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Published: September 27th 2019
Breakfast for one today. Lee is not terrific and decided to stay in bed. Without sounding too heartless breakfast was still very good. I could just about live on the fresh juices and mint drinks here. Apart from that cucumber concoction I mentioned yesterday I have not tasted one that is t delightful. Even now I’m by the retreat pool sipping a lime/lemon/mint and soda drink that is very refreshing and most welcome. At Jemaa el-Fna I had one of the mixed fruit drinks that are spruiked everywhere and again it was delicious, quite filling but very nice. Despite thinking I could live on juice I still managed muesli, yogurt (very good here), fruit, cheese, smoked salmon and a couple of pastries.
Thinking that was enough to fortify me for the market I set out for Jamaa el-Fna. I’m pretty sure I read it means it’s the ‘meeting place of the nobodies’, which is quite appropriate as I tended to wander around looking wide eyed, semi bewildered and partly lost. Many of the vendors are charming and remain that way even if you do t buy from them. Some aren’t. One asked for 150 dirham for my ‘tour’ of the
leather works, he ended up with 10, which I thought generous but he didn’t. Another offered to guide me out of the souks and yes I did need assistance. His offer was ‘gratis’, just say thank you. He had this big story how he was the ambassador for a children’s school and would like a donation of say 200. Well he got 5 yet he still had the last laugh as he had not taken me to the square. There were though enough tourists for me to follow until I recognised some landmarks and could navigate safely by myself. But there are lots of Moroccan’s that just do the right thing and charge about the right price and provide a good service. The souks surrounding the square sell a plethora of good in that mish mash of this and that we have come to expect. There may be a few more pottery places and leather shops but the laneways and alleyways hide a multitude secrets and I’m never sure what is around the corner and am often surprised. I watched a man turn wood on a lathe and carve out things like swizzle sticks, juicers, muddling sticks and even chess
pieces and the power came from him entirely. No electric power, no nothing. As he said ‘like magic, no Black and Decker’. There’s a photo of him in action working on a piece that he gave me.
We are poolside presently. OK for me as I can dip and cool down but Lee is still finding it hot and a little oppressive. As such we may only stay for a short spell and return and turn on the ’air machine’ for her. Google weather has the temperature at 37 degrees which gives Lee a good excuse for finding it hot. The mornings are good and the overnight temperature drops to the low 20’s but come 2 o’clock or so it’s hot and it stays that way until 9 or 10. There’s zero percent likelihood of rain and if I judged from the landscape you’d think it had never rained here. I do see some gardens being watered but there’s plenty of vistas where arid must be included with any adjectives being used. Even the shuttle bus that drove us here had an ‘air machine’ that sounded like it was doing the job but was sadly incapable of beating the
Tomorrow at sensible o’clock we leave for Fes. We love Fes but are staying in a place we’ve only seen via the internet. It looks very impressive but I’m a little concerned about Lee and the journey. Sure the trains are fine and once in the right seat we can just do nothing but if she is still a bit unwell it will it tough for her. We have the same seats in the same carriage as we’ve had before, a coincidence bought about by booking early but carriage 11, seats 11 and 12 are becoming increasingly familiar to us. Three nights, including our 40 anniversary, wait for us there so...
Swim time for a moment.
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