25.2.06

Day 13 & 14 – And relax…


We pack up the campsite and amble the few hours back to Ait Youl where we have lunch in the house where we set off what seems like a fairly long time ago. Dog is shut in when we leave – one of the muleteers is going to give it a home – and we walk over the hill to the road. We get there just as the local mosque is kicking out after afternoon prayers. The two groups of people stand there blinking at each other as we wait for our minibus to come and take us to Ouarzazate.

Ouarzazate has a restaurant called Restaurant Obelix, a place full of props from the film studios apparently which the guidebooks smear with the word ‘kitsch’. I vote for eating there in the evening, no one else bites, so we eat in the hotel instead in a room which has been decorated to try and recreate the atmosphere of a large Berber tent in the mountains…

A 3.45 start to get an early flight from Ouarzazate airport, but no-one minds too much as the five hours or so in a bed beforehand have been complete and utter bliss. A surface that doesn’t send your hips numb – fantastic! We have five hours to kill in Casablanca airport, which we do by playing cards, drinking coffee and simply enjoying sitting in chairs. Chairs! Fantastic! And the toilets…by all that’s holy, they flush! Fantastic!

Feelings of calm and serenity picked up from nigh on two weeks in the wilderness last all the way to Heathrow where they are derailed by a) the coach back to Reading, as they'd changed the whole system around and it was only a kindly coach driver letting me travel for free that prevented me from freezing my knackers off for an extra half an hour. Then b) I saw a piece in the Daily Mail which was basically themed Women, Stay At Home And Have Babies And Leave The Hard Stuff To Us Men which made me a tad angsty. Frankly, I wouldn’t wipe my arse on that paper in case I caught something toxic. Oh, and then c) England lost the rugby to Scotland. However, this was offset slightly by d) Bath beating Gloucester, e) being welcomed home by friends who plied me with drink and good cheer and f) the knowledge that I could get up tomorrow and didn’t have to walk anywhere unless I really really wanted to.

I then rearranged all the furniture in the living room and now have a perfect space which would ideally suit a nice Moroccan rug. Guess I'll have to go back at some point, though next time I think I'll save my feet and take the train via Fes...

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