Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Rest day Ouarzazate, Morocco, Wednesday, 07 January 2009 9:06pm

I decided to stay another night in Ouarzazate, instead of going back to Marrakech with Mo, or starting off in another direction immediately, to catch up on rest and process some more pictures. I've now taken over 26GB of pictures, and I only have 27GB of memory cards with me, so I need to make sure to clear some space. It's been tricky because I've been taking pictures and then not having time to look at them in the evenings.

Julia and I checked out the possibility of bicycle tours from Ouarzazate, but what we found wasn't really what we were looking for. Daya Tours was very helpful, offering us free route maps and bicycle rentals, but their suggestions leaving from here were mostly along fairly heavily-trafficked roads, and weren't the length we were looking for (2 days). Julia decided to head back to Marrakech as well.

Since I didn't have other plans for the day, I went with them to the CLA movie studios. It was really neat to see the slowly-decaying facades, and to step from ancient Rome to ancient Egypt by walking through an arch.

We continued to a crusader citadel (or, rather, a movie simulation of one), and then to Ait Ben Haddou, where we climbed up to the Kasbah (which turned out to be one of the shooting locations for Gladiator). I'd climbed to the top a few days ago, but Mo hadn't crossed the river, because of erroneous information that our tour would only be stopping there for 20 minutes. Ali came with us, and took us up a much easier route than the scramble that I took the first time.

After lunch, I bid them farewell and caught a grand taxi back to Ouarzazate. I walked around town a bit and arranged a tour of the Dades and Todra gorges for the next couple days (perhaps with a trip to Merzouga and the desert near it, if I'm enjoying it). I'm a little hesitant about taking multi-day tours by myself (with a driver and guide, but no other passengers), and was hoping a group currently in Marrakesh would join the tour, but one of them is ill, and they're delayed. I don't want to hang around Ouarzazate another day.

I did a bit of shopping for souvenirs. It's getting easier for me to just walk away if the seller is asking too much, or if the item isn't exactly what I want. I had the advantage of being able to go to the next stall over and buy a very similar item. Since the seller had heard the whole transaction, he knew I was serious about my final price.

I ate dinner at a Greek restaurant that's been around since 1928. It was a nice break from the traditional Moroccan food.


hi! peach breeze (Anonymously) Wednesday, 07 January 2009 3:51pm

i'm glad you're doing the extra trip! i'm sure it will be amazing.

julia and i had dinner tonight (thai food) and she says hello and wishes you well. glad you had a little variation for dinner.

brazil in july then? ;)