Monday, 27 May 2013

caught the Marrakesh express

very early - 9:00am and the souk is very quiet. Each door hides a fantastic retail opportunity.

Street scene outside the Madrassa

Suzanne and the guide (Mustaffa) considering making beautiful music together.

Just hanging out with my mates and their pet snakes.

The Place Jemaa el Fna. It starts jumping from about 4:00pm. (Unesco listed for its cultural values)

crossed the Atlas Mountains

But first we visitted Ait Ben Haddout. Which you have probably seen - the site of filming for Indianna Jones, Gladiator, Jewel of the Nile, and several others.

Then it was off to the Atlas Mountains on the way to Marakesh. It was much more tame than it had been built up to be. The frequency of curves around the Gold Coast hinterland would give it a run, though not the scale.

Traffic is not very heavy, but there are some of these heading inland, loaded heavily.

And of course there is the roadside barbequeued goats and sheep. Tasty but don't ask for medium.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

dug deeper

Who would have known, Morocco has lots of fossils. In the right place, they are in the rocks on the ground. Not this good though.

The land is arid and desolute, except for the strip along the rivers, which are lush, green and heavily cultivated.

It can get pretty rough. This is a small climb into Dades Gorge. Tomorrow it is their big brother - crossing the Atlas Mountians.

Lunch was the ubiquitous tagine, seen here on a charcoal brazier.

investigated some more retail opportunities

You know you are in the trap when they bring out the mint tea.

The speil is very entertaining and performed with gusto. Call me cynical, but thes guys could sell cars to used car salesmen.

Did I mention they also have rare and precious jewelry.

Then it was off to the spice market.

practiced to be Laurence of Morocco extras

Do you want sand with that?

The answer is 'Yes, I want sand with everything.'

We had fine still days but there was still dust on everything.

Can't say I would recommend riding a camel for any more than an hour.

The view from our nights camp. Apparently there's 6000 kilometers more sand after this bit. (Note to self: must find a use for sand.)

I got the pretty one.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

will show you some shops

As usual, Paul is not in the shopping zone, so it's my responsibility to show you some of our retail fun.

Thread buttons for the jellebahs


Thread market

fez guy

Fresh juice every morning.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

wonder if the world has gone mad.

Come to Morocco, its great at this time of year, not too hot yet, you ill need a light jumper in case the evenings get cold.

So what's with the white stuff falling from the sky while we crossed the Atlas mountains?

It was very pretty though, and we did manage to squeeze past the resulting car accident on the narrow alpine road. All's good that ends well - the sky cleared, the sun shone, it got too hot.......

The storks have no respect for the local religion.

And now for a game. It's called 'Where's the donkey'. There are at least 2 of them.

Monday, 20 May 2013

learnt to write all over again.

I thought this blog entry might write itself, but no, the calligraphy lesson was not that effective. It was interesting but I don't think I have the patience to become profficient. Mohammed said it was a 4 year course.

Lunch was another feast. The carrot and chickpea was a particular favourite.

Then it's off to the medina for a spot of shopping. Dejavu all over again.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Feeding frenzy continued...

I'm sure I mentioned the narrow alleyways.

Nice ass. Follow the arrows to the fabric shop.

Are you sure I can't interest you in a carpet.

witnessed a feeding frenzy

Can I interest you in rug, or some shoes, maybe some fabric.......

Visitted the Fez medina.

This is the map:

1000's of streets with and without deadends. A maze of narrow alleys and merchants selling everything, and making stuff, including a tannery. 400,000 people and probably about 10,000 donkeys. Wide donkeys, with even wider loads, and did I mention the narrow alley ways.

Plenty of olives.

And dates

said bye to the blues

Chefchaouen is a very photogenic town.

We stopped at a local market on the way to Fez. Sheep and goats for sale by auction. Those unfortunate enough to be bought by the butchers also in the market, are then dissected and onsold to the populace.

And if you need your tooth attended to, you just nip down to the dentist in small shed down the side.

Then it was off to the Roman ruins. This stork makes good use of them. Saw a few more later on.

learnt to read the signs

Hope we are on the right path.

This one is pretty easy.

But we had some trouble with this one.

A clue: it is outside our 3pm lunch stop.

The tea, coffee, tagine and prayer room signs are obvious enough, but the sheep/goat/uzdu one? My guess is that 'New Zealander is spoken here'.

share chefchouen or chefchouenne avec vous

Freaky how we get freaky weather. C'est exceptionalle, they say.

Exceptional visit yes; the rain and cold non!

On the ferry to Tangier.

Our Riad for the night.

Street art

.....and fresh orange juice every morning.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Felt a breeze turn to blustery

This was yesterdays late ferry leaving Tarifa for Tangiers. Unfortunately today's weather was less pleasant. Those African hills in the background were not visible through the gloom and rain. The chop was significantly higher. But we made it, without any regurgitative issues, not even queasy.

Tangiers was also covered in low cloud and rain - hardly the sunny Morocco of the brochures. Headed inland on the bus, with Mohammed & Achmed (guide and driver resp.) to Chefchouen. This is the view from our balcony. You might notice a certain theme with the house decoration.

Another scene from the local old fort. See any similarities? Apart from it is still raining.

decided to have a blue period


His mood was contagious.

Met a man looking for some droids, but can't remember anything after that. Very strange.