Leaving Marrakech, it's not long before you feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere. Once the olive and orange plantations fade into the distance, it's a long, windy climb into the high Atlas.
People on donkey and mule outnumber the vehicles once you leave the city, and you start to see snow and signs that they get a real winter.
The lifestyle of the people here seems little changed from centuries ago.
They still work the fields with oxen or mules hitched to the plow, and beast of burden were as important as ever to their lifestyle. Thankfully, all the animals did seem much better taken care of than their city cousins.
It was amazing to see this unchanged way of life. The dwellings were all built out of local materials: mud and stone. No running water, and few villages seemed to have power. You could see people working the hillsides in the mornings, and coming in to sell their harvest at the local souks.
Oh, the Vertigo. The drive up was not for the faint of heart, and this would not be a good nighttime drive.
Many of the villages up in the mountains were not connected to the grid. This was not an easy lifestyle. The people we encountered up here wore it on their faces.
Finally over Col du Tichka.
While the area north of the Atlas was fertile farmland, the land below the range was notably dry. This was the start of the great desert.