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Morocco – Spain (Days 88-92)

November 30, 2010

Day 88 (10/27/2010):

Yassine, Wags, and I went into Marrakesh today for lunch. We had tajine with rabbit, which is cooked in a tajine clay pot with some sort of meat (in this case rabbit) and various vegetables.

Funny conversation:

Hiroki: Wow, I’m really full.

Yassine: Great, here’s the rabbit heart, eat it.

Later that night, we went to a hammam, which is basically a bathhouse. We used this strange glob that exfoliated our skin, then we took a hard towel and rubbed off the dirty, dead skin. Strangely, I did not know if I felt cleaner or not, but it was still refreshing.

Day 89 (10/28/2010):

We left Yassine and his amazing family early in the morning and went to Marrakesh to catch a bus to Zagora. The ride to Zagora was curvy but had amazing views of the Atlas Mountains. The roads were so curvy and windy that someone actually puked in the bus.

After a long 8-hour nauseating ride, we managed to reach the desert outpost town of Zagora. We stayed at the Auberge Restaurant Chez Ali about 5 minutes away from the main street. At this hotel/restaurant, watch out for the giant peacocks that give awesome stares. They serve traditional Moroccan cuisine and many French folks frequented the hotel. The hotel staff was super and hooked us up with our excursion for tomorrow.

Day 90 (10/29/2010):

We left Zagora early on a 4 by 4 with our private guide and went to the village of Tamegroute to see Kasbahs and handmade clay crafts. The Kasbahs are basically a labyrinth of dark passageways, which one can explore by themselves and run around aimlessly. Tamegroute is well known for their green pottery and we were fortunate enough to see how these were produced.

Prior to going to M’Hamid, we took a slight detour to jump on the camels for another walk around the Sahara. What can I say, camels are camels.

After passing the oasis of M’Hamid, the jeep took us on a 90-minute desert trek through the dunes to get us to basically the middle of nowhere in the Sahara to an outpost of couple of Berber tents. There Wagner and I ran around the dunes like little kids playing in the snow. We took off our shoes (and only our shoes) and ran around in the sand. We ran about 400 meters away from the camp and realized that the sand was so hot that it burned our feet. It took us 4 times longer to get back as we had to sit on the ground every few meters.

Lunch was the standard Moroccan meal of peanuts, figs, tomato and cucumber salad, and tajine.

On the way back, we saw a rotting camel. Its neck was broken and we could see the bone.

Day 91 (10/30/2010):

The trip back to Marrakesh was the usual and nothing really occurred.

Rule #68769: When one is on a bus and the roads are curvy, sit in the front of the bus.

We reached Marrakesh and got to our hotel. At the hotel the Marrakesh Express stopped by and picked me up. Marrakesh Express is the local way of saying, ‘getting diarrhea.’

Day 92 (10/31/2010):

Happy Halloween! Too bad we are going to miss the scantily dressed ladies.

Not much occurred this morning. Getting to the airport was a nightmare when you are already on the Marrakesh Express.

As we were boarding our Ryan Air plane, a gas truck somehow hit the back of the plane, which knocked off a key instrument for the plane. We were asked to leave the plane and go back to the terminal as they were going to assess the situation and fix the issue. Right before the staff told us to leave, an announcement came on to tell us that the issue was nothing to worry about as the same exact thing happened two days ago. One would think that they would be more careful after the accident happened the first time…

We reached Madrid and our host, Juanma, came and picked us up. Like Manuel, he was a savior after another survived adventure in North Africa.

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