We reluctantly leave the desert – and head for two days of sightseeing and more relaxing afternoons. This is well timed by our guide Julie of Venus Adventures, as we are getting tired, stomachs are being nursed along, and we have washing and personal things to attend to.
First stop Todra Gorge – where we stay in a hotel under these extraordinary cliffs. I gently asked if they had earthquakes here (definately a New Zealand question!) If they did we would know nothing about it. The cliffs tower hundreds of feet over and above us, we are at the narrowest and most spectacular part of the gorge.
We have the afternoon to sleep or to wander up the gorge. Claire makes friends with a gorgeous young berber man and it seems a romance might blossom – we all act as aunties giving her advice and encouragement (we should be so lucky!) Next day they walk hand in hand along the gorge and there is talk about coming back….
Todra Gorge Photos �
Ait Benhaddou is a man-made wonder – the oldest and best preserved Kasbah in Morocco, and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We stay across the river from it, and our guide Julie suggests we go over without her.
Ten families still live in the Kasbah and make it a living monument. There are guides and a small cost to enter – she says just head over and see what happens. Sarah and I head off (Claire had decided the pool is first priority).. We get waylaid by two shops on our way – me for a crystal for a friend, Sarah for a necklace made of camel bone- afterwards she says she has no idea how or why she bought it – these Moroccan salesmen have selling (and us) down to a fine art.
We find a guide who leads us around the Kasbah alleys, into homes and eventually to the top where an amazing view awaits us – across the river to the ‘new’ town and on to the Atlas Mountains.
Most of the structure is mud – and slowly returning to the earth from which it came. Efforts are being made to restore it, which is great, but I also think there is something amazing about earth buildings – when you finish with them, they just slowly return to the earth – a total recycling package. Dust to dust….