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XI 2009 - Morocco

 

 A few years ago it became our tradition that around once a year we set off for a trip  with our friend Jeff Scovil. We were together already in Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovo and Madagascar, now it was turn for Morocco. Although usually we go with some bigger group this time only Leslie – Jeff`s girlfrien was with us. Unfortunately Asia could not go with us so we did not have our "field photographer" - fortunately Jeff manages camera quite well :-) Almost all the photos included in this report were taken by either Jeff or Leslie and they are under copyright law, (as opposed to "our" photos that are under CC). We set off to Morocco one day after the Munich show. After a few changes we landed in Marrakesch - the legenday moroccan city.

We spent there first two days of the trip wandering around the streets of medina and admiring the local architecture and culture. From marrakesh we set off to the south – through the High Atlas, stopping on the way in a few mineral shops and by the vulcanite outcrops reach in agates and jaspers. After a long way through winding raods in the mountines we finally got to the Bou Azzer region where we spent quite a lot of time visiting the local miners, slag heaps and outcrops. We were informed already some time ago by "our" people that they had just found the new skutterudites of excellent quality in Bouismas, but the specimens that we found there exceeded our expectations. Among a lot of extracted huge, more than 10 cm clusters of lustrous, very sharo crystals up to 2 cm big. Skutterudites of this quality belong to rarieties. In the same mine big, reaching 2 sm, lustrous crystals of dyscrasite were also found, they are of much better quality than those that we brought from Morocco in VI 2009. Aprat from that in the mine in Aghbar well developed roselites with crystals reaching more than 1 cm were found. We also managed to buy small ammount of attractive specimens of Karibibite from the Oumlil-Est mine. Unfortunately the famous eritrines and cobaltocalcites from there have not been found for a long time.

After we finished our visit in Bou Azzer we set off for the touristic tour to the dfamous Draa Valey – a noumber of oasis with old villages and castles contrastinmg with the dry rocky desert – hamada. We saw there, not far from the border of Algieria the first diunes on this trip. We spent the next days in the region of towns of Mcissi, Erfoud, Rissani and Merzuga – this area belongs geographically to the Anti-Atlas and is almost totally desert. The best known sandy diunes of Morocco – Erg Chebi are located here as well as dozens of localities where trilobites and crinoides are found, and also mineralogical localities such as Taouz.

Feasted our eyes on the beauty of the desert, after the tour on camels through the dunes and visit in the famous Jebel Issimour and Taouz we went back to the High Atlas. On the way we visited one of the new fluorite mines in the vicinity of Jorf city. This locality has been so far providing not too many specimens of yellow and colourless. This time it turned out that, a few of new pockets with big cristals – reaching even 5 cm – of blue, green, violet and yellow color were just found. Some of them occurs in paragenesis with quartz and barite, some have also inclusions of chalcopirite. Some are characterized by the presence of well visible phantoms. The best specimens reached 10 cm, and were covered by cristals reaching 3 cm, some of which were twinned. After a long negociations we bought considerable ammount of specimens and we set off further to visit the famous Dadas ravine at dusk and spend night in the Todra ravine. Both of those ravines are situated on the south slopes of High Atlas and jut deep into the rocky hillsides.

We spend the next day in the Imilchil region – the highly situated locality known of apatites, magnetites, titanites etc. Atthough the pits are located on such big height (almost 3000 m above sea) we were lucky and had a wonderful sunny weather. Numerous pegmatites that were visible on the surface absorbed us so much that that we came form the field after the dusk.

We spent the next day going from  the High Atlas to the Middle Atlas and visit in Kerrouchene. After a short visit in very impressive workings stretching on the huge space of the rocky cliff. We spent the rest of the day in the village watching the specimens. Althoug most of the material showed tby the mioners was of very low quality we managed to buy two great specimens to the Spirifer collection.

The last two days we spent in the region of Midelt and mibladen visitinmg numerous shops, barite`s and cerusite`s mines, vanadinites workings and the dinosaurs` tracks localities. As always  in the region of Midel we could find some good quality specimens in the dozens of little shops, unfortunately they have usually very high prices (sometimes even higher that on western minerals shows).

We returned to Marrakesh and took a big delight once again staying in this beautiful city again – and the two weeks had passed incredibly fast. During this trip we were already thinking abpout the next one – we have some idea. At the end I would like to thank Leslie and Jeff very much for very nice time that I spent with them and for letting me use their photos in this short report.

 
                                                                                                            
Tomasz Praszkier

 

Medina in Marrakech. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Jeff and Leslie in Marrakech. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Medina in Marrakech. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Street in medina, Marrakech. Fot. J. Scovil.

   

Donkeys in medina, Marrakech. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Shop with pottery, Marrakech. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Snake charmers, Marrakech. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Jemaa el Fna - the main squer in Marrakech. Every enening it is filled by houndreds of small stands with food, juices, dates etc. Fot. J. Scovil.

  

Jemaa el Fna - the main squer in Marrakech. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Jemaa el Fna by night. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Small, temporary "restaurant" at Jemaa el Fna. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Minaret in Marrakech. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Road from Marrakech to Tizi-n-Tichka, High Atlas. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Shops with pottery and minerals, High Atlas. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Shop with minerals, High Atlas.. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Low quality specimens and fakes, High Atlas. Fot. T. Praszkier.

  

Fake "galena geods". Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Fake "amethyst". Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Leslie and Jeff at Tiz-n-Tichka. Fot. T. Praszkier.

  

One of the mineral shops in Ouarzazate. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Traditional hand manufacture of rugs. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Winding thread on to a spool. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Final product - carpets with traditional Berber motives. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Road signs on the road to Bou Azzer. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Mine Bou Azzer. Fot. J. Scovil.

  

Mountains and dumps in Bou Azzer area. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Aghbar mine. Fot. J. Scovil.

  

Mineralized vein with secondary minerals (erythrite, karibite etc) i Oumlil-Est. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Selecting specimens, Bou-Azzer. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Selecting specimens, Bou-Azzer. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Cobaltocalcites from Agoudal mine. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Erythrite crystals, crystal size 1,3 cm. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

New calcites from Agoudal mine, specimen 7.5 cm, crystals size up to 2.6 cm. Fot. G. Bijak. 

 

Poor photography of great new skutterudite from Bouismas mine. Fot. T. Praszkier.

  

New skutterudite, specimen 5.5 cm, crystal size 4 cm, Bouismas mine. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

New skutterudite, specimen 4.3 cm, crystal size up to 2.3 cm, Bouismas mine. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

New skutterudite, specimen 7.2 cm, crystal size up to 1.7 cm, Bouismas mine. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

Nativ silver, Bouismas mine. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

New, thick and very lustrous discrasite from Bouismas mine, size of specimen 2.4 cm. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

Karibibite with quartz from Oumlil-Est, size of view 1.8 cm. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

Draa Valey. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Oasis in the Draa Valey. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Be careful! Camels! Fot. L. Albin.

  

Camel. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Shop with fossils in Alnif. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Preparation of trilobites. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Trench for trilobites in famous Jebel Issimour. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Talking about geology, behind us trench for trilobites, Jebel Issimour. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Leslie and Jeff on the desert - Jebel Issimour. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Trilobites. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Examining trilobite. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Tea, tea, tea... Symbol of Moroccan hospitality. When you travel in Morocco every day you have to drink too much of it, miner`s hous, Msissi. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Selecting azurite and malachite specimens from Msissi. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Azurite, Msissi. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Museum with fossils in Erfout. Fot. J. Scovil.

  

Gigant plate with trilobites in Museum, Erfout. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Eroded conretions in one of "mineral shops" near Erfout. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Dunes Erg Chebbi. Fot. J. Scovil.

  

Dunes Erg Chebbi. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Leslie and Jeff on camels on Erg Chebbi. Fot. Unknown Berber.

 

Berber on Erg Chebbi. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Camel. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Workings in Taouz. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Trench after mineralized vein in Taouz. Fot. J. Scovil.

  

Workings in Taouz. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Manganese minerals at dumps in Taouz. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Prehistoric engraving, near Taouz. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Negociating price of fluorites with the miner from Jorf. Fot. J. Scovil.  

 

Poor photo of new fluorite from Jorf. Fot. T. Praszkier.

  

Poor photo of new fluorite from Jorf. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Poor photo of new fluorite from Jorf. Fot. T. Praszkier.

 

Twinned fluorite, size 3.4 cm, Jorf. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

Twinned fluorite, size 5.3 cm, Jorf. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

Fluorite, size of specimen 6.2 cm, crystals up to 2.5 cm, Jorf. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

Spectacular Dades Valley. Fot. J. Scovil.  

 

In Dades Valley. Fot. L. Albin.

 

In Dades Valley. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Todra gorge. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Berbers in Imilchil, High Atlas. Fot. L. Albin.  

 

View from Tizi-n-Ouazane, Imilchil. Fot. J. Scovil.  

 

View from workings in Tizi-n-Ouazane, Imilchil. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Pegmatites with feldspars, titanite, magnetite Tizi-n-Ouazane, Imilchil. Fot. J. Scovil.  

 

Sheeps at Tizi-n-Ouazane, Imilchil. Fot. J. Scovil.  

 

High Atlas. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Colorful hills built of marls and sandstones in Middle Atlas. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Workings in Kerrouchene. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Workings in Kerrouchene. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Azurite on dumps in Kerrouchene. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Selecting specimens from Kerrouchene. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Funny azurite with fossil - brachipode. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Good quality specimen of azurite from Kerrouchene, size of specimen 7.5 cm, crystal size up to 0.9 cm. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

Mibladen! Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Vanadinite workings in Mibladen. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Jeff entering to the "rat holes" in Mibladen. Fot. L. Albin.

 

Good quality vanadinites from Mibladen. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Our friend Muchamed with high quality vanadinite from Mibladen. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Mines in Mibladen. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Inside ancient mines, recently baryte, cerusite and wulfenite has been mined here. Fot. L. Albin.

  

Galena and baryte veins. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Galena and baryte veins. Fot. J. Scovil.

  

At underground miner`s place. Fot. J. Scovil.

 

Jeff having a tea and cerusite underground! Fot. L. Albin.  

 

Footprint of dinosaur in Mibladen. Fot. L. Albin.

 

We had no time to visit Bou Bekker but we aquired a few new good quality azurites from this locality. Cluseter 6.2 cm. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

Azurite from Bou Bekker, size of cluseter 5 cm. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

 Azurite from Bou Bekker, size of cluseter 3.6 cm. Fot. G. Bijak.

 

 




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