We decided to spend most of today walking to a remote Berber village about 2 hours by foot from our hotel in Setti Fadma. A village dog came along with us, uninvited...
We walked a on a dirt road, along another river, and through many orchards. There were cherry, apple, and olive trees, along with nut trees and small plots of peas and onions. We saw people with one or two animals grazing, including a Berber woman in traditional clothes and jewelry. Later we passed large goat herds.
We passed one village, and after another hour on the empty road, we arrived at the higher village. The dog was with us still, but disappeared when the local children leaving school spotted us, and descended in a small swarm the giggle and try their French on us...We followed them up into the village, where adults peered at us and smiled. We asked the children if we could take their picture and they ran, so we didn't take any more photos. We gestured that we wanted a place to eat, and a woman took into a an empty room overlooking the valley, and told her young daughter to bring us chairs.
But then a man appeared and asked us to go with him.
He took us to his home where we met his beautiful wife and two young daughters. He seated us in the living/eating area of the home overlooking the river valley. The women brought out food: hard boiled eggs, flat breads, olive oil, and homemade butter. He had us wash our hands by pouring water over them into a special container. Later, plates of a roasted nut and sugar mix was brought out. I think it might be called "sellu"?
As we ate, he left and came back with his five month old son, his pride and joy! He sat beaming with the baby on his lap and we "talked" with hand gestures and bits of French. He refused money for the food, but finally took $10 as a gift for his children. He laughed and said he would buy them chocolate! Before he left, he had his wife fetch two apples from last year's harvest and explained he had planted the trees himself.
He walked us back to the road, where he left us. Unfortunately, the same young man and small boys we had spoken
to as we approached the village were suddenly by our side. The young man was persistent, but spoke of seeing our dog. Long story short: he was a wannabe guide and it was hard to get him to go back home, but we did. Before he left, he started us on a faster path to Setti Fadma. Of course, as soon as he left, we lost the trail and had to slide and scramble down a steep hillside full of thorny plants to get back to the trail.
Never saw the dog again....
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