|The view that came with breakfast|
We went across to explore it and had to cross a river using sandbags which was a little difficult given how wobbly and lightheaded I was feeling but it seemed to make me less anxious and I made it to the other side fine. We wandered round the snaking little alleys and climbed the winding staircases. While exploring there are mainly guesthouses with the original families having moved nearby into newer buildings. There were also a lot of artists selling paintings and drawings to passers by. One of the things that seemed popular was taking a seemingly plain painting and putting it over a flame which made another set of designs appear. They explained it was a mix of tea and sugar so that when it dried it was invisible but you could burn the sugar to leave the dark brown marks. It was a way to send secret messages which was cool.
|Walking through the crops|
Halfway up climbing to the top I didn't feel so great so I sat down in the shade with a generously provided carb gel and waited for the others to come back down from the peak. However I think sitting in the shade and people watching was probably much more interesting than the view from the top. So many groups went past and you can almost instinctively tell where someone is from just by their dress and gait. There were Americans, French, German, and other English groups having tours at the same time and I heard the locals pick up on the nationalities too and flawlessly switch between languages to try to make sales. It's interesting how a job as seemingly basic as selling drawings to tourists can demand so many skills. It made me wonder why they would chose to do this if they are clearly capable of much more given by their language skills alone? My musings were interrupted when my group returned (thankfully) and we went back on the bus.
|My noble steed|
|The view from the balcony|
3 hours later the others returned having had what they described as a "group bonding experience" as apparently bikini tops were not advised and therefore our group with an age range of over 40 years had got to know each other quite well! Feeling smug that I was one of the few who's boobs hadn't been seen by near a dozen people that day I had another nap and woke up in time for cous-cous and tagine then back to bed.
Thursday - Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh
|Walking down the mountains|
More twisty roads followed and I think our bus driver must have been a rally car driver at some point because he seemed to know every curve and made the bus stick to them exactly! We had lunch at probably the only building for miles around as was everyone else on the road it seemed. It was such an unusual mix of tourists and locals all in one place because there wasn't anywhere else! I slept for the last 2 hours of driving, there's just something about car travel that makes me sleepy! Although thinking about it maybe it isn't just cars that make me sleepy as I have fallen asleep on boats and planes and all sorts of different types of transport! I'm pretty sure I nodded off briefly a couple of times on the mule too, maybe not on the camel though.
|The view from the newest King's palace on the older palace (left) and the oldest palace (middle)|
We had dinner at one of the stalls that our guide said was good to eat at so all of us squished into a tiny stall's seats. While we were there another guide and his group appeared to eat there but he only had 6 people and so our guide sat at the head of his 14 strong group looking very popular in comparison! Afterwards we split into two groups as some wanted to walk back and some took the bus. As one of the walkers we set off past the mosque tower which is one of the tallest in the world and given how old it is, it's pretty impressive building! A pleasant walk back and I was tucked up in bed both excited and sad for tomorrow would be our last day in Morocco.
I'll tell you all about it soon.