0312. One Last Castle (Mor 145--new)

Goulmima Travel Blog

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It's late when I get to Errachidia--The king is due in tomorrow, so I doubt I'll be able to find a hotel room... Fortunately there's still a taxi heading out to Goulmima, so I'll be able to stay the night in a new town.

All's quiet in Goulmima, which is odd.  Most desert cities are most active late at night.  I learn later that the reason is that most folks live in the surrounding castles and only come to Goulmima to work during the day.  In fact, when I check into Goulmima's only hotel, and go out to look for some supper, I'm told to be sure and be back by ten--or I'll be locked out...

Next day, I head out to explore Goulmima.  It's a very plain, ordinary town.  The streets look like any streets anywhere in Morocco.  But, frankly, it's almost a relief.  I've been so bombarded by the amazing over this last week that I really need to just stroll around a boring, normal town to unwind a bit.

 

I do find a nice view next to the stream at the edge of town--but it's not all that special after everything that

I've seen...

I go ahead and buy my ticket back to Casablanca tonight.  I hear rumors of a bus strike--hopefully I'll be able to make it out of here OK.

But I still have a good half a day to kill, so after a delicious lunch I figure I'll check just one more town out...

 

Back from Telouine... 

 

A couple of high school kids who sat in on my parkbenching session asked me if I'd seen the Goulmima castle

"No, but I've seen lots of other castles.

.."

"Well, if you haven't seen the Goulmima castle you haven't seen Goulmima..."

So I figure I've got barely enough time to go see it and come back... One more castle won't hurt anybody...

I head down a narrow winding road--sort of a finger of the city that leads to the castle.

Yes.  I'm impressed.  It has two very high mud towers right at the entrance--and a mosque with a beautiful mud minaret.  Inside, there are actually a few shops--so it has a bit more of a medina feel... most of the alleys are open air rather than tunnels... I even managed to do a full tour without hitting a single dead end...

I had to hurry back to catch my bus.  Just as I was heading back, here came this sea of bicycles... hundreds and hundreds of schoolkids all heading home from school by bicycle... A beautiful, poetic sight. 

No worries about gas prices here in Goulmima...

And that's the end of a very intense 8 days of traveling through rugged mountains and sandy desert...

I think I'm going to take some time off traveling just so I can soak it all in...

 

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Goulmima
photo by: nathanphil