Morocco: Day 7

Hi Everyone

We are back in the semi real world and my website is fixed. Some of you may have received Day 2 twice, but everything is now fixed and my blogs will be running a few days behind the trip. That means that you will still be getting my blogs after the trip is over.

So how did the day start at the Bedouin Camp? First let me tell you that our bed was very uncomfortable. It seemed like I was laying on the springs. If anyone was up, I would have asked someone for a sleeping bag and slept outside on the sand. Would have been much more comfortable. Sunrise was at 7:30 and coffee was served at 7. We all got up early to walk up the dunes and see the sunrise over the dunes. By the way, last night was a full moon so there were very few stars out. I was disappointed that the sky was not putting on a show like I saw in the Kalahari. Sunrise was not spectacular since there were quite a few clouds in the sky and they blocked the sun from painting the dunes. Sunset was very special and I will always remember the sunset in the Sahara. We then walked back to our Camp and had breakfast. Another boring typical Moroccan breakfast. How many more of these can we endure?

We all boarded our four by fours and off we went for the long drive back to semi civilization. This will be our longest day in the bus. Olivia and I are lucky that it was our turn to sit in the first row of seats with extra legroom and the chance to take pictures of local people walking along the way. We were not on a highway, but traveled over a two land narrow road through villages. This made the drive longer but much more interesting.

Our first stop was the “Todra Gorge”. The Todra Gorge is a deep ravine that was formed by the Todra River many years ago. The walls of the ravine were all around us as we left our bus and walked through the Gorge where our bus met us. Vendors were selling their wares along the way and Olivia bought a beautiful long Moroccan pullover that went down to her feet and some handmade jewelry. As we drove, I was able to take some great images of local people going about their daily lives. My Sony
A9 did me well since you need a fast camera to take pictures like this. I was lucky I was sitting where I was, since any other seat would have not allowed me to do this kind of photography.

After leaving Todra Gorge we drove about thirty minutes for lunch. Lunch was a buffet and there was a dish there called a Moroccan omelette. This is a big stew of meat, vegetables and scrambled eggs. Very good. I had my cups of Moroccan coffee and off we went.

It seemed like this bus ride would never end. Morocco is a big country. In the Sahara we were ten miles from the border with Algeria and the locals pointed Algeria out to us while we were standing on the dunes in the morning. I was lucky that I sat where I sat and kept on searching for images. A great way to not go crazy. We were going through villages that were all built in adobe and some of the structures had crumpled and fallen down. The high Atlas Mountains were also beautiful as a backdrop. One town that we passed through was Dades. Dades is famous for roses and there is a festival there every May. The French built a rose water factory and it is still in use.

At around 6 PM we finally arrived at our hotel in a town named “Ait Benhaddou. The hotel is quite nice but the rooms are very small. Thankfully we are only spending one night here and then the next three nights in Marrakesh. Thankfully this hotel has internet and Olivia has a smile again. Our guide told us the hotel in Marrakesh has large rooms and is beautiful. I have been told Marrakesh is a special city and there’s lots to do including great shopping.

Hopefully I can get a good nights sleep and be ready for our continuing adventure. My back is sore from the camel ride. The camels in Morocco have only one hump unlike the Mongolian camels. They have two humps and are larger and much more furrier. Olivia said that is probably due to the climate. It’s much colder in Mongolia.