Morocco: Day 5

Hi Everyone

Still poor internet. So here it goes.

We left our Riad in Fes at around 8:30. Breakfast was your typical boring Moroccan breakfast of great coffee and eggs. Older men pushing pushcarts picked up our luggage and dragged them to our bus. It was then time to hit the road.

We drove until around ten all uphill. Went over lush forests and stopped in a town named “Ifran”. Ifran is a ski resort in Morocco. The French built it. There was no snow on the ground. It looked like a village that should have been in the mountains in Europe. There were lots of trees growing all over and saw the empty ski lifts. We were about 6500 feet up in elevation. On the way out of Ifran, we spotted wild monkeys and pulled over to feed them and take some pictures. Very different from the Morocco we have seen so far.

It was then back on the road to travel through the Atlas Mountains and onto the Sahara. The further we traveled from Ifran, there were less and less trees and the ground started to look like one of my favorite places. The terrain reminded me of Western Mongolia except for the scattered tree and bushes. The road was narrow and winding over hills and into valleys that were covered with ground vegetation. We also went over some rivers. The further we went the more the terrain was starting to turn into a high desert environment.

At about one we pulled into a restaurant for lunch in the town of Midelt. The restaurant was located in a beautiful structure that looked like it was someone’s former home. We had shish kebab. Excellent and the the vegetable soup was quite good.

It was then back into the bus. The further we drove, the more houses we started to pass built out of adobe. I could close my eyes and then open them and think we were in New Mexico except for the people and date palm trees. We passed villages that looked like they were out of a Star Wars movie. Maybe Jaba the Hutt was around.

At about 6 we finally arrived at our hotel. The hotel is located outside the town of Erfoud. The hotel is called “Hotel Xaleca”. The resort is built like a Casbah. A Casbah is someone’s mansion that is surrounded by walls. We walked in the lobby and there was a group of people playing traditional music and they served us mint tea and local cookies. Our room looks like a thatched hut and is very pretty.

Dinner was a buffet with every Moroccan dish you could ask for. We had a grand time talking and sampling the many flavors and tastes.

Tomorrow it is off to a Bedouin Camp in the Sahara. We are leaving most of our luggage in the hotel and only taking what we need for two days. Camel riding is included and I have asked for Dune Surfing. Should be interesting.