Day 10 – Music Over My Head

So, having moaned about camping, now we get to one of the reasons why it’s worth putting up with on an occasional basis: Irhissi.

Irhissi is an old, ruined kasbah at the intersection of three valleys that was built a shade over two hundred years ago. All that’s left now are the four walls, which are gracefully crumbling back into the rock from whence they came, and a few nomads scattered about the valley.

It took about six hours to get there, including a long drag up a fairly steep pass, so we were all fairly tuckered out when we got there. The evening more than made up for it. A scavenge round the local area picked us up enough firewood to get a good blaze going in the centre of the kasbah, and then the muleteers picked up all the plastic buckets they could get their hands on and started singing and drumming. It was a fantastic performance: Berber songs in a call and response pattern with a bit of dancing thrown in by the firelight. I wandered out beyond the walls and sat on a rock looking at the stars coming out (the skies out there were stunning) and apart from the odd satellite whizzing overhead it was almost as if the past two hundred years had never happened.

Until, that is, Mohamed Ali decides to lead everyone in a chorus of ‘That’s The Way I Like It’.

Woke to find the dog curled up in the ashes of last night’s fire. We discuss names. Dog features strongly, as does Yallah (to go, literally ‘to go with Allah’). My suggestion of Mange is largely ignored.

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