Day 7: Marrakech via the High Atlas Mountains and Ait Benhaddou to Ouarzazate
Ouarzazate Travel Blog› entry 12 of 25 › view all entries
We left Marrrakech the next morning. As we stowed our gear in the back of our minivan/tour bus, we noticed that we now had a third driver, Achraf. Redwin left us too... seriously, we were starting to get a real complex now. Did we scare him off? Could he not handle the all-female group. Anyway, Achraf, who was a big sweetie, stayed with us until the end of our journey (what a brave soul like Mustafa).
We left Marrkech via the long winding roads through the High Atlas Mountains on our way to Ouarzazate. Thank god for Dramamine, some of the girls felt a little queasy during that ride. I was fine until we stopped for coffee and gulped it down. Yuck, by the time I got back on the bus and we hit those winding roads again, I started to feel the coffee coming up, so you know I chewed a Dramanine myself.
After driving for a while, we stopped along the way and had lunch. After lunch, we continued on to the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou village. This was the setting for movies such as Lawrence of Arabia (one of my favorites), Jesus of Nazareth, Gladiator (come on, admit it, Russell Crowe looked really good in this movie). I was so tempted to spread my arms out wide and start yelling "are you not entertained, are you not entertained" while walking in a circle, like he did in the movie.
As we made our way back down through the winding alleys of the village, we stopped at a Berber house for some tea. The house was owned by Fatima. She was a widow who lived with her daughter, two daughter-in-laws and granddaughter. Her sons were off working in Europe trying to make money to help support her and their families. They may not have had alot by the way of possessions, but they had an abundance of kindness and hospitality. We shared some hot sweet mint tea and a variety of nuts with her and her family.
After tea, we made it back to our bus and continued on our way to Quarzazate. By that time, some of us were a little tired and ended up dozing off during the ride. By late afternoon/early evening, we finally made it to our hotel in Quarzazate.