Tuesday, December 6, 2016


We left Fes at the wee hour of 10am for the Sahara. We found ourselves driving through rain as soon as we hit the suburbs, grateful that the rain had waited until a day like this, in a car, when it would be eight and a half hours before we reached our destination.

Our first bathroom break was in a town called Ifrane. It looks like a Swiss village. Seriously. Situated in the Middle Atlas Mountains, it has snowy winters and a ski resort, and as the country’s square architecture isn’t suited for snow, Ifrane built sloped roofs for the snow. It was a picturesque town, and it was quite surprising to find something so vastly different than what we had seen thus far. We stopped for a coffee – Segafredo coffee to complete the European feel of the place, and got caught in a downpour as we got out of the car. It was winter. It was freezing. We were wet. I still wanted to look around.

But we didn’t have control over anything during these three days. I hate tours, hate them because you can’t just wander, can’t reflect, can’t discover surprises on your own, and you have schedules and itineraries, obstacles to a good traveling experience. But we had little choice, as the public transportation is not well-developed (can you imagine spending a whole day on a bus? Nightmare!) in this part of Morocco. We hopped back in the car after our cappuccinos for another couple of hours, but we did get a nice surprise along the way.


Baby on board!

The Ifrane National Park is full of barbary macaque monkeys that are so used to being fed by humans that they are not afraid to come right up to you. Our driver said they aren’t dangerous but they are wild animals and the alpha male came right up to our car when I had the door open. He looked rather bored, but he did like cookies. Some mangy dog also wanted food but was smart enough to stay away from the head monkey, like all the other monkeys did. Head monkey got all the cookies. I felt sorry for the others.

Then we drove through Arizona, and I ate The Tomatoes. The country is beautiful and the landscape is very diverse until you get to the south when it is just desert desert desert. But even the desert is diverse so I guess I shouldn’t describe it that way.

The above are a few short videos of the landscape as we made our way down to Midelt, which was about the halfway point to our destination. We had lunch at a tourist hotel - camel burgers, fries, some sauteed vegetables, and a salad - some lettuce and a few tomato slices that I ate and Chris did not. I did not realize that a few tomatoes would, um, alter the trip a bit...

Here is Midelt:

And here are some photos from the tourist hotel, Hotel Taddart, where I ate The Tomatoes:

These tomatoes are not as innocent as they look.

Remember those tomatoes...

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