0231. Yeah, I know what you're thinking... (Mor 079--new)

Ketama Travel Blog

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There is one and only ONE reason why foreigners ever go to Ketama--that's to buy hashish... We'll, today, a new breed of foreigner has showed up--one with absolutely no interest in that pesky weed...

Of course, with a guitar slung over my shoulder it doesn't help much in breaking that stereotype... As soon as I get off the bus, I got a couple of very "friendly" fellows on my trail who refuse to be shaken off.

Having grown up in Northwest Mexico where, happening accidently on someone's marijuana patch meant you'd end up with a bullet in the back of your head before sunset, I'm feeling a bit uneasy about this Hash Capital... But I'm determined not to leave until I've played my set...

Once I reach the south end of town, my "dealers" give up, and I follow the road on into the forest.

.. The area is absolutely beautiful with the tallest pine trees I've seen anywhere in Morocco.  Red tiled farm houses are tucked away under the trees and sheep graze peacefully in the clearings... Of in the distance you can see the second tallest peak in Morocco...

I stop to rest under the trees and enjoy the serene setting... quite frankly, I'll be quite happy NOT to have an audience here in Ketama...

...That's about to change...

A couple fellows walking north along the road spot me and head over my way.  Sensing that this could mean trouble, I pack up my guitar and get ready to get going...

"Oh, we just wanted to listen to some music--but since it seems that we've disturbed you, we'll head on our way" one of them apologizes.  They look respectable.

.. hell, why not... I play a couple of songs for them--then they invite me to go back into town for coffee... I accept...

Turns out they're from one of the most respected families in the area.  They actually live in Tanger and are here for the holidays.  Just about everyone we come across stops to greet them.
"Why don't you stay the night at our place?" the ask.  "We have a couple of uncles who are musicians as well..."

For some reason I relish ironic situations.  And to stay the night with a family in notorious Ketama seems quite ironic... so, yep, I accept.  

...So we spend the afternoon hiking out in the forest, playing music...bringing in the cows from the pasture... playing some more music... meeting the rest of the family...

There’s a frontier like feel to their farm home.  And with the tall pine trees, mountains off in the distance, and the chill in the air, it almost feels like I’m somewhere in the Rocky mountains in the USA.

But this is very Moroccan—but unlike any other Moroccan experience I’ve every had.

 

b005t3r says:
I have been to Ketama, well about an hour or so beyond it actually. It is a beautiful place.
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012
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Ketama
photo by: nathanphil