Today was a travel day to get us closer to the desert. We left around 9am to begin our journey to MideIt.
Travelling through the Atlas mountains the landscape changes dramatically. We left the city of Fez and as we started driving up through the mountains the scenery became green and shockingly more lush. There were many sheep, cows and goats grazing.
There are temporary camps set up with tarps and tin. Our guide informs us that these are nomadic people (likely Berber) that take their flocks to this area until about November when it will snow here. There are also many apple orchards around. They produce apples here but none for export.
We travelled through a park area and saw some monkeys! We stopped to feed them some fruit and nuts. They much preferred the nuts.
As we start to move down the mountains the landscape changes radically and begins to look more like desert. The houses are all made of red clay.
We stop for lunch at a local BBQ place where there is just animal carcasses hanging outside of different butcher stands. You go to a butcher and he carves the meat right there. We have kafta, which is minced meat that is ground right in front of you with herbs and cumin. You order by weight and then take it to the BBQ guy who grills it for you with tomato and onion. It is served with bread – no utensils- the bread is the vehicle to get the food in your mouth. All this costs 37 dirham which is about $6.
We arrive in MideIt where we won’t be able to get by on French. The language here is either Berber or Arabic. A little bit of French on the signs.
We arrive at our destination. We got for a short hike to the gorge and then return through the Berber village. The houses are all made of mud and the children are very curious and following us around. Our camera has run out of battery because Dani was too busy taking photos of a stray dog. The village is very basic and has a community fire where they all bake their tangines and bread. In spite of being basic, there are satellite dishes which we are told come down on Friday, the holy day.
We go back to our farmhouse accommodations and eat tangines and harisa soup. Some locals stop by to perform some singing and dancing which we participate in wearing crazy Moroccan traditional dress! It reminds me of folklorama!
Another end to another very full day. Tomorrow desert camp and the Sahara!