We ride over the Tizi n'Tichka pass and into the Moroccan Sahara. The Atlas mountains give way to a vista of pink-hued mountains and gravel-covered plains. We follow many kilometres of quiet desert tracks and see few other travellers.
In the afternoon we stop at cafe where a Berber man is cooking sardines on a charcoal grill. A dog watches from a pile of soil as we sit on patio chairs under a corrugated roof. There is always something of interest at these lunch stops - cats curl up on our motorcycle saddles, mechanics fix old Mercedes cars, tea is poured in the time-honoured Tuareg style.
At night we stay in simple accommodation where Berber men talk in hushed tones around a fire. We sleep under heavy pile blankets to keep the chill of the Saharan night away.
After three days of riding, we arrive at a village perched above a ’hidden’ valley oasis. There is no paved road and no other visitors. We buy dates, saffron and olive oil from the owner of the lodging house we stay in. The village isn’t on our map and the locals are not forthcoming.
If I knew the name I wouldn’t tell - it’s a comfort that places like this still exist.