Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Morocco Update

A couple nights ago we had some local musicians and dancers come to the hotel. After singing a couple songs; they dressed us up in traditional robes and we danced with them. Not traditionally, I'm sure, but very fun!

Last night we had a real adventure - drove out into the Sahara and our van got stuck in a drift at the side of the road. We got out and pushed and got it free then got in and drove quickly to our nearby hotel and were stuck inside it in a sudden sandstorm! There was strong wind, blowing plastic chairs around, and the air was thick with blowing red sand. It was incredibly hot in the car so we made a run for it into the hotel. Then it rained, hard, while the wind kept blowing. You never expect rain in the Sahara, do you? It didn't last long and we eventually got onto camels and rode an hour or so to go to the desert camp (strange but a bit like riding a horse and I kind of liked Wakuna - my camel). We raced up a sand dune from the camp on foot, in time to catch the last of the sunset. Then we came back down to drumming and drum lessons and chicken tangine dinner served under the stars. It was lovely! There were a lot of cats around, mostly kittens and they entertained us by climbing up the tents walled with carpets, wrestling each other, and catching beetles, etc. They also climbed, purring into our laps if we let them.

We finally crawled into our tents, sleeping on matresses on the sand and covering ourselves with the blankets we used to sit on the camels with. At 5 a.m. Mohammed, our wonderful guide, woke us to climb the dune again and take pictures of the spectacular sunrise. Then we rode our camels back to the hotel for a breakfast of different local breads, jam, cheese, olives, orange juice, and milky coffee or mint tea. That's pretty much breakfast anywhere you go in Morocco and it's pretty good.

Now we're staying at a hotel in Todra Gorge for a couple days with a pool and one computer so I'll have to share. Tomorrow we do a 4 hour hike in the morning where we'll get to meet a nomad family living in the caves nearby. Very cool!

Morocco is hot, the people are lovely and friendly, resourceful and creative. There are lovely handicrafts here, as well as some cool natural resources - dates, fruits, fossils. Having a wonderful adventure, more to come!

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