We left Todra Gorge in the morning as the sun started to shine on the walls of the gorge. Quite a beautiful departure. Today was a long day with a lot of sites to see. We crossed the plains between the high Atlas and Anti Atlas mountains. There is snow on the highest of the Atlas mountains and we pass over them tomorrow.
We stopped for some snapshots at one of the many gates between the cities/local governments, dodging the occasional car to take a photo. We drove on to visit an old Kasbah or fortified house that wealthy people used to live in. Our guide was quite good and entertaining. We’ve been lucky like that with our local guides. We had lunch in the Kasbah before heading off again to Ouarzazate.
In Ouarzazate, we visited a Berber pharmacy. Basically less of a pharmacy and more of a perfumery. So the girls bought a lot of stuff and the guys walked out as our nasal senses were being overloaded with far too many foreign scents for us to comprehend. We also visited a local coop that helps disabled children in many ways. The guide here was less exciting than at the Kasbah, but we had been warned.
The main industry though in Ouarzazate is the film industry. My father is most likely aware that Lawrence of Arabia was shot here and near the town the studios are still there with the run down sets. We didn’t stop mostly due to the fact that it was expensive and crap. We instead headed to Ait Ben Haddou, which also starred in many movies like Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. When you see the old Ksar (mud brick city), you realise why it makes a good filming location.
We climbed to the top of Ait Ben Haddou for the spectacular views. People still live in here, many of them make a lot of cash by letting visitors into their homes or kasbahs. We walked back down and had a couscous cooking demonstration before tucking into some delicious couscous, my first in Morocco and it only took me 9 days! Tomorrow we have a home stay in the high atlas mountains. We’ve been offered a mule or donkey. My family always reminds me of the donkey in Central america and the fact I fell off it also, means I might walk.