so let me digress a bit to the past- we visited a monkey preserve when we were in South Africa a couple of years ago and we did see a few cute monkeys but here is a sign from the reception/shop of the preserve-
clearly they have no manners- LOL- I could forgive them for that- LOL but they are still creepy to me- so when Aziz asked GA and I if we wanted to see monkeys as we left Fes that morning I said I would see them if GA was interested in them but that I was not a fan of monkeys and could skip that "attraction" on the way south...LOL
so off we went up up up into the mountains south of Fes and after a bit we saw snow... outside the window of our van (I may not have mentioned it yet but our driver, Mustafa was an excellent driver) - the shot below was taken through the window of the van as we were driving along-
we had moved from fertile rolling green hills into a more alpine type landscape...
we arrived in Erfoud- a "technical stop" as Aziz called them- and found not only snow but students out having a snowball fight in the village square-
the spring snow was thick and heavy and wet so it made for a beautiful tree decoration-
another shot from the van as we left town now it is really beginning to look like Christmas (LOL)-
so even though GA said she wasn't too fond of monkeys either - it turned out they were right along side the road and Aziz spotted the first on on the left as we approached the location where they have their "home"-
as you can see from this photo below they had a whole colony (or pod - or gaggle - or whatever multi monkey units are called- LOL)
there were easily two dozen monkeys congregating (waiting for tourists to give them snacks- really bad idea)
Mustafa pulled over and we opened the van door to catch a couple of photos - these are actually supposed to be apes not monkeys - and related to the ones at Gibraltar (which would make perfect sense) called Barbary apes... as in Berbers perhaps...
anyway they were actually quite cute - mostly I think because they were so fuzzy- clearly they had adapted well to the climate...
this guy could have had a starring role in Planet of the Apes movies- he was really magnificent- he was clearly the alpha - and came much closer to the vehicle than the smaller ones did... But once he ventured too close, Aziz told Mustafa to close the door because they are not nice cuddly little guys but wild animals!
so we moved on- heading ever southward up and down through the mountain passes... on to the Sahara- the land of the date palm oases...