The third morning was upon us, when we woke up into a quiet morning in Mergouza. We had a long drive ahead of us, straight through the desert, towards Agdz and Ouarzazat.
Those roads are fast to drive. There are almost nobody there and they are in relatively good condition and cornerless. Before long, we were in the half way of the days journey. That was a lot of desert. We spotted something that we named immediately as “copy-paste-mountains”.
It also became apparent, that no truck or taxi over there moves without being fully loaded, up to the limit.
Every time there is a bit of water in the desert there is life, too. The road we took brought us through many spots of greenery. Before I had a little bit childish vision on oases. You know, the two palm trees and a pond? Apparently they can be even full forests of palm trees heavy from dates, surrounded by fields of mint.
While driving by one of those oases, we started to hope, that the next hotel would be in such a place. We got lucky, our navigator, still acting up, directed us to a small road, disappearing into the shades of the oasis.
We pulled up to a hotel, which was located inside a beautiful garden, next to a quiet road. Dates, oranges and grenade apples hanging from the trees, just waiting for picking. Paradise, might one think.
We got our room from the back of the garden, attacked a few grenade apples and headed for a walk, deeper in the oasis. That particular oasis was used for farming and donkeys kept passing us by. The coolness of the air in that valley after a hot day on desert was so refreshing!
We reached the edge, and saw an old looking town and decided to have a closer look. We took a few steps towards the village and got immediately a man attached to our side. Introducing himself as a Berber, who’s family still lived in that ancient town of Berber merchants. He told us about the history and renovation while we approached. Apparently he was trying to sell us a guided tour around the place, even though we did not ask for one.
That guy was surprisingly difficult to get rid of. He kept offering us just a small tour of half on hour, even though the sun was already close to setting. After all he gave up on his pleas and guided us to the riverbed and a trail that would take us back to our hotel. That trail brought us into the middle of rather beautiful gardens. We were off to bed early, since the next day would have to bring us all the way, over the High Atlas to Marrakesh. Meaning quite some driving.
The morning came, and brought a bird along. A bird that had for some reason gotten interested about pecking on windows. He woke us up with the banging with the first morning light. It would not quit, so we had to get up and start preparing for the last day.
We were up and running on the road well before 9, very happy about our loose timeline. No rush for the flight, plenty of buffer. Or so we thought, before getting stuck behind a slow, very slow, truck and other people, slow just for no reason, on a mountain pass. And donkeys. Donkey seems to be still the main transportation method in many mountain villages. At least we had plenty of time for sightseeing. Well, I did, Waffles eyes were tightly scanning the road.
After all that we were getting stressed and hungry. So we stopped at a small Cafe Hassan, run by Hassan, a Berber. He was extremely happy to get tourists as customers, served us orange juice and tajine.
At some point that man started also get a bit… invasive… Wanting to take photos with us and getting pretty close to the skin. For my Finnish sense of personal space that was too much. Hassan did, how ever agree on pointing us the route up to a hill close by and guarded our car in the meanwhile.
Soon we noticed, that our time buffer was running out. We run too, down the hill, hopped into our car after shooing off our host and off to the serpentine again. As we drove, the minutes got shorter and shorter. Closing up to Marrakesh and we had only half an hour to spare. And the city center in front of us. Also, mister Murphy decided to pay a visit. GPS died, again, right inside the city walls. Panic.
Chaotic driving in random directions followed. We seemed to fit the crowd in that sense. I don’t know if anybody had a clear direction or destination in mind. Then, after a corner, we saw an angel, dressed as a police officer. He directed us towards the airport, through couple of corners. After all, we managed to catch the plane, with only minutes to spare.
A sum up. Hm, I don’t think I will visit Morocco again, any time soon. The country is beautiful, yes and the food is good, also the people are friendly up until a certain point. But seeing so much nature being spoiled with trash, and animals treated as they are treated there, it makes me sad.
You can’t really relay on people either, since they very often are after your money, if they offer help. And as a blond western woman, you do get to feel the sadder side of the different culture