Dates, Donkeys and Beer
11.07.2016 20 °C
We were up before the brink of dawn so we could haul our bruised butts back onto the camels (despite looking cool, not so comfy, especially if your frame is exposed) and got to a new sand dune to watch the sun come up.
We were happy to get off (few close calls from flying off the front) safely and enter the hotel where a big buffet brunch was served. We loaded up on big flat pancake bread, cheeses, black olives, yoghurt, fruit and of course mint tea with lots of sugar (this is also called Moroccan Rum as it's drunk so frequently). Once we were done we were whisked away in our van and a long drive ensued. Luckily Anas had pity on our sore bums and stopped on the side of the road at a large date vendor. He had at least 5 different kinds (30 in total!) of dates and let us try his goat milk (very strong). We bought a bag and were off, through beautiful, yet lonely looking Berber towns. Some coloured like the sunsets, others rocky and crumbling.
We finally stopped at the Dades Gorge. Long and deep it winds along a river and a few restaurants cover its sides...a few had recently shut down after a boulder crushed its roof...A few people got hurt...Chelsea decided to ride a donkey for fun as we walked along the river and tried to avoid salesmen.
We had lunch across from an old Kasbah (fortress/citadel) Taourirt, in Ouarzazate *Arabic or Warzazat *Berber: local bread with brouchettes and more tagine. Then we drove out to check out the famous Atlas Studios, split in the old and newer studios. We got up the gates but couldn't be bothered to pay the fee to wander around and look at dusty props. So we asked if we could try some Moroccan beer and Anas found a liquor store. NOT a good thing to buy all the time as alcohol is EXPENSIVE in a country that is about 99% Muslim. We tried a few kinds, all made in Casablanca, and settled in our hotel. It was quiet nice, with a pool and big rooms. They even brought us cookies before dinner! Another tagine with a big pile of fruit for desert...so hard to finish it all!