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A blessing and a curse

We had an early breakfast and set off at about 9.00.

Last night we had an unexpected room companion. Still rather a 4 legged intruder than 8 legged.

This is the road in and out and is in varying degrees of disrepair for its 3 miles duration. We certainly won't miss the journey in to and from the accommodation.

The Draa valley was beautiful and a wonderful wilderness. For the majority of the 3 hour journey it was a little cloudy and hazy which was a pity.

We were driving along when a man fully dressed in Bedouin attire jumped in front of the car. We had no option but to stop. He spoke good English and politely requested a lift to the next village. With some trepidation we agreed. He was a nomad with a train of camels but forced to live in the town so his children could be educated as there are no schools in the desert . It went well. As we dropped him off another man jumped in asking the same thing.He had 50 camels and unfortunately smelt like he had the entrails of a dead one in his pocket. He asked us if we wanted tea in his house,we politely declined. We stopped to take the picture below. He jumped out saying he was meeting his friend literally in the middle of nowhere with no one insight 😳. It took a while to vent the car but no harm done!

We decided to stop for coffee and made the mistake of asking the owner if we could leave the car while we had a walk and then return for lunch. He jumped up shot off and came back in full Berber dress. He insisted on taking us on a tour of the oasis. No charge as we were his friends,obviously. He showed us his section of the oasis all devided between 200 families. Very interesting it was too.

Amongst it was a 200 year old ruin of a kasbar ( castle)

Back to the restaurant where the internal garden furnished most of the herbs and vegetables used in the restaurant.

Every one we met is grateful for the heavy rain the first for four years . Unfortunately a lot of the houses are built of mud so there has been extensive damage. Hence blessing and a curse. The owner showed us the well he had dug for him and his family it was very deep as he has to extend it each year to reach the ever diminishing water table.

This is one of the new tourist buildings made to look like the old ones but much more substantial as they have a core of breeze blocks .

We reache Zagora in good time and took ourselves on a walk through the local villages. Once you get away from the tourist areas you are pretty much left alone. Unfortunately the less tourists there are the more of a target you become. We have ventured off the main tourist route and unescorted tourists are a rarity.

As a result we are being targeted from toddlers to the vey old and everything in between. It's a shame as it makes exploring the city and its surroundings very challenging.

We walked through the oasis and out the other side.

And along the river with water still in it.

The room we were due to stay in was made of mud and the manager was concerned that if there was any more rain we maybe covered in liquid mud. So we got an upgrade. We hope for free but we shall see in the morning. The power of reviews helps ensure that the service provided is of high standard. All appreciate how important it is to get good feedback.

We have a 6 hour journey tomorrow as we head back towards the coast and a wind down before returning home.

It's been a joy to be here but it certainly is not relaxing. It feels like you have to be constantly on your guard and everyone you speak too seems to have an ulterior motive. It's totally expected that in a country that's struggling with crushing poverty that they see tourists as fair game. Some of the places we have visited recognise the adverse effect this has on tourism and have a policy of not hassling visitors and this seems to be paying off. Also the British struggle with being rude so are much easier targets than some nationalities.

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