Death from surfeit [Morocco 3/7]

After the pleasure of meeting the goats, we catched a dump truck heading to Agadir. We stop there for dinner and decide that we want to go further. It’s 16 o’clock, it’s slowly getting late, and in the dark it’s better not to hitchhike. We don’t want to stay in Agadir because we have heard that it’s a very touristic seaside resort. So we decide to go to Taroudant, a town about 80 km away from Agadir towards Ouarzazate.

These 80 kms we do with 3 rides. The first driver speaks some English, which significantly simplifies life, and leaves us in the right place. Another ride is with a man, who tells us to get in, even though the entire rear of the car is stuffed with vegetables. So we sit on these carrots and tomatoes and ride further. He wasn’t going to Taroudant, but thanks to him we have only 30km to our destination. He speaks Spanish, so we can talk again. He insists that he drops us off at a taxi stand so we can take a taxi. We explain to him that we don’t want to go that way, but only by hitchhiking. Finally, we give the argument that we don’t have money, although it’s not true. What is his reaction? Do not worry, I’ll pay. And so we are left at the taxis, with 30 MAD pushed in Michal’s hand despite our protests. And thus a noble man rides with his carrots away, having left us speechless and surprised. Stubbornly we go back to the main road to put our thumb up and stop another car. Our driver, Abdelhadi speaks English and lives in Taroudant. During the conversation Abdelhadi asks where we are staying tonight. We don’t have a plan for this, we will search for a hostel in the center, our driver replies: If you want, you can stay with me. I’ll call my wife right away. And so it happened. Enthusiastic, but also excited, we are going with Abdelhadi. At his place we meet his wife, twin sons and 4-year-old daughter.

Abdelhadi i jego cudowna rodzina
Abdelhadi and his lovely family

We are well fed, and then we go with almost the entire family for a walk (the wife stays home to clean up after dinner). In spite of all the sympathy we got into this culture and people, one thing we still don’t like: here the woman knows her place. She is from home care, child raising, cooking, cleaning. And nothing more. That’s why at Ahmed’s house it was so dirty – there was no woman there, so the boys didn’t know that they shoud keep the home clean. I will refrain from detailed description, but believe it was incredibly dirty there. But going back to the story – we have a plan to buy a lot of fruits in return. Unfortunately, when our host learns about it, he doesn’t allow us to pay. We buy a few kilograms of mandarins, and that’s all we can do. Strolling through the medina, the boys are trying to teach us different Arabic words and have fun when we fail to repeat them.

Next morning we get up early to get to Ouarzazate as soon as possible. When we’re up and ready, there is a delicious breakfast waiting on the table. Muslim families get up at 6am for a prayer and then go to bed again if they don’t have to go to school or work early. This time Abdelhadi didn’t go to bed. He went to the bakery for fresh buns and croissants, and in the meantime his wife was preparing a harira – Moroccan soup. With full stomachs we say goodbye to this wonderful family. We are getting a bag of fruit, and lots of small gifts. There was no option of refusal. It was an absolutely amazing experience. A man who didn’t know us invited us to his home to share a bit of his life. We met an incredibly open, smiling family with which we spent a marvellous afternoon. In such moments you can feel that you really get to know the country, not just visit it.

And that is how we set off from Taroudant with bellies full of food, a bag full of fruits and a head full of stunning memories. In addition, the way we follow gives us such views:

Majestic Atlas on the way from Taroudant to Ouarzazate

All the time the view on the Atlas Mountains is perfect. We are really stunned. The second driver who takes us that day speaks some English, so we managed to have a little chit-chat. He is driving a small truck and delivers biscuits and cookies to stores. Driving through one of the small towns, we are invited for a breakfast. We stop at one of the many cafes and enjoy the sun while drinking tea. There are also croissants and bread, and even our very capacious stomachs are slowly beginning to raise a white flag. In addition to goodbye we get a set of cookies for another 3 days.

The road we chose is small and the traffic is rather negligible. Still, we are catching cars without much trouble, and besides the enchanting mountains, we enjoy such views:

A tak się transportuje zwierzęta (nie tylko osły)
Donkey transport. We met also transports of cows and goats.

We also happen to go with a crazy mailman. I’m sitting on a tire in the back, Michal next to me on a parcel, the rucksacks are in a box with letters, and the driver rushes a curvy road with pace up to 120 km/h. After this thrilling ride fortunately we are not harmed (although the wobbling ladder all the way lurked on my head) and we can continue to hitchhike. For the first time we get a long distance ride – we go straight 160 km to Ouarzazate, and another driver gives us a gift – we get a bottle of water.

In Ouarzazate we find a cheap hotel. “Hotel” was a bit abusive in this case, but the sign was saying so. But the most important thing is that we have a roof over our heads. Let’s go sightseeing.

A view over Ouarzazate

We decide not to visit the film studios. It’s a little out of the way, expensive, and artificial. The next day we have a plan to see Ait Ben Haddou, which is an actual historical object, and also appeared in films (“Gladiator”, “Game Of Thrones” or “The Jewel of the Nile”). We walk around the town, we want to go to the other side of the river, which unfortunately turns out to be dry and adapted as a rubbish dump.

Mc OMAR. How about no.

Walking around in the evening at the bazaar, wandering between its streets, we suddenly end up in front of our hotel. It turns out that we live in the very city center! In the evening we eat some fruit and go to sleep, wondering what interesting people we will meet the next day.

At the end here’s our route (N1 is the approximate location of our goats):

About who we met the next day and where we ate our best tajine you will read in the next post [click].

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