0303. Exploring the Vast Oasis (Mor 136--new)

Maadid Travel Blog

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Thousands of dirt bikes, street bikes, 4x4 stream past the other way.  It's Easter break of in Europe and it looks like half the continent is heading down to Merzouga a bit farther down the road.

I find it a bit ironic that all these folks are whizzing right past some of the most amazing structures in Morocco to go stare at a pile of sand...

But then again, I don't imagine the Arfoud tunnel dwellers would really appreciate thousands of tourists coming to gawk at them...

It's a pleasant hike down to Maadid, where there's an enormous Mud Tunnel City.  I head inside, followed by a whole army of young kids who are determined to be my "guides" an old lady comes over, quite dissapprovingly tells me that they're trying to take me down a dead end, so I head on back out.

..

One disadvantage of building castles out of mud, is that if it ever rains... well, everything tends to collapse.  And there was a lot of rain recently and some sections of the city are badly damaged.  But thankfully, they're purists here in Maadid, and they're rebuilding their city with--you guessed it... mud...

Well, almost, I get to talking with some of the guys rebuilding a section of the main wall and they show me how they are now putting in concrete pillars--and then covering them over with mud stucco.  A very clever compromise--make the walls strong while preserving the beauty of this traditional structure.

I find a way back into the city through a hole in the wall and wander around a bit undisturbed this time. 

There are actually a few parkbenches in Maadid, so I was able to have a traditional parkbenching session with a mix of a crowd of the old and the young...

Heading back to Erfoud, I try taking a different way cutting across the patchwork of little wheat patches lined with palm trees, mud walls and the occasional mud house... Lovely countryside.

 

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Maadid
photo by: nathanphil