A polite knock at the door woke us the following day to bright sunshine and frost on the ground. Our bread delivery along with some msemen that we had ordered to share with the neighbours. They never having experienced the delights of msemen spread with cheese triangles and drizzled with honey.
But as days sometimes do, this one passed easily and gently in the company of some wonderful people as we passed the day chatting and doing the mundane daily chores.
As the sunset, throwing it’s colours of fire onto Kaya
Harira ⬅️ (click on link for recipe) was on the menu for supper and just the thing to warm us up once the sun had set and the freezing cold air descended. It has become one of our favourite meals
|Route||Azrou – Midelt, Morocco|
|Overnight stop||Shell caravanseri|
(service incl fantastichot showers)
|Diesel / litre||MAD9.64 (£0.77)|
It was time to move on and to say really sad goodbyes to Sam, Andy, James, Lucia and Pepper. They’re good people and we would have loved to spend more time with them but as they were heading north and us, south , it just wasn’t on the cards… this time. Who knows, we may meet again on the road one day, Inshah Allah.
Off we went with Carloyn and Dave and our first stop in the Cedar Forest just 5km south to see if we could find the Barbery monkeys. Tourist trap!!! OMW, not the thing we normally do but we all wanted to see them, so we stopped. Rows of stable shops with dozens of eager salemen to fend off, vendors ripping tourists off selling rotten bananas and raw peanuts for MAD20 a handful and obese Barbery monkeys, habituated to easy food. Not a great experience but we did it.
Then back on the road heading further south through Berber country to our next stop in Midelt. The place where 2 weeks ago, 4 earthqakes had hit! The overland jungle drums had said that the roads were impassible with big cracks, the local information was that the roads which everyone depends upon, are usually fixed within hours and there should be no problem. So we had gone with local knowledge and decided that it was worth a go. Turns out there was nothing to worry about.
As we were driving along, we were chatting about the terrible reviews of the Midelt campsite and the fact that we really weren’t looking forward to the stop. But as it was only for a night, we’d tolerate it.
During the drive we were passing loads of caravanseris along the way. Hotels and motels (Berber style, of course!) that had just popped up along the roadside. We were about 30kms form Midelt when Meteorites Boulaajoul popped up in front of us. The 2CV on the gate post intrigued us so we popped inside for a chat.
Hamid, the owner and creator of the hotel, just happened to be on site and took us for a tour. It was gorgeous inside with sumptuous Berber decor, luxury abounded as we followed him and cut through the kitchens (spotless!), via the laundry, through some bedrooms, saw a fantastic, secure parking place for vehicles where we could stop overnight with electric hookup, popped our heads into a courtyard where cauldrons of food were bubbling and fresh lamb sizzled and popped over fires filling the air with delicious smells of braaied food being prepared for the 25 strong contingent of bikers touring the region. We were invited to drink tea with Hamid and he invited us to stay for free but as we were in convoy with Carolyn and Dave and heading for Midelt we reluctantly decided to press on. Next time, definitely!
So back into Kaya and on the road again, setting our sights for our stop tomorrow in the Middle Atlas mountains. The views of it from near-desert driving is just spectacular!
As we were approaching Midelt we spotted another caravanseri behind a Shell Service Station with a great restaurant attached. This time we were stopping if we could. We popped in to have a chat with the manager. Our tour started with the campsite as it appeared from behind the restaurant with a motel attached, pool and electric hookup – it was a real find! And when he opened up a room for us for a hot shower and toilet, well, it would have been crazy to press on to the crappy campsite.
We messaged Carolyn and Dave. They were in Midelt but turned around and came to spend the night at the caravanseri with us. What a luxury to have steaming hot showers, a large room to change in and a clean toilet with toilet paper and a seat !!! It’s the small things in life, hey?
We spent the rest of the night pouring over maps, planning our route and drinking far too much brandy.
Nowt wrong with that.