Sunday, 23 September 2012

Heading for the Hills

Yesterday we took the hop-on-hop-off bus around Marrakech. It’s a funny city, in that all the buildings (except for the flash hotels) look reasonably similar and all very plain and basic on the outside, it is the inside that is decorated. So from the bus it all looks a bit boring. In the heat of the day we come back to our Riad for lunch and yesterday we had a Hammam, the traditional spa treatment here at the Hammam ( in the Riad. It was lovely, you go into a room that is all marble with marble benches in it and it is heated to, I reckon, 50 degrees, you lie down and they spray you with water and rub oil on you, then black mud stuff, then they wash you off, that takes about 45 minutes (meanwhile you are totally sweating up a storm), then you go to another room where they serve you verbena tea and water, then you go for a 30 minute massage – delicious. After the visit, I sweated like a pig for about two hours (so now I am free of toxins :D).

We then wandered into the Souk and Square to look at it at night.

 Today, we went for a trip to the Atlas Mountains and amongst the Berber tribes (the people that make carpets). There are four different varieties of Berber, according to where they live.

We stopped off for a camel ride – very touristy, but so funny cos Trevor went to take a picture of an old lady with her four sheep and she went totally ballistic, hitting our young camel boy with a stick, yelling and shouting, then hitting Trevor with the stick as well, lol.

 We then headed up the mountains and visited an Argan Oil co-operative, this is a government initiative and it employs Berber women who are divorced and have no other form of income. This was in a ski town here are pics of the resort and its café’s!!!

The Berber homes are made from mud and they change colour depending on the type of mud in the area they are built, here it shows three different colour villages neighbouring each other.

 Because it was Saturday here, the children finish school at 12 noon and when they see a tourist vehicle (we were in a Toyota landcruiser) they come running for lollies. We were told this the day before so we were prepared. We also brought along pens, crayons, paper etc to give to the schools, but we got to the village school too late today so our guide will give it to them on the next trip.

We had lunch in a traditional Berber home, it was delicious.

On the way back, fortunately it was market day in the region, and we called in and had a look at the local market – amazing, noise, smell, people etc.

 It was forecast to be 41 degrees in Marrakech today, so a good day to head to the Mountains where it was cooler and a nice 28-32 degrees.

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