Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Morocco news summary (7688)

I've had both too much to write about and a spell of unreliable internet connection. To catch up, this post is a condensed report.

This city is not 'Morocco'. But it is very much Fez. It's edgy, intense, feral and it unsettled me. That one is warned by well-meaning advisors to avoid this place and take care in that one adds to the tension.

Medina street
From our Medina restaurant
But it's a fascinating place. All those lives, all that striving, all that humanity.

Above Fes
Leigh Trowbridge
Friends make a difference and Leigh is a case in point. He's a particular philosophical reference point for me and is proving a valuable foil in helping make sense of things at this time. He's deeply knowledgeable and I can rely on him to illuminate me when I'm lacking in understanding. But his generosity and talent were aslo highlighted a few days ago.

The manager of our super hostel in Fez asked me to help compose a plaque she wanted to have made highlighting the special attributes of her place. I knew the end result wouldn't be nearly as effective if it weren't properly designed and having been put on the spot by his 'generous on his behalf friend in Fez' Leigh beautifully brought it into being for her.

Lovely chap. Here it is.

An act of generosity

South through the mountains
Middle Atlas landscapes have an alien quality to them. It's exciting seeing something so different from what you're used to. My theory is that it's because they were formed by different geological forces from those that were at work in Europe. But I may be wrong.

Our mountain route

An incident
The dry bag anchor broke. It shouldn't have. It originally looked like this:

Dry-bag in situ
There was some collateral damage.

Angeika's ex-sleeping bag
But we're ok and we might not have been.

And we'll be in receipt of replacements in a week or so thanks to Angelika's daughter, Bianca and Annette at Rugged Roads, two elements of our UK back-up team. Thanks both!

Kasba Asmaa - our hotel

We're in a Berber town on the plateau between the Middle and High Atlas mountains at 1500 mtrs. It's referred to merely as a transit town in the guide books; a stopping place between north and south. I feel as though it's my first real engagement with ordinary Morocco. The people here don't care that you're a traveller and I'm relaxed enough now about this country to forget that I'm a foreigner and just enjoy it. It's lovely.

We've heard that Africa proper begins south of the High Atlas. We'll be there tomorrow.


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