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Published: April 27th 2009
MOROCCAN HUMOR WITH FRANGIE
How do you get a camel in the fridge in 3 steps-
1 - Open door
2 - Put camel in
3 - Shut door
DAY 7 and 8
We board our mini bus and head off to Todra Gorge; about a 4 hour drive. The landscape changes from sand dunes to rocky dry rolling hills to lush valley then to mountains. (We later rename it Torture Gorge)
We stop at a place where they manufacture items from stone with fossils in them. They make beautiful table, sinks, and various small items. Very expensive. Angie buys a small stone fossil and a small gypsum crystal piece. Fran bought a small polished fossil stone.
Our hotel is nestled in the palmeries and built upon the mountain side. The staff here are very young and friendly, very good looking young men!! They like to joke around - by asking for our passport when we went to get towels, or telling us they sold our laundry and would split the money. One told us that he would pay us 1 dirham to deliver towels.
We were able to relax a bit and enjoy a little time sitting by the pool and writing for the travel blog..
Next morning it began. The hike to and through the gorge was headed by a local man. The hike
was uphill from the beginning and never let up until passing through the highest pass. I can't say that we saw any more than the rocks at our feet. The hike was very dangerous with loose rock beneath our feet with every step. Angie was having a very difficult time and may have been suffering from mild heat exhaustion and dehydration. To add to the drama of Angie lagging behind was the fact the wild dogs were stalking her and she had to throw stones at them to keep them away. Fran and Miriam kept waiting for Angie to catch up. Nicely she told us to continue and not wait. It was our pleasure to wait for her, we were trying to catch our breathe. Thanks Angie for allowing us time to recover; we couldn't have done it without you..
Stopping at the Nomadic Berber campsite to have tea was a life saver for sure!! The Berber sheep dogs attacked the wild dogs and ran them off. Safe - Whew a close call. The wild dogs actually attack the goat herds not people. The Berber family consisted of a father (72yo) and his 2nd wife and 2 of the
Wild dogs followed us all they way up the gorge until they were attacked by the Berber sheep dogs
8 children, one being about 5 and the other was 2. They were very shy but we were allowed to take pictures of the family. They served us lemon thyme tea. Refusing the 2nd glass of tea means that you want to stay their with them, taking the 2nd glass of tea means thanks but I'm leaving.
Their house was made of tents made from woven material with woven rugs on the floor with 2 distinct living areas, the cooking area and the gathering room. There were rock walled corrals for the goats. The sleeping area was built into the rocky side of the mountain, separate from the tent. The nomads marry within the various Nomadic families and live and wander the mountain, although in the coldest months of winter they go to the village in the valley to escape the harsh cold mountain.
The downhill portion of the trek was even more precarious and many times their was no trail to follow. The hike took about 5 hours to complete. Angie then came up with the name Torture Gorge. Very appropriate and amusing, once we had finished.
Lunch was at a local restaurant where there were
As the crow flies about 5 k but much longer with the up and down of the trails
sheer rock faces and tourists and locals where attempting some rock climbing. We had though about giving it a go until we actually saw how vertical the climb would be. So it remained a thought. On the walk back to the hotel we stopped at a local home. We were given mint tea and shown how they made their yarn from sheep's wool and rug making and then big sell. It was difficult to decline, an awkward situation to be put in as the people are so lovely. We continued back to the hotel for a rest and shower. Unfortunately, no hot water. Enquiries at reception revealed that the fire had gone out. That's right the fire that heats the water had gone out. Upon our arrival we had noticed a brick room at the rear of the hotel that had black scorch / smoke marks above the doorway. We now found out that this was the fire room and previously there had been a poof / boom and big fire. They actually use a fire to make the hot water supply for the hotel. It was only about 30 mins and we had steaming hot water and showers to
HOME SWEET HOME
THEIR SUMMER HOUSE THEY WINTER IN THE VILLAGE
relieve our aching muscles.
Later was dinner and wine in front of the open fire. We always seem to be eating :} Some of the staff and Fermin from our group played drums for a time. Tonight we fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow.
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