Hello from the Dadès Gorge, where the rocks are high and the river is low. And the tea is sweet and the views are glorious. I could go on.
So since I've last written we've travelled 14 hours in 3 busses, spent a night in Errachidia and gotten cozy in the gorge. We have a few highlights to share with you.
A GRAND DAY OUT WITH MOHAMMED IN FIGUIG:
The day almost didn't happen, since we missed the delicate meeting 'time' that is so elusive in these parts (2 minutes sometimes means 20). Brian says that in Ghana, they say 'any moment from now' which seems to carry well here as well. But once we did meet up with our guide, Mohammed, we were traipsed throughout an entire labyrinthine Ksour - traditional village - in the company of two lovely french octogenarians. We had tea in the courtyard of a weaver woman who dressed me and the french lady in the traditional white cloth covering that the older women wear out. From head to toe, I was swathed, with only one opening at my left eye. I was veeerrry mysterious for about 2 minutes - long enough to have some photos taken and to nearly wilt with the heat. We went out again at night and explored some more with Mohammed - he took us to underground baths - 115 stairs down, hot, humid and pitch black. Except for our headlamp which only served to illuminate scuttling critters...EEK! But both B and I went in for a dip. No sooner than we emerged back into the street were we dry. That's the desert for ya! We had a beautiful time with our guide - if you find yourself hankerin' for a trip to the desert, have we got the hookups for you!
MINI HILARIOUS HIGHLIGHT: 'Do you know Celine Dion? Do you have her address? I love her.'
RIDING THE BUS:
Folks, this is the best way to catch interaction with the regular people. Other bus riders are also just working their way to a destination, they don't have ulterior motives for chatting with you. I commented to a gentleman at the bus station that I liked his scarf, he told me it was from Agadir and I said 'dommage, too bad cause we aren't going there'. He replied by taking off the scarf and putting it in my hands. PEOPLE this is SO KIND. He refused any kind of exchange, much to my dismay. He later made sure Brian didn't get left in the bathroom at a rest stop. People are just generous and curious and kind. Of course there are people who are used to tourists and are skeptical or whatever, but these instances of kindness fill me up to brimming with appreciation for this country. I almost needed to have a moment. Fortunately for all those on the bus, I resisted. Thanks Brian.
THE GORGE SO FAR:
We're staying in a pretty chi-chi place as far as our budget goes, overlooking the Gorge, a beautiful room (albeit with some creative plumbing), and the mountains at our doorstep. This place is pretty much built for tourists and we've seen more in the last two days than since we left Spain. Luckily for us, the mountain was empty! We were accompanied by a guide named....Mohammed! We took tea with nomads in a cave and we pleasured in the wind and expansive vista. We returned through a village and ate figs off a tree and saw GARDENS!!!! Tomatoes, cabbages, carrots - very similar to our veggies and flowers.
This is the best honeymoon EVER. Tomorrow I get to ride a mule - can it GET any better?!