A reflection day today………..
Pros and cons of a 13 day tour in Morocco:
. Get to see a huge amount of variety but also realise the sameness of things after a few days
. Food is very much the same each day – as are the flies. GF offerings are slim.
. Riads are cool!
. Having a driver who is flexible around our tastes and needs is so useful
. Plumbing and availability and cleanliness of toilets does not always inspire – the toilet paper bins are definitely not easy to get used to
. Need plenty of small change but not always easily acquired; moisturiser by the gallon and endless plastic bottles of safe drinking water. Sadly there is no avoiding this pollutant.
. Our last o/s trip with longtime travelling friends has been a bonus – moments of mirth and moments of awe and moments of memory making to recount over drinks back home in the future
Our day began back at the desert camp with a less than inviting windy morning, but after a bracing breakfast and being transported back to Cafe du Sud hotel, we were reunited with Brahim and were on our way to new scenery.
The chance to visit the weekly souk market was a reflective start to the day’s tripping – we were confronted by the good, bad and the ugly of trading and the need for survival tactics. First world countries are unaware of the poverty and health issues when they campaign against various things from their comfortable homes….and we as first world tourists probably contribute to an oppressive economic state in blissful ignorance.
The markets were bustling and L finally got the majool dates she has been keen to find for ages. We learnt lots about the livestock sales, donkey car park and the varieties and tastes of dates.
I have reached that stage in our trip that the days and doings are blurring a bit and merging in to a kaleidoscopic mix. It might also have something to do with the rather uncomfortable design of the middle seat in the back of the Prado.
Tom has been amazingly supportive of the 2 women who share the back with him, by taking the middle for the majority of the time. His slimmer frame has definitely helped. So we have no reason to whinge about the sun on our sides….but have done a bit…..sorry Tom! We, and our tailbones, do appreciate your sacrifice!
Fossils. An amazing look at local trilobite and ammonite fossils where they are polished and creatively turned in to furniture or functional trinket pieces. So heavy, but so fascinating. The old fossils then got back in the car….all a bit stiff from the dromedary experience of the previous evening.
We saw the old Jewish settlements and the abandoned houses when the establishment of the new Israeli state after the WW 2 holocaust saw most Jews answer the call and migrate to the Promised Land.
Roadside stores with Berber clothes in their colourful enticing dyes held a fascination. The time had come to discard my faithful cloth bag from Mexico’s trip as it had served me very well in size and softness – just the perfect size for the tablet to fit in. There in front of me was a bright red Moroccon leather bag which did the trick. So it was a happy hello and transfer of my various bits and bobs and a farewell to my well-used friend.
L’s recommendation of the tagine lemon chicken was my choice for lunch. The flies were bloody horrendous for the first time, but we didn’t let them win!
The Gorge of Tinghil was another surprise. It showed the ferocity of sudden and forceful storm water and the gouging out of the rock to form a very popular climbing venue. The whole country relies heavily on tourism, and every opportunity is grasped.
More scenery to be inspired by as we drove between the Atlas mountains and on to the Hotel Aluca at Dades. Very different from the riads, this accommodation was themed with very southern African artefacts and a rather offputting skeleton fossil under perspex in the corridor on the way to the rooms.
Opted for a bland and small dinner from the buffet after the lunch tagine….and a warning not to eat the fish.
And yes, more challenging plumbing before separating the enormously wide bed to avoid cracking shins on the quite lethal wooden and cement bed surrounds. Sturdy is a mild description, but the lads enjoyed their first beers in a while. I am just grateful for Schweppes Lemon which I would not normally have at home.
And so to slumber until the call to prayer will stir the morning at 5.30.