We didn't have any internet access in Morocco, but I kept up my three beautiful things blog for the two weeks we were away, so here it is:
13/01/13 Foresight, Lights and Amazing
- I'm glad I thought to get something to eat before boarding the plane, because, once again, the airline don't do vegetarian meals.
- Flying out at night and seeing little dots of light spread out below us.
- I'm still amazed by the way aeroplanes stay up, it just seems so wrong!
14/01/13 Sounds, Nicknames and Sun
- We learn that cous-cous was named after the noise women make to chase chickens away while they are making it.
- Random Moroccans call Nick Ali Baba and Tarzan.... I did say he should have trimmed his beard!!
- Feeling the sun on our back's as we eat our lunch on a roof terrace.
15/01/13 Changing landscapes, Food and Oasis
- As we leave Marrakech, we drive through every colour of landscape, starting with pinkish red hills, then yellowish green, grey, black and orange squares of rock and great big purple rocks.
- An enormous plate of salad to share: potato, rice, tomato, cucmber, pepper and beetroot, followed by a vegetable tagine, and delicious, fresh oranges.
- Our first camp in the mountains, is like our own private oasis, full of date palms.
16/01/13 Porridge, Aromatic and Green
- I'm not a big fan of porridge, but with some strawberry jam stirred in, our breakfast isn't too bad.
- There aren't a lot of plants in the dried riverbed we are walking along, but the ones that are there, give off wafts of herby lavender smells.
- Every now and then in the dry, dusty landscape, there are little terraces oasisses of bright green.
17/01/13 Zig zags, Colours and Nomad
- Being able to see our route zig zagging up the hill ahead of us, and counting off each zig and zag as we walk it.
- The walls of the canyon are orange, the gravelly stones covering the floor are green, and dotted about are big purple rocks.
- As we go over the top of the hill, we see a Nomad camp, and a man brings us a freshly made flat bread, filled with onion, tomato and spices.
- The frozen stream we passed in the morning when it was cold is still frozen, when we come back past it in the heat of the afternoon.
- Getting into camp to be greeted by tea and delicious, fried doughnutty things with jam.
- Standing on top of the mountain, with Morocco spread out around us - big sandy, rocky canyons, wide plains and snow capped mountains.
- Huge, tall, grand canyon-like rocks suddenly appear as we go over a hill.
- The wind is so strong, we are nearly blown off the top a few times, but with all the sand blowing around, my skin feels nicely exfoliated!
- The path goes over a rock full of crystal geodes, so we spend a few minutes hunting for sparkly rocks.
- During a windy night that rips and collapses tents, we huddle together to stop ourselves being blown away.
- A little oasis in the dry mountains, with a little stream and white trees, with yellow leaves and almond trees with blossom.
- The most amazing salad for lunch, with the best bread yet, it is soft, and just a little bit chewy.
21/01/13 Toad, Desert and Accomodation
- A tiny little toad, hopping around a dried up river bed.
- Seeing our first glimpse of proper desert.
- Instead of the wild camp we were expecting tonight, we arrive at a group of little mud huts, complete with plug sockets and hot showers.
22/01/13 Camels, Home and Caterpillars
- Meeting our camels for the first time, they make the funniest noises as they are being loaded up with all our things.
- Finally making it into our familiar, welcome camp, after a really long 8 hours of walking.
- Who would have thought we would see caterpillars in the desert, but there are bushes full of them.
23/01/13 Keeping up, Treasure, Entertainment
- Even though the group was moving quite fast this morning, I managed to keep up without feeling completely worn out.
- Spotting the first fossil of the day.
- Being given tea and pop corn when we get into camp, and watching 4 x 4's racing past.
24/01/13 Reward, Sketch and Birds
- Sharing a packet of chocolate animal biscuits after a really long, tough day of walking.
- Doing a quick little sketch of a camel and the reaction of one of the camel drivers, I've never seen someone looking so excited!
- Tiny birds hopping in the sand dunes as the sun rises.
25/01/13 Clean, Cooking and Sun
- Having a really good wash and putting clean clothes on after 9 days of trekking.
- Being shown, by our cook, how to cook bread by burying it in hot sand with embers of fire on top - it's delicious, and not at all sandy.
- The most amazing sunset for our last night in the desert, it just keeps getting better and better.
26/01/13 Audience, Calm and Not lost
- As we drive towards a village, a group of boys stop us to tell us we have a puncture. By the time the tyre is changed, half the village as come out to watch.
- Walking through the market in Ouarzazate is much calmer and quieter than in Marakech, and no one hassles us to buy anything.
- 4 x 4s come to pick us up from the desert, but have trouble finding their way out of the sand dunes for a while.
27/01/13 Wake up, Fed and Not too cold
- The 3:30 am wake up call isn't great, but the hotel has provided a delicious breakfast of croissants and pastries, just for us, so it almost makes it ok.
- After telling me on the plane that they definitely didn't get my request for a vegetarian meal and there is definitely no vegetarian food on board, I put on my saddest, hungriest face and suddenly they have a spare veggie meal.
- I was expecting it to be snowy and horribly cold when we got home, but it's not too bad. I do miss the sunshine though!