Off road to Rose Valley

We left our hotel Chez Pierre at 9am and took immediately a road into the mountains. At first I thought there must have been a mistake, but there are errors with Hamid. The scenic route was fantastic. Just take a look.

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The pictures are not doing justice to the scenic beauty if it all. It was stunning to drive through it. We stopped at a nomad place. A family if four who lived in a little cave with a extra tent for a living room? The father was off with the goats and the mother on the way to the market. So we just saw the boy and the girl and I gave them a little chocolate that I had bought for occasions just like this. We still had some fruits in the car as well which we also left them.
For me it was unbelievable that someone can live like this. In such a poor condition. But Hamid told me that they are not poor and they live like this by choice. I should not think that they don’t enjoy their life style. After mulling it over I thought he had a point. There is certain kind of freedom in living like this. It is probably only my western mind which is repelled by the condition they are living under.
While driving through the mountain area I gave away all my sweets to all children we would pass. So when we started to climb the mountain again I had nothing left.

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On our way down we stopped at a little Kasbah and met again with the American couple. We would spend another evening in each others company before they went to Marrakech and I to Essaouira.
We drove on through the rose valley which held little interest for me after the beauty of the mountains. Also the right time for the valley is April I was told. The all the roses are in bloom.
Around two we arrived in Ouarzazate where we had lunch at a little place. It was packed with people, tourists and locals alike. Hamid told me that it was also in Lonely Planet therefore also frequented by lots of tourists. Really amazing to see this place jam packed and the restaurant next door empty.
We shared salad, beans, lentils, fries and some kind if beef in sauce. It tasted wonderful. Only we had to eat quickly cause the wind cooled down the food in minutes.
After that I had a choice of going to the hotel or see the damn and enjoy a beer. I chose the later.
We went to a little market to get some cold ones and also ice for the cooling box. And there a little mishap occurred. Hamid left the key in the car and closed the door. But guess what he even is prepared for a situation like this. Apparently there is a spare key fixed on the underside of the car. It took him 5 minutes to retrieve it and off we went.
I enjoyed a cold beer, wifi (thanks to a hotspot from Hamid) and my book (still ‘Amazir’ by Tom Gable which is amazing and a wonderful preparation for Morocco. Should have read it before my trip). This was my view from the car.

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On returning to the city we took some pictures in front of the Kasbah.

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Ouarzazate is famous for its film studios. They made Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia here, plus I don’t know how many others.
Dinner was included in the Riad Dar Chamaa and although it was good, it was disappointing after the fabulous affair the day before. Still, a beautiful place and with a modern room and good heating.

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After dinner my American friends and I said goodbye. They would leave early the next morning while I still enjoyed the easy and relaxed pace if this trip, leaving at 9am.
Yours, Pollybert

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