Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Beautiful things in Morocco

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.
18/01/13 Cold, Tea and Summit
  • 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.
 19/01/13 Rocks, Wind and Sparkles
  • 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.
20/01/13 Safe, Trees and Salad
  • 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!

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