: the Moroccan hammada.

The flat landscape of the hammada
In the middle of summer the hammada is hot, flat and very inhospitable
An Arabic message on a hill
On some of the hammada's hills, locals write stone messages in Arabic
A road cutting through the hammada
Driving through the hammada is like being on the moon... just hotter