The vintage van struggled up a steep road on its way from Taroudant to Ouarzazate in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. The slow pace allowed us, 16 passengers stuffed into the not-too-comfortable vehicle, plenty of time to admire the striking brown, barren, rough mountain scenery all around.
Suddenly, great clouds of gray smoke spewed from the aged Mercedes. The driver stopped. We piled out as he conducted an inspection, then restarted the engine. More smoke. It was clear we could go no farther, and we were many, many miles from a town.
14:46 February 23, 2011