|In the morning, we assemble outside the Burber house with a sense of excitement.
We’ve seen loads of cool things up to this point, but were in the mountains now, living with mountain people (and a donkey, which we couldn’t get to stay quiet).
We set off, and on route, our guide gives a talk on village life.
We visit a mountain village. A “proper” village must have a mosque, a school and a cemetery.
All tombs in the cemetery face east.
If husband dies, the wife must go to the cemetery for 4 months. If wife dies, husband can look for a wife straight away.
It was explained, a wife is unlikely to find another husband if she is over 40.
|We arrive at our destination.
Were here to explore the famous Blue Rocks.
The terrain was amazing…
|But I thought that painting the rocks blue was a bit absurd.
|Our cooks headed out in advance of us, to lay out lunch.
They picked a superb spot, and it was all ready when we returned from our walk.
|Freshly prepared food eaten in the desert.
It was one of the most relaxing meals I can remember.
|We all wander off and explore some more.
You can see from this picture, the vastness of the landscape.
| We head home and spend another night in the Burber house, high in the mountains.
In the morning we congregate outside again.
|The Souk or market is the main meeting place for communication etc.
Word spreads fast in these local community’s. If someone buys say a large amount of meat, there will be discussion of whether there is a wedding imminent, or a baby on the way.
If there is a wedding , mothers from both sides of the marriage knock on each door and invite friends and relatives to the wedding.
The invitation will always be before the Souk, and the wedding always after.
|In the afternoon, we visit an old style Burber house.
You can see from this picture, all the other houses in the area.
|The building had a hollowed out light well and contained lots of authentic pots and cooking implements.
|As we continue on our journey to Essaouira we stop of at Agadir.
As I wander around, I realise is basically a holiday resort.
I was also propositioned by a prostitute.
We sit down next to the ocean in search of refreshments.
For the first time since leaving England, we actually get to drink lager by the pint.
|Our final destination on the trip is Essaouira
No vehicles were allowed in this charming town.
Like normal, the AC had picked a venue off the beaten track that was a hidden gem.
|We have a quick wander around the harbour.
There were amazing sounds and colours (this isn’t a tourist trap, its a working fishing port).
|Apparently this fort inspired Jimmi Hendrix to write castles made of Sand (sean has pointed out, its track 1, side 2 of the album Axis: bold as love).
|Al, Tony and I continue to explore.
I thought we made quite a good team, I really enjoyed their company.
|The main square in Essauira
The hotel on the right of the picture has a rooftop nightclub, and it was here that we had our “leaving do” for Chris, and where various musicians attempted to romance, the lovely Segun
In the daytime, like the rest of Essauira, it really was magnificent to see, with the sunshine and the sea air.
|Tone had had problems with antibiotics (the “problems” being that he couldn’t drink).
Luckily, towards the end of the trip, he was back on the ale and the 3 of us, along with assorted stragglers were able to embark on an evening of debauchery once again !.
|During one of the evenings, I was this picture in our hotel foyer.
They had various paintings (done by local artists, they were for sale).
I took a shine to this particular one.
It was supposed to be the little girl, walking down the dark alley to follow a friendly ghost.
I interpreted it to mean that she should follow the future representation of herself, and the life she could have.
The hotel owner told us that the alley in the picture was quite near the hotel and while exploring we would almost certainly find it.
The next day, as we wandered around, we found it.
|We have our evening meal at a restaurant on the beach.
The following morning, after breakfast on the terrace, we walk out of the town.
Essaouira is a very special place, I know ill go back there.
|On the way back to Marrakech, we visit a workers co-operative run by widowed or divorced women.
|Back in Marrakech, Al and I do some more exploring.
He helped me to find Hotel Ali, a legend among backpackers.
| 150md for posing with snake charmers !
I’m usually happy to pay a small fee for photographs but this seemed excessive, so I took the picture secretly on principle.
|Just about the only “proper” pub in the Medina.
|Inside it looked and felt like the social club in Get Carter.
That said, they were very friendly and Alistair, Tony and I had some pretty cool times in there.
The Flag beer was expensive (about 2 quid for a 3rd of a pint).
|With the official part of the tour complete, I had a day to myself.
I wandered around the Royal palace.
A guard came out, told me I couldn’t take pictures and demanded to see my camera, in case I had taken any already.
Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet day.
|The thing I loved about the place was its authenticity.
Ordinary people just sat down and ate their evening meal here.
Something I’ve always wanted to do.
Have dinner overlooking the Medina.
It was very difficult to photograph, but here it is.